Studio Visit with Suzi Zutic
The e.g.etal team recently had the pleasure of visiting artist Suzi Zutic in her light-filled Melbourne studio. Surrounded by sweeping city views and antique furniture, Suzi opened up her trove of gems and showed us beautiful works in progress. While we oohed and ahhed over the pieces, we asked Suzi to explain a little about her inspiration and process …
How would you describe your work?
Romantic, and slightly ‘old world’.
What inspires your collection?
I’ve always had a curiosity and interest in artefacts and how we go about accurately trying to understand their history and the lives they may have had. I love that there is always a possibility for error and for another story. My collection has evolved over the years and I’m always exploring new ideas, but the reference to history seems to be a staple part.
How did you become a jeweller?
I always wanted to make jewellery, but its not the easiest field to get in to, especially as an apprentice. After I had already completed a degree in Interior Design at RMIT, I happened to attend a Gold & Silversmithing graduate exhibition and made up my mind I would apply, as a part time student. It took forever to complete, and then I punished myself more by studying gemmology for 2 years. Though I can’t really say it was a punishment, as I have loved every moment of getting here.
What materials do you prefer to work with?
I love yellow gold, it’s just beautiful to look at and work with. Even re-melting it is a pleasure, as it’s the most forgiving of the precious metals. As a gemologist I love gemstones. The harder wearing stones such as sapphire and diamond are a pleasure to work with. Sapphire comes in so many colours, and diamonds have a lustre like no other gemstone.
What draws you to the ‘icy’ or ‘frosted’ diamonds used in your collection?
They’re slightly mysterious and understated, but still have that beautiful diamond lustre. They’re generally a rose-cut (or variation on the traditional rose-cut) which lends itself nicely to the context of the work, which has an old world feel.
What influences the names of your pieces?
The names often reference some historical event or story. The name offers a clue to the wearer as to what has inspired the work. Sometimes a word is enough to create a link between an object and a place in time.