17 December 2012


Cobbled together a Time Machine from Lego bits we had...
( a delorean is pretty lego-esque really!)
The afternoon's conversation:
J: "Doc!!! Is the Time Machine finished yet?
Self: "Almost, Marty, almost!!

7 December 2012

To Scale

Sometimes I think;
 if I draw a horse, say, in a certain way
... then what does the rest of that world look like?
 So here Ive put some of my characters in a world together,
 and then put them to scale, ha ha. 
Whale becomes much bigger!

30 November 2012

Kicking Up Dust

Horse and Foal Pendants kicking up some dust around here.

When I make these I am humming this tune:

27 November 2012

Whale Ring

Whale ring, in stonewashed fine silver

22 November 2012

An Actual Tweet

Experimenting with whistles.
I love that it is a simple object that does something.
Well, Im trying to get them to do something!
The top version is based on a South American quena or notched flute, which to me has a beautiful, slightly husky, slightly broken sound- or as wikipedia puts it a "dark and textured timbre- very unlike the western flute". These are traditionally made from reeds, or anciently, from llama bones.

Not sure what the science is on the angle of the cuts, and so on.
Both of these work well, but not easily. You have to sort of find the right angle to blow. So Ill need to change that. I think the initial delivery of the air needs to be guided and focussed...
It cant be that complicated. I have a clay ocarina that works awesomely- and I assume the maker wouldnt be able to test the wet clay to see if it works, so it must be a set-angle situation, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb...

20 November 2012

Simple Gold Bangle

What was made from the gold rod I was forging in the stone matrix;
Keeping it simple...
18k Gold bangle
This one is made-to-measure for a close fit, so is not circular, but ovoid like a wrist.

19 November 2012

Warwick Freeman in Studio

Interesting studio details:
Bench is a central island.
Monolithic bench pin.
Angle-poise suction/ dust extraction ( see? on left of bench).
Lapis Lazuli-blue walls... and Jasper-red outside...
And what Ive been wanting to ask was partly mentioned;
Does Warwick make any duds/ incomplete sentences?
The studio is a place where the jeweller's works are resolving or dissolving, gestating or put-to-restating sometimes for years;"...a material looking for an idea- or an idea looking for a material..."

16 November 2012

Recycled gold horse pendant

Pendant made from Your Gold
Send me some old jewellery and I transform it.
This time: 3 recycled 14k rings

Something tricky about the design of this pendant was getting it to balance once its hanging on a chain;
because of all the material in the head and the neck, it wants to tip forward!
To solve this problem, I forge the head and neck just a little thinner, place the bail in just the right spot,
and then...
It balances perfectly!

12 November 2012

Stone Matrix

I found myself in need of making a round rod into a half-round section,
that is, flat on the bottom and round on top. So I thought Id try an ancient solution;

carve a matrix into a stone block. 

The stone is basalt, quite hard. I used a chisel and some files to carve a round groove.
These basalt blocks or 'bluestone pitchers'- a common sight in Melbourne where I live, I believe many of them were hewn by convicts ( and bear the broad arrow mark).

This made me remember a fountain here in Melbourne that was hewn from basalt by a prisoner, William Stanford. He was a horse-thief and highwayman, who discovered a talent for masonry while in the clink. Trust me, basalt is not the sculptor's friend! Good story, good story, but I digress....

I think this matrix technique was very common for the ancient smith, I have seen many examples, but couldn't find a good picture to show you.

(Usually this operation would be achieved by a passing the rod through a mechanical roller or by extruding the rod through a half-round draw-plate, but these methods tend to be very consistent in texture and form. (yawn))

So I put the rod in the groove and hammer it in...

the bottom is now flat, and the top is round, but beautifully stone-textured. ( albeit a little dusty!)
It was nice to work outside in the grass and yarrow for a change.

31 October 2012


You've heard of Goldenrod?

Here's the namesake: A Golden Rod.

26 October 2012

Contemplative Reading

Joe said I have to put the Time Machine in the pictures.
He was very insistant
"Coz yow books is borwing"

23 October 2012

Unexpected Visitor

My new apprentice?
I had to lure her out with a trail of bread...

22 October 2012


This is the biggest Aster Ive made so far, painted steel, about 3 feet across.
That might not seem so big, but usually they are earrings...

20 October 2012


Dad gets his portrait painted

19 October 2012

Noo / Auld Ulno

Slightly different Ulno Bangle.
Made from gold and an 80-year-old bicycle spoke.
This older iron is blacker
and gooder.

