Kristy Lomax

Comments (0) Interviews

Workshops are about learning a new skill, but also forming a sense of community and connection with others. I hope to run more workshops and keep Port Macquarie connected to their creativity.

Hi Kristy. What brought you to the Port Macquarie area?

I have been living here for nearly four years now, and Port Macquarie has ticked so many boxes as a place to call home. Primarily Port Macquarie is a great place to raise my family, with magnificent beaches and climate, a smaller community and an extraordinary amount of stylish festivals and markets supporting the things I love – art, music and food. I think what has been an inspiring surprise is the incredible arts and cultural scene unfolding and how overflowing with local talent the Port Macquarie-Hastings area is. 

Your creative career has taken a few twists and turns since you completed a visual arts degree in Sydney. You’ve worked for the art department at a TV station, been involved with textile printing … what aspects of your career have you most enjoyed (and why)?

I have been so lucky to have had the opportunities to work in so many areas of the creative field over the years. Working in TV art departments requires you to really think on your feet, and props making for TV dramas and styling for interior lifestyle shows has given me a different way to think about objects and making. There was a lot of research involved when I progressed to art direction, and I loved that too.  

I’ve also had the opportunity over the last three years to lecture in Design Fundamentals at Charles Sturt University for the Graphic Design program, and I’ve really enjoyed sharing my knowledge and industry experience with the students. I can honestly say I have enjoyed all aspects of my career journey, and much of this has inspired another twist in taking my artistic pursuit of jewellery design to another level with teaching workshops. 

“Wearable art” is a term that’s quite well known these days. When/how did your interest in this phenomenon turn to creating your own pieces of jewellery?

I have always had a passion for unique handcrafted jewellery. My grandmother was a lapidary artisan and gifted me with many beautiful handmade jewellery pieces when I was young, so I guess it’s in the blood. 

Ultimately I met a Blue Mountains jewellery designer/artist called Cindy Smith eight years ago. Cindy’s beautiful unique silver work is created with the lost wax casting process; Cindy took me on as a student, and this is how I learnt a lot of wax techniques that got me started in my own design direction. My style has developed over the years through practice and a love for organic form, shape and texture. I am essentially inspired by nature, which has transformed my current contemporary signature work. 

Please explain the “lost wax process” you use to create pieces of stunning silver jewellery …

Wax carving is a traditional method used in jewellery making and sculpture. A model is shaped and carved from a specialised wax product. To process the wax model, it is attached to a wax tree, then encased in a flask container with investment plaster. Once this plaster is dried, the wax is burnt out, leaving an imprint of the initial wax model inside of the plaster encasement. 

Next, molten metal is injected into the space at high pressure, filling the space created by the original carving. Once cooled, the plaster is broken open to reveal the metal piece where the wax model once was, hence the term “lost wax”. This is why the designs created using this process are unique, one off pieces. I use a commercial casting service to process my creations. 

What are the processes behind your jewellery designs?

I work in many different ways to create my jewellery designs. Initially I may take photos mostly of texture and form, usually when I’m out on bush and ocean walks. Sometimes I draw and sketch as a starting point for my ideas, but mostly I just start sculpting with melted wax or carve from a hard wax block, and it evolves and exposes a form. The result of the piece is never revealed entirely until it is polished, and it’s always exciting to see the result!

You’ll be running an eight-week contemporary jewellery workshop at the Glasshouse over the next couple of months. What knowledge/skills do you hope to share with participants?

I’m really excited to be delivering this workshop. My aim is to provide skills and techniques that develop participants’ own artistic practice. I will be introducing design processes to cultivate a starting point for design, as well as introducing a variety of wax working techniques. I will also be sharing resin jewellery making methods using various silicone moulds. Resin is a super fun way of introducing colour into jewellery pieces. 

I love the process of connecting people with creativity and seeing how inspired people get when they have produced something they love. 

Workshops are about learning a new skill, but also forming a sense of community and connection with others. I hope to run more workshops and keep Port Macquarie connected to their creativity.

What materials/equipment will people who attend your workshops need to bring with them?

All materials and equipment are provided. Participants just need to bring their creative spirit and imagination!

Where can we find out more about you/see more examples of your work?

I have showcased my jewellery at this year’s Artwalk, which is an incredible event for local artists to participate in. I also contributed a sculpted book to the recent exhibition at Sunset Gallery, Drawn from Here. 

But what I’m very excited about is the launch of my own business, Metaloosh Design, which encompasses jewellery workshops. I will be launching a website soon, which will include an online shop where people can purchase my handmade silver pieces, as well as sign up for workshops, so keep an eye out for Metaloosh Design workshops 2019!

Thanks Kristy. Interview: Jo Robinson.

 

THE PLUG

Kristy’s Contemporary Jewellery Workshop runs from October 17 – December 5 at the Glasshouse. Visit glasshouse.org.au or call 6581 8888 for more details or to book. 

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