Jewellery Student is Zooming to Success!
What do jewellery students do in a pandemic? Make jewellery, of course!
Toni-Maree Savage is a second-year Fine Arts student at Queensland College of Art. Her jewellery journey began last year after she completed a 6-week foundational course in jewellery.
“When I started my Fine Arts degree, I thought I would major in sculpture, but as soon as I entered the jewellery studio I was hooked, and my plans quickly changed,” Toni-Maree said.
Toni-Maree started second-year in February 2020, enrolling in a double-major in jewellery and painting. Although the year started with on-campus classes in the studios, by the end of March, all classes had moved online due to COVID-19 restrictions. Toni-Maree decided to use her time in lockdown at home to practice her jewellery skills.
“I was really fortunate to be able to set up a home studio as soon as classes went online, thanks to my husband’s generosity. I made the most of every day by practising my basic skill set and pushing myself to learn as much as I could from online sources.”
Toni-Maree focused on improving her design, saw piercing, forming and soldering skills. In May, she was feeling confident enough to enter the Academics in Pandemic online exhibition hosted by Ethical Metalsmiths.
“I was really nervous when I started creating my piece for the exhibition as I had only made a couple of pieces previously. But when I started sawing, I went into my own little world, and I forgot that I was a beginner. I fell absolutely in love with metal while I was working,” Toni-Maree said.
Toni-Maree created an aluminium and copper facemask for the exhibition and is excited that her creation is currently being exhibited online among a showcase of extraordinary student work from around the world.
Toni-Maree has spent the previous few months creating new pieces. Her latest work is a set of copper rings and choker. The design is based on micro-repetition in coral cellular structures and was inspired by her home state of Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef.
“My coral set opened my eyes to the potential power of jewellery to encourage change in the world. The work aims to bring awareness to coral reefs and sends a message about our responsibilities to look after these natural wonders,” Toni-Maree said.
Toni-Maree has recently started to learn lost wax casting and is looking forward to adding this technique to her skill set. She is also hoping to start learning how to set gemstones soon.
“I’m feeling really engaged with my jewellery practice. My goal is to exhibit more of my work in the coming years and to start selling my creations. But for now, my focus is practice, practice and more practice. Luckily I love what I’m doing, so it’s a joy to spend my time at my jewellery workbench,” Toni-Maree said.