Introducing: Georgie Brooks
Artist Georgie Brooks joins e.g.etal with a new precious collection, launching 16 July, 2018.
For this body of work, Brooks manipulates metal surfaces so that they become weathered and worn. This transformation gives her jewellery a mysterious quality: like the discovery of a buried treasure, these pieces appear to have another story to tell.
Brooks’ practice is inspired by Viking and Saxon hoards: pieces lost for hundreds of years and then rediscovered, often featuring surprisingly contemporary designs, using techniques that are still unchanged today.
Paired with her intriguing metals are character-filled gemstones. Every stone has been sourced from the Australian earth, selected by the artist and then hand-cut by a master gem cutter. Featuring non-traditional shapes, the final design of the gemstone is informed by its natural form.
Georgie Brooks’ new collection will debut at e.g.etal on 16 July. Join us for drinks with the artist on Friday 20 July from 5-7pm. Email [email protected] to attend.
Q&A with Georgie Brooks
How would you describe your aesthetic?
I feel that the aesthetic I try to achieve attempts to encourage tactility. I use textures and contrasting materials to generate interaction with my work. I play with surfaces that appear quite rough or present a question about how it is made. But then when the piece is worn it feels almost weathered. There is definitely an element of the hand made in my work but I also strive to contrast this with precision comfort fits, for example.
What made you want to become a jewellery artist?
For a long time I worked as an exhibition designer for cultural environments, sometimes for contemporary artists. These exhibitions often made me feel that I should be working in a more making-based practice, and this inkling became very strong whilst I was living in London. I was working as a senior designer for an interpretive design company whilst also managing small pop-up spaces that promoted Australian contemporary jewellery and design. I decided to do a short jewellery course at Central St Martins, and I became hooked. I said to myself that as soon as I didn’t enjoy it anymore I always had spatial design to fall back on … but I don’t think I have ever been more satisfied in my career since embarking on a contemporary jewellery practice. It took me about 9 years of part time study whilst working, but now that I am working full time as a contemporary jeweller I couldn’t feel more satisfaction in what I do.
What influences and inspires you?
I am fascinated with Viking or Saxon hoards and how these pieces were lost for hundreds of years and then rediscovered. Often these collections are incredibly contemporary, and it amazes me that some of the techniques are still unchanged today. I am very interested in how we can merge ancient techniques with modern technologies such as 3D printing.
How do you approach making new work?
I work in a very process-driven way, where I am often unsure of the outcome. I play with and push surfaces in ways that are very experimental. It can often take hours or days to find a surface I am happy with. Alternatively, I implement my design skills to be quite technical about how I make something. Stones or bezels for example I can model in CAD to see exactly how they look I then merge this with a very hand-made process of casting and carving materials into different weathered surfaces. I also enjoy carving metals. My rings, for example, all have a perfectly hand carved comfort fit.
What are your favourite materials to work with?
I love gold. It is so beautiful to carve, solder and manipulate. I also love working with my rough gemstones. I select a rough and have no idea sometimes what colour it will end up being, especially if it is a parti sapphire. When developing my surfaces I make a lot of my own moulds, so I play a lot with a silicone rubber called Pinkysil. This material lets me reinvent different surfaces in very unexpected ways. It is really fun and generates amazing results.