16 October 2012

Combs and Company at Creatures of Comfort

Su Wu of I'm Revolting curates an amazing swag of stuff!
WHERE: Creatures of Comfort LA, 7971 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
WHEN: October 20 to November 10, 2012.
OPENING RECEPTION: 5-8 p.m., Oct. 20

10 October 2012


Many years ago, my Dad and my Grandpa built this barn.
I like the log posts and ferro-cement walls. Looks like wattle and daub.
(that too-short barge-roll is bugging me though)
There are bats roosting inside.

9 October 2012

The Shape of Procrastination

Black Coffee: check
Water: check
Hey this hexagonal tumbler fits beside my bench anvil...
Hmm, lets get some more symmetry; reorganise pliers from big to small...
("always be Knolling" as Tom Sachs would say)
Take a photo... post on blog...
OK, enough procrastination already!!

3 October 2012

(|||||||||||||||||||||||||||More Combs|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||)

 Another comb, another permutation of the ingredients, this time; forged surface and chiselled dip.

2 October 2012


Nearly there...
This comb has a forged dip on both sides- I did this after the tines were cut, so it was tricky to control the displacement of the metal without contorting the straight tines.
A different methodology would be wiser. ( forge first, then cut?)
But I'm feeling my way.
Possibly this form and texture could have been achieved more easily by casting techniques, but this thing is all made with saws and hammers folks.
Perhaps I'll make a silver version if anyone wants one.
I like this one, it feels really good in the hand.
It's asking you to take it on a long journey.

25 September 2012

Combs being made.

Work in progress; Im trying to strike a pleasing contrast between regular/ irregular - playing off the neat tines against a 'roughly hewn' dip. (I used a scooped chisel for that bit.) Its not easy. Feeling my way...

24 September 2012

Go Native

I never tire of making these- Native gold wedding ring. It is really like some hunk of lightning or blob of sunlight. Same material and method as the Goodness ring.

22 September 2012


The girls gave Kylie the full hipster look.
She was like, whatever.

21 September 2012

Smile ~ Frown

We hacked our way through the dense jungle...

until at last we uncovered the lost Concrete Man.

Experts have dated him to the late 80's period, believing the style to be related to that of the
 'Ugly-Biffer Head', made by the native Snuggery people, c.1988. Although the figuration has no dynamism, note the beguilling "smile-frown".

After 25 long years festooned with vines, we dragged him out into the sun.
It is feared that contemporary inhabitants of the Snuggery lands will place little value on the Concrete Man, so conservationists have recommended relocation.

16 September 2012

Space / Strawb

This strawberry seems to have extruded itself through space- Like a Tony Cragg strawberry?

Red Square, Tony Cragg

4 September 2012

Horse Pendant

Blackened silver Horse pendant.

27 August 2012

Wall Hangings

These are some fun wall hangings that I made, now installed in the Pieces of Eight window- and a monolithic sort of window it is too... ( if that word makes any sense in the context of a window!)
Ive made them from very thin steel sheet, on which I have enscribed lettering, and then painted.

Some say it looks like paper- perhaps I will gold-plate the next set (!) and then you will know- ahh, this is metal!
Actually the metal is only about 0.3mm thick - which is pretty hard to get in this town (I was laughed at when I asked around).

I'm using the same techniques here that Ive been using for my Aster earrings for a long time- but the scale is much bigger and the metal behaves very differently... quite a challenge, and so has sparked an interest in making bigger objects.
I'm imagining my Colour Fold jewellery, but big. Yeah. About as big as a person...

My jewellery exhibition; Love Letters, at Pieces of Eight, finishes next weekend...

22 August 2012

Foal Pendant

 'Foal' pendant in 18k gold. He gets a bit patchy from the flames, kind of like a cool Indian horse...

But then he gets a wash in warm citric, and the lustre of the gold really glows.
Ive used those over-sized rings to articulate the legs, so's he can gambol and gallop. They're pretty clunky- to give that sort of appealing awkwardness.
I made a special stamp for the eye, and to make the mane and tail details, I get an old jeweller's file and strike its pattern on with a hammer!
I try to make it really basic and gutsy. Blobs of solder are visible- there's no erasure of the processes.
I think this way of working is risky- it can turn out too grungy, or just unskilled... but if I can master it, I believe it to be the best, most expressive and appealing.
Working with figurative subjects is risky too- its like a tightrope where you can fall off into twee-ness really easily. Sometimes I do get it right. Cute, but slightly gnarly too.
Now available at Pieces Of Eight in Melbourne town.