Maison Alix Dumas has a hallmark of daring designs, but equally important to its founder are sustainable resources
“Handcrafted jewellery is perfect in an imperfect way,” declares Alix Dumas, founder of MAD Joaillerie. Since 2020, Alix’s audacious designs have been pushing French high jewellery in new directions and have won several awards, including Best in Creativity and Design at Milano Jewellery Week 2022.
“These perfect imperfections are sublime poetry to the human eye,” she says. “A computer-designed jewel may possess perfect symmetry, but it’s missing part of its soul. We crave the imperfections that connect beautiful jewels to the living world.”
One of the first women to be an artist who actually crafts her own one-of-a-kind jewels in the world of high jewellery, Alix works like a sculptor. She conceives pieces using clay models rather than sketches, allowing her the freedom to create jewellery with a unique, sensuous connection to the wearer’s body.
Alongside design, sustainability lies at the heart of Alix’s art. Any gold she buys carries the Fairmined label, ensuring it is mined by responsible, artisanal and small-scale mining organisations. She also uses, when possible, recycled gold and old-mined diamonds. “Old-mined diamonds were cut and polished to minimise waste as well as obtaining the best possible shine,” she says. “They may not conform to modern beauty standards, but they have incredible presence, colour and depth.”
Alix believes that by buying sustainable, artistic jewellery customers are reconnecting to a time when all jewellery was exceptional, like this. “Each piece of jewellery used to be something unique, for which all materials had to be carefully selected. Sustainable jewellery restores that healthy link to the origins of the things we consume and to the way they were sourced and made.”
The Timeless Eternity Ring epitomises her approach. Fairmined gold and old-mined diamonds combine in a unique statement piece conceived as an heirloom jewel for future generations. The design, using a Möbius band and honeycomb motif, adorns the hand as well as the finger. It is a thing of rare beauty but, for Alix, this is not enough.
“French high jewellery requires beautiful pieces with high emotional impact, but every detail must be perfect. Front, back, all angles must be balanced and well executed. There must be meaning in everything.”