International Jewellery Designer: Paula BoltonBiographyPaula lives in England in a small rural village in Cheshire. Her father was fromJapan and her mother is of Dutch origins. Paula taught herself how to designjewellery after traveling through the Far East and seeing some amazing jewellerydesigns there. When she got back from her travels, she ordered a shipment tosell in her large gift and antique store that she owned. The jewellery became sopopular it completely took over from the gifts that she sold and she soon decidedto just sell the jewellery. As well as importing the jewellery, she started to designher own jewellery using the Far East jewellery as her main influence. Now themajority of jewellery she sells is of her own design and hand-crafted in Bali byskilled craftsmen.Design philosophy: principle concernsPaula’s principle concerns are that people only see art as art and poetry aspoetry, not something that can inspire a 3 dimensional craft such as jewellery.She also works with many Museum and Heritage sites on subject matter such asArt, Architecture and Wildlife and her jewellery is becoming quite popular withdiscerning customers throughout the world.
Design philosophy: attitude to designHer attitude towards design is very positive and innovative. She tries to createsomething almost completely new rather than just improving or changing alreadyexisting pieces of jewellery.Design philosophy: themesPaula’s theme is mainly turning 2D art into jewellery. She uses old paintings andpoetry which seem very flat, 2D and in the case of poetry, non-visual, and turnsthem into jewellery which is 3D and very visual.She uses Art, Architecture and Wildlife to create a better awareness of it becauseshe believes that people do not appreciate the great artworks and buildingscreated over the centuries and she tries to make people more aware of Wildlifeand what people are doing to the environment to endanger so many species.She also uses Wildlife to make people more appreciative in their naturalsurroundings.InfluencesBesides Paula’s Far East jewellery influence, she has a great passion for Art andHistory and therefore finds a lot of inspiration in both subjects such as paintings(e.g. her ‘Monet collection’ and ‘Monet’s Giverny painting collection’), architecture(e.g. Antonio Gaudi’s entrance to the courtyard of the Casa Mila in Barcelonaand Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Willow Tea Rooms’ windows), Art Nouveau(e.g. her Art Nouveau Dragonfly collection) and for History, Shakespeare (e.g.her Shakespeare’s Heroines collection).
Left: One of Margaret Macdonald’s gesso panelsAnother great inspiration to Paula is Margaret Macdonalds gessopanels in the Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery.
Innovation/contribution to world of DesignPaula’s jewellery is a very big contribution in the Design world. She does not justfollow previous designers’ themes and subject matter, but makes her own, totallyunique style of jewellery. I believe that her designs can open other designers’minds to a different way of thinking and we will see another style of design comeinto fashion.How did/do they market themselves?Paula displays and sells her jewellery online on the websitehttp://www.paulabolton.net/index.html. She also sells a few pieces on otheronline shopping websites such as The Lowry (http://www.thelowry.com/gifts-and-souvenirs/jewellery-and-clothing) where some of her jewellery is also displayedand Murray’s gifts (www.murraysgifts.co.uk/murrays/mia/pid/3258452). She hashad her jewellery published in Springfair Magazine.
Use of materialsMost of Paula’s jewellery is made from sterling silver and highlighted with 22carat gold plate, although she also uses copper with silver detailing and set withturquoise for her Margaret Macdonald gesso inspired jewellery. The semi-precious stones that she uses for her silver and gold jewellery are Amethyst,Garnet, Peridot, Citrine and Iolite. The Pearls that she uses for her Pearlcollections are Freshwater Pearls from rivers and lakes in China.TechniquesTechniques include wire working, gold plating, piercing and soldering.Techniques are kept quite simple due to the fact that the pieces are handcraftedby Bali craftsmen who have learnt their skills from previous generations and mostof Paula’s designs do not require complicated techniques.
What is the relevance of this work to your practice?I find how Paula turns art pieces into jewellery very inspiring because I am doingsomething similar for my theme this year. I am trying to show that you can beinspired by something as 2 dimensional as a painting and create something as 3dimensional as jewellery while still keeping the artwork and art periodrecognizable. I love the way she turns paintings into pieces of jewellery andmakes it look abstract but at the same time you can recognize the painting, artpiece or art period that she was inspired from.I like the way she uses gemstones to create objects and colour making them apart of the picture. She uses them as if they are another medium to create herartwork.