Herald Sun

De­signer ready to show her met­tle

- MICHELLE POUNT­NEY

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.

 ??  ?? Brunswick de­signer Jin Ah with some of the jew­ellery she was in­vited to show at an ex­hi­bi­tion in New York in Septem­ber.
Brunswick de­signer Jin Ah with some of the jew­ellery she was in­vited to show at an ex­hi­bi­tion in New York in Septem­ber.
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