Marie-Bénédicte de Schryver is a Belgium-based jewellery designer renowned from her romantic and timeless jewellery designs. Drawing much of her inspiration from the beautiful nature she sees around her, as well as the gemstones in front of her, Marie-Bénédicte’s work is entirely handmade and celebrated its unique yet wearable aesthetic. We chat with Marie-Bénédicte about how she sources ethical and sustainable materials, allowing ideas to form at the workbench and why horse riding helps her to relax.
How did you start your brand?
“After I finished my jewellery studies, I designed a specific silver shape that became very characteristic and recognizable to my work. The respect I gained with that design was powerful encouragement to continue. Since then I’ve never stopped designing and creating jewellery in the finest materials.”
"The respect I gained with that design was powerful encouragement to continue."
When did you fall in love with jewellery?
“As a child I grew up in an artistic family; I came into contact with art and design very early on. It was an obvious choice to go to Art School and then later on I fell in love with the atmosphere of jewellery studios.”
What are your core brand values?
“All my work is handmade and I almost exclusively work with recycled gold. The silver I use has the 'Good Delivery' Status and is RJC certified. The diamonds and gemstones that I use are all of sustainable origin and conflict free.”
What inspires your designs?
“Nature is a permanent source of inspiration: flowers, petals, butterflies, birds etc. In addition to nature, special forms of gemstones can also be a starting point for a new design. Or emotions like love, joy and happiness.”
How do you make your jewellery?
“I prefer working with fine materials such as gold, silver, coloured gems, diamonds and pearls. They’re such great materials to work with and unmatchable in quality. Sometimes I work with a sketch, but ideas and forms often arise at the workbench.”
"Sometimes I work with a sketch, but ideas and forms often arise at the workbench."
How do you ensure your jewellery is ethical and sustainable?
“My silver has the 'Good Delivery' Status and is RJC certified. I work with trusted partners in the diamond district of Antwerp, Belgium. The diamonds and gemstones I use are all of sustainable origin and conflict free. They comply with the UN rules and are certified according to the KPCS (Kimberly Process Certification Scheme), which concerns the fight against conflict diamonds.”
Are there any celebrities you would love to see wearing your designs?
“When designing jewellery I never have a specific person in my mind, but of course I would love to create a handcrafted piece for women like Cate Blanchet, Emmanuelle Béart or Nicole Kidman, to name a few.”
If you could only wear one piece from your collection, what would it be and why?
“If I only could wear one piece from my collection it would have to be my wedding ring. Not only is it a great design and creation, it is full of symbolism, and at the same time a genuine example of my work.”
If you weren’t designing jewellery, what would you be doing?
“I would be a classical ballet or tango dancer, or perhaps a fashion designer. And if I had the talent, I'd settle for a life as composer of some of the finest music you may listen to.”
What music do you listen to whilst making jewellery?
“When I'm working in my studio I always listen to classical piano music. I love Rachmaninov, Chopin, Liszt and many other great composers. They have written music that remains amazingly beautiful, music that never stops to touch the heart and mind.”
How do you wind down after a long day?
“Every day I fetch my 5-year-old boy from school and listen to all his stories, both little and big. And twice a week I practice horse riding to relax outdoors; a combination of sports, technique and respect for nature that totally frees the mind.”