Rhapsody in blue: Paula Crevoshay

Paula Crevoshay has always designed around stones, and she’s never been one to shy away from a bold interplay of hues – in fact, that’s pretty much what turns her on.  “As a designer and a painter, color is close to my heart,” she says. “When I look at anything, I register color before shape and form.”

You can find a stunning collection of her jewelry now through August in “Garden of Light: Works by Paula Crevoshay” at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, PA.

Blue is certainly not the only part of the color spectrum she swims around in – her combinations of reds and golds are pretty spectacular – but I find her variations on the blues most potent. “Blue stones speak like music,” says Crevoshay. “They have certain notes and pitches.”

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Pendant of black opal, sapphire, aquamarine, and diamonds in gold by Paula Crevoshay (www.crevoshay.com)

“There are connoisseurs of blue just as there are connoisseurs of wine,” the French writer Colette once wrote. Being a connoisseur of blue herself (and pretty flamboyant overall), I think she would have appreciated the jewelry on this page and counted Paula Crevoshay as a fellow blue connoisseur.

There is probably no color in the spectrum better represented in gems and jewelry than blue. Unlike Colette who, I imagine, saw blues largely in terms of her own passion, flowers, jewelry designers see blues in the form of glass, enamel or gemstone – iolite, opal, azurite, aquamarine, lapis, turquoise, topaz, tourmaline, tanzanite, sodalite, sapphire, spinel, fluorite, chrysocolla … Could there be a headier palette? Most jewelers use only a fraction of those stones, having, like their customers, marked preferences for certain shades. Paula Crevoshay likes to explore the entire field.

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Ring of opal, yellow sapphire, and aquamarine in 18kt gold by Paula Crevoshay (www.crevoshay.com)

Combining a passion for color with a sophisticated knowledge of gemology (and some good connections), Crevoshay works with one of richest, most varied palettes of blue in the gem world – iolite, tanzanite, aquamarine, boulder opal, smithsonite, and hemimorphite, to name a few. But it’s all about color for her and the memories it evokes.

Ring of aquamarine in and white zircon in 18kt gold by Paula Crevoshay (www.crevoshay.com)

Ring of aquamarine and white zircon in 18kt gold by Paula Crevoshay (www.crevoshay.com)

She recalls a childhood dress of a pastel blue that still delights her. “When I see a certain color it will throw me into a memory or mood. Blue is what you see when you wake up and look out the window on a sunny day. Your mood heightens.”

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Bracelet of opal, aquamarine and diamonds set in 18kt gold by Paula Crevoshay (www.crevoshay.com)

I suspect blue became associated with spirituality because it appears in the natural world in the most exotic and ephemeral places: not in trees but in flowers, not grounded mammals but soaring birds, not solid earth but amorphous sky and water.

As D.H. Lawrence once wrote: “Let me guide myself with the blue, forked torch of a flower, down the darker and darker stairs, where blue is darkened on blueness, even where Persephone goes.”

“The blue in a moonstone is so ethereal, when I want a dreamy effect, I use that,” Crevoshay says. “Certain blues remind us of  spring. Pastel blues and dreamy skies drenched with sun, flowers, and conversion; Persephone returns.”

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Pendant of chrysocolla and zircon set in 18k gold by Paula Crevoshay (www.crevoshay.com)

“Blue sapphire is more like velvet, where iolites are a wonderful, inky blue. Blue opal has an oceanic quality – which makes sense since it’s predominantly water. ”

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“The Sea Mist” pendant of 59ct black opal, blue zircon, and moonstone set in 18kt gold by Paula Crevoshay (www.crevoshay.com)

“With opal and chrysocolla, I often put ocean wave patterns in the metalwork as a gemological clue. Sometimes a certain blue makes me think of the sky or water or a robin’s egg, other times cloth or silk.”

River Goddess pendant  of chrysocolla, moonstone, diamond, and opal by Paula Crevoshay (crevoshay.com)

River Goddess pendant of chrysocolla, moonstone, diamond, and opal by Paula Crevoshay (from Garden of Light: Works by Paula Crevoshay at Carnegie Museum of Natural History)

"Spring Air" pendant of aquamarine, blue moonstone, and blue zircon by Paula Crevoshay with gem carver Lawrence Stoller (crevoshay.com)

“Spring Air” pendant of aquamarine, blue moonstone, and blue zircon by Paula Crevoshay with gem carver Lawrence Stoller (from Garden of Light: Works by Paula Crevoshay at Carnegie Museum of Natural History)

I like to think those of us who resonate most with blue are more highly evolved, but maybe we just like to swim! Or fly? In the Indian chakra system, blues and violets correspond with the top most chakras, those associated with wisdom and the highest levels of spiritual development. Blue gemstones used to stimulate these chakras include lapis, sodalite, blue and purple fluorite, azurite, and amethyst.

Wearing sparkly blue jewels to achieve enlightenment? I’m sure Paula Crevoshay would get behind that.

You can find these and many other luscious jewels designed by Paula on her website.

Related posts:

Jewelry for a blue moon

 

Rock stars: Sherris Cottier Shank

Why blue diamonds are blue: recent tests on the Hope Diamond

Top 10 jewelry designers on the Loupe in 2012

How to photograph gems: tips from the pros

Related products (Buying through links on this site doesn’t cost you any extra but it does put a couple bucks toward maintenance of this blog):

3 comments for “Rhapsody in blue: Paula Crevoshay

  1. May 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Wow Cathy you nailed this! Brilliant
    .
    Thank you,
    Paula

  2. Cathleen McCarthy
    May 21, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Thanks, Paula! What an eyeful. Great fun putting this together.

  3. May 22, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Stunning work – beautifully presented! Brava to both you ladies!

    Robyn

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