The first piece of metalwork jewellery I designed and made – a fish pendant in sterling silver and anodised titanium (1994).
It was way back in 1992 that I spotted a piece of jewellery in a shop which really intrigued me in terms of its construction.
It was a necklace which was eye-catching (but fairly ‘chunky and clunky’ as things were back then!) and made from wire which wrapped discs of coloured glass.
When I got home I kept thinking about how it was made.
Soon after I bought some wire, pliers and glass and started experimenting with ways to put the materials together and turn them into something wearable.
Soon enough I became hooked on the idea of making contemporary jewellery and was very keen to learn more!
Making a start
Initially I made very simple pieces using wire wrapping, beads and manufactured components. I made mostly for my own enjoyment, but also started selling pieces at markets in Adelaide, South Australia.
Back then I was working in the music industry, but was unhappy and looking for a new direction. After making very simple jewellery for a year or so I made a decision to pursue this work more seriously and learn to make ‘real’ jewellery.
Getting an education
I resigned from my job and started full time study in 1994, when I began a Visual Arts diploma with a Jewellery major at a technical college in Adelaide.
During my first year of study I learnt an incredible amount in terms of the core technical skills I use to this day. At the end of that year I was very proud to be presented with The Most Outstanding Jewellery Student award at my college.
Leaving the country
After another period of full time study the following year, I decided to go to London, where I lived for a couple of years.
While there I was only able to do a minimal amount of jewellery making with a few tools, but I was able to soak up a lot of ideas and inspiration.
Eventually I returned to Australia with the intention of continuing my studies.
* * *
Read part two of my jewellery making history.
In the interim don’t forget to check out my 20 years, 20 pieces, 20% off jewellery range which is on sale for September only.
Learn more about the 20th anniversary celebrations and how you can get involved!