Born in Montreal, Robert Pauly is a maker and collector of art and objects. He studied Fine Arts and Theatre at Sir George Williams University (now Concordia) before making his home in Clayton, Ontario with jewellery maker Barbara Mullally.
Since 1960 he has created sculptural works, jewellery and wearable art using a myriad of materials and techniques. Eclectic is an apt description of Robert’s approach to art making: he’s an experimenter driven by curiosity, the desire to design and make things by hand – with a healthy mix of respect for tradition and irreverence for the status quo.
Pauly has become well-known for his hat designs (fascinators, cocktail hats, etc.) many of which are custom-made for individual buyers. Milliners are rare in Canada and he has studied with some of the best to learn this unique craft.
He has simultaneously been mastering quilt making processes, drawing inspiration from the rarely shown, one-of-a-kind quilts that women usually made just for themselves.
Pauly’s approach is playful and shows no fear of using vibrant colours. With vintage and new fabrics, he alters patterns with unusually beautiful results. Some follow traditional ideas of quilting while others feature rows of stripes more akin to colour field paintings. All are interestingly contrasted by machine sewn top-stitching in organic and geometric patterns.
His extensive knowledge of historical work and techniques plays beautifully with modernist ideas, making Robert Pauly’s quilts truly contemporary artistic expressions.