‘The Claw’ is a totally unique piece of wearable art by one of Australia’s most talented and iconic jewellery designers Valerie Aked. I purchased this piece from Valerie at an exhibition at Breathing Colours.

Valerie has always enjoyed working with fossils so when found the 17,000 year old fossilized lobster claw at mineral and gem show she knew that she needed to make something extraordinary.

The lobster claw rests on a a black background set in a Stirling silver frame with a 24 ct gold accent and a generous piece of Lapis Lazuli. Valerie uses a length of stainless steel cable to complete the lariat. ‘The Claw’ is genuinely wearable art in that Valerie has created an individually designed piece of expressive art. Wikipedia suggests that “while the making of the wearable object typically involves aesthetic considerations, the term wearable art implies that the work is intended to be accepted as a serious and unique artistic creation or statement”.

‘The Claw’ is $900 including postage. The lariat can sit at various lengths. The setting is 47mm wide and 83mm long at it’s longest point.

Valerie Aked has been a silversmith since 1969. She attended the Walraven Van Heeckeren School of silversmiths in Sydney, NSW, until 1976, and from 1971 to 1978 was a partner in the Argyle Silversmiths Studio Shop at The Rocks in Sydney, a place central to the emerging recognition of the high standard of Australian arts and crafts.

Valerie has exhibited individually and in group exhibitions throughout Australia and Asia as well as Japan, Canada, Germany, and the USA. Her work has also been featured in publications such as Craft Arts International magazine and “Contemporary Jewellery in Australia and New Zealand” by Patricia Anderson, 1999.

Val has taught at many levels since 1980 at the Society of Arts and Crafts, the Enmore College of jewellery design, The McGregor Summer School (Old), and at her own Silver Studio and workshops in Sydney.