Handcrafted jewellery using various materials. Designed and made by Paula Scott Beltgens. Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
I was born and raised and am deeply rooted on Vancouver Island, a small paradise on the west coast of Canada. The ocean and coastal forests are strong influences in my life and from my attic studio, I can see the ever-changing colours of the Salish Sea and the mainland mountains. Art and craft have always been part of our family's story and social gatherings at our home are often convened around tables heaped high with art supplies. While I have played in many different kinds of media, the tactile nature of clay - whether it is metal, earth or polymer - has won my heart.
Right now I am working primarily in metal clay. Metal clay is made up of very finely ground metal (e.g., silver, copper, bronze) mixed with an organic binder and water. I design my pieces in a sketch book and/or on the computer and use a combination of manual and digitized etching, depending on the nature of the piece. The metal clay pieces are hand constructed, sanded, shaped and then fired in a kiln at extremely high temperatures which allow the binder to burn off and the metal particles to adhere to each other into a solid metal piece. After firing the pieces go through more sanding, polishing and shaping to a final state. I’m still learning and experimenting in metal clay and think it will keep me interested and happy for many years to come!
Damask patterned purses in copper with wire wrapped handles.
I also work with polymer clay, both for jewellery and for sculptures. I’m currently working at making more combinations of metal and polymer clay and using found objects to add interest. I re-purpose a variety of materials, including clothing and yarns for my sculptures attire. Here are a couple of examples of work in polymer.
Polymer clay earrings
A few examples of my sculptural figures.
The process of designing and creating with clay keeps me grounded and curious. I love the malleable nature of polymer and metal clays in their soft states, and also find great satisfaction in pounding hard metals into different shapes and textures. Each of these media offers themselves as miniature canvases for endless, wearable experiments.
* * *
Jewellery with spirit and meaning. Designed and created by Paula Scott Beltgens.