ICDHS 2016 TAIPEI | THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON DESIGN HISTORY & DESIGN STUDIES
Presented a joint conference paper at the International Conference on Design History and Design Studies in October 2016. The title of the paper is "Poetic Dimensions: jewellery Conversations about Design Process" Joint Author Zoe Veness.
Poetic Dimensions: jewellery Conversations about Design Process
The decision by the authors, two Australian contemporary designers, to collaborate in a joint exhibition initiates a process of retrospective reflection as a preliminary strategy to identify common interests and to establish conceptual and theoretical frameworks. Underpinning their project is a mutual understanding and passion for contemporary jewellery forged by many years of academic study and teaching experience in the area of jewellery design at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney. This paper signals the first collaborative venture between the two designers who have witnessed the gradual evolution of each other’s distinctive design language over many years.
As a means to extrapolate potential frameworks for the exhibition and to highlight the impact of transnational influences in the context of contemporary design practice, two case studies are presented that include personal accounts by the authors of key research experiences in the Netherlands and Japan. Through these design conversations the authors hope new and serendipitous avenues unfold.
MAKING an International Conference on Materiality and Knowledge
Presented a conference paper at the MAKING Conference in September 2012. Title of paper is called "Maki-e the Sprinkling of a Magical History: Making in the new world".
Maki-e the Sprinkling of a Magical History: Making in the new world
Japanese lacquer encompasses a combination of the dexterity of the hand, the imagination to tell a story and a maximum perspective on materiality. For the last few years my interest in Japanese lacquer and Maki-e has been the core for the development of the jewellery and objects formed in my practice. The application of lacquer in my studio practice has intrigued further pursuit in both the hand skills development and material diligence. Maki-e is a decorative Japanese lacquering technique that is comprised of a painted surface detailed with gold or silver powders. It is one of the many techniques that fall under the umbrella of Japanese lacquer. Lacquer is a material language with a history expanding over 6000 years across the Asian continent. It is a unique paint that requires the science and knowledge of material, hand dexterity, and patience. In early 2009, I arranged for a cultural visa to undertake a professional two year residency with lacquer master Kitamura Tatsuo of Kitamura Kobo in Japan. Firstly this paper will discuss the traditions of studio lacquer techniques studied at the professional craftsman level, from an insight of a maker of contemporary wearable objects. Secondly it will address how this ancient craft has influenced the personal studio work for new translation. Finally, it will discuss the role of the maker, working alongside traditional techniques and processes outside its natural realm. Challenging what the medium’s potential possibilities are in different environmental circumstances and landscapes and thus engaging the old for new interpretation and revitalization.
Exhibit in the Cross Pollination Exhibition, Cofaspace. For the catalogue essay please visit http://redobjects.unsw.edu.au/research/publications/
Inside Out: JMGA 2008 Conference
Presented a paper on a panel at the Inside Out Conference in January 2008. Title of paper is called "Locating Lacquer as a Medium for Contemporary Jewellery and Objects".
Locating Lacquer as a Medium for Contemporary Jewellery and Objects
The luscious objects found in the utilitarian arts of the Far East reveals a highly craft arts that has been practiced for over five thousand years. Lacquer discriminates itself from other arts forms through its characteristic style, appeal and beauty. The surface and form of lacquerware attracts interest, particularly in the techniques and various applications of lacquer. The technical production of lacquer requires a creative vision, arduous hand skills and specialised knowledge. This paper will address the influence of a traditional craft, lacquer, to contemporary jewellery object making in the techno era.
Contemporary jewellery and object practice in the modern age combines several processes not necessarily traditional craft. There is a new emergence in studio practice revealing a designing and production process that is usually associated with a number of alliance including digital and industrial. This contribution is evident in precision in graphic to the applications of laser technology to create a new vitalisation in surface designs. Thus making this media, the technological and manufacturing processes create opportunities in developing new approaches in jewellery and object design. The assimilation of new processes combined with existing tools and techniques further reinterprets traditional concepts in making.
The article will be presented in context to two case studies; a) traditional Vietnamese lacquer and b) traditional Japanese lacquering and metal techniques. Each case study will explore traditional lacquering techniques and its assimilation to worked techno inspired processes in creating the jewellery and objects. It will address examples of East and South-East Asian lacquer techniques and its synthesis to machine processes for surface inspired outcomes. Further the paper will examine the approach of the resulting works from this research. A percentage of the paper will discuss the methodology to the studio approach to give insight to how the progress integrates seamlessly. Thus comparatively engaging on the old and the new.
