Hiyo, I’m Paula Barnett and I make small batch, future heirlooms for people who are drawn to independent designers and the underdog, weirdos who love sparkly things as much as they love the forest and the sea, and people who have hands that are always busy.
I sway from candy colored sentimentality and the softness of refined design, but nothing is ever too serious. Life is art, and I make jewelry for people who believe the same. I am a plant person, find peace in the forest, the ocean is as spiritual an experience as one can get, and I want to be reincarnated as a planned garden once my time has come. I adore softness and sentimentality. Bright colors and motifs are brought out of my childhood; refined shapes and colors are taken from the mature person I'd love to be some day (I’m a fully grown ass person and parent of a teen).
I set up my studio in 2013 with a deep desire to work with my hands. Beauty for beauty's sake, small precious objects that are to be treasured, and the antithesis of fast fashion. I wanted to work within a smaller scale, with a smaller ecological footprint, and in a challenging medium.
My atelier is deeply conscious of the environmental impacts of making. I use recycled metals from a SCS certified refinery in Louisiana, and also recycle metals in house. My stones come from dealers who have the same values of fair trade labor and production, and I procure a lot of rocks that are mined and cut domestically. My packaging is minimal, and most of the package is compostable.
My educational background is in art history, photography, and historic preservation. Tired of writing about artists and craftsmen, I enrolled in a metalsmithing workshop at the graduate school I had just dropped out of and started working with my hands in a way that I was always supposed to. I've attended stone setting intensives at New Approach, and outside of school am never not learning about my chosen craft.
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polaroid by the lovely Jamie Swick