Recently part of the Felt exhibition like something different at Our City O-Tautahi, Bethany started making jewellery three years ago while living in Britain and is now based in Christchurch.
What do you make?
I make contemporary jewellery out of mainly sterling silver
Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
At the moment I’m really loving hammering sterling silver and then polishing it so the dents and bumps are more pronounced. I also love the technique called reticulation. You heat and cool the silver around 5 times until just the top begins to melt. This gives the metal a nice organic bumpy look (see Mountain Ring). I just bought an anvil, it’s soooooooo good.
What inspires you?
Fine art, at the moment sculpture in particular. Other artistic minds. The over the top totally unwearable jewellery of contemporary jewellers from Europe.
Describe your workspace:
Well I have what I like to call a studio but really it’s our entrance way. I’ve put up pictures and things that inspire me. I also bought some great speakers for my ipod so i have great music all the time. My wonderful father has just made me a great work bench. It’s about 2 metres long so I can hammer and cut at one end, solder at the other and polish and do smaller stuff on area in the middle. On it I have my anvil, a dremmel (everyone needs one!), all my solder stuff. It’s just great having one bench area to do everything. I also have a mannequin which not only looks cool but is also handy to hang necklaces on to see how they look and if they are the right length.
What are you currently listening to?
Recommend an album:
Jeff Buckley Greatest Hits. Even though he wasn’t really around long enough for a greatest hits the album brings together his most famous works, some cool covers and live recordings. His voice is heart breakingly beautiful
Your favourite childhood book?
The Velveteen Rabbit
What are you reading now?
Flashman and the Redskins. The Flashman series is really cool, it’s about a Victorian cad who just happens to be at famous places in time. So they are historical novels but also kind of funny. Oh and very un-PC, just to warn you.
I don’t really know. I guess my mum and dad. They are currently literally building their own house in the straw bale style which is cool. Also they managed to give us a great childhood that didn’t involve doing expensive things and we still had a great time.
A favourite quote: “You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off” (original Italian Job)
Do you have any pets?
Yes my wee one Araf. She’s a Jack Russell cross (we think with a Chihuahua).