Every month we introduce you to one of the Canadian artists we represent. There is no salt and pepper, we reveal the rawest story on our artists' creative journey. How they met and fell in love with jewellery? What inspired them and how? What was the making process like? What are the tips on being a successfully established jewellery artist? Visit our Facebook and Instagram pages to stay up to date on our latest collections. Go to INTERVIEW ARCHIVE to read more stories.

Artist of the Month (15): Patrick Missodey

August 08, 2019

Proudly introducing Patrick Missodey, a Canadian born in Lomé, Togo who specializes in filigree and traditional West African metal thread weaving! Inspired by nature and geometry, Patrick’s jewellery work shows a diverse creative background culminates in a fusion of modern artistry, both elegant and refined.

Beu Diola Baobab Garnet Concave Ring - sterling silver, 18k yellow gold, garnet
Photo by Anthony McLean

Q: How did you get started in the jewellery industry?

It’s an unfortunate circumstance that changed my destiny. My father, a school teacher, was politically active and was put in jail for criticizing the regime in Togo. This deeply affected my family. I felt responsible for my mother and my family wellbeing, so I decided to quit school and learn a trade. For me, it was the fastest way to earn money instead of going to university. There was a jewelry studio, in my neighborhood, so I started my apprenticeship there. When I got my certificate, I moved to Mali to work for the Madingo gold mine company as a refiner. After 5 years I decided to work for myself and I started to design and create handmade jewels. I have always asked myself why I am so passionate about making jewelry and very recently, I found out that my great-grandfather, Sika Missodey, a farmer, used to make jewelry at his spare time. Sika means gold in my native tongue. I am thrilled to discover that jewelry making was in my blood.

Patrick working in his studio.

Q: What is your work process like? What materials and techniques do you favour?⁠

I am a goldsmith and I do everything by myself. Once I draw the sketch, I start by melting the metal, then I use rolling mills to make the plates and wires that I need to form jewels. I do the stone setting as required and the finishing also. I specialize in wire weaving, filigree, forging techniques and handmade chains, usually using 18k gold and silver sterling.⁠

Vogan bracelet - sterling silver
Photo by Anthony McLean

Q: What makes your collections unique in the industry?⁠

I make customized jewelry and all my works are handmade. When I came to Canada, I had the chance to learn modern jewelry techniques in EMSOM (Ecole des métiers du Sud Ouest de Montreal). Therefore, I use the blending of the techniques I have learned in Africa and Canada to create unique jewelry pieces.⁠

Baobab Diamond-shape Earrings - sterling silver
Photo by Anthony McLean

Q: Where do you gather inspiration?

Nature and geometry usually inspire me in giving life to jewels that will bring a touch of elegance and refinement.

A Baobab bracelet in progress!

Q: Who are some people in the industry that you look up to, or some of your favourite designers?

Matthieu Cheminée, my mentor. He received several prizes and wrote Legacy, a book on Jewelry Techniques of west Africa. I had a privilege to be his assistant for forging class at Ecole de Joallerie of Montreal.

Tim McCreight, he is the legend of jewelry. I was using his books when I was still in Africa and I had the opportunity to travel with him as part of the Toolbox Initiative.

Balla Seck: he is one of the most talented jewelers I met in Senegal. I learned a lot from him.

Beu Diola Baobab Spinel Ring - sterling silver, 18k yellow gold, spinel (from Madagascar)
Photo by Anthony McLean

Q: What are the most valuable lessons you have learned from working in the industry?

For me patience and passion are the most valuable lessons I have learned. I like to make delicate jewels, so being patient and passionate are the key skills to have.

Q: What tips do you have for aspiring designers?

Challenge yourself and never give up. Read jewelry books and watch techniques on YouTube, and connect with talented goldsmiths!

Baobab Tree Pendant - sterling silver
Photo by Anthony McLean

Q: What is your motto/credo? Do you have a single phrase that defines the way you work?

Metissage ethnique, metissage de techniques. Or, “Ethnic blending… and technical blending”!

Patrick demonstrating how to create a rat tail chain in the book: Legacy: Jewelry Techniques of West Africa by Matthieu Cheminée

A huge thank you to Patrick who took the time to share his wisdom and inspirations with us all month! Visit our gallery to explore his collection.