Contemporary jewellery has embraced many natural and manmade materials over the years in the pursuit of artistic expression, often questioning many preconceived notions of intrinsic material value. This more objective analytical view of materials can result in some thought provoking and refreshing results.

In February there was a jewellery symposium (Jemposium) held in Wellington discussing materials and ideas in contemporary jewellery. Having had some time to dwell on these themes we have invited a selection of jewellers whose work reflects some of these ideas and who clearly enjoy using and ’transforming’ materials as part of their creative process.


November 6th to December 2nd 2012




1. Ring (from Street Shifts Series) ; Wood, sterling silver, laminate, paint, brass $360

“While walking about the city, Vanessa observes and documents changing spaces – where the fringes of planning unintentionally collide. These moments are translated into jewellery that, like the city, continues to transform over time.”


2. Ring ; 18ct yellow gold wire shank with claw set 1.03ct champagne rectangular octahedron rough diamond $2786

The intrinsic qualities of gold and diamonds make them special materials to do my " thinking in" .
Diamonds are the hardest naturally occurring substance known on earth in their natural rough uncut form they are not considered to be highly valuable. I find them to be at their most beautiful and treat them with as much care and if not more consideration as to how they are set.
Pure gold is the most malleable and ductile of all metals. I have used 18ct gold to make this ring as pure gold is too soft to set stones with.
I have had this diamond for many years and have got it out numerous times then put it away again. This last time a way of holding this oddly shaped stone, came through clearly to me. The gold is part of this process creating a form that holds the stone elegantly, safely and comfortable to wear . My aesthetic is to bring a simplicity of design and the fundamental essence of materials together.


3. Brooch (Urban Metabolism Series) ; cooking oil can and scrap galvanised steel (not for sale)

Iron ore. Extracting smelting alloying rolling forming printing packaging transporting consuming(cooking, eating) discarding collecting cleaning cutting waxing folding wrapping crimping folding wrapping crimping folding wrapping crimping folding . . . Brooch.


4. Fsk Brooch ; Matchsticks, glue, paint, sterling silver, stainless steel $325

These wooden matchsticks were never really matches. They are made for building models. In this model I’m trying to use them as plump tactile brush strokes in a way that leaves their form open for interpretation and play. 1:1 and other scales, ratios, odds and connections.


5. A Very Nice Puddle Pendant ; silicone and pigments $455

For many years I have been working predominantly with one material. With much trial and error I have learnt how to control it in its fluid form and make it behave the way I want it to. Every now and then it teaches me new tricks.
I accidentally made a particularly nice puddle after dripping layers of goo through a plastic bowl that Lisa Walker sent me to play with. I was enchanted with the mixing of colours and the paisley like pattern that had slowly formed one drip after another. Thinking more about this accidental happening, I decided to recreate the procedure on a smaller scale to make a Puddle Brooch. You could say the nature of the material dictated how it was going to turn out.


6. Necklace ; acrylic rod, sterling silver, nylon $980

For this piece I am continuing my obsession with faceted forms with a slightly more ambiguous silhouette. The necklace has been made from acrylic rod cut and drilled into angular components and strung creating a juxtaposition of colour and form. I like the slightly bent imperfect silhouette of the necklace. This combined with the bold colours of the acrylic reminds me of a childhood toy.


7.Tester neckpiece ; newsprint, paint, silver, silk thread, mixed media $455

Choosing colour can be too big a job for me and can put the process of creation on hold. This time I decided to put the whole process of decision making on hold. I purchased a whole new set of 24 different colours and instead of choosing the one I wanted I used them all straight from the tubes in the same order as the box offered them to me. ‘Tester’ is giving the same opportunity as the box of colours. They are the same even though they are very different. The given product becomes analogous keeping the same mechanical rules of order. The machine made is translated into hand made, combining my admiration for minimalism and architectural structure into an adorational object. Breaking the predictability of the line by shifting the thread off-centre is a reminder to recall illogical rules of life as a process. Impossibility to know more than is right now is allowing expression of all forms to be free in their essence.


8. 999 neckpiece ; used vinyl pricetags $275

The piece is made from pricetags of works sold in the last few months from the contemporary jewellery shop I work part-time in.


9.Crystal brooch ; sterling silver, acrylic, paint $750

The construction technique of pinning acrylic together directly influenced the form of Crystal Brooch. It was an interesting exercise in assembly which resulted in a brooch which looks rather icy.


10.Hanging piece The Talisman Series (# 1 Hanging Object) POA

Working mainly in the field of contemporary jeweller my practice to date has been focused on making smaller scale wearable works. I'm interested in how objects may over time be imbued with soul and meaning.
This larger scale work continues this line of thought; expanding the scale to alter the object's relationship to the body, playing with space and material.

ROYAL JEWELLERY STUDIO 486 New North Rd, Kingsland, Auckland, NZ Ph 09 8460200


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