“When I make these pieces, I feel very relaxed. I feel like I’m in another place, another space, it’s like a meditation. And when I finish each piece, I have something to show for it, which is why I try to make each piece unique.”

– Pauline

If we dive deep into our memories, many of us will find that our childhood pursuits go on to become our adult passion projects. Perhaps a youth spent climbing trees develops into a rock climbing hobby, or years of dandelion picking turns into a penchant for floral arranging. For Pauline, this couldn’t be more accurate. Born in Istanbul as the middle of three sisters, and blessed with a large library, Pauline spent her time devouring the books in the art and architecture section. 

“I was a very curious child,” Pauline tells us. “I was always doing experiments, drawing and discovering. I would sit for hours researching Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael … I thought, ‘I want to be just like them!’” And while Pauline’s works may not be featured in the art history section of the library just yet, they may be heading in that direction. With her unique jewellery brand, Bijouniq, Pauline is capturing elements of her own history in every individual piece.

Arriving in Australia 2016 due to political issues in Turkey, Pauline left behind a career as the co-owner of a construction company. She says, “When I arrived, the first thing I noticed was the sounds of the birds chirping. I felt like I was back in my childhood. It was lovely.”

But of course, migration was not without its challenges. “I didn’t have any English,” Pauline says. “And the culture was very different. But every day, I have been learning by getting to know people. It’s important for culture, for friendship, for socialisation, and for myself.”

The other thing that’s for herself? You guessed it – jewellery making. What started as a childhood passion and turned into an adult hobby eventually became a business. “I decided that I wanted to start making unique things to share with people, as a beautiful combination of art and architecture” Pauline says. “When I make these pieces, I feel very relaxed. I feel like I’m in another place, another space, it’s like a meditation. And when I finish each piece, I have something to show for it, which is why I try to make each piece unique.”

Inspired by the ancient techniques of Ebru Art, which is traditionally created on very large spaces with paints and water, Pauline creates similar designs on much smaller surfaces, which are captured in resin. “I use a needle slowly, and an image blossoms to the small surface. Each pattern and image is unique and emerges out of only one moment in time. In doing this, I have found my own style and it makes me so happy,” says Pauline. 

The style is not all that’s unique about Pauline’s beautiful necklaces, earrings and rings. In fact, each piece also holds a piece of her heart. “When I create, I am not thinking about anything else, I am telling a story,” says Pauline. “Normally, I am not a multitasker. But when I am making my jewellery, I am writing a story in my mind as well. The jewellery is the telling of that story.”

With results as beautiful as Bijouniq’s pieces, these are stories we’re ready to hear. 

Published by Amy Malpass-Hahn, Freelance writer