News and Exhibitions

Another fun commission! The requirement for this engagement ring was to design a unique ring made of 18ct yellow gold, fine wire to be used for the ring and featuring pearl that comes from Australia. My client, her partner and I went for pearl shopping and she has chosen this beautiful Keshi pearl from Western Australia!
Once I had the pearl I got onto designing. Two wires forming a ring represent two lives forming one and two granules together with one precious pearl represent a family of three. As the beauty of the pearl is so striking, my client asked me to leave it exposed as much as possible. For the security, I have expended an “arm” over the pearl and riveted it to one of the granules. This way if in the future any repairs are required, pearl can be relatively easily removed and set back in position again.

This is how it went….

Initial design sketches don’t look always amazing and the client doesn’t get to see them at this stage. These are for me. Quick sketch helps me to realise an idea and its form quickly. Often I also make quick paper mock up to see the form (but not in this case).

Three ideas that I think work the best are sketched in bit more detail and presented to the client. The client then chooses one, sometimes there may be some alteration, but in this case, we went straight ahead with one of the designs.

I started with the setting for the pearl. As the pearl has got a very irregular shape I decided that the best would be to make it first in wax and have it cast. Instead of carving the wax model I have melted the wax in microwave, poured it onto piece of plastic, waited for the wax to cool down a bit not to damage the pearl and then let the pearl drop into it and imprint its shape (now, this sounds really simple, but it took about ten goes till the pearl sank into right depth and on the right angle).

Once I had the shape right I have carved out the excess wax. When I was happy with the shape I had it cast in 18ct yellow gold.

While I was waiting for the setting to come back from the casting company, I have made the ring and an “arm” for the setting.

When the setting return from the casting company I had it hand engraved by Russel Dough and just after that I have soldered it to the shank.

Once everything was in place I have drilled into the setting and into the pearl (very, very scary part!). Then I soldered the pearl post into the setting.

After I checked the fitting I have also soldered the “arm” into the position.

When all the parts got soldered I have once more checked the fitting and then have flattened the end of the “arm” for the rivet

The final finish was to 600-grade emery (brushed finish) as requested by the client.

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precious artefact

March 16, 2017

Nervous and excited are two words that describe how I felt when I get to work on commission with a beautiful, precious and very rare artefact. This old stone tool was given to my client’s mum as a present. She has been treasuring it for years and now it made its way onto my bench! Her beautiful daughter Giulia commissioned me to design and make a piece of jewellery featuring this beautiful artefact to give her as a Christmas present.

I have chosen to work with rose gold in this case as its tones work well with red tones found in the stone. Also, the brushed rose gold look has a feel of warm and age.
I didn’t want to set the stone in a traditional way as I was concerned that it would take away from its beauty and could make it look too heavy. Instead, I have decided to form a “cage” containing the stone exposing it’s both sides. I like to design jewellery to be versatile whenever possible and remove the concept of front or back. I left it simply up to wearer if she chooses to display one side or the other side.
I have enjoyed working on this commission from the beginning until the end!

How did I go about it? Here is step by step documentation.

– Design. As the design was mostly focused on the stone. I needed to make sure that largest possible part of it would be exposed (from all sides). I wanted to make sure that pendant is reversible.

- Examine the artefact and analyse possible points for positioning of the cage

– form individual components. There are three major components to begin with.

- bend the long double bar in half and form it to copy surface of the stone. Then solder bottom and tom “ring” in position.

– open up the “cage” just enough to slide the stone inside.

– close the “cage” and solder small space bar at the top of the pendant (in the area where it is going to be suspended from the neck wire). This space bar is important element stopping the cage from opening (by accident) and dropping the stone. Soldering of this bar in to the position was the scariest moment during the construction of this project! As the stone needed to be in position before this last solder job. I wasn’t sure how much heat can this stone take, how many cracks it already had and fragile it actually is. Better be safe than sorry! I have buried the stone into the wet sand to keep it nice and cool while soldering.
I worked well!

