The work of jewellery artisan, Charles Duret in Domme, is timeless, unique and utterly divine. Born in Paris and a student of gemstones at the Place Vendôme, he moved to Domme in 1999 and now presents his work in the former Royal Mint of King France Philippe III, a suitable home to these prized jewellery pieces.
Charles, the man, is as charming as his jewellery is stunning. Walking into the boutique is like entering an art gallery. You are struck by over 2,000 pieces, all made by his own hand in an array of styles and colours. Silver or 24ct gold plated, he also offers varnished gun metal for a darker look. Nothing is flashy, tawdry or over the top, despite the fact that some of the pieces are large.
As a designer having worked with the likes of Givenchy, Rodier, Courrège, Charles is self-taught and takes inspiration from nature and from his love of women. As he comments, “la femme est belle naturellement” and he loves to see them adorned with mineral and vegetal materials formed into something magnificent.
His designs never start with a drawing, instead they are sculpted in pewter. His creativity takes over when he starts to work with the material, feeling the direction it needs to take to become alive and vibrant. He does not follow fashion but, instead, follows the material he is working with, leaning towards nature as a guide.
“My jewellery is for women of all ages, all sizes and all personalities”, explains Charles. “Whilst my heart lies mostly in the larger pieces, I also design smaller items as I know that bold jewellery is not for everyone. That said, I love it when a woman comes into the shop and I place a larger item around her neck. So often, she adores it and sees herself in a whole new light. That, to me, is good design working its magic. There is no bling bling here, just sensuous, stylish, creative designs that are very different and which do not cost the earth. Quite simply, they are created to be affordable whilst making women feel very special.”
Stepping into his workshop, it is clear that he cares deeply about every stage from forming the original design to making molds, pressing the metals, assembly, intricate finishing and lacquering. With a new workshop on the way later this year, Charles is rightly proud of the finish of his pieces. The subtle lacquering ensures that there are no black marks on clothes and the lack of nickel enables women with metal allergies to wear every item.
He concludes, “I love playing with contrasts, mixing smooth, mirror-like surfaces with fractured relief whether it be for a bracelet, earrings, a brooch, a necklace, a ring or even a belt. I am also delighted that my international clientele enjoy wearing a creation from this beautiful part of France, wherever they may be in the world.”
You can read more about Charles and see his collection at www.charles-duret.com
A fabulous array on display
Jewellery, accessories, clothing, florists, games, sports clothing, sports equipment and beauty products throughout Gironde, Dordogne, Lot et Garonne, Lot, Gers, Tarn et Garonne and north Haute Garonne can be found in our business directory pages under Personal Shopping.
Images: Charles Duret
First published in the September/October 2018 issue of The Local Buzz