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Upcoming workshop with Kathryn Wardill

Our May newsletter will be in your mailboxes tomorrow but we thought we’d give you a heads up about our next workshop because we’re really excited about it and places are filling fast and we want to give you – our faithful readers – a chance to get in before it sells out!

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Adventure into the world of HOT GLASS! Create one-off glass pieces, miniature artworks that others will marvel at. No jewellery making or glass working experience is required and Kathryn will send you home with the skills to continue the technique in your own studios!

We grilled Kathryn about her practice and how she became interested in working with glass in her jewellery making…

1. Can you tell us a little about your background? What path lead you to Gold and Silversmithing?

Playing with beads as a young girl started my interest in adornment. As a high school student I leant how to make silver jewellery at one-on-one classes with a master German jeweler. After high school I went to university for 7 years and studied Fine Art, majoring in gold and silversmithing. I thoroughly enjoy every aspect of the creative process and I have continuously made art jewellery pieces in metal and glass for 22 years.

2. Where did your interest in glass come from? What are the main processes involved?

I have always been drawn to glass as a material and its vibrant colours. It is a fascinating material with so many technical and creative possibilities. I began exploring the use of glass in leadlight windows, glass casting, fusing and slumping. It was when I tried flame worked glass that I knew exactly how I wanted to work glass. Glass has long history in jewellery, it was a perfect material to combine with my metal working skills, I want to continue the use of glass in adornment, hopefully expanding the possibilities. The main process that I use to create my glass work is flame working, which is melting glass rods over a gas and oxygen fueled torch, and I hand make each glass element. Some pieces are contain over 400 separate glass pieces each made individually over the flame.

3. Working across two disciplines, do you preference one above the other?

The two materials are both equally attractive and challenging to me. It is the marriage of these two materials that has been my jewellery research topic for more than 10 years. I endeavor to combine the materials in new ways resulting in desirable, wearable body adornment. Each material requires a different set of tools and ways of working. I enjoy being able to spend time alternating.

4. Where do you go to for inspiration?

It’s been said a thousand times, but it’s going to be said once more — nature is a great source for design inspiration. I enjoy swimming, snorkeling and now I have my open water scuba certification I am spending lots of time in the sea. I am loosely inspired by the forms and colours in nature and I seem to have dominant forms that I repeatedly explore in my pieces. The two materials, when worked are also very suggestive of natural forms. Each piece inspires the next, much of my work is made in series, for example the “Turning over a new leaf” series made in Sept 2012 were created after I was assigned author May Gibbs for a touring curated brooch exhibition.

5. What are you most proud of professionally?

I am proud that I still making and enthusiastic about my work after so many years. I have been very happy to be included in several exhibitions, publications and sold in several retail outlets for many years. These achievements have been really rewarding and I hope for many more years of successful making, teaching and selling my pieces.

Thanks Kathryn and we look forward to seeing the results of your workshop.

Kathryn Wardill 2

K wardill teaching

K Wardill water pools

Student working

K Wardill Hollow rocks neckpiece

K Wardill working

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