Friday, June 6, 2014

'Conversations with Worn Objects' Blog Series - Anna

I have known Anna for many years, in fact she was the year ahead of me at RMIT. We became friends after graduating. I wear a pair of hoop earrings Anna made almost every day. I have great respect for her as a jeweller and as a friend.

1. Why did you choose this particular piece of jewellery?

I loved it on sight.
Kath showed it to me in her studio one day. At this point it didn’t have any stones in it, and she insisted if it was to be mine that it have red rubies and pink sapphires in it for “my heart chakra”. I was ok with this, so long as the stones were set underneath the three gold lobes. At this stage, I didn’t care much for stones, but pink and red are my favourite colours so it felt right. It was to be my first piece of gold jewellery.
It came out so beautifully, and to have a glimpse of pink and red on my hand from the stones when I’m doing something as banal as driving to the supermarket is very special. It looks particularly amazing under water when the light catches the pink and red.
Kath gave me the second ring which nestles into the first a year or so later out of the blue, for no occasion in particular.

2. Tell me about the experience of wearing this piece?

I wear the two rings everyday. I’ve come into mischief when I don’t- I find I misplace things too easily.
I did loose the lucky ring for a while when I was living at a wildlife shelter in the country. I was gardening and a magpie nicked it off a table and flew off. I felt sick, I thought it would be the last I saw of it. The magpie was a released bird from the shelter, so we were able to check a few favourite haunts, but nothing turned up. Around a month later, I noticed one of the gold lobes peeking out of the ground, it had been trodden into the path near the house. I dug it up and I’ve rarely taken it off since.
I only remove it to show my students, or people that comment on how beautiful they are- I want them to turn it over in their hands and to see the stones.

Sometimes, I stack another couple of rings with them.  Two stainless steel rings I made a few years back. (I reason with myself that it’s good to wear my own work sometimes…) They are very different to Kaths rings, but they work together as a foursome somehow. I tend to  tire of mine after a week or so and remove them. Kath’s are a permanent fixture, worn everyday and night.
Kath’s fingerprints and makers mark have burnished out of the back of both bands after so many years of constant wear. My fingers have a permanent indent in them too, so they have a home.

3. What story does the jewellery piece tell, what is its significance to you?

To me it was significant that Kath called this ring the lucky ring. I was going through a difficult time when I received these rings. I felt anything but lucky. It’s a reminder that someone was looking out for me, and it helped tremendously. They also speak of the friendship, generosity and kindness of the maker. Kath has always been a great inspiration to me- both in her practice and how she lives her life.
And they remind me that magpies are naughty.

4. What about my practice drew you to commission your piece?

Not only do I love Kath’s aesthetic, but her process of making is so thoughtful and quiet and beautiful. I had the chance to often see Kath finishing up orders or commission pieces and the way in which she attends to each piece and sends them on their way into the world was a huge eye-opener to me. It was worlds apart from my own frantic way of working….I believe you can sense this in the work.