At the end of 2017, a discreet invitation in my mailbox attracted my curiosity. Catherine Daymard proposed that I come and discover her young house and its first pieces during a private evening. I responded positively and was surprised to discover that, although there were only a few pieces, they were all of a very high quality and were made by the best Parisian workshops working in the field of high jewellery. A few months later, we met for tea at the Hôtel Baume where she told me more about herself and her project: the Daymard house.
La Coloquinte” mobile ring in yellow gold and carnelian. Photo: ©MarieChabrol
Catherine Daymard is a warm and passionate woman. A big smile lights up the face of this woman who accepts to tell her story without any shame. Four children, a rich family life and an intense professional life in marketing have given her the desire to develop her own company, which I am happy to present to you in this article.
Jewellery has been part of Catherine’s life since she was a child, thanks to a mother who ordered and gave jewellery to her children as soon as they were teenagers to remember important moments: gold and silver rings, tortoise shell earrings, turquoise. So many materials that make Catherine’s eyes sparkle. These pieces are very important in her life because of the emotional impact they have. Intended to be passed on, they are the witnesses of her family history. This is the starting point for the creation of many pieces of jewellery… Her father, an art historian and journalist, gave her a taste for the world, for travel and for beautiful objects. Her childhood home is full of clocks, paintings and furniture that tell beautiful stories… By accompanying her father to the craftsmen who restore and maintain the family collection, she discovers these essential but often too discreet trades: cabinetmakers, watchmakers or jewellers… Finally, a great uncle who was an antique dealer and above all a family home lost in the countryside of the South-West completed this happy childhood which was to be, about a year and a half ago, the starting point for her first collection.
Ring “Autour de la terre” in yellow gold, diamonds, green sapphires and jade. Photo: ©MarieChabrol
When the time came to decide on her career, she opted for a HEC preparation but kept art history as a passion and hobby. Regardless of her city of residence, she will continue to participate in courses, conferences and museum visits… First it was Ottawa, then a return to France to work for big names in cosmetics and then in industry. As Product Manager for France, she worked in Lyon, Toulouse and Paris. It was during one of her missions for a textile dye manufacturer that she discovered the style and trend agencies, experimenting with colour work and then returning to this artistic field that she is so passionate about! Her experience in various media and her enthusiasm made her want to pass on her knowledge. She became a teacher in the field of marketing and shared her experience of product launch with her students, who were happy to exchange with a real woman in the field.
Maharadja” ring in yellow gold, pearls, emeralds, 11.54 carat green tourmaline (Africa) and ostrich feathers. Photo: ©MarieChabrol
A few years ago, jewellery came back more intensely into her life when she became a consultant for craft companies. She began to draw them, to observe them more closely in the paintings and she decided to allow herself to create them for her first clients. Daymard Contes & Joaillerie was launched in 2015. Her first sketches take her back to that house in the South West – her paradise – and its sun-drenched garden, its generous persimmon tree and its mysterious pumpkins. Then she is inspired by her travels, such as the one to Istanbul where she whispers the Hagia Sophia ring. In parallel with her drawing, she enrolled at the National Gemmological Institute and the École Boulle to learn how to recognize the gems she has loved since childhood.
Ring “La Collerette” in white gold, diamonds and pink opal. Photo: ©MarieChabrol
This first collection offers a small number of pieces, all unique and made in Paris, offering multiple journeys into Catherine’s world. The garden of the South-Western house is found in the Coloquinte (a ring made of yellow gold and mobile carnelian crescents, the manufacture of which required many months of development), in the Choux d’or (golden cabbage) adorned with diamonds, sapphires or cultured pearls, but also in the Oiseaux du Paradis (Birds of Paradise), which celebrates love.
Hagia Sophia” ring in white gold, blue chalcedony, tourmalines and enamel. Photo: ©MarieChabrol
I must also mention the Collerette, which is dressed in pink opal, celebrating the Princess of Cleves, but also Hagia Sophia, which is illuminated by enamels with a large fire. Finally, the Maharadja ring offers a superb tourmaline and stylises a turban where ostrich feathers (worked by feather-maker Eric Charles Donatien) remind us that jewellery does not need to be complicated to have panache. It just needs to tell beautiful stories, showcase beautiful materials and offer impeccable craftsmanship. Catherine delivers on all three counts. I can’t wait to hear her next stories and share them with you here!
See you soon!
Cover photo: “Butterfly” ring in yellow and white gold, diamonds, tsavorite garnets, emeralds and cultured pearls. Photo: ©MarieChabrol