Barbara Sophia Ulrych grew up in Aspen with two creative European parents, and acquired a passion for color and composition. At an early age, she and her siblings learned a respect for the outdoors and were always outside. Their life was ski racing. The mountains were their playground. Presently, she spends her time in the great outdoors, and works with glassblowers in Murano, Italy.
It was in high school that an art teacher started nurturing more of Barbara Sophia’s artistic talents. At 19, she had her first painting show in Aspen. She went on to receive her BFA with honors from CSU, majoring in Graphics, a minor in Dance, as well as Foreign Languages.
Barbara Sophia had her own Graphics business, Graphics International. In the 80’s she was on the forefront of putting art on wine labels for Europe and Napa Valley. She also did design work for Kodak, Johnson and Johnson, and Samsonite. Her first commission for the children’s line of Ocean Pacific, sparked an interest in working with fabrics.
In 1992 Barbara Sophia started working with natural fibers. She primarily works with silk and fibers such as, organic bamboo, and recently introduced an elegant fabric made from the fiber of organic pineapple. She combines different techniques including Shibori in the preparation of silk fabrics, to come up with a full line of clothing, in addition to luscious Kimonos, and scarves.
Movement, color and nature have always been an important part of Barbara Sophia’s life. She actively services boutiques and galleries in various parts of the country.
In 2006 Barbara began working closely with a couple of glass blowers out of Murano, Italy; designing pieces and assembling them, resulting in her first line of jewelry, Makawalu. She chose to work with Murano glass, as the translucent quality of glass surpasses any other in the world, as well as the range of exquisite colors. The glass blowers of Murano have dedicated their lives to preserving a centuries-old art form. Part of the process consists of hand-forming each single bead on a copper wire, and then dissolving the wire out of the bead. Each bead has 24k white and/or yellow gold encased in it, and may also have aventurine (copper flakes).
Barbara Sophia now has six distinct lines of jewelry. Her handcrafted gifts can be found in boutiques and galleries in the Hawaiian Islands, and the Mainland. Both of her children have developed as wonderful artists themselves. As a family, they are passionate about art as a way of life!