Current obsessions 2

Quite apart from all the jewellery, Handshake has spawned some great T-shirts:


(quick, head over to The Shop for yours). I’ve joked that I need one that says:


and I should wear it all the time. At home, on my run, at work, at the studio, in meetings, on date nights, out and about, in bed; who knows when I might encounter the Thing that will chime with the Other Thing I encountered and together they will spark THE Thing.

So here are some more seemingly random things that are feeding me and that may surface at some point. Or, not.


For a jeweller I sure am hung up on vessels. There’s a sweet show on at Te Papa; Inspired; ceramics and jewellery shaped by the past. I was lured by the jewellery, but once there was held in thrall by the ceramics. Ann Verdcourt makes for a great Tetra Pak skyline:

20160426_152917 cropped

Luscious forms from Ancient Egypt, Artist unknown 4000 – 1069 BCE:


Then there’s this repaired-but-incomplete Greek calyx crater (Artist unknown 400-375 BCE):

vessel broken rim

And this munted stack of 3 fused bowls:

vessel broken 4

waster lge

waster label

Artist unknown + Serendipity = Golden.

Which brings me to…

Radiance (I know, always with the gold…)

Gold light, reflected light, the buttercup-under-the-chin effect. This:


This, on my run:


This, from a Facebook share (thank you Rebekah Frank):


This morning sun reflection of our building’s windows thrown onto the building next door:

radiance 2

This op shop book bounty:

radiant book

And this utter loveliness from the sublime Manfred Bischoff:


(It’s his lovesong to Piero della Francesca’s Madonna del Parto, 1467:)


Why? Why the gold obsession?

In March I attended a Massey presentation by a representative of the Manetti Gold Leaf factory in Florence. The invitation featured the spectacularly restored Hall of Mirrors in Versailles:)

manetti image

and the talk opened with: Why do we love gold?

Scarcity, yes (all that has ever been excavated would form a 20m cube). But aside from that – it’s the shimmer that is our downfall.

Apparently, the unique shine is down to the single electron that circles the molecule, throwing light back at us and giving the impression that the metal is alive.

So, basically, we can’t help ourselves…

Thrillingly, there is an architectural restoration project in Auckland that involves gilding a ceiling:

gold ceiling 1

gold ceiling 2

You can read about the project here.

Exhibitions I’ve never seen

Some of the jewellery shows that have made the biggest impressions on me are shows I have never seen.

One is Kirsten Haydon’s  Reflections of Ice, a response to the experience of exploring Shackleton’s hut in Antarctica. It was shown in a dark room – viewers were given torches:


Another is Ruudt Peters’ Ouroboros, at Marzee in 1994. Works were affixed to the rafters of the gallery – viewers were offered ladders:


(Photo: Winnifred Limburg)

Genius both. I know these shows by images and by description, and it feels as if I have seen them.

Early in our correspondence, Liesbeth wrote me this account of a visit she made to a show by Germaine Kruip. It’s quite long, but worth a read. Again, I feel as if I experienced this myself.

And although it’s not a jewellery show, there is an intimacy in the experience that speaks to me of jewelleryness…

email Liesbeth to Sarah: Today we visited an installation at the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam, Oude Kerk means Old Church, and it is indeed the oldest church in the city, about 800 years old. Germaine Kruip made an installation that was not very visual, and not spectacular at all. Instead it was totally minimal and more about reduction than adding things. By very minimal interventions she wants the visitor to experience the room in another way. You can say she works with time and space. An important intervention is putting off all electric light so that only daylight enters the space – of course it changes during the day in a very natural way, and it gives an idea of how people in the 13th or 14th century would have experienced this space…. The most impressive part was the performance A Square, of about 20 minutes. It is a walk, one to one with an actor, who first just takes you in the church and walks quietly a square with you, and then starts a monologue about the square, the meaning of the square and the importance of the square (for instance: a circle is to be found in nature, but the square is the most perfect human made form). The text is written by the artist, and is composed of quotes from philosophers, religions, scientists and artists.

It has to do with a spiritual awareness of the architecture, and the performance is informed by the belief that the Old Church is a pilgrimage site for devotees of the Golden Ratio.  The church’s design would have followed the strict rules of symmetry.

I found it a great experience – especially to be taken by someone on a walk without knowing what to expect and knowing that this actor is only there for you, talks to you without expecting you to answer. You listen, you understand only half of what she tells you, you recognize some Mondriaan in it, and some suprematism and Malewitch , but it is just this intimate effect of having someone who tells a lot about the square as if she is telling secrets, only for your ears. Very special and very nice.





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