Sunday, November 8, 2009


Lace ring, silver nickel

After many broken saw-blades later and washing the nickel filings out of cuts on my hand, I think yes, next time I'll keep a record of how many hours, cuts and broken blades it takes me to saw-pierce a length of metal into lace. Though it was very much worth it and I am happy with the result. This piece was inspired by my childhood and the frilly, lacy, puffy meringue sleeve party dresses I adored in my hey-day as little girl. I finished off to a high shine as that was the sort of thing I loved and marveled at as a child and would have definitely considered it princess couture!

a close up..

As the lace saw-piercing gave the ring all its detail, I want the form and line to quite simple, and resemble the way real fabric lace falls and tumbles.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Hunter's Thistle

My latest work has begun with a beautifully dangerous, dried thistle, found in the terrain of the Hunter Valley. It's thorns cause much injury to those that try to break through its harsh exterior, proving well as a defense mechanism that protects its precious seeds inside, that rest on silken beds. I have taken these thistle defenses and interpreted them into a metaphor for the fragility of the human heart, and our attempts to often guard its inner contents so closely, we can set up such painful defenses, potentially hurting those that may try to get through. More so, we tend to defend and protect our own heart from ourselves, we can become our own worst enemy.

This is a picture of the delicate framework of the the inside of the thistle. It appears almost vein-like.

I managed to also cut-off individual thistle thorns and get them cast in silver. It was exciting to see how every single little beautiful detail of the lines and crevices on the surface have come out perfectly.

I took these cast thorns and soldered them into a silver, heat-treated white ring. Inverting the thistles to make them appear more floral rather than like thorns, I wanted to convey the message that even the most painful ordeals of life can become a hopeful, beautiful occurrence.

Painful Beauty, silver, cast thistle thorns

Here's a close up of the ring on the body..

I took another cast thistle thorn and placed it inside the vessel of the thistle head, in the place of a natural one. By changing the material, I feel I have changed the context of a dry, harsh element of a thistle, into a beautiful, precious and valued object.

Vessel, dried thistle, cast thistle thorn

The thistle as vessel, houses a heart-shaped locket, that in turn holds the seeds that were enclosed in the thistle head.

The heart locket can be worn on its own..

or can slot into the thistle vessel and is worn as a unit...

I cut another section of thistle to set in a bezel of a silver nickel ring.

Emotional Armour, dried thistle, silver nickel

I cut out the bottom of the ring to expose the thistle's soft underbelly, so the wearer has access feel the silky underside.

On the body..

I really enjoyed working on these pieces and would like to develop it further. I think one of the great things about working with objects from nature is that they each have their own individual characteristics in terms of their material and it is always new to discover how to work with what they are. In this series in particular, the thistle's harsh but delicately brittle nature resulted in having to handle the material in such a way as to not break the thistle and to not be hurt by it at the same time. Perhaps another metaphor that strengthens the work's overall concept.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


A very favourite class of mine - Jewellery for Fashion. We recently finished our first pieces of the semester. Our Brief: to create cover pieces inspired by a particular designer, to be shot and produced on magazine mock ups. Here's what we're made of:

Josh wears Alexander McQueen inspired neck piece by Jimmy Le, balsa wood and brass

Joel wears Romance Was Born inspired piece by Genesis M, hand-dyed stockings, polystyrene foam, copper.

Andy wears head piece by Ayesha Nicholson-Black, Muslin, silver

Andy wears kite tail piece by Andrea Santoso, organza and tiger tail.
Dress by Basque

Andy wears Sass & Bide inspired arm piece by Alanna Crossman, Copper, Natural fibres

Photography Jimmy Le
Styling and Directing Genesis M


Location COFA Photomedia Studios, Paddington

Kennedy kills it

I have come across a contemporary jewellery artist whose diverse range of work has struck a cord with me. Sheridan Kennedy's inspiration stems from a world of journeys, maps, creatures of the deep, insects, archeology, anthropology, imagination. The capturing of objects in unexpected contexts. The organic and the mechanic. The kinetic. She continues to explore new tales within jewellery, blending the artistic with the wearable, with just the right dosage of each to create stunning and utilitarian pieces.
Some of Sheridan's work:

Aqualia Collection.

Specious Voyages

Specious Curios

'Good judgment, is the result of experience and experience, is the result of bad judgement' - anon.

And so, the idea of a sample can save you much grief and bad judgment - but at the same time a lot of experience. This is quite handy in the making of jewellery. I recently conducted a series of samples on copper sheet squares to assist in achieving desired textures and markings for an up and coming project. Check 'em out!

Codral blister pack, roll milled

Planishing hammer - note varying sizes and hammer blows achieve a broad range of results!

Paper stencil, roll milled

Paper clips wrapped in Wrigley's gum cardboard, roll milled

Sandpaper cut-out stencil, roll milled

Binding wire, wrapped in paper, roll milled (Note! always wrap steel objects in paper before roll milling - steel should never touch steel in the making of jewellery!)

Nail Enamel! This one was fun - different colours swirled together. The consistency of nail enamel allows colours to 'swirl' instead of blend. Also, higher quality nail enamel tends to achieve better results.

I've just completed the piece for which these samples were intended. Photos coming soon!


My first exhibition! Both my works previously posted, Wilberforce (2009) and Warm-blooded (2009) were both accepted in COFA's annual Dissonance exhibition at Kudos Gallery. The exhibition, put on by the College of Fine Arts Women’s Collective provides an alternative platform for feminist discourse and aims to represent the diverse influences that characterises feminism in art. It was a rush to feel my work had been considered exhibition standard, to be seen by the general public. Thanks to all the girls who put the show together.

...I used an Oak branch with notches to display Wilberforce

..Warm-blooded on its heat bag

Hold me

This is a work produced last semester also. Playing with the idea of scale and miniatures and an object's intimacy with the body, I created a giant kidney bean. Consisting of two hydraulic press halves with a sheet of metal soldered in between, a hollow form was created, silver-plated and a tuft of red silk pokes out of its orifice. I wanted the viewer, (or the holder more so) to experience this object as through touch and heat. I used a heat bag to warm the metal before placing the object on different parts of the body. Cupped in two hands, in the small of the back and under the neck. The object created responses of comfort and warmth. A positive energy. I thought back to what inspired this work and figured it most probably stems from my work with Dementia patients and their need for enhanced sensory stimulation through Diversional Therapy activities.

Warm-blooded, silver-plated copper, silk. 2009.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Adding a ring to it.

Sorry about the false start. I set up this blog then didn't post for a while. I guess I'll start off with this piece I finished last semester. This ring was in response to the significance of my childhood experiences of a place I often visited growing up. My Opa (grandfather) planted thousands of Oak trees on this property after migrating from Germany. Our family's horses now occupy the area.

Wilberforce Ring, 2009, nickel silver, copper, horse hair

The piece was created from forming a dome that was then hammer textured and burnished. Copper wire formed the acorn cap sprig and horse hair was sewn into the centre as a nest.

here's some close ups..

some supporting material..

Twig Ring, 2009, cast silver.

Carved from wax and cast in silver, I uses a dipping process of sulpher, ammonia and bi-carb to achieve the colouring on the surface.

Oak Leaf, 2009, brooch, nickel silver

Roll milled with a paper stencil, this brooch was saw-pierced to create it's veins.