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Interview: Nicky Hepburn

We put the hard questions to Northcity4 studio tenant and workshop teacher, Nicky Hepburn…

It appears you like to walk, when did the experience of walking begin to find its way into your jewellery work?

Yes I love a good wander! The first time I consciously noticed it was when I started making jewellery out of pebbles. I would carefully collect pebbles from my travels, mostly, walks along beaches, rivers, the occasional city environment and record the found place. Its place of origin was, when possible recorded on the piece, and wherever possible the pebble kept in its entirety. The pebble used for its beauty, also served as a memory and link to the place where I walked.

Some examples of Nicky’s work…

How do you translate the walking experience into your jewellery work?

By focusing on the details of the surrounding natural environment that I am walking in. I like to collect used and fallen pieces/fragments of the specific environment. I study them and then create work either out of that specific material, or as result of their textures, form, or the place they play within their own environment. It is often the play of light through the canopy of leaves in a forest, textures of bark, found kelp on the beach, reflections on the river, that inform my jewellery work.

Do you have a most memorable walking story/incident/experience you would like to share?

Leeches! not my most favourite thing! They fascinate me but preferably in their own place not on my legs. I was involved with an Art Project a few years ago, where 8 artists walked The Great South West Walk. We walked about 250 km’s through some of Victoria’s fragile but beautiful endangered wilderness. We walked through a variety of landscapes, starting in Portland then on to the Cobboboonee State Forest, the Glenelg River, and along the rugged coastline of the Limestone coast back to Portland. There was a lot of memorable experiences in the 21 day walk but there is one that stays with me the most. It was during a lovely morning ramble that I must have picked up a few little leeches on my legs, walking through some grass, this was the day I wore shorts! I wore long pants from that time on, after discovering my, now large 3 friends feasting on my legs!

Some images from The Great South West Walk…

Nicky will be teaching a one day workshop on Sunday 17th June. In the workshop, students will make a ring in a day from recycled organic materials such as salvaged wood, shell grit, recycled leather and even the odd skateboard! More details and to enrol, go here.






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