Saturday, October 31, 2009


Two of the completed pieces for my childsplay project...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Childsplay... progress

Through this project I wanted to create non wearable, hand held objects which encouraged the viewer to experience and touch the object. My initial inspiration came from childrens toys and play objects. I wanted to avoid getting bogged down with aesthetics, which so often happens in creating jewellery objects for adults. I wanted to get back to the fundamentals of what makes objects appealing. As children, what we are attracted to in objects are really the simplest aspects. For example, colour, shine, texture and finish. I feel these elements essentially remain unchanged for adults, even if our tastes mature. Childrens objects and toys are essentially designed to invite the child to touch, grab, play. Most objects have moving parts or varying textures. In essence, they are interesting for the hands.


In these pieces I wanted to reflect these aspects, but at the same time add a sense of sophistication. That is why I chose to introduce the metal base. I really wanted to produce objects which sit comfortably in the hand, and that encourage the holder/wearer to explore the piece, with the eyes and the hands.


I chose to encase the piece in resin, as I noticed such a strong pattern of the use of highly shiny plastic finishes in kids toys. I did some experimentation with material, and found that this was the most successful way of maintaining the hand shaped form while at the same time adding form and volume. The shape fits in the hand, and has small openings, which encourage the hand to enter into the piece and explore it. The felt material choice for the inside of the piece came about as an exploration of tactility. I started noticing the things that I was drawn to touch and feel, and realized that in fact I seem to use my hands for exploration more than I had previously realized. I tried to translate this experience into the pieces. It was really important to me that the pieces incorporated moving parts, as I feel they are such playful pieces and allowing them to remain static almost takes away from this. I also chose to give the outside casing a matt finish. I feel like this makes the pieces more accessible and comfortable.


The completed pieces speak for themselves, they have a a playful air, and an almost mysterious feel. I love the fact that they aren’t really anything! And they have the desired effect in the way that everyone that comes past wants to pick up and touch them. I think that has been the most interesting part to this project; watching how people perceive and interact with them. There are so many different textures and feels to the pieces, and the moving parts help create more of an experience.


These are the pieces still under construction.


This was the original proposition for my next project, 'Childsplay'

"When did it all get so serious?

Adult life is filled with the constant demand of that thing called responsibility. Work, bills, work, cooking, cleaning, more work, long days, traffic jams…

It’s in the drab monotony of  an office job or the constant necessity to be polite and courteous. It’s the expectation to look a certain way, and be ‘presentable’, its the assumption of ability to involve oneself in intelligent conversation when in reality one has no idea what is going on. It’s a firm handshake, an appropriately lengthed skirt. It’s the ability to juggle work, kids, husbands, wives, parents, friends, housework, … life… all the while maintaining a calm and polished exterior.

It’s Pressure.

And maybe you don’t want to.

Maybe you want to take a day off because you have a tummy ache.

Maybe you don’t feel like going to the supermarket or wearing a suit… Maybe you want to tell your boss he is a big fatty, or maybe you want tell your mother in law that her cooking is yucky. Maybe you want to wear a tutu and jump in puddles. Maybe you want to wear your party hat to the supermarket.

Maybe you should.

When did we lose the freedom and bluntness that kids are blessed with? When were we taught to stop speaking our minds?

Through my recent encounters working with kids, I have been inspired to loosen the hell up! I find it fascinating how unpredictable kids can be, and how their weird little minds work. I have been confronted by their innocent honesty and delightful openness. Being an‘adult’ with some very real responsibilities and demands, it is far too easy to forget to see things and take pleasure in everyday. I look around at the business people in their varying shades of grey suits and I try to see what is missing. I think its joy.

When did the lady at the checkout stop making daisy chains? When did the word poop stop being the funniest thing in the world. When did the fairies move out of the tree at the end of the garden? When did you stop looking out of the window?

Through this project I want to explore the things that really sum up being a kid, and I want to try and trigger a response from the kid in all of us. I hope to make a series of pieces which take the wearer out of the everyday  hassles of being a grown up and remind them of the little things that used to mean so much! Essentially I want to make something fun and playful, while still maintaining a level of aesthectic sophistication.

From here I plan to research by talking to adults and try to understand their memories of childhood, which objects have stuck in their mind as a reminder.. I plan to look at toys and objects that kids love and try to identify what makes them appealing, to then relay that into adults."

Ring project

ring project

Through this project my understanding of ornamentation changed and developed quite dramatically. In conjunction my theoretical exploration my eyes were opened to different aspects of the ornament as an object and a concept.

Through this process, I began to look more at my physical surroundings and strive to understand what I am was seeing and what these visual stimuli provoked.

With my first series for the project I didn’t want to simply replicate or rework things that appealed to me visually, but I wanted to explore the relationships between what I was drawn to and inspired by and how this image translated into an object, and then how this object effected the environment it was put in (the body) and how the body, as a result, reacted.

