Paris-based jeweler Catherine Le Gal trained with a Newar goldsmith in Nepal, where she learned traditional Nepalese techniques.
She works mainly in everyday materials, including steel, which can be patinated in a diverse palette of blacks, brass and gold leaf, and their variety of shades, from lemon yellow to golden. Le Gal works with industrial paint and lacquers, sometimes using traditional methods, alternating the application of layers of lacquer with sanding. Whatever the material used, the surface is oxidized, scratched, and sanded so as to appear timeworn.
She revels in the blend of simple forms and rich textures, and her pieces are often modular: some are reversible, while others comprise interchangeable elements, so that the wearer can play with the jewelry and wear it in different ways.