Paula Crevoshay – Creating Palettes of Light and Color
Artistic designer extraordinaire, Paula Crevoshay is one of the most acclaimed jewelers in today’s universe of fine jewelry. Her innovative use of colorful gemstones in original, one-of-a-kind creations has earned her the admiration of jewelry connoisseurs and collectors the world over, along with the affectionate—and apt—title as the “Queen of Color.”
By Cynthia Unninayar
By Cynthia Unninayar
Aficionados of fine jewelry are not the only ones to appreciate the colorful jewels of Paula Crevoshay. Her work has garnered more than 25 prestigious national and international awards and is featured in special exhibitions in the USA, Europe and Asia.
A number of her exquisite pieces are also on permanent display in such notable museums as the Carnegie Museum, GIA Carlsbad, GIA New York, Smithsonian Institution, British Council for the Arts (India), Gwinnett Art Museum and Yale Peabody Museum among others. She is also in demand as a speaker at countless events around the world.
Her journey into the world of jewelry is as fascinating as the jewels themselves. Paula was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and was “raised all over the southeastern USA,” she reminisces. Recognition of her artistic talents began at an early age, and continued through college, namely Virginia Commonwealth University, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with Honors in 1976.
Then, on a full scholarship, she earned her Masters Degree in Fine Arts, also with Honors, in 1977, at the University of Wisconsin.
After graduation, she intended to go to New York to launch her career as a painter, but fate intervened when a fellow student, George Crevoshay, asked her to marry him. George had been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and an American Institute of Indian Studies grant to work on his Ph.D in India, so off the couple went to live in a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Pune, Maharashtra, near Bombay for four years.
Paula kept busy, studying classical Indian dance, holding one-woman shows of her paintings in Bombay and Pune, working as an actress in Bollywood, and even creating a dispensary for nutrition and medical attention in the monastery. It wasn’t long, however, before the world of jewelry began calling her.
“When I went to India I had no idea how colorful, how beautiful, how fascinating, how steeped in the jewelry arts that India is. The nation has incredible gifts of ancient metal techniques, finesse in the artistry, and the exquisite nature of opulence itself,” she enthuses.
After returning to the USA, George found jobs in his field to be in short supply. His language skills, however, put him in demand to help source gemstones in Southeast Asia. Using their little nest egg, the couple also invested in gems and quickly sold out their small inventory.
They then traveled to Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, and Nepal to source gems for themselves and others. “While my first trip to India and Southeast Asia lasted from 1978 to 1981, many other travels continued over the years. In all, I spent approximately 15 years of my life in Asia and feel quite at home there,” she says.
George opened many doors in the gem world within his first two years in the business. “With his innate sense of seeing the stone within the rough and his fluency in Asian languages as well as an incredible sense of humor in all cultures, the world became our oyster,” she smiles. The pair continued to build inventory and Paula decided to create jewelry using some of the gems.