About Gillian


Working with mainly sterling silver sheet has been a theme of my research since 2008. A chance encounter with using it led to my ongoing research into its materiality. I enjoy it as a material and like the tension acquired from working with it within and outside of conventional modes of jewellery fabrication.

Primarily I just enjoy making for makings sake. I am uncertain how I feel about jewellery and being a contemporary jeweller. Working within a jewellery context provides a platform for making and referring to a specific dialogue helps me navigate and test my uncertainty. Not being sure is the driving force behind my practice and keeps suggesting reasons to make.

I would term my practice as a drawing practice as I utilise a reflexive relationship between myself and the materials where play, chance, nonchalance, material processes, risk, failure, my judgment and control as a maker generate and reach making outcomes.

I prefer to work at the limits and beyond my knowledge as I find this an exciting and motivating area to work in.

I am currently studying within the Master of Design (by project) course at Unitec. See the workshop and studio below:

My project is called:

Processing Practice; Practice as Process

And the question is:

How can evidence of an object’s making, and the process behind this, be recorded and communicated through a jewellery based practice?

The aims of the project are as outlined:

– To explore and record the process of making and thinking about making in a jewellery based practice.

– To investigate the communication of process in a practice that uses jewellery techniques and language as drawing tools.

– To investigate the reading of artefacts produced in a process based practice.

A key area of research has been knowledge production through practice. This  includes tacit knowledge, embodied knowledge and visual intelligence.

Documentation has been an important component of resolving the project. Photography, photocopying and scanning are integrated into studio activity to document the making processes. Recording has been a key tool and allows the making processes to be archived, mapped, reflected upon in order to explicate the the making actions and the thinking within my practice.

An overarching theme of my research has been drawing. I utilise it as a research methodology, as explained from an excerpt of my research below:

“Drawing is a verb”

“It’s not formal operational thought. Thought and language are interdependent but drawing comes from another source (experience and intuition). Thinking is not the model; the experience in drawing is not obtained through language. Language does not lead to experience-it points to it….Drawing is a way for me to carry on an interior monologue as I am making it”.

Richard Serra, quoted in Lizzie Borden, “About Drawing: An Interview. Richard Serra: Writings, Interviews.

I view my practice as a drawing practice.  It exists very much in the moment of making, where tacit knowledge factors strongly and at times can evade language.

Drawing is a key methodology utilised in my research. I chose the methodology to support the research of this project to capitalise on the investigative strategies it allows for in order to unpack the role of thinking, knowledge and the making process in studio activity.

These strategies include and facilitate:

– Research in action

– A direct and immediate relationship between myself and materials

– Play and improvisation to generate, test, process and resolve ideas

– Intuitive practice

– Generation of practical knowledge, embodied knowledge and analytical skills

– Open ended investigation which accommodated for the multiple terminologies of  drawing to be utilised

– Tension between control and chance

– Enables researching within and beyond limits of knowledge to test and extend those limits.

As a practice based researcher following a drawing methodology, learning through making is a major avenue of research.



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