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Jewellery masters teach masterclass

Karl Fritsch and Lisa Walker

Internationally renowned artists Karl Fritsch and Lisa Walker were in Hobart recently sharing their jewellery-making expertise.

Both Karl and Lisa are known for their highly experimental, imaginative and beautiful jewellery designs.

The pair taught a jewellery masterclass at the UTAS School of Art on Hobart’s waterfront. The class was part of the  Creative Tasmania summer school.

Lisa said the jewellery masterclass was “fantastic.”

“Things are working really well. It’s a good level of intensity for everyone.”

Karl is a German-born jeweller whose craft has been defined as “artistic intervention.”

Karl often uses existing jewellery to create wholly unique and inspired renovations of traditional jewellery.

He studied at the Goldsmiths’ College in Pforzheim and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and his works has been included in museum collections across Europe.

“My practice is very process-related.

“In 1982 I started to learn jewellery by accident. It was just lucky. I missed the deadline for woodcarving school.

“Basically since then I learned all the jewellery techniques and keep working with what I learned,” he said.

“It’s an ongoing thing- I’m hooked.”

Karl is renowned for his boundary-pushing rings, many of which are very appealing in their rebellious design. Where most rings are generally smooth and streamlined, some of Karl’s designs are bumpy, raw and playful. He said he is particularly drawn to rings.

“I like that the ring is a piece of jewellery that you wear straight on your body. It’s basic, it’s on your hand, it touches everything you touch, you see it, it moves with you.

“I just like the size of the ring- it’s a scale I feel very comfortable with,” he said.

“Rings can mean many things- you wear them as a talisman.”

Lisa is a New Zealand born jeweller, artist and designer, working mostly in contemporary jewellery. She has exhibited in museums and galleries in Europe, Asia and America.

She works with a large range of materials and techniques, making reactionary work that is consciously active with influences from all walks of culture and life.

Her work is both outrageous and cheeky- one piece features a full-sized laptop strung on a rope, making a large, cumbersome necklace for a brave wearer.

“Some (of my) pieces are very easy to wear and others are uncomfortable to wear. But they all exist in the realm of jewellery.

“The fact that I work within jewellery is information for the pieces and all the limits that jewellery has and the aspects of jewellery.”

Lisa said she “landed” in jewellery making- when she was a child she wanted to be a dentist.

“It wasn’t really a decision. When I was about 19 there were a few areas I was interested in, photography was one, dance was another.

“I found about the Craft and Design course at the Otago Polytechnic Art School so I got a portfolio together for that,” she said.

“It was pretty quick I realised I had an affinity to metal and the tools that work it.”

Lisa laughed and said there were some crossovers between jewellery making and her childhood career dreams of dentistry.

“You work within a small space and some of tools are the same,” she said.

For more information visit Creative Tasmania.

Published on: 25 Jan 2012 12:57pm