With its bare-branch ‘sticks,’ coiling diamond snakes and playful jeweled tree frogs, Paula Dawkins’ breathtaking new line “WILD!” is aptly named.
Along with breathtaking representations of nature, the new line incorporates an array of new techniques. “We are always pushing ourselves to try new methods, new technologies, to do something we haven’t tried before,” Paula says. “Learning new ways of creating jewelry can be scary and it can be frustrating, especially when deadlines are tight, but when the line is completed, it is always rewarding.”
Take her ‘Black Forest’ piece, depicting a thicket of leafless, dark trees. “For these pieces, I used a new plating method where electro-magnetic charges give 14-karat gold a matted, black rhodium finish,” Paula explains. It’s a process that’s relatively new to the industry, she explains, “and I wanted to master it.”
Likewise the intricate coiled-snake diamond rings: “That work pushed an edge we’ve never tried before,” Paula said.
Learning new techniques and pushing the envelope is what keeps Paula’s work vibrant and always distinctive. “As artists and as craftspeople, we are constantly pushing, stretching and learning, she explains. “We always strive to stretch our artistic vision and showcase our skills,” she said.
The inspiration for WILD! came, in part, from Julia Peterson, a longtime customer at Jewels That Dance. She and Paula had successfully collaborated on custom pieces, “so I suggested we work together to create a line,” Paula said. “Of course, we ended up with more ideas than we could use. Images of sticks and trees morphed to snakes, then frogs . . . we just never got to the birds or the flowers!”
This spring line has been out for a month and is one of two annual lines Dawkins presents each year. Each line takes from four to six months. “We are already working hard on the Fall collection,” she said.
Whatever that collection is, you can be sure it will be idiosyncratic, distinctive from her other works and incorporate new techniques, beautiful stones and stunning craftsmanship. It is, after all, created by Paula Dawkins!