How did you come to making?
Serendipitous story. I met up with an old school friend when I arrived in Australia in the early 1970s - in Perth actually – I was returning from some youthful OE in Europe and got a boat from Asia to Perth. We were both at a loose end and he said we should make jewellery. My friend knew a bit from living next door to a Danish silversmith in Nelson New Zealand where we grew up. He knew enough to get me started and I stumbled along from there. But I always thought I’d find something else to do – making art, but I wasn’t set on it being jewellery – still not that sure it was the right choice.
Do you have a favourite material to work with?
I’d like to say I hate them all equally but they come in and out of favour. I’m not one of those makers in love with their material. I put up with their limits as materials because of what they promise to deliver. And for some of them that can be remarkable and beautiful stuff. Just as a maker I am often dealing with their uncooperative, contrary qualities as well.
How would you describe your working process?
Inefficient. You know I was thinking about this when I was making the work for my current show at Gallery Funaki. Why after all these years do I have to make something before I know what it looks like? As a working process that results in a high reject rate. Apart from it being the only working process I know, I tolerate it because, you never know, it might be useful somewhere else. It might not work his time but I’ve seen enough ideas get a second wind given time or another purpose.
Do you have a favourite jewellery moment?
I live off small moments of rightness - that turned out right - that looks right on that person. Jewellery plays for small stakes but when it gets it ‘right’ it really can be up there with anything else we produce.
As makers In the contemporary jewellery scene we talk a lot around the work’s ‘moment’ being something conceptual, technical, or about its relationship to artistic culture. But less often I hear the question - is it good jewellery?
I don’t always make good jewellery but if I have a ‘favourite moment’ it’s when I get the answer to that question right.