Traditional Vietnamese Lacquering and its Application to Contemporary Jewellery and Small Scale Body Related Objects
Traditional Vietnamese Lacquering and its Application to Contemporary Jewellery and Small Scale Body Related Objects
The lustre and luminous qualities inherent in lacquer objects speak of a revered historic technology chronicled by remarkable achievements. Sophisticated lacquer objects from East Asia and Vietnam are products of the integrated histories, technologies, and cultural expressions of these territories. The application of lacquer as a decorative medium originally developed in China. Through exchange and trade, the material was transmitted to neighbouring countries where each region explored the material and developed distinctive styles and techniques. Although lacquer from East Asia and Vietnam share similar material nature, the cultural attributes of lacquer, its aesthetics, design, form, and symbolism provide for marked distinctions across the zone. Vietnamese lacquer contributes surface techniques and motifs to the lacquer repertoire. The aim of this research is to investigate the materiality and processes of Vietnamese lacquer as a surface ornamentation integral to the design and making of objects.
The published material is dominated by descriptions of the aesthetics achievements of lacquer objects with little coverage of the technology, techniques, and practices employed. There is a scarcity of contemporary research on Vietnamese lacquering processes written in the English language. This research was fuelled by a research field trip to Vietnam during 2004 working with Vietnamese lacquer artists on traditional lacquering techniques. During a residency at Hue the lacquer working processes were observed, documented, and techniques sampled. This traineeship incorporated the preparation of traditional tools, of the substrate, and the application of lacquer painting techniques. Preparatory samples and templates were made in Australia for later experimentation in Vietnam. These samples were treated with lacquer and illustrate the possible exploration of Vietnamese lacquering techniques in a contemporary context.
The research is a material investigation of traditional Vietnamese lacquering processes applied to jewellery and object making. The studio practice aims to reinterpret the traditional material language of lacquer by allying it with contemporary methods and techniques. This synthesis combining traditional art methods and digital technology is expressed as a series of objects inspired by floral motifs. The seasonal floral images are significant, evoking concepts of creation and renewal. The interpretation of these graphic floral images provides a contemporary representation, aesthetic, and cultural reading for the material, maker, and motif.
Japan Metal and Lacquer Investigations
In 2007 I was awarded the Australia Council Emerging New Work Grant to travel to Japan to undertake a residency documenting some traditional Japanese metal and lacquer techniques. The aim was to create various surfaces through the investigation of traditional Japanese lacquer and metal techniques applied to a series of contemporary jewellery and objects.
This project is an investigtion into developing traditional techiques of Japanese lacquer and metal crafts and applying it to contemporary jewellery and objects. The interest in researching the applications of lacquer is a result in an authored dissertation titled 'Traditional Processes of Vietnamese Lacquer and their Applications to Contemporary Jewellery and Small Scale Body Related Objects' coupled with an exhibition at Kudos Gallery in May 2006. Lacquer is a lustrous paint from a tree resin indigenous to the Asian continent. My interest in Japanese arts is the reason to examine lacquer from this region.
For this project I intend to research and record Japanese lacquering processes, techniques and traditional metal crafts, and the outcomes of the application of the methodology to a series of jewellery objects inspired by floral motifs of East Asia. I am interested in this medium to explore surface techniques in my practice. The project's realisation will involve travel to Japan to visit lacquer artist's studio, lacquer craft and design centres and galleries and possibly university institutions. This opportunity will allow for workshop and technical studio development. The visit will also provide opportunities to purchase lacquer and specialised tools which are not available in Australia. Extensive preliminary research on the project, and contacts inititated will be established to ensure a successful research trip prior to going to Japan. With the documentation of the techniques, this will be applied and developed to a series of jewellery and ojects projects back home in Australia. The resulting research and work will aim for publications and exhibitions.
Digital technology and contemporary methods has been articulated in my work for the last 3 years. The body of work for this project will be a synthesis of traditional Japanese techniques with methods of digital and laser processes. The project will explore the various surfaces and surface patterns on the objects created from these combined investigations of different techniques. This new work aims to provide a contemporary representation and cross cultural reading from the exploration of these techniques. Furthermore develop an awareness into this ancient medium, lacquer.
2005idc International Design Congress
Presented a paper at the 2005idc Intenational Design Congress in Taiwan. Joint Author with Wendy Parker. The title of the paper is "The Intersection between Lacquer and Laser Technology in Contemporary Jewellery Design".
