Emerging contemporary jeweller Amelia Marks works with precious materials, printed metals, plastics and paints to create work that reflects her current focus on society's changing relationship with the natural environment through colour, texture and organic forms. Marks is one of four jewellers participating in new exhibition INHABIT opening in a 'forgotten alleyway' in Fitzroy on August 26. Through this exhibition the artists aim to challenge the idea of the city as devoid of beauty, through an on-site intervention that explores the potential for connectedness and interplay between people, the natural environment and urban spaces. We spoke to Marks about her own work space, Melbourne's tight knit jewellery community and other events she's looking forward to seeing in Craft Cubed 2017.
What’s the significance of the handmade to you?
Handmade is so special - it is unique and different. When you hold something handmade in your hand, it is more than than the object - it is someone's idea, their passion, their time, and their skill.
How would you describe your craft community?
I love the community of contemporary jewellers in Melbourne! It is always such a joy to meet some of the people I insta-stalk - it is almost like meeting a celebrity - and everyone is so helpful and generous with sharing their skills and promoting the work of other contemporary jewellers. My favourite community is a small group of us who came together over a love of gin and jewellery.... now we just have daily chats, and help each other out with jewellery questions, gin questions, life questions!
What is your earliest craft memory?
Making fimo (although they call it polymer clay now!) jewellery with my mum. We made banana and eucalyptus leaf earrings.. we both thought they were the height of fashion back in the 80's.
What is your philosophy or motto when it comes to creativity?
Make what you love! I don't follow fashions or styles.. just whatever I love and feel like wearing is what comes out at the jewellery bench.
Where do you go in Melbourne for inspiration?
My work features a lot of leaves and flowers... so I'll head to the botanical garderns, or even just a walk around my local streets, sticky-beaking into everyones gardens.
What are you reading OR listening to at the moment?
I'm reading 'How to stop giving a f**k'. Sometimes I get too caught up in what I'm doing or working on... this book has helped!!
How would you describe your studio or making environment?
I am lucky enough to share a space with two other wonderful jewellers in the River Studios building in West Melbourne. Supported by the City of Melbourne, it provides affordable and spacious studio space, and takes the isolation out of working alone - providing space to 80 artists, there is always someone there!
How does good craft make you feel?
Excited! I am always amazed by the clever ideas and skill that makers in Melbourne posses.
What is your dream craft collaboration - if history and geography and money was no barrier?
Frida Kahlo - I'd love to turn some of her images into jewellery.
What other Craft Cubed events are you excited about?
Left of Centre, the open studio event at River Studios. Although I can't participate myself due to a date clash, this is the perfect opportunity to come down and see this amazing space. Have a chat to my neighbour Marty, he is delightful, and turned his studio into a really warm and welcoming space.
FULL EVENT LISTING: EXHIBITION INHABIT