ABOUT THE REPLICAS AT ARK/8
ARK/8 has for a long time fantasized about doing replicas of legendary pieces of its favorite video games. It was in 2018 that we first imagined the true replica of Claire Redfield’s Jacket and pitched the idea to Capcom. From there on began the long process of transforming this idea into the most faithful version ever made .Giving life to virtual pieces is a challenge as we have to deal with technical limitations while keeping up with our quality standards and at the same time being inventive without misrepresenting or denaturing the piece. For this Jacket we had to go through the longest sampling process of our history. After this long journey, a bit of patience and a lot of passion, the Claire Redfield Jacket, with its luxurious leather and custom patina, has finally reached our expectations.
WHO IS HE ?
N.H. : “I define myself as a product developer in jewellery. People like brands or individual customers come to see me with an idea of creation that they have in mind. I try to answer their request as realistically as possible (which is not always easy!). It means to be realistic from a technical and budgetary point of view. I try to understand and visualize what the client is asking me to do and then I start working with my business partner in Italy, designer and jewellery specialized in prototyping and 3D modeling. The basics must be excellent to have a good product.
Depending on the type of demand I receive, it is necessary to take the information at the source and understand the universe of the client, the brand, and what they are looking for, etc. I believe my main quality is my versatility and my ability to adapt to the style of the brand and the client and to understand what is being asked of us, even from a distance sometimes”.
THE JEWELRY MAKING PROCESS
N.H. : “I work with exceptional people (like craftsmen) of know-how and technicality. It is exciting to work with seniors who have been doing their job for sixty years and who are still passionate about what they do.
They are lovers of beautiful things. For that purpose, they work hard and adapt to our demand. They are extra talented people, and I love this job for the human side above all.
I work in collaboration with the workshops of big houses in the luxury jewellery and jewellery sector, and in the production of metal parts for the leather goods sector.
The most important part of the job remains the creation of jewellery. My passion is to create. Creating a universe, an object, and everything that revolves around the manufacturing process.
Then the customer is going to validate the prototyping.The most important thing is to have a good final result (good quality ratio with the budget fixed by the customer beforehand)”.
THE MATERIALS’ CHOICE
N.H. : “I always pay great attention to the materials I use and I have a meticulous eye for detail. Sometimes it takes six or seven different people to make a single piece of jewelry. Each step must be done properly to make a good final product.
All our partners are located in Italy (Rome, Vicenza, Milan). Vicenza is the most famous place of jewelry in Europe. We use hypoallergenic alloys and materials with traceability so that there are no operating conflicts. We use recycled materials and alloys which themselves come from other alloys. All our metals are recycled and refined (such as gold for example).
We use sterling silver that does not oxidize with a small percentage of palladium to prevent silver oxidation. We also use fair trade materials: we respect very strict standards in Europe. The bronze and brass we use are nickel-free and hypoallergenic. In terms of materials, we use stones, diamonds, turquoise (like the pendant of Resident Evil). We also use qualified labor. Our selection of gems is certified and approved. We work in collaboration with experts and masters in the field of jewellery.
For the collaboration with ARK/8, we used Sterling Silver (925/1000) essentially. For the Dark Souls ring we colored it with an acid bath to give a particular color to the silver. For the Claire Redfield pendant, we used 925 silver, and a first quality turquoise imported from Chile and cut and stabilized in Thailand. The stone is then immersed in a resin bath because turquoise is a porous stone and needs to be stabilized. But the color remains 100% natural”.
NICOLAS HENRARD AND ARK/8 COLLABORATION
N.H. : “For the elaboration of prototypes or production, we share the same values: respect for materials, respect for the intermediaries with whom we work (such as mine operators or stone cutters, colorers, foundries, etc.). We also share the same point of view regarding the creation and development of products.
I want to create jewellery that reflects who I am and what I do.
With Dimitri (van Eetvelde - Creative Director at ARK/8), we have been collaborating together for over three years (almost four years) on product design and product development. We have developed prototypes and products in the jewelry and accessories industry.
ARK/8 represents for me a brand that makes sense, is committed and develops products with values and true quality.
I followed step by step the evolution of each creation. I made sure that everything was exactly as we had first imagined it with Dimitri beforehand. During the making of the pendant, the most complicated element was to find natural and uncolored turquoise where there was no risk that it came from a mine where people were exploited and worked in bad conditions. After finding the rough stones, they had to be cut afterwards. I always make sure that my work remains ethical and sustainable”.