The Royal Jewellers S01 ep4 : Stefano Canturi Jewellery [Sydney]
Interview with Stefano Canturi
The business side comes at the end. We love to sell it sure, but your first
concept must the idea, you forget about the rest of it. So I have got to love it,
and I have got to be able to say this can be made no matter what.
KM - What is Stefano Canturi?
For me it started when I was very young, sculpturing, I loved it.
This is part of the geometric collection that I ah....
When it is finished it will actually be beautifully and moveable.
You can already see that from now.
Mum actually found the jobs, she knew that I was struggling for what to do,
and she picked up that I had this skill. She said, listen there is a job for an
apprentice jeweller going, and why don't you try that.
I laughed at the suggestion, but I went purely for curiosity to this job interview.
I sat there with 4 other people and they took us through the workshop and the
first thing I saw these guys sculpturing away at these little pieces and it was
like a turning point in my life. I couldn't believe that a career actually existed
that you can actually sculpt something (and sit on a bench which was exactly
what I used to do) in miniature form.
They saw it in my eyes, we clicked
He knew it,
Chemistry and he said when can you start. I said, can I think about it? I went
home, thought about it for 2 seconds and rang him straight back and said I
would love to start, and he said O.K. and two weeks and I was in.
We were a manufacturing jeweller/wholesaler and they specialised in Opals.
The beauty of that was that Opals are all free formed, so there are no moulds,
there are casting, so you didn't have to make a setting, everything had to be
free hand turned.
So you actually had to go back to beating.
Basics, beating, rolling. It was I think, I know now; it was the best experience
of my life.
The best experience was actually learning about the way the metal works and
reacts. You need to know all the melting points and the temperatures and all
that. It is just so important.
Yes, but why?
To sculpt something, like marble, if you don't how it breaks in a certain way, if
you chip the whole side of it, you have ruined the whole design. If you go
against the grain or with the grain, gold is the same,
Yes, it hasn't got grain, but what it does, is if you don't know at what stage it
melts you could melt the whole piece before you even know it, so you need to
actually read the signs.
Loved their skills, learnt my trade that gave me freedom to design and
manufacture. I went out there and saw the jewellery they were making and I
laughed because everyone is following the same pattern.
How long were you there? And then what?
Did my four years and started my own little workshop studio. I was in a
position where people used to come to me, knew I was a jeweller and they
would let me experiment with their pieces.
When did you go from mucking around to the real business?
Ten years ago,
And what was that?
That was when I decided to open the Castlereagh Street Store, my older
brother Franco and my younger brother Michael came in as well.
You work with your brothers?
We love it. it is so funny, we grew up very close, but we went our different
ways, Franco he did the accountancy side of it, Michael was an architect but
we joined, like it was growing, the company was growing, I could see potential
and I invited them to come in and work and we grew it from there. They run
the day-to-day business running of it, and I look after the design and
Why do you need to do this?
It is expression, it is self expression that is what it is, you sit there and you
meditate. It is meditation, and your mind wanders and it is the most relaxing
beautiful thing, for me, and I am sure for artists that's what they find.
You get into a state of almost transcendental?
It is literally a dream, yes and for me that is the happiest place you can be.
Design is all about feeling, you got to feel happy in that moment and I find
most of the times I am doing something else and I get an idea. It doesn't have
to be... it can be a shape; it can start off with a shape. My latest collection
started off with a shape, just one simple organic shape and from there I just
built it up,
Something just turns you on and you to try and simulate that feeling, and once
I simulate that exact feeling then I know it is right.
My clientele was built up in the suburbs - it was 20 kilometres away, but I had
such a great following they were excited that I was opening here. People, you
know when they have got a good thing they tell other people.
You became fashionable or you became a bit famous with Moulin Rouge, how
did that happen. What was the story behind that?
Word of mouth. People saw my pieces, Catherine Martin recognised my work
here in Sydney and of course Baz Lurhman obviously and Catherine
approached me and we sat together with Catherine and Baz and he said to
me, I want professionals to walk into my movie and sit down and not be able to
fault it, how do I do that. I said the only way to do that is to make it real.
He could have had anyone, how did it happen with you?
O.K. it is all about chemistry and connection. He felt confident that I knew what
he was talking about.
Are you using any of this high tech stuff yourself or are you keeping to the
Totally traditional pieces and work, even from starting off in copper, just an
arm cuff. How do I get the look, how do I get the three dimensional feel, you
cannot get it on a CAD, where is this. Where is that, so you know I sit there
bending it, proportion, volume - how do you get the volume.
Who else have you had to work with that has sort of tickled you a little bit?
Putting the belly button ring on Britney Spears that was funny. They come to
Sydney, they do their things, look, people they want something special I think
again, it is just word of mouth, people see.
You put the ring on her yourself?
Yeah literally, she is fantastic, a beautiful girl.
I mean didn't you feel a bit like whoops? I mean that is very personal.
Yeah it is, and you know what they have to feel comfortable with you.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Stefano Canturi Jewellery