The Intersection between Lacquer and Laser Technology in Contemporary Jewellery Design
The age of digital technology have allowed jewellery and object designers to assimilate industrial working production processes into a studio base practice. This combination offers the craft practitioner new solutions particularly in working with mediums in new ways. It provides the user the opportunity to tailor and transfer technological ideas into a craft base methodology. These results arising from the tailoring and transferring of ideas and industrial processes offers the efficiencies of the new age. Furthermore it contributes to new tools and techniques. This form of practice is reflective of the technological influences in jewellery and object design making today.
Increasing numbers of jewellery and object design practitioners are collaborating with industries, making it an integral part of their problem solving in the design making process. This intersection endorses the notion of craft in the context of the computer and machine age technology. It is an emergence which represents a new dialogue where new technologies and traditional craft skills are employed in jewellery and object design production. These liaisons between the practitioner and industry have provided new ways of thinking and making for the practitioner.
As a contemporary jeweller, my practice and work is about redefining the material language of Vietnamese lacquer and its application on contemporary wearables and objects. It is about reinterpreting the applications of a traditional medium along side new technologies. The visual motif, the chrysanthemum is used in my work as an iconic interpreter. This floral symbol is common throughout the art histories and it is articulated across many decorative art surfaces, particularly in Asia. The visual style and surface ornamentation of the chrysanthemum on an object conveys information about the material, maker, and motif. Its aesthetics is a manifestation of the current technologies of that time. My interpretation of the chrysanthemum comprises of traditional and modern technologies for new visual translation. Taking on traditional forms of lacquering and fusing it with surface imagery, rendered by laser technology, a new style and exterior of visual language is developed.
The use of digital technology has assimilated in my design and making progress. This synthesis, positions crafts current status in an ever increasing changing context. I am one example from this convergence.
Studio Lacquer Vietnam Fieldtrip
In 2004, with successful application of a Faculty Research grant from the College of Fine Arts - The University of New South Wales I was able to undertake a three month residency in Vietnam to investigate the materiality and processes employed in Vietnamese lacquer.
A Vietnamese lacquer Investigation: A field study of traditional Vietnamese lacquer manufacturing centres, lacquer artists, and museum collections of lacquer objects. A project which investigates the traditional and the contemporary, materials and techniques of Vietnamese lacquering processes (mother-of-pearl inlay, carved lacquer, gold sprinkling) and Vietnamese lacquer objects (paintings, screens, home wares, furniture).
Inherited Futures-Technologies to Trap Ideas: 2004 JMGA Conference
Presented a paper at the JMGA Inherited Futures: Technologies to Trap Ideas in February 2004. The title of this paper is called "Beneath the Chrysanthemum Petal: "The Assimilation of Laser Technology and Hand Crafts".
The Assimilation of Laser Technology and Hand Crafts
James Thrilling writes, ‘played out on the global stage, the history of ornament is a many-faceted drama of creation and renewal, remembering and forgetting.’ My work encompasses these notions, and in a sense looks at polarities of methods (handcraft versus machine technology) to signal a revolution in surface technique design.
The chrysanthemum is one of many recognisable floral art forms articulated on decorative art surfaces in East Asia. The surface ornamentation of these regional artefacts creates a language distinguished by the material, maker, and motif. The elaborate detail and expression inherent in these media, is a lost ritual of the past. The floral motifs used in East Asian arts reveal a system representative of meanings associated with non-pictorial idea or nuances. My jewellery is an amalgamation of these ideas. The embodiment of imagery, style, and form in my work is a collaboration of the visual style and representation of floral motifs, whilst using modern technologies for new translation in creative production.
Technology has assimilated itself into my creative output. The photocopier, scanner, computer, and laser engraver are employed as part of my jewellery practice. The images used in my jewellery design are derived directly from the ornamentation of lacquer ware dating as far as five thousand years back. They are photocopied, scanned, and manipulated using a graphics program. Applying graphic design/manipulation allows the visual to be interpreted in a contemporary context, yet the essences of these images are still maintained through the style of the pictorial language. The surface takes on a laser rendered style which is achievable through a computer laser engraver. I combine these components with silver smithing techniques to draw on work which reflects historically on a culture of lacquer in pursuit of contemporary jewellery wear. The laser engraver has become the most distinctive tool, crucial in my field of jewellery practice.