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Laurent from Bordeaux does not go unnoticed: he wears long hair, has a great personality, and he is a big talker ! But he is also a magician : you choose a coin from his beautiful collection and he transforms it into a amazing ring. All this by hand, chatting a lot because our Laurent is a market salesman at heart… He likes people, what he does, but above all he loves to talk about it!
He’s a newcomer on the island… but he succesfully made his mark here !
He arrived in Ibiza for the first time in June 2017… A friend from Barcelona had talked to him so much about the island for years, that someday, he decided to come and try to work here for a summer season.
So here he is, disembarking from the ferry with his van entirely graffitied by Barcelona artists, fitted out to sleep in. His friend had warned him “when you’ve discovered Ibiza, you won’t want to leave! But he doesn’t really think like this.
First day of discovery with one of the best spots on the island: ES VEDRA His idea of Ibiza, a noisy, soulless place, quickly fades away in front of the wild side of the surrounding countryside and the magnificent rock facing ! First night and first waking up in front of the mythical rock and he is convinced: this is where he must live.
And his feeling will not be denied: the “vibe” he feels on the island inspires him, the incredible beauty of the creeks enchant him, his encounters with simple or eccentric but always warm characters finish to “hook” him…
In the past, Laurent had a completely different life. A “serious” life. He was a computer engineer, and evolved in a very corporate universe. He liked rules and self-discipline… He was obsessive in “doing well”, always in the desire to progress, to be the best. He told me that he didn’t realise that he was alienating himself, seeking excellence in order to always win best employees awards! It was mainly asked to him to make money and by dint of giving his all in his work, he ended up realizing that in his personal life, he was not making any progress at all.
A few lucky encounters with night people shows him another side of the world around him. He loses himself a little in the party with his artificial paradises, but also discovers that he has to get out of the work/success/money cycle he has been in for the past few years.
So he decides to stop working altogether and find a new path! He negotiates his departure with his company and gets some financial compensation … enough to have some time to do a good introspection.
Summer 2015, first idea: a Food-Truck, with good organic products, an innovative and trendy concept. Laurent thinks that if he doesn’t sell good, at least he’ll have enough to eat! Totally involved in the set-up of his project, he talks about his idea to a friend’s father, a jeweller by trade, who advises him, laughing, “make jewellery instead, and go eat at the restaurant with the money you will earn”.
This man will be the trigger for Laurent’s current craft project : during a trip, he has seen a craftsman cutting out coins pieces and transforming them into characters. He just suggests to Laurent to try to do some things with silver coins to give value to the jewels he will make.
Laurent makes some researches on the internet and discovers the concept of rings made out of coins by americans as a hobby. It’s obvious for Laurent : recycling material is a great idea. And above all to make something with his hands, much better that endlessly spend time on virtual machines !
Youtube becomes his trainer, he spends hours on it. He buys a few tools-machines and his self-discipline and thirst for learning will do the rest. He starts by buying coins from a collector.
Creating with his hands rings from old coins, giving them new life, knowing that they travel all over the world on the fingers of people who have chosen their models, coins often engraved with their year of birth or an important date for them, brings him so much satisfaction.
I give him the floor…
« What a change of life in so few years! When I think about it, it’s almost magical. Ibiza is an incredible place, but it’s a complicated place to settle. Housing at prohibitive prices, not easy to make one’s place on the markets here. But when you want, you can… I’m one of the illustrations.
At the beginning I slept in my van, but it didn’t last too long: too small, badly insulated and with the heat, it quickly became unbearable. As I’m very relational and open, I meet people who are a bit underground and occupy abandoned houses. There are so many of them in Ibiza! I end up being accepted in a group of squatters, and I set up a kind of small camp on the roof of one of the houses: a nice view, an original place to live, but obviously not viable in the long term either.
I finally have the idea to build myself a small wooden house on a isolated piece of land, a simple and rustic place. I’ve been living there for almost 3 years now… Every year I improve it and I feel like I belong there !
The Hippy markets and difficulties to be a part of it :
In my head, the markets on Ibiza are bound to be full of craftsmen, hippies, artists of all stripes… at least that’s the impression I get when I surf the net. My vision of the island from the mainland ? The decadence of a place like Miami, with people emptying magnums of Champagne on the half-naked bodies of pretty girls in trendy nightclubs, but also place populated by Artisans dedicated to their passion and lots of tourists just asking to buy their unique works of Art…
It’s not exactly like that, but I want to be a part of it !
I present my concept at Punta Arabi, the Wednesday market. The director receives me easily and is enthusiastic about my live workshop. He allocates me a stand immediately in the craftsmen’s corner for every Wednesday! The crazy thing when you think there is a waiting list as long as a rainy Sunday! I’m getting more and more confident…
The following Sunday, another stroke of fate. A person I met a few days before offers me to go with him to Las Dalias, which has just launched its first “Acids Sunday” evenings and is organizing a new small market. I am assigned a place. I’m over the moon. And I already imagine myself on the Saturday market and the Monday and Tuesday nights. But it’s not that simple. There’s also a waiting list and I have to apply … for the next year.
But hey, I have a booth on Wednesday, one on Sunday, it’s already super cool! And on Saturdays, I like to sell my creations on San Jordithe only flea market of the island, San Jordi…
Then it goes on: I’m warmly welcomed at the nice authentic Sunday market in Sant Joan and I’m as happy as a lark in Ibiza!
October 2017, I get a place on some night markets in Las Dalias. No Saturday of course but I am tenacious and I spend a pleasant winter in Ibiza making my rings on the winter market!
In August 2018, I finally get a tiny stand not very well placed, close to the toilets and its scents, but it’s a step to enter in the big family of Las Dalias and despite my sporadic presence, the visitors designate my stand as the 11th best stand 2018. For a guy who used to work in computers, I’m quite happy with my new reconversion lol Ah competitive spirit, when you have us!
2019, I finally participate in all the Dalias markets, and I get the 3rd prize for the best stand and I’m very proud of it. It took me 2 years to show that what I can do is real craftsmanship. Objective achieved!
My new passion: The bees
During the confinement which was not easy in Ibiza (too many controls for such a small island), I answered on a wassap group to the proposal of a person who was helping to install a first hive. And it immediately clicked with these ladies bees. Well, they don’t always accept me ! I’m sometimes getting stung. But we have time to get used to each other…
I care for my hive with passion. I have no precise goal, except to add life to the island and to participate, on my small scale, in its beautification. The bees are so surprising! Besides, it’s a bonus for me: pollen to improve my immunity, good and fresh honey to spread on a piece of bread in the morning … what else like say my friend George ? »
Laurent – The Lord of the Rings
Laurent is undeniably a real craftsman! A bit crazy, bohemian, funny, always nice, he is an integral part of the “hippie” movement of the island. He amply deserves his place on the markets. What he proposes is original and made with a lot of passion. Laurent is a living proof that, one day, we can all change our lives!
You can discover his creations on his social networks:
Don’t hesitate to contact him to have the ring of your dreams made in the coin of your choice, unique piece “made in Ibiza ” elaborated in a small corner of paradise …