Designer ready to show her mettle
MELBOURNE jewellery designer Jin Ah is working against the clock to create 100 pieces of her trademark perforated steel jewellery for an invitation-only show in New York later this year.
She has been selected as one of just 55 jewellers from around the world to take part in the famed LOOT exhibition and sales event at the Museum of Arts and Design.
“Contemporary jewellery is now really recognised as an art form,” she says. “The exhibition is a fantastic opportunity to represent Australia as a premier exponent of contemporary jewellery practice.”
Jin uses perforated mild steel to create beautiful jewellery pieces and injects colour in to them using a heating process.
For her, making jewellery is all about creating wearable unpredictable forms and the significance of the materials she works with.
“Perforated mild steel, often used for industrial or architectural purposes, transforms into sharp geometric structures. This transforms the steel from its manufacturing origins into a wearable piece of contemporary jewellery that explores form and space.”
The type of jewellery she creates and the base material of steel is especially significant to her. “The jewellery in reconstructed and deconstructed forms reflect my multicultural experience. I was born in Korea and studied in Germany and Australia.
“And the steel always reminds me of Australia’s mining industry and the country … and Korea is the third biggest steel importer, so it’s a connection that I love.”
In January she received an email from the curator of the LOOT exhibition who, she found out, had been following her work.
“She just sent me an email that she has followed my jewellery and really likes my perforation series and asked me to send some of my current work.”
A month later, after a further exchange of emails, she was formally invited to be part of the exhibition.
She must now create about 100 pieces to take with her to New York at the end of September: 50 pairs of earrings, 10 neckpieces, 20 pendants and 20 bracelets.
Jin works three days a week from a Brunswick studio she shares with other artists while her three-year-old daughter goes to creche. She sneaks in extra work on weekends when her husband is home.