Calina Shevlin

Adventures in Switzerland

Information

Adventures in Switzerland

Follow me on my journey of moving to, living and working in Switzerland as a metalsmith who is a guillocheur for Breguet.

Website: http://www.calliemay.com
Location: Le Sentier, Suisse
Members: 22
Latest Activity: Mar 17, 2013

The events that led an American to Switzerland

My last few days in the US before heading to Switzerland were glorious and filled with good friends and good food!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have always been fascinated by the intricate lines on Fabergé Eggs. I mean always, since I was around 8.  I told my mom that I wanted to own one and she said that the Forbes owned them, so I said I would buy one and she said they were millions of dollars, so I said I would marry a Forbes and she just laughed.  I always thought the enamel is what held the beauty for me, but it turns out, it was always the guilloché.  I did not learn the proper term for this gorgeous metalworking technique until my third semester of graduate school at the University of North Texas.  It was in History of Crafts, taught by Ana Lopez, that I first heard the term, and that is what I ended up writing my term paper on.  I went to research and find information, and it was really a stretch.  There is hardly any information, save for a few obscure and out of print books, which are vague at best, on the technique, no, art, of guilloché.  

 

That March, at the SNAG conference in Houston, I met Mike, from Rio Grande, who was showcasing Bonny Doon Hydraulic Presses and some of the new pattern plates.  I saw one and told him I thought it looked a lot like guilloché created on a rose engine, and were they created that way? He told me no, but gave me the name of Phil Poirier who DID in fact know a lot about guilloché.  So I googled him, and cold contacted him and told him about the paper I was writing and the lack of sources and asked if I could phone interview him.  He said of course, he would be happy to help, and from that point on, my love affair with guilloché took off.

 

I ended up going to see Phil the following August (5 months later, paper turned in and returned to me with a grade).  I just wanted to get some images of this amazing machine, that I had never seen in person.  I got a lesson and I began semi-regular visits to Phil learning a lot each visit, no matter how short.  I was encouraged to pursue writing a book about guilloché from several sources (and it is a slow labor of love, I assure you) and I began the digging and dot-connecting for the historical information about guilloché specifically.  *It is here that I note that ornamental turning and guilloché are both created on a rose engine, there are slight differences in the lathes, but both wood workers and metal workers perform similar tasks with vastly different results* I came across the watch company Breguet, and it had appeared that they pioneered the technique on their watch covers and later dials, so I began to contact them for historical reference.

 

Here is the good part, I had just submitted a third (so French isn't my strong point, and the first two contacts had yielded me the gorgeous, hard-bound watch and jewelry catalog (2) and also some children's fairy tales, in French.  So my third attempt was newly sent off with the help of google translate (thank you) and I was browsing the site and dreaming of owning one of the prestigious watches, or a car.  I was browsing careers thinking, what kind of careers ARE there in the watch world. Lo and behold, and be still my heart! I saw a position opening for a guillocheur.  I called my mother, I called my father, I called Phil and I talked to Harlan (my professor at UNT) and decided to apply, I mean, I had applied to 63 teaching positions and had no response, might as well make another resumé.  

So I went to Phil and he was excited and taught me even more about guilloché, the tool sharpening, the jig making and other huge details and I worked for 3 days perfecting 7 samples to photograph to send with my resumé and cover letter.  Phil photographed these samples and I practically RAN to fedEx to mail the packet to Breguet.  That was sent off at the beginning of April, and by the 27th of April (the day after my mom's birthday)  I had a phone call to interview IN Switzerland for the position of guillocheur.  I interviewed June 23rd (my dad's birthday) and 24th, which consisted of an interview of 10 minutes, and 2 days of demonstrating my skills.  They offered me a contract to move out to Switzerland and work at the most prestigious watch company, decorating the faces.  

 

So, now I am here and am loving it, I pinch myself daily because this is literally, my dream job.  

 

Discussion Forum

This group does not have any discussions yet.

Comment Wall

Comment

You need to be a member of Adventures in Switzerland to add comments!

Comment by Victoria Altepeter on January 20, 2012 at 11:54am

amazing! 

Comment by Randi Harper on December 18, 2011 at 8:45pm

So happy for you!! Looking forward to following your journey!

Comment by kerianne quick on October 21, 2011 at 11:32am

callie! come see me in amsterdam! we can do some joint posts!

 

 

Members (18)

 
 
 

Latest Activity

Melanie Sweet posted a photo

Unisphere - 1964 New York World's Fair

Acid etched copper plate, patinated. Based on a photograph by Mark Lutin (with permission).
15 hours ago
Liana Tomchesson liked Brigitte Martin's blog post Packaging Design
16 hours ago
Magdalene T Story for POLA OSLO joined Brigitte Martin's group
Thumbnail

crafthaus online Exhibitions

Online Exhibition project on crafthaus. Exhibitions are member-curated and change monthly. Calls for Artists below!See More
18 hours ago
Magdalene T Story for POLA OSLO liked Brigitte Martin's group crafthaus online Exhibitions
18 hours ago
Brigitte Martin posted events
yesterday
Brigitte Martin posted a blog post

Anita Larkin - Improbable Objects

Bivouac, 2012 Aluminum, paper, and collected objects 75x36x172cmPilgrimage, 2012 53x69x40cm Collected objects, wood, aluminum, electrical parts, plants, earthAnita Larkin: I am an artist who makes sculpture from found objects and felted fibers, as well as sometimes casting in bronze. I have experience in working on public art…See More
yesterday
Leisa Rich replied to Leisa Rich's discussion Introducing Leah Owenby in the group Invisible:VisAble Exhibition
"Harriete- thanks so much for following the profiles! I am working on getting info from the artists to post with the photos. Stay tuned! We appreciate your support."
Friday
M. Veronica Silva joined Leisa Rich's group
Thumbnail

Invisible:VisAble Exhibition

Art can be a way to heal. Many artists privately face invisible medical and mental illness challenges that others are unaware of because they look, and act, absolutely normal. Some artists creatively tap into these challenges and give voice to them through a variety of mediums and styles. Invisible:VisAble, curated by artist Leisa Rich, is an art exhibition that features several artists whose art works are informed by their challenges. It is to be held in Atlanta in April, 2015 at Mason Fine…See More
Friday
Melissa Cameron posted a blog post

Enamel time!

Yes folks, it's getting close to enamel time. If you're in New York State in the middle of next month, you can come take a two-day class with me at the Enamel Guild North East annual workshops, and see me give a presentation about my work at the conference on Sunday the 22nd of March. And if you're not anywhere the…See More
Friday
Jera Rose Petal Lodge and Erin Cora Turner are now friends
Friday
Brigitte Martin liked Sarah EK Muse's blog post CONNECTING THE DOTS - Virginia Statewide Artisan Conference- Highlight
Friday
Magdalene T Story for POLA OSLO posted photos
Thursday

© 2015   Created by Brigitte Martin.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service