-photography by Elizabeth Lavin
Educated as a painter and printmaker, Dallas artist, Julie Cohn traveled a diverse design path that included bookbinding, rugs, textiles, hardware, tabletop, collaborations with architects and public art installations.
Self-taught, her approach to creating jewelry is unconventional in process and begins by working directly with materials rather than sketching a preconceived idea. She follows in the tradition of handcrafted jewelry by artists Harry Bertoia, Alexander Calder, Salvador Dali, Lucio Fontana and others, often naming pieces after the artist who inspired her.
The natural world is her muse and shells, pods, leaves, and stones line the walls of her studio. Organic patterns created by nature’s decay is replicated with hand embossed, pierced, and torched bronze surfaces. Elevating the perception of humble materials has led to experimentation with clay inlay, creating the illusion of colored marble and stone.
Throughout the history of adornment, a wide array of non-precious materials like crushed stone, ash, glass, vulcanized rubber, and lava have been crafted to resemble finer gems. Ordinary materials, transformed through careful attention to detail, are juxtaposed with polished bronze.
Cohn’s studio jewelry collection has a simple elegance and a distinct mark of the artist’s hand, appealing to collectors looking for jewelry with a connection to the designer/maker.
Her staff is mainly young artists, many from Dallas’s renowned arts magnet high school. Mentored to see the possibilities of parlaying their talents into art-centric careers, they collaborate on design and fabrication in addition to learning how to bring artisan jewelry to the marketplace.
Julie resides with her husband, landscape architect David Rolston and daughter Mila in their modern home and creative haven in the White Rock Lake area of Dallas.