“I love being in the workshop – creating, sharing a concept with my team and my clients, but above all not focused on business”, explains this self-taught entrepreneur, who never tires of developing new techniques. The latest string to his bow is called “glyptique” – and is the art of engraving gems or precious stones, also used on coral or petrified wood. Twenty years of experience in setting and engraving have encouraged him to push the boundaries of what is considered technically possible and the miniaturisation of the art. To him, mother-of-pearl tension collage, engraving under enamel with gemsetting involving stones measuring just 0.5 mm in diameter, or hollowing out curved cases, simply represent more challenges to be taken on with fresh enthusiasm.
This versatile passion and know-how in the realm of jewellery, sculpture, design and even box building has resulted in a very wide range of clients for Art & D – big Swiss or French brands in search of small runs reflecting the trade, Asian collectors of highly specific one-off pieces, commissions from top of the range private labels – there is no shortage of work.
“We work with all materials, and thanks to our multi-skilled craftsmen, we are able to manage entire projects from A to Z, either from sketches or a simple discussion”, says Dick Steenman, whose favourite pastime is creating his own pieces, throwing out ideas like a painter casts his first stroke on a canvas, and then getting them taken on board by clients.
“Our office can create pieces in 3D, program machines and create prototypes, as well as their parts, in the realm of works of art and miniatures. The only boundary to be respected is when it comes to creating a brand. I’ve seen too many friends give in to temptation and end up being eaten up from the inside out”, says this man who has made Geneva his home.
Art & D is nonetheless preparing one exceptional piece in the form of a “show-watch” that will serve as a means of communicating on the company’s skills, contrary to the models confidentially created for prestigious names.