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Check out Delphine Pontvieux’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Delphine Pontvieux.

Delphine, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I was born and raised in France until I moved to Chicago in 1998 and I got into jewelry-making totally by accident.

At the time, I had just completed – and published- my first novel, a political thriller titled “ETA-Estimated Time of Arrest.” After over 2 1/2 years of working long hours alone with my computer, I felt the need to create something with my hands for a change, thus I started making survival bracelets for my friends.

A friend of mine who owned a popular jewelry store in Chicago (the Green Goddess Boutique) offered me to sell them at her store. By that time, I had just started to play around with leather.

At the end of the summer, she called me and said, “so what collection will you bring me to sell for the fall?” I had not thought about that at all, but it sounded like an exciting and challenging idea. As a result, I set to work in order to create original designs for my leather bracelets.

A year later, I was commissioned to design several pieces of equestrian jewelry for the 9th edition of the ‘La Martina’s Beach Polo World Cup,’ which took place every April on the sands of Miami Beach, Florida.

For two years in a row (2013-14), I received the honor of hand-crafting unique pieces to be gifted during the trophy ceremony to the professional polo players competing in the three-day World Cup event.

This golden opportunity was what turned me on even more to create original equestrian jewelry for women and men, which i still very much enjoy making to this day.

Besides making jewelry and being a published author, I am also a performing actor: I have appeared in movies such as “LOL-Laughing Out Loud” with Demi Moore, “Sinister 2” and various TV series such as “Empire.”

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
Never mind our generation has come to grips with the fact that pretty much everything we consume is mass produced, I beg to differ that there is a spot to be filled to cater to discerning people who are still looking for something truly unique.

Every piece of Nyet jewelry is designed and handmade to order by myself in my Chicago workshop with love, patience and the individual attention they deserve, with carefully selected cowhides (which I dye with eco-friendly tints) and hardware that are made to last.

I make leather jewelry, most of which is unisex, that is adorned with actual pieces of hardware (nautical, equestrian etc.). I also love to use bright colors to dye my jewelry pieces, which is something that isn’t often seen in most leatherwork.

My designs are definitely not for the wall flowers or those who prefer dainty jewelry. My creations are made to be noticed and recognized, and worn with pride and confidence.

As such, my customers are original, larger-than-life, eccentric types who know style and fashion. No matter what they do in life, they are rock stars to me!

Have things improved for artists? What should cities do to empower artists?
Being an artist, no matter the chosen medium, is never about choosing the easy road. Not only you need talent, savoir faire, time and space to create your work, (and none of these things come for free), but you also need to be an entrepreneur in order to be able to sell it and hopefully make a living off your work.

Evidently, unless you have already made a name for yourself and have a marketing and sales team working for you, you need to wear every hat in your company: from managing director to janitor, to accountant, to sales rep and PR agent. That requires a lot of skills, and the pay can be close to zero for a long time while you are trying to get your business off the ground.

I think that our city should encourage the creation of (affordable) cooperative artisan retail stores in busy shopping areas, so that customers could have an alternative to shopping at franchises and large department stores when it comes to how they want to spend their money. The new generation appears to love things that are unique, well made, with a limited carbon print. Now we need to figure out a way for them to find us online and in person. That is, in my mind, the biggest hurdle for an artist, because it is hard to get the SEO budget to rank high online, and artists without a brick-and-mortar store tend to be highly nomadic (read: street art fairs, markets), which makes it hard for customers to find them again and again.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I sell my work via my online boutique, www.nyetjewelry.com.

I also participate in art fairs, artisan markets and fashion events year round in the Chicago area.
I also love to set up trunk shows at stores, as well as private sale parties at my clients’ homes. Please visit https://nyetjewelry.com/pages/trunk-shows-private-events for more information about how to set up your own private or corporate event.

Finally, I often help out charities by donating some of my jewelry for their silent auctions, so that is another way for people to come in contact with my work.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Delphine Pontvieux
Photo of delphine on horse : Roanna Zoe for Wicked Vision

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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