I recently took an incredible trip to Queensland. The road trip was part of an Etsy Australia campaign called #city2outback, and an opportunity to explore the life of an Etsy maker – from their artistic practice to the local area they call home and the source of the inspiration behind their work. Our trip took us to Ayr in far North Queensland where we met Phillip and Majella who are the lovely couple behind Exquisite Gem. They showed us the beautiful corner of the world they live in and gave us an insight into how they make their jewellery. I took close to 1000 photos over the weekend and put together two photo essays about the trip, one about the landscape in Queensland that I’ll share next week and this one about the hand made process behind Phillip and Majella’s jewellery.
It was so fascinating listening to Phillip, a renowned geologist, talk about his craft. He is one of those unique makers involved in the entire process – from fossicking for gem stones, to faceting, designing and setting. I was introduced to the alchemy of making, from a gold pour through to the crafting of a desirable piece of jewellery. The photographs barely do justice to the transformative process that the creative mind brings to the making of an object.
It was such a wonderful experience learning more about how a piece of jewellery comes to life. Thanks to Phillip and Majella for their warm hospitality and putting up with lots of questions from me, and for the brilliant team at Etsy who gave me this opportunity. I’ve long harboured a desire to make jewellery so this was a particularly interesting trip.