I am a contemporary jewellery artist based in Melbourne, Australia.
Born and raised in the midwestern United States, I studied metalsmithing at Arizona State University before arriving in Australia in 2006. In 2009 I completed a Master of Arts in Gold and Silversmithing at RMIT University, Melbourne, and since then I have been a Teacher of Jewellery at Northern Melbourne Institue of TAFE (NMIT). My work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including at the international exhibition of young designers Talente, (Munich, 2011), and in Australian Jewellery Topos touring to the Netherlands, USA and Australia. My work has been awarded the Small Beautiful Objects Award in 2008 and featured in publications including 500 Enamelled Objects (Lark Books, 2009), New Rings: 500+ Designs from Around the World (Thames & Hudson, 2011) and Showcase 500 Rings (Lark Books, 2012).
My current body of work explores the significance of our interpretations of place in the everyday and the development of a sense of belonging, through the observation of seemingly ordinary places. Through repeated encounters, the mundane is transformed into the magical. Background becomes foreground as landscapes are transformed into jewellery objects, and we look at these once-ignored spaces anew. From these unassuming spaces, we can cultivate an unexpected sense of place and belonging.
My work is informed by an Impressionist concern for the transient effects of colour and light. Once the light has changed, only the memory of this place at this moment can remain. But it is precisely this memory that reveals something new. Seemingly insignificant places take on personal preciousness to become urban oases, the gems of the urban landscape. Their local colour is uncovered: knowing these familiar places in different lights reveals their picturesque peculiarities.
Mundane materials are selected and set as if they were precious jewels. And look! In this light, they are. They take on preciousness, they command attention, and they begin to tell their story. I have chosen these materials because they are the only materials that tell this particular story.
Even as we navigate the landscape, the place itself is constantly in flux. Scaffolded high rises grow over empty fields, and new streets cut through new subdivisions. Yesterday’s vacant lot provided a view through to the old church steeple, but today the tall walls of a new apartment block are a canvas for the sunset. They are made of mundane materials, but there is magic in them when seen in the right light.
Photography by Jeremy Dillon of The Photography Department
Photography of Rathdowne Street by Andrew Barcham of Screaming Pixel
Selected photography of production work by Mel Miller