little spots.” Her idea was to create a light and playful collection using pearls but with a contemporary twist and fluid movement by linking them with an 18k gold cable wire that is flexible and almost invisible. “The wire is a difficult material to work with, once it accidentally bends it cannot go back to its original shape, therefore it has to be handled very carefully” Paola expands.
As far as sourcing the material she works with, Paola’s approach is purely intuitive. She explains: “I always bump into things; I rarely look for something specific. If I find something intriguing, I get it, not yet knowing exactly what I’ll do with it. Sometimes things remain in my drawers for months, even years, and only find their right use much later”.
Paola combines many different materials, which she obtains from suppliers around the globe. Precious and semi-precious stones come from a number of sources; wood varieties stem from non-endangered tree-species or sustainable sources in Africa or the Far East and are obtained from a European company providing a certificate of origin.
Mother of Pearl, which Paola uses a lot of, originates in the South Pacific, and is then cut and shaped by an artisan in Italy. Shells are purchased through the biggest shell merchant in Europe, also based in Italy: “It’s amazing to go to that place. The variety and quantity of shells is incredible and you see things you would never imagine come from the sea.
This man has been in this business for three
generations and remembers each one of the shells, its Latin names and where they come from.” Paola enthuses. With this unusual mix of materials, one of Paola’s great challenges is linking them all together.
To connect metal with other non-metal materials like mother of pearl, wood or coral she uses the riveting technique. Little tubes opened and hammered through the non- metal material joins the two materials together. To perfect her pieces, Paola collaborates with a highly experienced artisan in Italy. “He is very meticulous and has steady hands. I trust him completely, even when occasionally he alters some pieces, as all his changes have ended up being the best solution” she concludes.