Life Reflected in Jewelry

Features Issue 16 Aug, 2010

Whose genius is spread upon this tableau of delight? Angela Dodson Soulier, jeweler and theater costume designer extraordinaire.  Self taught artist Angela has been living in Kathmandu for the last two and half years, as the latest leg of a life story dotted across the globe in a step by step collection of material. Ten year old Angela started by picking up stones and trinkets with her grandma on the English coast.  As a young woman she found herself immersed a hemisphere away, in the theater and opera worlds of Mexico City where she stayed for twenty years.  She started by making accessories for theater productions and soon took on costume-making as well.  A stint as an actress taught her much about the needs of those on stage.  Her unique skills and familiarity with Mexico brought her to the notice of the great director, John Huston, who recruited Angela as costume designer for Under the Volcano, filmed in Mexico and produced in Hollywood.  With stars Albert Finney and Jacqueline Bisset it was an introduction to the fast paced and pressured world of film.

As satisfying as it was being part of theatrical and film teams, identifying the required effect and creating the necessary adornment, jewelry was always Angela’s favorite medium of artistic expression. After she and husband Jean-Pierre moved to Spain, Angela returned to focus on making jewelry.  Most of Angela’s work includes at least one object that tells a story from her life. Blown glass Syrian beads, Mexican silver and flea market jewelry, New Mexico agate and bones and horns from everywhere. Soon Tibetan coral and turquoise and Indra Chowk beads will be woven in.  Add an eclectic mix of techniques - cire perdue, repousee, forging, silver fusion and blowtorch.  And picture forms of the sea - shells and fish.  Tie them together with threads and bits of glass reflecting a collector’s lifetime. These luscious and colorful necklaces and earrings are each unique creations.

While in Nepal, she has also been consulting for the VEDFON jewelry project, teaching destitute mothers to make bead necklaces, as chronicled in the May 2002 issue of ECS.

It gives Angela great pleasure when her vibrant shining stories are worn and loved and become part of the story of someone else.   They will be exhibited at Indigo Gallery starting with an opening at 11am on Saturday, March 8 and continuing through March 18.