– removing borax and oxide. Usually I would use safety pickle compound (sulphuric acid crystals mixed with water), but yet again, I didn’t want to submerge the stone into any chemicals so I used white vinegar instead (correctly disposed after use of course)!

– the neck wire was formed to sit comfortably on a chest of a wearer. For the closing, I have decided to form the whole section that could come out so the necklace could be slipped onto the neck without a need of opening it too much.

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I love commission work, especially, when my client gives me complete design freedom. In this case my brief was fairly simple; design and make sterling silver stud earrings and belly button piercing that would mean something to the client. Additional requirements were; the belly button piercing needs to be rather large with removable hanging item, yet studs needs to be small enough to be able to sleep with.

Now, where do you start? What is your concept if the brief is to create a jewellery that would mean something to a wearer?
Luckily, I know my client well enough to know what to research. She is a very active woman and she is an amazing dancer.
I have done little bit of a research about a contemporary dance that she is a fond of and also about a contact improvisation that she practices and occasionally facilitate sessions.

I did look at some stunning photographs of her dancing and started to trace a line.





Next step was to look at the line, positive and negative shape with a help of cut out square in a white card board.

Tracing interesting lines and shapes on a blank piece of paper and framing it was followed by abstraction and variations.

These sketches were then taken into designs of actual jewellery, keeping in mind that this jewellery can’t be sharp not to injure the wearer when dancing or sleeping.

Lastly, I have presented three designs to a client who picked her favorite one.

To begin, I cut three “drop” shapes. Two for earrings and one for the piercing.

Once, individual shapes were cut, edges were filed and emery.



To form nice curve from flat sheet of sterling silver I used doming block and punch.


The hanging drop on piece of chain was cut and filed from thicker piece of silver. I used 1.5mm

Separate components to be soldered together.

Karin (my client) checking the progress.

Soldering set up.

…..and finished work… I hope she will like it!




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It is not my usual choice to go for acid etching rather than electro etching, but this time it was a perfect technique for a job.
I have been commissioned to make silver wedding bands featuring old Viking writing in the design. I have originally tried to achieve following results with electro etching, but unfortunately due to insufficient contact point between the ring and anode it didn’t work out.

Acid etching technique is not unusual in metal work, has got long history and lots of artists use it. Different metals require different acid to be used; nonetheless all of them are pretty dangerous. I personally resent using strong acids as they can be very harmful to one’s health and environment.

For sterling silver it is nitric acid that is most effective. I used 1:3 ratio (1 part nitric acid and 3 parts water) – always be sure to follow correct mixing procedure; pour water into suitable container first and then acid!

Metal to be etched also needs specific preparation. First of all it needs to be well cleaned. It is good idea to wash it in warm soapy water and rub it with scoch brite sponge (it will give it bit of roughness for resist to grip on) first and then clean it with acetone. Handle the metal in silicon gloves so you don’t contaminate it again with finger oils.
Resist (coating protecting metal from acid exposure) applied to a metal is chosen based on design and effect that we desire. Most common resists available are: waterproof duct tape, some permanent markers, wax, nail polish and bitumen paint. I like to use bitumen paint as it doesn’t peal off in the bath; however, for sampling I have also tried two different nail polishes. Bitumen paint is also most appropriate resist for me to use as the design on rings to be etched is scratched in to the resist rather than painted on. Bitumen paint has worked for me this way well in past.

steps that I took to etch

1 – read MSDS (even if you have red it before and you know what stuff you are dealing with it is good idea to read it again…..it is like going on airplane and reading the safety handbook every single time you get on). You really don’t want to get any amount of nitric acid on your skin, in your eyes or inhale it!

2 – prepare all the PPE and other equipment needed (safety goggles, safety face shield, fume mask, liquid protective apron, bi carb soda for neutralizing, feather for removal of bubbles, pirax dish with lid, another dish for fresh water, mineral turpentine and acetone for removal of resist, heavy duty rubber glows, plastic tweezers, appropriate container for disposal of the used acid bath) in well-ventilated area.

