The artist, Paul Daye, was born in 1979 in Mandeville, Jamaica. Soon after his birth, it was discovered that he had Retinoblastoma, a cancer that begins in the retina. In 1981, Paul and his family moved to the United States in order to receive the appropriate treatment; however, he lost his sight at the age of three. Due to Paul’s family never treating him differently, and always encouraging exploration, he did not allow his blindness to stop him from pursuing his goals and interests. His love for art took hold early in his life and has manifested itself – throughout the years – as a way for him to interpret and express how he views the world.
Paul’s interest in art began at an early age. He would explore his surroundings by touch and sound and would recreate what he saw using clay and other outlets. After creating a piece, Paul would ask others what they thought he had just designed and if they did not know, he would go back and start over until all knew what the piece was supposed to be. Always the student, Paul took each suggestion and strove to improve his art and strengthen his skills. Later in high school, he took art history in order to better understand concepts such as colors, shading, shadows near and far, and three-dimensional and spatial awareness. During this period, Paul began drawing and pursuing pottery, sculpting as well as jewelry making and design. He enrolled in a jewelry making class at his local art center where he learned to make jewelry through the lost wax process. His love of jewelry design and gemstones would prove to be the inspiration and the foundation for his current evolution in art.
Paul draws inspiration from one area and that is his vast imagination. Most often, a piece will come to him in his dreams and he must design it in wax immediately; Paul does not stop until it is completed. In fact, there is never a “do over,” or a second start to the creation of a piece. Pieces that call for great detail or spatial awareness are carefully studied through raised line drawings or models before Paul begins. In other words, each piece is a one of a kind work from his heart and prospective.
“I take the utmost care in every piece I make. From start to finish, my sole focus is on bringing the image in my mind alive in silver, and presenting it to the world. I get such a sense of accomplishment and relief when a piece is completed due to the hours of work and dedication I devote to its creation. When a piece comes to me, it is like a burning fire in me – I can’t sleep. It fills my mind during the day so I have no choice but to put it into wax, and only then do I find peace. My art, it haunts me at times but without it, I would not be complete. It affords me a way to show how I perceive the world.”
Paul’s works are first created by hand using jewelers wax. He shapes and lays down each peace of wax utilizing various wax working tools. After completing the work in wax, the piece is then sent to a casting shop to be cast into sterling silver through the lost wax process. On receiving the raw cast piece back from the caster, Paul hand finishes using a flex shaft, sand paper and tumbler. Other details such as stained glass, darkening, enameling or gemstones are done by Paul or by an assistant with Paul’s close guidance.