With a remarkable career spanning over three decades, Paula Crevoshay is considered one of the most influential jewelry designers of our time. Her mission has been to elevate the role of the jewelry designer from anonymous to that of a fine artist.
She has turned down numerous offers to mass produce her original, one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, which today are enjoyed by art connoisseurs and passionate jewelry collectors from around the world. Her work is on permanent display at the Gemological Institute of America (New York and Los Angeles), The Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and the National Gem Collection at the Smithsonian Institution.
From November 19, 2016, through February 1, 2017, Ms. Crevoshay will open her one-woman exhibition, "Illuminations – Earth to Jewel," in Paris at the Musée de Minéralogie, Mines ParisTech.
Spectra Update had the opportunity to learn a little more about Paula Crevoshay and what inspires her to create such colorful masterpieces.
You have been crowned the "Queen of Color." Can you tell us how this moniker came to be?
Many years ago during a trade show in Las Vegas, I met some friends at the Postrio restaurant for a late dinner. As I entered the restaurant with my party, I encountered a group of jewelry magazine editors.
As they greeted me, they asked if my ears were burning. Robert Weldon, then the editor of Professional Jeweler, said that they were discussing who the very best designer was and they had agreed that Paula Crevoshay was the “Queen of Color!” The appellation stuck and the Press has been using it ever since.
For whom do you design?
The Crevoshay Collector; those who are rarely satisfied with just one piece and collect Crevoshay as they collect other art forms. They are secure in their social and economic position. They feel free to express their personal taste and style. They like having beautiful things no one else has and love the compliments they receive. They are very successful, worldly, and recognize quality and seek value over price. Crevoshay Collectors are usually the top spending clients in the store.
Can you share your design process with us? What inspires you?
I also draw everything to scale first and then create a stone map, color in the gemstones and begin selecting or creating them. Most of the time I begin with the center stone and work my way out from there.
Designs come to me all the time. It's like thinking; I couldn't turn it off if I wanted too. It's not something I do really, it comes through me. I'm just the vessel. I'll hold a beautiful gem in my hand and it will tell me what it wants to become, and I draw the jewel that will display it in its greatest glory.
Nature is the greatest inspiration. I might see a flower and immediately see the stones I would use to paint its portrait. That said, it is necessary to understand things like color compliment and contrast, and the effect of using stones if differing refractive index together.
If you weren’t a jewelry designer, what would you be?
I am an artist and consider precious metals and gems to be just another medium. I see gemstones as tangible light and working with them is painting with the light itself! I was painting primarily with oils and watercolor before I took up jewelry. I still paint, and I will paint more in the future. An artist can only be an artist no matter which medium they choose. Talent is a gift.
What would you say is the most unusual gemstone you’ve ever worked with?
There are more gem materials available to the jewelry artist today than at any period before in history and I revel in the amazing palette! I have set many stones that are truly unique, one of a kind, with very special beauty. It is a great privilege to be entrusted with these amazing treasures of the earth.
I have just been honored by a collector to design his highly refractive sphene, which is over 16 carats. I find the high dispersion of this gem so unique and special. I am so excited about bringing out the unusual play of light found within this gem in a symphony of color.
How has being a member of the American Gem Society helped you and your business?
Conclave is an invaluable venue to learn, network and contribute to others in our industry. I particularly enjoy meeting so many interesting, educated and qualified people. My advice for new members of the AGS is to seek ways to contribute. You will get more than you give.