our craftmakers . handcrafted gold & silver jewellery
Valerie Aked . gold & silversmith
I enjoy working towards a series of theme based pieces. I experiment constantly with various techniques and have a continuing interest in making my own Mokume-gane by the fusion of different metals.
I also have an interest in plique-a-jour enamelling.
I have taught at many levels, the Enmore College of Jewellery Design, The McGregor Summer School (Qld), and at my own Silver Studio and workshops in Sydney. I have given workshops for 'Arts West' in Queensland also taught Enamel at Randwick TAFE, Jewellery Design. I have received many commissions including an Ear Trumpet in sterling silver and horn from Percy Marks, Jewellers. I am represented in the Australian National Gallery, Canberra, and The Power House Museum, Sydney.
Rosanne Antico-Hall . jeweller
I love the challenge of working with metal and precious stones. Being a jeweller is akin to being an alchemist, 'magic made with metal'.
I mainly make one-off pieces, though sometimes I work in series based on a theme. I hate repetition so I always try and do something a bit different from the last. Having learnt many techniques I enjoy experimenting and pushing my skills. Many of my pieces have definite sculptural qualities and sometimes I make larger sculptural work.
Ksenija Benko . silversmithing & jewellery
Many years ago I found a hobby which developed into a passion, as there are so many facets of it to be mastered. Having also been introduced to enamelling, I sometimes incorporate enamels, as gems, in my designs.
I always loved working with shells and keep coming back to them, their beauty enhanced by a simple understated setting. Paua shell appeals to me for its reminder of the sea in the Whitsunday Passage.
Brenda Coleman . jeweller & glass artist
I use precious metals to construct fine jewellery often incorporating hand-made glass beads, precious and semi-precious gem stones. In addition to forging and shaping the metal.
I make my own moulds and precious metal castings from natural found objects (eg sea urchins, shells and gum nuts) and use these to construct pieces of jewellery. I also carve wood and fossil mammoth ivory for use in my jewellery. My main source of inspiration is the natural world, but gem stones, and colour and the shapes created by man also fire my imagination.
I have attended classes and workshops with numerous wonderful and talented teachers but have had no formal training as a jeweller. I have taught glass bead making and basic jewellery techniques at various venues in Sydney but am present am just enjoying creating beautiful pieces.
Margaret Conway . silversmith & jeweller
I started making jewellery about 25 years ago and still enjoy it. I like to see what can be produced from the raw materials, and when creative, I do not draw, but work directly with the metal.
I presently teach Adult Education classes at Chatswood Evening College, where I enjoy seeing students thrill to what they are able to achieve. There are so many facets to handmade jewellery which fascinate me and which I am keen to learn more about to advance my own expertise. Every year for the last twelve years I have been awarded a prize at the Wyong Art Festival.
Carolyn Delzoppo . cloisonne enamel jewellery
I am a miniaturist and I believe that small is beautiful. I am interested in pattern, fine detail and colour. The traditional technique of cloisonne enamel offers the opportunity to use these elements to create wearable miniature artworks.
I have been an enameller for 25 years and have exhibited my work all over the world. I have won international awards in the US and Japan, and my work is represented in collections in Australia and overseas.
Enamelling is a process of fusing specially formulated coloured glass to metal by means of heat. The ground glass is applied in thin layers, and each layer is fired at around 820 degrees, before proceeding with the next. It requires five or six firings to obtain the subtlety of gradation of tone and colour in the designs. After the piece is filled, the surface is then ground until smooth, and then fired for the last time to obtain a glossy vitreous finish. The cloisonne technique of enamelling is easily identified by the characteristic lines of metal that make up the design.
June Higgs . sterling silver
I commenced working with silver in 1963. My objective is to create excellent design using Australian motifs and to produce articles which promote Australia to overseas purchasers.
Maret Kalmar . silversmith
I was born in Tallin, Estonia, and migrated with my family to Australia as a young child. Since childhood I had been strongly influenced by Estonian born silversmith Niina Ots.
Nina created works using Australian semi-precious stones. She often used river stones in her silver jewellery. I consider that my work has been shaped by my European heritage and by my experiences in Australia. I synthesise this heritage and experience with materials of various origin and composition, to create silver pieces using precious stones or stones collected from the field or the beach, or small sculptures collected in my travels to other countries.
I have participated in various local and private exhibitions and my works feature in several private collections.
Ruth Kerrison . silversmith
Creating jewellery in metal offers a twofold challenge for me. The first is to take a hard, cold, static metal and give it a feeling of lightness, warmth and movement.
Working with stones and metal offers limitless possibilities and the process this involves is the second challenge.
My focus is now directed towards gold as well as silver jewellery with an emphasis on 'natural forms' incorporating semi-precious 'picture' stones. It is satisfying when my work is sold overseas to help promote Australian craft.
Robin Phillips . designer jeweller
I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in the USA in 1973 majoring in pottery. After moving to Sydney I studied under a master jeweller and made the transition to jewellery design and making.
Colour, texture and three-dimensional form were what initially drew me to work with clay and it is these same qualities that translate so well to metal. Although these mediums have inherent differences, both lend themselves to fluidity of form.
Natural imagery such as landscapes, light, movement, organic shapes and simplicity of form continually inspire my work. I enjoy designing and creating my jewellery around a specific theme or stone, and often the stone dictates the direction the piece will take. Using a combination of gold and silver adds depth and dimension, enhancing style and simplicity.
Living in Australia allows me access to exquisite opals and pearls which I love using in my jewellery. Many of the pieces I make are one of a kind and I am always changing my designs as I become bored making the same thing over and over.
Cynthia Retter . jewellery & lapidary
At the age of five I wanted to be an artist and would like to thank all those who helped me along the way. While at school I attended the Julian Ashton Art School's weekend workshops for two years.
After leaving school, I went to East Sydney Technical College and studied Commercial Art, won a scholarship and passed with distinction. I then freelanced for John Sands and Trinity House, designing greeting cards.
In 1970 I learned jewellery making and within a year I had a full time hobby and won competitions with lapidary combined with silver and gold jewellery. I have been specialising in lost wax casting since 1972.
Michael Ripoll . silversmith
I'm fascinated by the 'magic' of turning a flat, lifeless sheet of silver into a 3-dimensional (more) alive object. I also have an interest in symbols and markings on walls. Some of the symbols I use in my pieces have existed for a long time.
Some symbols I've made up and some I can't be sure of - they're just in my head, almost by serendipity - fragments or half remembered memories. I'm beginning to add colour to my pieces and am experimenting with glass-on-metal. I am also starting to make the working process visible on the silver - the hammer blows, the irregularities of the anvil, the strokes of the file, even the small imperfections of the working surface. I'm striving towards what I would call a more honest, personal jewellery that hopefully will mean something to the wearer.
Elizabeth Spence . silversmith
I have always admired the beauty of precious stones and minerals and have been fascinated by the skill and artistry shown by the jewellers of old. Fifteen years ago, I was given the opportunity to learn some of these skills when I joined Valerie Aked's workshop.
I have always loved working with my hands and have found working with metals the most challenging and rewarding of all. Fifteen years later, I am still trying to master some advanced technicalities of the craft.
I am still working at Valerie Aked's Silver Studio and have shown my work at a number of Craft shows. I am expanding my skills by attending lectures and workshops by a number of well-known silversmiths.
Linda Vaculik . jewellery
Living in San Francisco in the early 1970's led to a desire to design unusual jewellery. Shapes and textures excite me and when I moved to Sydney, I decided to join a class.
I am excited by the adaptability of metal and find inspiration through many things: architecture, patterns on rocks, unusual gemstones for instance.