Tag Archives: Workshop Level

Mapping the Terrain—Architecture and the Hand

Architecture. Landscape. Jewellery. The Body. The intimate connection between these four fascinates contemporary jeweller Sabine Pagan.

Pagan Anew a

Sabine Pagan – ‘Anew’

Sabine designs and makes large, bold statement rings that might look simple at first glance, but don’t be fooled. Sabine designs by thinking about the position of the piece on the finger and its relationship to the hand as a whole. Her bespoke pieces have a special relationship between the round part of the ring and the detail on top, with light shining through the gaps between elements.

“Contemporary jewellery is about the body,” says Sabine. “My pieces are about the spatial and sensorial relationships we develop with our built environment. They’re not miniature but definitely wearable.

Pagan_Untitled d

Sabine Pagan ‘Untitled’

“When worn, the ring is unlike any other kind of jewellery. Anchored to the hand, a ring acts as an extension of the body. It’s visible to the wearer and viewer. I’m drawn to the intimate scale of rings and the roles they play both when worn and detached from the body.”

Mapping the terrain between jewellery, architecture and landscape is what Sabine will discuss this Wednesday, 24 May, at the 5×5 ACT Speaker Series, hosted by the Design Institute of Australia. And she’ll show images of some of her amazing work.

Sabine uses a range of materials including monel (a nickel-copper alloy), Delrin (a crystalline plastic), sterling silver, and anodised aluminium, and her biggest challenge is creating jewellery in time. “My work looks simple in some ways but is difficult and time consuming to achieve,” she says. “I spend weeks working on one piece.”

Later this year, the jeweller will design a collection influenced by Canberra, with ideas already dancing in Sabine’s head. “I’m thinking about the idea of ‘mapping’ since Canberra is a designed city,” says Sabine. “I’m also thinking of the four seasons and how that plays on light and buildings. I walk the dog around the lake two to three times a week and I see how the buildings and environment continually change.”

Sabine says she is an active observer and user of the architecture that surrounds her: “Its presence affects me. I’m curious about how I relate to, and interact with, places and I search for possible connections with the emotional sensibilities we hold towards the wearable object. Then, with a jeweller’s eye, I dwell on detail, function, material and craftsmanship.”

Pagan_Site Specific (1)

Sabine Pagan- ‘Site Specific’

Born and educated in Switzerland, Sabine is also a gemologist and educator. She established an independent studio practice in Australia in 1998 (currently working out of Queanbeyan). She’s widely exhibited and works on commissions and limited editions of jewellery.

This is the DIA’s 70th year in being the voice of professional design in Australia. The 24 May 5×5 ACT Speaker Series will also feature Tim Fulton, a graphic designer with Swell Design Group, Philip Quartly, who works in exhibition design at Designcraft, Jeremy Lepisto, a glass artist from studio Workshop Level, and Rolf Barfoed, a nationally awarded fine furniture maker.

“The 5×5 ACT Speakers Series is designed to be a stimulating evening exploring experiences, projects, successes and failures,” says Lisa Biddiscombe, President of the ACT Branch.  “And it’s about inspiring people to value design, promote Australian design and connect designers with others.”

Sabines piece - On the Way to Vals

Sabine Pagan – ‘On the Way to Vals’

5×5 Speakers Series, 24 May at 6pm, 12 Pirie Street Fyshwick. Non-members $25; Members $20; Students $15. Refreshments and beverages provided. Register here.


See Canberra’s Living Artist Exhibition … by bus!

In less than two weeks, Canberra’s biggest ever design festival gets underway. If you haven’t yet trawled through the 70 events on offer during DESIGN Canberra, now’s the time. Planning is the name of the game here, so you don’t miss out on something you really, really want to see. By Wendy Johnson

One of the five segments of DESIGN Canberra is the Living Artists program. This gives you exclusive insights into the innovative work of some of our best artists and design firms. How? These creatives are throwing their doors open to the public and letting you into their world. This segment is so popular that DESIGN Canberra has put on two guided bus tours—of interest if you can’t be fussed driving all over the place. They’re a bargain at $25 (but book early as places are limited). On Saturday 21 November you tour from 11am to 3 pm and on Sunday 22 November 10 am to 1pm.

Jenni Martiniello's glasswork studio

Jenni Martiniello’s glasswork studio

Lisa Cahill, Cascade #2, 2013. Image: Greg Piper. View at The Hayshed

Lisa Cahill, Cascade #2, 2013. Image: Greg Piper. View at The Hayshed

Saturday’s tour includes Canberra Glassworks, housed in the historic Kingston Powerhouse and Australia’s only cultural centre wholly dedicated to contemporary glass. This studio is currently home to glass artists such as Jenni Martiniello, Brian Corr, Emilie Patteson, Melinda Willis, John White and Nikki Main. The Hayshed in leafy Pialligo is where three professional artists work. Lisa Cahill and Kirstie Rea use glass as their primary medium. Julie Ryder has been working in textiles for 25 years and exhibits nationally and internationally. The next stop on Saturday is M16 Artspace, a studio and gallery complex in Griffith. M16 features the work of 15 artists who create across jewellery, textile design and mixed media visual arts. 



Sunday’s bus tour takes you to Workshop Level, a studio built by Mel George and Jeremy Lepisto to make custom glass projects for themselves and others. Mel is also the curator at Craft ACT. Then it’s over to Curtisglassart where Matthew Curtis and Harriet Schwarzrock work in a studio at the back of their home—predominantly with molten glass making sculptural work for exhibition. Next up is Six Wiluna, a shared workshop established by director Elliot Bastianon and housing artists Luke Batten, Andrew Carvolth, Nicholas Harper and Sam Ryrie. Here you’ll see furniture, gold and silversmithing, and sculpture.

Workshop Level Open Studio: Jeremy Lepisto, Further from Here, 2015. Image: Paul Foster

Workshop Level Open Studio: Jeremy Lepisto, Further from Here, 2015. Image: Paul Foster

And last, but not least, it’s off to Queanbeyan to visit Pocket Studio, run by gold and silversmith Alison Jackson. Alison has just finished her first solo exhibition, Table Tools, at Craft ACT, and has also completed a CO-LAB project with renowned designer maker Jon Goulder. The pair made Cheese Companions for Agency in Braddon. At Pocket Studio you’ll see Alison’s jewellery and tableware.

Copper Vessel by Alison Jackson; photo by Angela Bakker

Copper Vessel by Alison Jackson; photo by Angela Bakker

DESIGN Canberra is an initiative of Craft Act: Craft and Design Centre.

Visit the website and stay with Lost Four Words for more coverage of what you can expect during this massive festival.