Goldsmithing and textile handicraft have inspired Germany-based Christina Pauls to combine these forms of design. We talk to the artist about her practice.
A: Your work is the manifestation of your years of study and training in goldsmithing and textile handicraft. You say that the combination of these forms of design gives you a feeling of “entanglement” – what do you mean by this?
CP: I’ve entangled myself in different disciplines, the goldsmithing and the textile handicraft and so I thought: why not combining these two things together? The result is pieces such as embroidering gold stud earrings with a delicate thread, and designing and producing a special buckle for a belt utilising goldsmithing techniques.
A: You refer to your jewellery as “slow jewellery” – how does this express itself in how you work and the pieces you create?
CP: Firstly, slow jewellery for me is at first the process itself, as all the jewellery I sell is handmade and takes time to produce; the wearer should feel the place where it comes from. Secondly, the pieces I create are not part of “fast fashion” – they should be clear and minimalist, and wearable for a long time.
A: How important is the photography of your jewellery pieces in the expression of your work and your brand? Do you work with the same photographer for every collection?
CP: The photographs are really important, because they are telling something about the mood and the spirit I like to create. Because of this I always work with the same photographer; he really knows what I want. In addition, most of the photographs without a model are shot by me. I really like to create a story behind the objects through the use of my photographs.
A: Your Nadelwork collection was nominated for a German Design Award in 2014 and 2016 – is recognition of your work important for you, particularly in the German market?
CP: I’m really honoured by these nominations, but they do not influence my work at all.
A: If you were to describe your work in three words, what would they be?
CP: My work is clear, simple and minimalist.
A: Your recent commercial projects include textile work in restaurants and corporate spaces (for example, a macramé room divider for Marguard & Bahls in Hamburg, in which 4,500m of rope was knotted by hand). How do you approach these projects compared with the work you do on an intricate piece of jewellery?
CP: In that specific project, I cleared up my workshop, set a huge table in the middle of my working space and knotted the piece together with two other people. I really like this change of dimensions: from very small to really big.
A: What projects are you working on currently?
CP: I’m working on a new home collection, including leather wall clocks, origami posters and pictures made of copper.
1. Drop-shaped Lochwerk pendant. Made of synthetic opal and black rhodanized silver.
2. Signet ring. Made of sterling silver.
3. Pearl earrings. Genuine freshwater pearls in 14kt rose gold.
4. Leather bracelet in nude.
5. Installing the macramé room divider for Marguard & Bahls in Hamburg.