We catch up with jewellery artist Skye Petho, a regular at the Port Macquarie Artist Markets.
> How would you describe your work?
I create wearable art pieces that are completely unique. My work is all very different, and each piece is my interpretation of something.
My work will vary depending on the things I have seen during the week and even with my moods, so some work could be described as vintage inspired while others will be bright and bold.
Each piece of jewellery is made from individual hand made glass beads that I make myself, which gives me the ability to design each piece from beginning to end.
I like to create eclectic jewellery that is contemporary and modern, and I find people of all ages appreciate the different aspects of each piece.
My jewellery is about colour, shape and texture and is a representation of me and the way I interpret things.
> What inspired you to begin making jewellery?
I started making jewellery about 3 years ago after a lifelong obsession with art, design and jewellery.
My mother had started to make jewellery, and I was fascinated with her boxes of glass beads. It didn’t take long for me to start collecting some of my own, and I was on my way.
After dabbling for a year with store bought beads, my mother encouraged me to attend a lampwork bead making course with her so that I could make my own glass beads for my jewellery, and I haven’t stopped since!
Jewellery making has become an obsession for me, and I love creating a little piece of art that people can wear every day.
> Tell us about lampworking?
Lampworking is an old craft, with the first glass beads found dating back to BC times.
Essentially, it is a method of creating glass beads using a heat source and glass rods.
Lampworking is the process of heating glass rods to a molten state and wrapping them around metal rods to form a bead. These can be decorated with other colored rods, ground glass powder and metals to produce wonderful colors and textures.
Each bead is hand shaped and hardened in a kiln to produce quality beads that can be worn every day and which are completely unique.
The process of lampworking is in itself an addictive hobby, as you become captivated with the molten glass and what you can create with it.
I often describe the process as meditative, as it can be very relaxing working with this medium.
As you have the ability to shape the bead into anything you want, it allows you the freedom to produce really unusual shapes and designs. I have been able to adapt the traditional glass bead into button shapes for rings and intricate 3D flowers.
> You recently won first place in your category at the Royal Easter Show. How does it feel to be recognised on this huge scale?
It was awesome! I couldn’t believe that after only 18 months of making my own glass beads I had managed to win first place at the Royal Easter Show.
I had made this wonderful contemporary necklace that represented a river bed with big hollow beads that look like rocks and delicate discs of glass that look like water puddles.
It was such a great feeling to be recognised in the field after such a short period of time producing lampwork beads.
I was encouraged to enter the competition by a friend, and I’m so glad I did. It gave me the confidence I needed to look at my jewellery making on a larger scale, which led to my stall at the Artists Market.
> Where can people view/purchase your work?
I have a stall at the Artists Market on the first Sunday of each month and have new and interesting pieces every month for people to see. I am also more than happy to make consignment work for anyone who wants a unique piece of wearable art for a special occasion.
> Thank you Skye.