Handmade Jewellery: OOAK Oriental Style Glass Jade and Silver

Handmade jewellery can reflect many of the characteristics described in the Wearable Arts section.

The contemporary handmade jewellery at Breathing Colours is unique and beautifully finished. Our artists have mastered their technical jewellery design skills and their creative vision. Contemporary jewellers are genuinely only limited by their imaginations in that available techniques, materials & tools are abundant and are emerging all the time.

For example, the world of metals has exploded with the creation of metal clays. Mitsubishi started the trend by creating silver Precious Metal Clay or PMC which comes in block form, paste and paper. It is a silver clay which can be moulded, cut, carved or painted on to another surface. Once dry PMC is fired and the clay binder burns off leaving the creation in 99.9% fine silver. Mitsubishi has now extended their range of clays.

Hadar Jacobsen took up the challenge and has manufactured a range of base metal clays including copper, bronz, Stirling silver, pearl grey steel and rose. A number of these clays can be used in one piece of jewellery.

Another recent invention is Faux Bone, a non-toxic PVC, invented by Robert Dancik which can be cut, burnt, bent, riveted, knotted, hammered, drilled, coloured and scratched.

Unique Jewellery Ideas

Designers have also reinvigorated traditional materials to achieve contemporary jewellery design. Resin is now used to create jewellery in any wearable shape & the wide array of dyes means jewellery in both fashionable & traditional colours. Knotting, knitting, crochet and bead weaving have extended way past macramé and lace doilies.

New techniques in electroforming and electroplating are leading to unique jewellery pieces using gold gum nuts, gold coils of string, shells, card board, and wire mesh – anything that is firm enough to be coated in graphite and electroformed.

Then there’s polymer clay, fibre, fabric, old tins, wire, sheet metal, beads and gems, anodised titanium, painted aluminium etc etc. There really is no end of possibilities.

This explosion of materials & techniques has led to the emergence of multimedia jewellery designers who combine several materials and techniques to come up with unique ideas.

One constant in the world of handmade jewellery is that pieces must be well made and finished. Artists need to have mastered their technical jewellery design skills and their capacity to achieve their creative visions. While focused on Australian designers, Breathing Colours proudly represents the work of a few overseas artists. For example, the work of Kristin Lora, one of the artists represented at Breathing Colours has been described as ingenious. It’s a terrific word for conveying the achievement of something uncommon & delightful that amazes the wearer.

Chinese Knotted Leather Pendant