In this age of mass production, there is a thirst for hand-made and individualistic products within the design market. Visual artist and designer Agathe Bodineau of LLY Atelier, brings a refreshing outlook on jewellery design, where there is a focus on the hand-made.

LLY Atelier  | 3 Rocks Silver Necklace | A Contrario Claw

With a French family background, Bodineau studied fine arts in France, and describes having had visual art in her life since a young age. Without a television at home till the age of 13, Bodineau found creative influences outside of the mainstream and always strove for the “refined, yet raw”, even as a teenager. Now residing in Montreal, Québec this ethos has stayed with Bodineau and feeds into her own jewellery line.

LLY Atelier  | A Contrario Marble Ring

Inspired by the opposition bewteen minimalism and clean lines, the latest collection “A Contrario” reveals a stark contrast between chaos and imperfection.

Working with a mix of traditional silver and bronze, Bodineau often experimented with rocks, bones, hair and cement, claiming  she enjoys the experimentation process more than the final product. Within the process, “it doesn’t have to be precious or clean”. Perhaps this is the key to attaining true creative work. Once the initial idea is born through this process of playing with materials, Bodineau works with home-made alloys and different types of metals.

LLY Atelier  | Agathe Bodineau

Discussing the importance of the artisan, Bodineau states;

“I am very interested in the process of making things, maybe even more than the result. Obviously, I care about the result of what I do, but the process is where I get completely inspired and feel connected to my work. Therefore, the hand-crafted, artisan nature of the pieces is very important.”

LLY Atelier  | A Contrario Black Pebble Ring | A Contrario Marble Bar Necklace

Some believe the role of artisan, designer and maker are merging due to necessity and the market. Justin McGuirk of the Guardian says the design industry may be returning to a craft-based economy. The handmade is romanticised in this economy of cheap mass produced goods, and there is a post-industrial nostalgia for the pre-industrial that is pushing for artisan work (McGuirk, 2011). However, for Bodineau, handicraft is an essential part of the artistic process.


“I don’t like to sketch jewellery too much. For me, if the piece is already completely designed on the paper, there’s no more fun in making it, it’s already made!”

LLY Atelier  | A Contrario Marble Ring | A Contrario Open Silver Choker

As a self-taught jeweller trained in visual art, Bodineau has different methods to reaching her designs. Sculpture plays a large part in the making process; “It is the same idea of composition, balance, structure, but the relation to the body is added.” Once her designs become tangible, she begins to build a visual world for the line, which adds further uniqueness to her vision. This gives her work a recognisable character, as it becomes its own “entity”.

With special thanks to Agathe Bodineau, for her insightful words and artistic inspirations.



Written by Sonia Wan

Edited by Christina Wright

Photography by: Phil Bernard, Victoria Catherine Chan, Sara A. Tremblay, Yan Bleney and Laurie Godin-Rheault


The Guardian (2011) The art of craft: the rise of the designer-maker [Online] Available at

handmade [Accessed 15/03/16]