3 – prepare your samples chart (it is good idea to make some samples first to test out different time exposure to the acid bath – journaling is handy habit).

4 – put on all the PPE, get ready a timer and start etching. I have etched my samples at times: 4.5, 5 and 5.5min. The bite was pretty good on all of them, but I felt that for rings that will be worn everyday it is important to that it is deep so the design wouldn’t ware of. Therefore, I have decided to etch rings for 5.5min.

Note, nailpolish resist samples have proven, that the resist is definitely not as good as bitumen paint. Interestingly, it also seems to be big difference in brand of the nailpolish used. The clear nailpolish has peeled off in bath significantly…ruining the whole sample ring.
Note; during the etching process bubbles will be forming around the metal, those needs to be gently swept away by larger feather, cotton cloth or strings (if feather is not available). Leaving bubbles to form on the etched metal would result in consistent etching.

6 – when etching time is up remove the metal from the acid bath and place it in to a bath of water with bi carb soda to neutralize any acid residue than rinse it in fresh water. Pour carefully acid bath into appropriate container and prepare for safe acid disposal.

7 – to remove bitumen paint from the metal use mineral turpentine and to remove nailpolish use acetone.

This etching process is relatively fast as it takes only about 5 min for acid to etch the metal. Yet it is quiet lengthy due to time it takes to set up safely and clean up after.

This is how the samples turned up:

This is how wedding bands for Tom and Erika turned up:

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Mort teapot finished

April 3, 2016

What is this teapot about?

The concept behind this work is that nothing is as seems and that even slightest seemingly insignificant truth that we take for granted can be all very different. Items, truths and humans appealing simple and easy to understand can be in contrary complex in their essence. We should never fail to ask questions to ourselves, mentors, teachers and authorities.

The initial inspiration came from a book by Sir Terry Pratchett called Mort. It is a fantasy novel and it is full of interesting concepts such as; Death is a person and a time for whole universe is managed by an individual who is, in fact, half human son of Time. I love his books! They are always so stimulating. In Fact, reading is one of my strongest sources of inspiration.

Mort teapot is handmade predominantly of 950 silver featuring copper base and Jarrah wood components.
This contemporary teapot was hand raised in combination with other traditional silversmithing techniques such as crimping, sinking and of course plennishing.

Hope you like it, I have certainly enjoyed making it.

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teapot making in progress

March 17, 2016

All the major work is done! It is the details that I have been focusing on lately….. Step 25 – finishing of and assembling infuser and lid. The tea infuser and lid consists of three parts which can be separated depending on use. This way user is able to infuse their tea for 3-5 min [...]

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teapot making in progress

February 22, 2016

Teapot is soldered and cleaned up. Now it needs essential wooden components such as handle, lid and stand. Wood is a beautiful material and great insolent from the a heat. I had been contemplating for very long time what sort of wood should I use. Eventual, when I went to local Anagote Timbers in Marrickville [...]

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teapot making in progress

February 2, 2016

After long Christmas break I am back and so is my report on the “Mort” teapot! Step 16 – inside of the tea infuser has been nicely emery so the next thing to do was to file the outside of the infuser and prepare it for next step. Step 17 –the tea infuser will be [...]

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teapot making in progress

December 12, 2015

Here is just a little update on progress and development of the teapot I am currently making. It has been busy month as it is the end of the year, so there were number of things keeping me away from studio… Step 11 – I have made some wooden mock ups of spout and handle [...]

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New project!!

November 10, 2015

My recent return to teaching at Design Centre Enmore has inspired me to create something rather larger and different than jewellery, I am making a teapot. To be honest, I have been really missing silversmithing. Simply, there is enormous reward and satisfaction in creating something large, functional and precious. I have chosen to make teapot [...]

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