The jewelry industry harbors many creative thinkers that are open to the design possibilities of pearls, and jewelry designer Etienne Perret is among them. In fact, Etienne’s inquisitiveness and ability to break with tradition goes beyond his own work, but informs the work of others.
Pearls have a way of drawing people together and creating bonds that can last a lifetime. Such is the case with Tahitian pearl dealer Fred Sagues and Etienne Perret. Several years ago Fred found Etienne on Facebook, started following his posts, and became a Facebook friend. Months of conversations followed and Fred asked if he could go to Maine to learn from Etienne in his workshop. “As I am a sucker for people from away, this was an opportunity to share what I love with an interesting person. Fred stayed with us for a couple weeks, learned some jewelry making skills and purchased a number of my designs.” relates Etienne.
Fred Sagues is an interesting person. Fred was once a surfer in Tahiti with a surf supply store, but the economy changed, forcing him into a new career. He had made friends with the pearl farmers on the outlying islands so he decided to bring pearls to the USA. To help him sell the loose pearls, Fred decided to learn more about jewelry making. Etienne recommended that he take a class at Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco, California.
Fred met founder Alan Revere and their conversations soon led to the idea of having a day long pearl class with a second day for selling loose Tahitian pearls to the students. Revere has done an excellent job with metalsmithing classes, jewelry design classes and gem cutting, but Revere had never had a pearl class. Fred suggested Etienne as an instructor and Alan called to ask. ”Teaching about pearls was a first for me and yet I love pearls, have designed pearl jewelry and have taken the pearl course from GIA, so I said sure I would give it a try.”, confirms Etienne.
“Instead of teaching one day, I asked if we could devote day 1 to Tahitian pearls and day 2 to all the other pearls from around the World. We could have spent all day on general information about pearls but students at Revere Academy like to make things. They are craftsmen so I taught the students about design, how to drill pearls, how to carve pearls and how to polish pearls.
In the end we had about a dozen students in each class that were very involved. At the end of the day we had to throw them out, they just didn't want to leave.”
In conjunction with the pearl class, Fred and Alan organized a Tahitian pearl design competition for Revere Academy graduates. Top honors and a pair of round trip tickets to Tahiti went to Grand Prize winner Veronica Eckert for her Trip to Saturn ring.
First prize, over $1000 category, went to William Robertson for his Under the Tahitian Moon pendant.
See all the winners HERE.
Etienne had expanded his pearl knowledge by visiting pearl farms and discussing pearls with experts in preparation for the class. This knowledge was immediately called upon when he was recently invited to give a presentation on the various types of pearls from around the world to Tahitian pearl farmers in Papeete, Tahiti.
People are asking about the Revere Academy pearl class, so keep your eyes open for a potential future class.
Learn more about Revere Academy, Etienne Perret, and Fred Sagues:
To see past articles about Etienne Perret
Click here, and here, and here.
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