about julie bailey

Julie Bailey is a British designer/maker producing studio jewellery as @papermetal. She sells through independent galleries, online and made-to-order for private clients. Her studio workshop is based in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, UK. She was the National Trust Artisan/Maker 2019 and a selected directory maker with The Crafts Council.



I often wonder if I  were to try and sum up a whole life approach if it would be as an aesthetic of living that is around being not having.

I lived in Singapore as a child, my mother sharing her new skills of Ikebana and paper cutting. Exposed to the richness of far eastern cultures I began to make, construct, cut and arrange. Combining this early perspective with the later added skills of jewellery craftsmanship, fine art printmaking and working in gardens and with flowers, the editing and re-editing of surfaces, colours, textures and forms start to make sense. The interweaving of metal to paper and paper to metal evolving as a signature style around imprinting.

A realm of infinite possibilities is created by combinations and layers of a range of metals and surfaces, using hand-cut paper to emboss metals, patinas to delineate, edges to create dimensionality, wire and tube to navigate.

I like to think that my style comes from; a Japanese minimalism, the refinement of France, the quintessence of Englishness or just the romantic wildish nature of a tinker? Either way, the work is individualistic and eclectic and once discovered hopefully is at once engaging.

'My approach to contemporary jewellery is based on a strong connection to the materials, processes and surfaces. The aesthetic derives from simplicity, economy, modesty, intimacy, and an appreciation of the integrity of natural materials and processes.

In my work as a jeweller and a printmaker my relationship with both metal and paper is nuanced by such influences as eclectic as japanese Ikebana and english garden design, from the found in the everyday and out in the wild, from interior and exterior landscapes. 

My personal demands for perfection and finish come from a desire to continue the traditions of good craftsmanship. I create a collection of studio jewellery with pale silver rich surfaces, embossed with handmade papers, detailed and contrasted with darker coloured metals, all within a framework of a minimal soft geometry. I am drawn to jewellery that is effortless to wear and ageless in form.'


I trained under master jeweller Brian Newble and was sponsored by the Platinum Advisory Board. Later I completed a Fine Art Printmaking degree being awarded the College Prize. I have both Contemporary Fine Art Craft Practice and Teaching post-graduate degrees, and have held posts as tutor/lecturer in both FE and HE and was involved in the establishing of the annual York Open Studios Event. My early jewellery work was highly commended 2 years running at the National Platinum Awards and exhibited at The Victoria & Albert Museum, Electrum Gallery London and the Basle International Fair.

I opened a gallery for studio jewellery and fine art printmaking during a period living and working in France.

Now making full time from my garden studio in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, UK, I work mostly in silver and have recently exhibited at New Designers as an Alumni, Yorkshire Sculpture Park MADE showcases and other Independent Galleries.

I was The National Trust Artisan/Maker 2019/2020 and a selected directory maker at The Crafts Council.

I also offer one-to-one jewellery tuition & workshops from my garden studio in Thirsk, North Yorkshire..

National Trust Meet the Maker Interview October 2019

Crafts Council Maker of the Month Interview 08 August 2019

ABOUT Buying, Ordering & Delivery

Jewellery pieces in the regular collections are available on Etsy and NotOnTheHighStreet.

A selection of collection pieces and one-of-a-kinds are available in selected independent galleries and change from time to time.

All jewellery from the collections, in all metal variation, one-of-kinds and custom pieces are available direct from Atelier papermetal and are individually made to order by me here in the studio. Custom chain lengths and non-allergy ear fittings available by request. All rings are made to your size, it is best to get properly and accurately measured, I can send out a little ring sizing kit to help.

The usual making to delivery time is 2 to 3 weeks, often sooner. I will let you know within 24hours of your enquiry and keep you updated.

I offer free regular delivery on all orders and use Royal Mail Special Delivery shipped from the UK, this is a tracked and insured service and will require a signature on receipt. Within the UK delivery is next day, Europe 3-5 days, rest of world 5-7days. Any customs charges or delivery restrictions within your country should be considered when placing your order, I am here to help.

Payment for direct orders can be made using PayPal or by a Bank Transfer.

Should you be unhappy with your piece you must let me know within 7 days of receipt, and return within 14 days for an exchange or refund.

ABOUT Stocking my work

I am happy to work with Art, Craft and Design galleries and other independent retail outlets and organisations to  promote both our interests in contemporary and curated studio jewellery. Ask for line sheets and wholesale price lists.

Please do get in touch to discuss how we can best work together.

ABOUT Your Jewellery and Aftercare

Your jewellery receives a  lifetime care promise, I am happy to re-size, adjust, repair and repolish.

Each piece is individually made to order, minor hand made variations occur and no two embossed surfaces are identical.

Fine (99.9%) Silver is used for all the embossing; the colour is whiter, softer and it enhances the imprint of the hand made paper petals, it tarnishes less easily than Sterling Silver (92.5%) too. In the making process, the soldering flame enriches the surface with the pure silver, this gives a ‘chalkiness’ to the texture, a form of depletion gilding, the top of the emboss is given a light polish to enhance this effect.

All fittings, chain, wire, and tube use sterling silver. It is harder than fine silver for the structural parts of the piece.

Items are laser hallmarked when the silver parts are over the legal weight of 7.78 grams. The marks include my registered makers mark JEB, a year date letter, the precious metal fineness, and the London Assay Office Leopard Mark.

Rose Bronze, an alloy of brass, has a colour that is less harsh, more pinky and buttery than regular brass. I also use a ‘red’ brass alloy which is also called ‘nu-gold’,  jewellers brass or merlins gold in the USA  because it’s colour resembles that of high carat precious gold, it contains more copper than regular brass and is alloyed with a small amount of zinc so is very wearable for those with nickel allergies.

Copper is a pinky orange pure base metal and has many working properties similar to silver.

The dark patination on silver is produced by an oxidizing process and it is lightly protected using a jewellers wax.

The patina of the base metals and alloys deepen over time and react with the air, our skin and chemicals; if unwanted, to refresh the surfaces I supply a little silver polishing cloth to remove this. You can also give your piece an occasional clean with a mild detergent/shampoo and soft brush, drying carefully after. 

I am happy to answer any other  questions about the making and care of your piece of jewellery.