Julie Buelteman is a skilled craftswoman who imbues her adornments with a light all their own. As the founder and designer of Julie B. & Company, she spends countless hours seeking out special materials from which she creates her inspired works.
Born in Torrance, California, her affinity for all things aesthetic began at an early age. The high-energy beach scene of southern California in the 1960’s and 70’s held a strong allure for this spirited young woman, and contributed to a lifelong love affair with coastal living.
Beginning as a student of a textile design at California State University Long Beach, she has been a weaver, sculptor, painter, mixed-media artist and now a talented artisan making unique pieces of jewelry. College life gave her the freedom to explore new interests and begin developing her personal sense of style.
In 1983 Julie married her true love, fine art photographer Robert Buelteman and moved to the small coastal town of Montara, twenty miles south of the city of San Francisco. There they had two sons, reveled in their family life, and eventually returned to their respective art forms. Through a patchwork of jewelry courses and a great deal of trial-and-error, the development of her craft has been the sole focus of her creative energy for the last 20 years.
When visiting her husband over several years when he was artist-in-residence at the Santa Fe Institute, her trips to New Mexico broadened her view of what’s possible for her medium. She found the dry air, high-altitude lifestyle and deep history of European and Native American cultures instructive and enriching. Far from her beloved Pacific Ocean, she found a new friend in the expansive New Mexico sky.
Julie is a woman who finds joy in the happiness of others, and through making her jewelry, creates fulfillment for herself.
I have been making art for as long as I can remember. As a child, art was my refuge where I found solace from the challenges of living. I loved collecting small shiny objects and enjoyed stringing beads, knotting macramé and embroidering clothing. As a young person who grew up on the coast of Southern California, I developed into a person passionate about color, creating adornment with a clearly bohemian sensibility.
As a student at California State University Long Beach in the late 1970’s, I studied art and textile design. We were weaving, printing fabric, and creating sculpture with basketry. I also studied art history, painting and design, which enriched my path as an artist and illuminated the development of my aesthetic.
I’ve spent the totality of my life living on the coast of California. The beauty of nature and the changing sea and sky are a kaleidoscope of inspiration for every piece I make. For more than 20 years I have been designing jewelry. Each piece is unique; inspired by the remarkable women in my life and always something I would love to wear (and often have).
Women collect jewelry as one of many ways to express their own unique self. Wearing special jewelry that you or a loved one selected just for you makes us feel beautiful and powerful. Personal adornment is a public demonstration of our inner light, giving voice to how we feel and wish to be seen. My jewelry reflects the things that make living worthwhile: friendship, sisterhood, playfulness and love.
It’s my joy and privilege to be a part of this celebration we call life!