inspired by the unique foliage of the Tasmanian wilderness
It has long been a tendency of mine, as of so many others, to spend time in nature; in movement or in stillness, and always in the spirit of contemplation. It is a place that allows me to take in beauty as if by osmosis; a place to rest one’s mind in the ‘peace of wild things’ (to employ the poetic phrasing of Wendell Berry).
From the simple elegance of a blade of grass to the dendritic complexity of the deciduous beech, my work reflects the natural world in which I find myself.
I work with Tasmanian native flora, most notably fagus beech, myrtle beech, celery top pine, huon pine and bracken fern. Each leaf or twig is individually cast in sterling silver or bronze, and crafted into a piece of jewellery in response to the line, shape and texture of the original form.
The Process of Making
The first step in making a piece cast leaf jewellery is to collect the leaves themselves. Most of the Tasmanian native species I work with, such as the celery top pine, Huon pine, and nothofagus (beech) varieties, exist only in the sub-alpine areas of the Tasmanian forests, from where I collect small batches of leaves every few weeks.
In preparation for the casting process I paint the back of each leaf with melted bee's wax for thickness and strength - the front of the leaf remains untouched. The leaves are then sent to a foundry where they are magically transformed into bronze or sterling silver through a lost wax casting process - a practice of metal fabrication which has existed for over 6000 years - forming a once only rendering of each leaf.
The now metal leaves are then sent back to me, sprues, stems and plaster remnants attached. The results are often surprising - I'm never quite sure what I will be working with over the next few weeks. Each leaf is unique, and each series of designs is an intuitive response to the small groups leaves I collected from the forest just a few days before.
It is a satisfying process that keeps the act of making a creative practice, and reflects a direct relationship with place.
Below are one-off pieces in stock and ready to go.