My choice to draw on the lines and angles of poles and handles on public transport stemmed from my simple enjoyment of such objects. My inspiration came when spending copious amounts of time on the London tube. It is arguable whether such structural, functional objects actually behave as ornamentation, but through the medium of photography I was able to translate how I percieved them in this way. I was struck by how through these initial photographs, the poles become interesting lines; with a shiny, tactile appeal. They act as dividers, but also as complex structural components of the images, and their interesting lines are more distinctive against the busy background. I enjoyed how the photographs fully capture the nature which initially drew me to the object.

The poles are used functionally for stability and balance and are fundamentally built and designed to be held by the hand. 

This led me to develop the series of rings. I designed the rings with the intention of referencing the shiny, tactile nature of the poles and also the shape. The different designs, however, came about as an exploration of the relationship between the hand and the object. The different rings when placed on the hand, encourage the hand to behave in different ways, different for each wearer, creating a relationship between the wearer and the object. This challenges the rational understanding of the pole of something that one would hold, by making it hold the wearers hand.

Through the following photographs, one can see how the rings sit differently on the hands and how the hands behave as a result. 

I am fairly pleased with how this series turned out. In presenting the works, I chose to exhibit them alongside the original photographs, in order to give a better potential understanding of the concept. I enjoy how the rings limit the hand’s actions of the wearer. The resulting pieces are fairly minimal in their appearance, but have a pleasing aesthetic which I feel reflects the inspiration.


my work


I am presenting a collection of my works created over the past 6 months of my study. In essence, my work aims to ponder the connection between body and object. This relationship is especially significant when making objects to adorn the body.


I began my journey in to the world of contemporary jewellery making simple ornamental pieces of jewellery to be worn on the body. Through this process, however, I have come to understand the different layers of association and history which are embedded in even the simplest pieces of jewellery. I have become aware of the processes I use as a maker and how these effect the meaning of the finished product. I have become aware of my own relationship with the objects I produce and how this effects them when they enter the world as an object.


Most recently, I have been caught up with my fascination with hands; how, as artists we use our hands to make and create, and how this making forms a permanent relationship with the object produced. Through my works I enjoy creating objects that ponder this relationship. I have attempted to define the term ‘hand made’ by experimenting with making using only the hands, and no or minimal tools. I have produced a variety of objects, both wearable and non wearable.


I have been examining hands, and how they behave. Different ways of grasping, grabbing or touching something. My most recent works have examined the nature of tactility.


My process involves a fair amount of thinking, but an increasing amount of play. I am trying to play more with material in order to better understand its behaviours and its properties. I have found this new way of thinking to be invaluable in my process. Some of my most successful pieces have come about as a result of a material experiment. My aim is to try to allow the material to speak its own language within the object created. The significance of material cannot be overlooked in creating objects, as each material carries its own set of codes and signs.


Ultimately, through my object making, I intend to try and create interesting objects which communicate with the body, rather than simply adorn it.


Natalie Walker

Newport, Sydney

NSW, 2106

I am an international student from the UK studying at the University of Sydney’s Sydney College of the arts. I am studying a Bachelor of Visual Arts, majoring in Jewellery and Object design. I am currently looking for a position within the jewellery industry, where I can work to maintain and improve my skills alongside my studies. I have adequate bench skills, and have two years experience with most basic metal smithing processes including soldering. I am also confident working with larger machinery in the jewellery workshop, and I am familiar with the OH and S requirements for such machinery. Through my work to date I have worked with sterling silver, fine silver, copper, brass, nickel silver, aluminum, pvc and resin. I have had experience with outsourcing industrial processes such as wax casting, model making, gold and silver plating and anodizing. I take pride in every aspect of my work, and always strive to produce to produce the highest possible standard of finished work.

I am a highly motivated individual, with strong career goals and aims. I am fiercely independent, having done a lot of traveling and now settling in Australia to study. I am highly committed to my studies and my work. I put 100% into everything I commit to. I work well in a team, but am also able to work efficiently alone, with good organizational skills. I am always keen to learn new things, and enjoy being taught


  • UK high school certificate finishing with A level Grades:

Ø    Biology A

Ø    Chemistry A

Ø    Visual Arts B

Ø    Geography C

  • Near completion of second year of bachelor of visual arts at Sydney College of the Arts (Sydney University) majoring in Jewellery and object.

Ø    Year 2 Sem 1: Average 74.25 (Credit)

Ø    Year 1 Sem 2: Average 77.25 (Credit

Ø    Year 1 Sem 1: Average 79 (Credit)

Other Qualifications:

  • Surfing Australia Level 1 Surf coach
  • Surf Lifesaving bronze medallion
  • PADI Diver Qualifications up to and including Rescue diver.
  • Emergency first response first aid
  • RSA

Work experience

Sydney Work Experience

  • Manly Wharf Hotel

Manly Wharf, Sydney

Sept 06 – March 07


Both part and full time work behind the bar over a six-month period. Duties included general bar duties, till use and cleaning.

  • General Pants Co

Waringah Mall, Sydney.


March 08 – Present.

Part time work in retail sales. Duties include general sales, till use and merchandising.