Goldsmith turned sculptor, Caroline trained in her native Germany as a goldsmith (journeyman) and jewellery designer, and has specialised in repoussage. The introduction of wood as an additional medium to her work enabled a gradual transition from jewellery, to decorative art, to sculpture. Caroline’s childhood preoccupation with making characters re-emerged – first in the form of carved heads – then the full figure. The combination of carved wood and repoussé metal lay at the heart of her MA research.
More recently her larger figures have been made of plaster and hay or straw, while the smallest figures are created from porcelain. A balance of imagination and observation are evident in all of Caroline’s sculptures. Carrying over skills from one media to the next, and even misappropriating kitchen tools, has been at the core of the journey until now.
Caroline Matthaei is one of Design-Nation’s Fellows.