Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Pendant Boule

From Hermès

Courtesy of Hermès 

Hermès in many ways is a "Dream Factory" - a place where the difficult to imagine is produced with a precision, quality and beauty that is difficult to imagine possible.  And with their latest offering, the Pendentif Boule, that reputation is further enhanced.

Now for myself, I like my wristwatches.  I do have two pocket watches that I would love to wear more often, but owing to my residence in a decidedly warmer climate, the opportunities to wear waistcoats are few and far between ; )

What I think is so exceptional about this latest piece from Hermès  is that it is undeniably feminine, pretty and fun.  AND - it tells the time!

Courtesy of Hermès 
And remember when I used the word "factory"?  That is perhaps an unfair way to discuss the facility that created this little bijoux.  The Pendant Boule is clearly and unmistakably the work of highly talented artists and artisans.

Courtesy of Hermès 
This is not merely a pretty design sprayed on to the backside of a round watch ; )
What you see is the result of a fairly complex and painstaking process of cloisonné enameling.

And as any wise person knows when someone can explain it better - I leave it to the good folks at Hermès to break it down for us -

Courtesy of Hermès 
Everything begins with a white gold half-sphere, on which the artisan marks off the central point of the motif using a compass. The initially geometrical operation then becomes unmistakably artistic with the putting in place of white gold cloisons or partitions, a change from the yellow gold generally used in cloisonné enamelling. 

With infinite patience, the artisan positions the partitions that will house the various shades of enamel. Starting from the centre, he gently bends the slim gold ribbons that he individually shapes by hand until they mould the curve of the sphere. He then draws the slimmest petals, before sketching out the lower rows, whose tapering, staggered arrangement will enliven the surface with an elegant visual dynamic. The entire art of the enameler lies in the perfect adjustment of each partition and of the surface of the dome. Without this meticulous fitting and joining process, the enamels – once molten in the kiln – would seep out of their golden compartments. 

Courtesy of Hermès 

Then comes the time for colour. 

Courtesy of Hermès 

Using his brush, the artisan applies the finely crushed enamel powder to these white gold- hemmed petals. Whether shades of blue or red, or juxtaposed bright Harlequin hues, the various nuances will reveal their radiance after numerous firings at a temperature of 800°C.

Courtesy of Hermès 
Dangling gracefully from a white gold chain, the Pendentif Boule whirls and twirls, presenting its two faces as desired: a multi-coloured corolla motif on the back, or white mother-of-pearl on the dial side where the time ticks by with exquisite delicacy. 

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