A Chat with Jeweler Beatrice Knoch: Check Out Her Studio This Weekend at Montmartre’s “Portes Ouvertes”
November 11, 2009
This weekend, HiP friend and jeweler Beatrice Knoch is participating in “Portes Ouvertes” in Montmartre. This is a great opportunity to stop by her atelier (work and living space) to see her unique jewelry and to meet the woman behind the designs! German-born but Paris-based for the past 9 years, Beatrice sat down with HIP to discuss her career as a jewelry designer and the things she loves about life in Paris and Montmartre.
All Photos Erica Berman – Beatrice Knoch’s showroom & workspace
Interview by Erica Berman, Edited by Tory Hoen
HiP: Have you always wanted to be a jewelry designer?
BK: No, at first I wanted to practice medicine. I studied Latin, worked in a hospital, etc.
HiP: What did you study?
BK: In the end, I did Islamic Studies for two years—Turkish and Arabic and all that—at Freiburg in Germany.
HiP: When did you come to France, and where in Germany are you from?
BK: It wasn’t until I began my career as a jewelry designer. I did my studies in Germany, in Pforzheim, on the edge of the Black Forest, where I grew up.
Beatrice at work and some of her work
HiP: How many languages do you speak?
BK: Good question! I speak German, French, and English without a problem. Writing them is another story …
HiP: How did you end up in Paris? Do you want to stay in Paris? In France?
BK: I had always wanted to go elsewhere… but where? I had crisscrossed Germany; first Hamburg, then Leipzig. I don’t like London much. I had always dreamed of New York, but it was a bit far. I must admit that a friend pushed me—maybe forced me—to come and do my thing: my store, my show-room, a new life, a new country. I had never lived in France even though I had dual French-German citizenship, which was another factor that drove me to move. So, Paris yes! Elsewhere in France, no.
HiP: What is the biggest difference you see between living in Germany and living in Paris?
BK: I think the difference is hard to define. It’s Paris — which we all know. As a city, it is cosmopolitan, charming, a bit hypocritical. Is that the difference? It’s hard to say.
HiP: How long have you been in Paris?
BK: Nine years now. I have managed to establish myself professionally here.
HiP: Why did you decide to live in Montmartre?
BK: It was by chance. I looked in the 20th, but one night I was with a group of friends and we came across a flyer on a window: for rent! I tried my luck.
HiP: How do you describe the jewelry that you make?
BK: My jewels? I find them very vibrant and natural. It’s not easy to talk about one’s own work, but I find them charming, unpretentious, made from quality materials like silver… they’re a bit of a departure from the mainstream. I guess you have to take risks!
HiP: How do you see your jewelry developing in the future?
BK: My progression has happened gradually; it is very linked to my family life, which now includes two children. I think I now need to expand to a broader, more global market. I should definitely organize a trip to the United States, where a lot of people like my work. Christmas of this year won’t work, but maybe Easter 2010!
HiP: What are the hours of your atelier and how can someone reach you to stop by to look at your jewelry?
BK: My studio is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 11am-7pm. Otherwise, I can always be reached via email at [email protected]
HiP: What is your favorite neighborhood restaurant? Cafe? Boulangerie? Other things to do in Paris?
BK: You must see the park and the boutiques at the Palais Royale (M° Palais Royale), and the Musée de la Chasse on rue des Archives. It’s magnificent… a real feast for the eyes. On my street (rue Andre del Sartre) there’s a good Vietnamese dive, the Colline d’Asie. Just next to me, there is also Cheri Bibi, very trendy with a good kitchen. Le Floors is a good London-style café above on the rue Poulet (M° Château Rouge), and the list goes on… Oh, I forgot a boutique, Atypyk on rue Lambert behind the hill!
To contact Beatrice, email:[email protected]
Or stop by during her regular hours Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 11am-7pm
17 rue Andre del Sarte 75018 Paris Metro: Anvers or Abbesses
Make sure to visit the Portes Ouvertes de Montmartre this coming weekend!
Written by Tory Hoen
After attending Brown University and spending two years in New York, Tory bought a one-way ticket to Paris to pursue her dream of becoming a writer (and of drinking wine at lunch). During her time in the City of Light, she chronicled the euphoric highs and the laughable lows of ex-pat life on her blog, A Moveable Beast. Though she's now based in New York, she travels frequently to Montreal and Brazil, and she'll use just about any excuse to jet to Paris ("I ran out of fleur de sel"). A regular contributor to Hip Paris, Tory also writes for New York Magazine, Time Out New York, and she is a co-author of Gradspot.com's Guide To Life After College.
Website: Tory Hoen