Contemporary jeweller Vanessa Williams has just returned to Australia after exhibiting her work at the Museum of Arts and Design’s annual six-day exhibition and sale in New York.
The Queensland College of Art graduate was invited to take part on the 15th annual LOOT: MAD About Jewellery event alongside more than 50 other jewellers from around the world.
She says the experience was completely unexpected yet exciting, while describing the invitation as a real confidence booster.
“The networking opportunities alone were invaluable and to have my work on show and sold at such a prestigious event in such esteemed company was an amazing opportunity.”
Vanessa moved to Adelaide after the completion of her degree in 2009 where she stayed as a studio tenant in the JamFactory for two years before establishing her studio at home in 2013.
She says her physical environment and the properties of the materials and processes she uses strongly influence the outcome of her designs.
“My jewellery explores ideas and concepts related to simplicity, boldness and repetition of shape and form and relates to structural elements and forms found in architecture,” she says.
“I consciously make work with a minimum amount of waste in mind. I use strips of sterling silver and titanium making use of the significant contrasts of texture, colour and malleability.
“I enjoy exploring contrasting elements within the materials and the use of both matt and shiny surfaces of the titanium and silver.”
Vanessa’s current work Loop Series has been refined from exhibition pieces into a production range that is continuously evolving, and as a result she now supplies stock to galleries and retail spaces throughout Australia.
She credits her time at the QCA with helping her to believe that making jewellery could be much more than a hobby.
“Participating in the Jewellery & Small Objects market group was one of the best things I did during my degree,” she says.
“To get immediate feedback from customers and see people were interested in the work was very encouraging to say the least.
“In addition to the skill based classes which I loved, I formed some lasting friendships and I am still in touch with some of my fellow jewellers!”