Clair Boubli’s professional and creative journey spans continents and mediums, but it was the abundant shapes, textures and extraordinary palette of the Amazonian rainforest that started her on her path to jewellery making.
After completing a degree in Furniture and Product Design at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design in London, Clair set up her own furniture design company. The quality of her work and her eye for detail took her to San Francisco and then New York where she settled for nearly 12 years working as a set and costume prop designer on New York’s Broadway specializing in mechanical special effects and sculpture.
However, it was not until Clair and her husband, a Brazilian primatologist, took up a post in the Atlantic rainforest north of Rio that she found the inspiration for what has now become her work.
Living beneath the vast rainforest canopy, Clair was gripped by the diversity and transience of the flora that fell to the forest floor. One day it would be there and the next gone, replaced by something new. She collected this leaf and seed litter and began working it into something enduring - turning it into jewellery, sculptures and pieces of art – and has not looked back since.
Her special effects skills then took her to work in the film industry in New Zealand for three years and here she continued creating jewellery, art and sculpture, this time using natural local materials such as seaweed, shell and
Clair’s passion for her work has taken her all over the world sourcing the incredible variety of natural materials. She now includes Brazilian hand-cut semi-precious stones as well as organic forest materials in her jewellery. She also works with precious metals, setting Amazonian seeds and desert stones
with cast bronze, silver and gold, as well as hunting markets for antique crystal, glass and vintage metal findings where ever she travels.
She is like a magpie – always finding the treasure that is thrown up by nature and place. Since moving back to Sussex where she grew up, she has begun collecting the local riches, inspired by the plentiful array of natural treasures to be found here.
Clair’s work is vivid, textured and bursting with life, but also holds a delicacy and sensitivity – a nod almost to the fragility of what first inspired her in the rainforest. Her work is a story, it has a heritage and whole array of skill and knowledge hand crafted into every piece.