Marie Frémont : golden fingers

Photography : Camille Noyon - Text : Elisabeth Grosdhomme

A wide smile, boundless energy and contagious cheerfulness, Marie Frémont explains with enthusiasm the craft in which she intends to make a career : working precious metals to create exceptional jewellery.

After a junior, and then senior-level certification in artistic crafts at Amyot d’Inville High School in Senlis, Marie is now studying jewellery at Ecole Boulle in Paris, the school of reference in that trade since the integration of the specialised Nicolas Flamel Jewellery High School.

Her calling is not really for the world of luxury and wealth associated with jewellery, but for the flawless movement, the perfect shape : the curvature of a perfectly rounded line, or the reflection from a flawlessly polished surface. And the part of yourself that you put into the creation of a tailored piece, specifically made for a person or an occasion. This year, while she was still an intern in a workshop supplying a major brand of the Place Vendôme, Marie made wedding rings out of pink gold : two different ones, one for the bride, the other for the bridegroom, each with a specific design, according to the tastes of each of the future spouses. What a pride to see the result of a task accomplished from end to end, and to feel trusted by your elders in the profession !

In this trade where tradition and apprenticeship account for a lot, various technical innovations are poised to disrupt practices : computer assisted drawing slowly supplants hand-drawing ; digital models are turned into molds using 3D printing and pieces are then cast out of molten metal instead of being crafted manually out of a simple gold thread, as was the common practice up until now.

Marie is learning to master these new tools and processes, as needed to pass her diploma, but she hopes not to have to use them when she works as a professional. She would rather continue her craft according to the age-old artisanal tradition, ideally in a small workshop of five to ten people where she would learn from the experience of more seasoned craftsmen.

Day-to-day, this training is demanding : the school is located in Paris but Marie continues to live in Nogent-sur-Oise, both because an accommodation in Paris would be too expensive and to stay close to her family. This results into several daily hours spent commuting, on top of hours of classes and personal work. It also means a significant financial investment, to such an extent that after the initial joy of having successfully passed the entry exams, Marie almost gave up (« How are we going to pay for all this ? »). Thankfully, after having had to take a first loan to get things going, Marie was selected by the Odon Vallet Foundation, a charity which granted her a scholarship covering her transportation costs, food and supplies.

Recently, during a ceremony organised by the Foundation, Marie found herself in the prestigious Grand Amphitheater of the Sorbonne university in Paris among two hundred other laureates from that year. An occasion for her, from her twenty-one years of age, to measure the progress she has made since her hesitant beginnings at her local district high-school in Nogent-sur-Oise : four years at Amyot d’Inville High School, where she found the environment and the support necessary for figuring out her own way, acquiring fundamental knowledge and gaining self-confidence ; then two years already at Ecole Boulle, which she will leave next year with her diploma in hand, to finally take flight.

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