Utilising self taught techniques and those learned from the late Chris Nelson of Colorado, my work in iron, low carbon steel and gold is an exercise in questioning notions of fragility, strength, beauty and value. The combination of fused gold to steel, and deep heat patinas is utterly unique. Fusion of gold and steel is incredibly difficult and practiced by only a handful of artisans across the globe.
The value of gold, in particular as a medium for jewelry, has always perplexed me. Using salt water relief etching, materials such as handmade lace, emu feathers and other organic materials form the basis of my deeply textured metal work. In life, the people who are most fragile often have the most strength in response to the traumatic experiences that have been inflicted on them. Re-presenting these materials with those associated with strength (iron and steel) and those associated with value (18, 22 and 24 karat gold )allows the viewer or wearer to engage with them from a different perspective and challenge pre-concieved notions of value, strength, tenacity and beauty.
The process is involved, organic and far less controlled than traditional jewelry making. Each piece is unique: forged from steel, salt water, fire and shaped by my own hands. Each piece references aspects of our land, sky and waterscapes and encourages the wearer/ viewer to interrogate their own relationships with the world we inhabit.