How did you come to making?
Making came to me when I made the space for it. After studying engineering in Sydney I moved to Darwin where I had my ‘gap years’. It was there that I began to explore making stuff with a variety of found objects and materials. On moving to Melbourne in 1992 I decided it was time to engage in formal study. I completed my undergrad in Jewellery and Metals at Monash in 1995 and more recently (2012) I completed an MFA also at Monash. Since around 2000 my work has focused primarily on vessels.
What draws you to the vessel?
My practice for the last fifteen or so years has almost exclusively involved making vessels in various metals. The vessel interests me as an object for various reasons; its volume and surface provides a multitude of sites for exploration with material, process and decoration. It is also an object that is at the center of what it means to be human - it is one of the earliest objects made by human hands and has since been important for human survival. It is also an object at the center of traditional silversmithing practice and it allows me to explore the traditions of this practice through traditional and non-traditional craft, industrial and digital processes, often coming together in the one piece.
What links the works in this exhibition?
The works in Fixing the Unbroken are linked by the makers’ common desire, in their own ways, to make silversmithing relevant in contemporary craft practice. Each artist, by the processes, techniques and materials that they explore, break the rules of traditional silversmithing; David combines salt or lead with silver, Peter pours two molten metals simultaneously, and my own seams result from collisions of various analogue and digital processes.
Does function have a place in this work?
Function is not a primary concern in my work but I am certainly working with a vocabulary that is rooted in a language of functionality and decoration. These are the elements, together with skill, that are primary concerns in the traditional silver object. My intention is to work with this language expressed through process and material.
How would you describe your making process?
Firstly I am interested in objects that say something about the process by which they were made. In my practice my aim is to somehow allow the process of making to exert its influence on the objects final form and appearance. This might manifest as the hammer marks and creasing from the raising process, the visible seems where components have been joined or the heavy oxidation that is a result of the material’s exposure to the high temperatures of welding or casting.