Sunday, February 26, 2012


Last weekend I did something that I haven't done in quite some time, I headed off to Melbourne to visit some jewellery galleries. I took the train, which was a lovely treat. I am getting a little tired of driving into Melbourne, what with the constant roadworks and crazy fees for parking, the train offers a more relaxing trip, iPod at the ready and a chance to read up on all the exhibitions I fancied checking out.
Anyway, I met up with a dear fellow jewellery friend of mine and set off to soak up the joys of jewellery in Melbourne town.

While we milled around the galleries/shops we saw an obvious theme jumping out at us - GEOMETRIC/FACETTED pieces. They were everywhere, pieces made from wood and painted various colours, silver, gold, resin, porcelain, etc. Some pieces were thoughtfully designed and made, other pieces - hit and miss. 

There are so many benefits for having the world at your fingertips and google at the ready whenever you want. But, it has got me thinking... Are we all just copying each other cause we have run out of ideas? I wonder what all the creatives in the world would produce if they couldn't see what someone else was making? I'm trying to remember what it was like when I first started making jewellery. The internet wasn't as big a deal then, not everyone had access to it and those that did found dial up made it a bit of a chore. Inspiration came from library visits and hanging out in the art section of book shops. European magazines still took a few months to arrive here, so we were always behind. When I was studying jewellery, my uncle came to visit from Germany and brought me a Schmuck magazine and I thought I was in heaven! 

Anyway, with all this super dooper highway, things have certainly changed. I like that it has made it easier to have a chat with someone half way across the globe and to see what creatives are producing over the other side of the world. But, are we (studio based jewellers and object makers) just making jewellery for the masses? Trying to remain 'on-trend'? 

Just something I have been thinking about. 

paper gems from here


  1. I too have been pondering upon this subject. I personally try to be as original as possible drawing inspiration from a number of sources outside of the jewellery world. As an emerging artist the struggle for me if how to make enough bread to have a sustainable practice. It seems to me that maybe the spate of bandwagon makers might be that there is more money to be made in following trends and marketing to the masses.

  2. True Justin, there is more to be made from following the masses! Im not saying its a bad thing to go with whats trendy at the time to make a living. It certainly is difficult to pay the bills when you sell a couple of pieces here and there.
    But, at the end of the day, the joy of making something that comes from your heart far outweighs sitting at the bench and making (for example) 50 pairs of the same earrings!
    I teach, and that helps me to keep afloat (just) and allows me to tinker at the bench. Your work is fabulous! Keep doing what you are doing! Just look at some of the great jewellers of our time, like Warwick Freeman, Bettina speckner, Julie blyfield, etc not following any trends. They didn't always have an audience for their work, but they certainly do now!
    Anyway, enough of my ranting! Glad someone is checking out mt blog every now and then! All the very best Justin.