Necklaces with semi-precious stones, pearls, amber, beads, gold and antique clasps:
Carved Tagua necklaces:
I have been a practicing and exhibiting artist since 1960, focussing primarily on sculpture and assemblage. My combined love of sculpture and fashion led me to want to work with fabrics, feathers and decorative elements, so I began making hats and art quilts.
Originally from Montréal, I studied Fine Arts and Theatre at Sir George Williams University (now Concordia). I learned millinery at Sir Sanford Fleming College’s Haliburton School of the Arts and through Karyn Gingras, owner of Lilliput Hats. I live and work in Clayton, Ontario with jewellery maker Barbara Mullally.
I’ve always had an interest in fashion: as a costume designer, a sculptor, a jeweller. I love the exuberant creations that grace the fashion world runways at times: Galliano, McQueen, Westwood. I love to see the hats that accompany the dresses, hovering between fashion and sculpture.
Millinery in Canada is not widespread. I try to source as many materials as I can within Canada but most items come from the US and Europe, particularly England. Wherever we go, I look for sources of supplies and particularly for the bits and pieces of vintage decoration that have become a trademark with me. This hunt takes me to antique dealers and even charity shops, ever stalking an elusive prey – the vintage hat decoration!
I make all of my hats and bases for fascinators and cocktail hats by creating and blocking the base form on wood hat moulds. The bases are in a range of materials, depending on the style and season: sinamay, straw, felt and buckram. The shaped forms are then rimmed with wire, bound with grosgrain ribbon, covered (if appropriate), lined and finished with a wide variety of materials including vintage silks, flowers, feathers and trim. My silk flowers are made, petal by petal, using antique French flower irons that use heat to permanently shape petals and leaves. I have a large collection of these antique tools: each petal shape and leaf is particular to one kind of flower, for example rose and geranium.
If you are going to wear anything other than something for warmth or protection, you will be noticed. My cocktail hats are unique; I only make one of each, as I would with other sculptures.
- R. Pauly, 2014
See Regional Contact interview with Robert Pauly: http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=915559