Gem News International Gems & Gemology, Spring 2018, Vol. 54, No. 1

Preview of Nature Art Science with Paula Crevoshay

Flora and fauna brooches by Paula Crevoshay
Figure 1. Left: Paula Crevoshay's Siberian tigress Baianai incorporates aquamarine eyes with black diamond pupils, 286 white diamonds, 168 cognac diamonds, and a 1.05 ct pink Oregon opal in 18K gold. Right: The Morning Glory brooch contains 272 Yogo sapphires, 90 purple sapphires, 45 pink sapphires (2.75 carats), and a 2.92 ct central moonstone, all in 18K gold. Photos by Kevin Schumacher.

Paula Crevoshay described 2018 as an “opulent year” and showed us several new pieces that celebrate nature. Her remarkable use of color draws in and enchants the viewer. She is working on a museum exhibition concept entitled Nature Art Science, with the intent of capturing how art is inspired by nature and how science is essential in the execution of art. Her work illustrates this concept, as the lifelike flora and fauna creations maximize the use of color and light while being solidly engineered and highly versatile.

Crevoshay displayed several realistic pieces depicting endangered animals, including the Siberian tigress Baianai (figure 1, left), whose mesmerizing eyes are composed of aquamarine with black diamond pupils. Baianai’s nose is a hand-carved pink Oregon opal, and the rest of the 18K yellow gold jewel contains 286 white and 168 cognac diamonds.  The hardware is engineered to allow the piece to be worn in many different ways. There are lush new flowers from Crevoshay such as the Morning Glory brooch (figure 1, right), which draws the observer into its center with an adularescent moonstone surrounded by a sea of 272 blue Yogo sapphires. The hue shifts toward purple and pink with the use of 90 lavender and 45 fuchsia sapphires from the tips of the petals to the center.

New Work from Paula Crevoshay
Celebrated designer Paula Crevoshay explores the themes behind some of her more recent work.

Crevoshay’s first cuff of 2018 (figure 2, left) is titled Moon Glow and features moonstones as well as blue zircon, iolite, and blue sapphire. She likened it to “painting with light.” Another piece that spoke to this concept was a pendant containing a large and exceptionally fine 30.64 ct Ethiopian opal (figure 2, right). The flanking of the opal’s intense play-of-color hues with like-colored surrounding stones such as blue zircon, pink tourmaline, tsavorite garnet, apatite, and ruby made for a stunning and very aesthetically pleasing piece. Both works showcased many of the most popular hues we observed throughout the AGTA show.

Moonstone cuff and opal pendant by Paula Crevoshay
Figure 2. Left: Crevoshay's Moon Glow cuff contains 72.28 carats of moonstone, 36.68 carats of blue zircon, 8.58 carats of iolite, and 3.47 carats of blue sapphire in 18K gold. Right: The Gelila pendant features a 30.64 ct Ethiopian opal surrounded by blue zircon, pink tourmaline, tsavorite, apatite, ruby, and diamond melee. Photos by Albert Salvato.

Talking with the artist, we learned that her father was an engineer, an exposure that led her to design all of her own mechanisms (such as hinged bales), allowing the pieces to be worn in many ways, such as a pendant or brooch. From an artistic standpoint, Crevoshay has drawn inspiration from Schlumberger, Fabergé, and Lalique. Their influence is evident in her designs that are simultaneously intricate and fluid, while focusing on the use of light with the color of the incorporated materials. From the mesmerizing and magnificent details such as the hand-carved Oregon pink opal nose of her tigress to side stones mimicking the play-of-color of a precious opal, it is easy to understand why her work has attracted such a following.

Jennifer Stone-Sundberg is a technical editor of Gems & Gemology. Andrew Lucas is manager of field gemology at GIA in Carlsbad, California.