On the program this week, tradition and transmission. Hamady Gaye is the holder of a unique expertise in jewelry: the filigree technique. In his workshop in Paris, he creates his own jewelry. He tells: his family apprentice, his arrival in the capital, how he adapted to his new life and his happiness in passing on his knowledge to the younger generations by linking traditional technology to contemporary creation.
It came as a small donation. Everything I see at night I can do it the next day, today I have become a dreamy child. In every moment I remember this child, the pleasure of making, of working. It is now that I realize the value and happiness. If it were not for this job, I do not think I could be happy, ”explains Hamady Gaye, a designer of contemporary jewelry.
Dreaming of somewhere else and disappointmentHamady Gaye comes from a jeweler family. He began his apprenticeship at seven or eight years. In the family workshop, his father passed on the filigree technique to him. His job makes him happy, but Hamady Gaye dreams of leaving to gain more knowledge and show his skills. But when he comes to France, it will not be as he intended.
“In the jeweler’s families, we do not imagine the difficulties when we leave Africa. When you arrive in France you do not exist! Your job is useless. You have to start over. I went to Pôle emploi. When I said I was a jeweler, I was asked which school I went to. I explained my background, I was told to forget. To work in France, I was offered training as a maintenance representative or fire safety representative. Since it has to do with fire, it is not far from my job as a jeweler, I chose this area. “
“I had an education, I had a diploma, finally! I worked for fifteen years in many buildings of the French administration. One day I went to Senegal with my daughter, named Pauline. We arrive at my house, she sees my little brother in the family’s workshop. She asks me “Dad, why are you a security guard?” I answer “My darling, I’m better educated than Uncle Moussa. When we get back to France, I’ll show you what Dad can do. ”
Tradition and transmissionIn 2013, Hamady Gaye opened a store but also his workshop in Paris to find his profession and impart his knowledge to young jewelry students.
There are three types of filigree: the opened filigree, a bit like lace, the most famous here in Europe. The watermark is applied, with or without granulations. This is an African specialty, especially from Senegal, Mali and Mauritania. There is the whole watermark, it is the same thread as the open watermark to make a spiral in a fixed circle. I master these three techniques and I train my students in these areas. They are even surprised by the watermark that was applied with the granulations because they do not see it in their teaching “, concludes Hamady Gaye.
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