Contemporary Australian Silver & Metalwork Award 2013

Team Bilk took a road trip to Bendigo to support some of our gallery artists who had made the final cut in the prestigious Contemporary Australian Silver & Metalwork Award 2013. Congratulations Helen Aitken-Kuhnen, Robert Foster, Larah Nott, Mark Edgoose, Jill Hermans, Blanche Tilden, Marcus Foley, Sarah Murphy and an extra special congratulations to Tracy Pateman for winning one of the awards!

“Bendigo Art Gallery is the host the Contemporary Australian Silver & Metalwork Award 2013 in partnership with Buda Historic Home and Garden, Castlemaine. This award is a unique biennial exhibition which aims to encourage, foster and promote excellence and innovation in Australian metalwork as well as cultivate an understanding and appreciation of silversmithing to a wider audience. The 2013 award exhibition brings together a survey of work by 55 artists from across Australia at varying stages of their careers, highlighting the diversity and calibre of current contemporary practice.” (

With thanks to Jenifer Rahmoy for the images below.


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‘An Arc of Crockery’ a retro perspective by Marcus Foley



Ever since my spontaneous decision, made leaning over a rubbish bin, to not put my wife’s favourite green dinner plate I’d just dropped and shattered whilst distractedly drying it with a tea towel, in that bin, but instead think, “hmm, I could make a ring with that” I have a found a use for any number of broken plates and not all of them broken by me. I love that something we all would normally throw out can, with careful selection and patience be given a second life for someone to wear as a piece of jewellery. When framed in silver or gold the shard is somehow honoured and enriched in a way that is almost transformative. The colours, patterns, inherent curvature of the plate or bowl and even the crackle in the glaze are considered and lend inspiration to what the jewellery piece will become. – Marcus Foley 2013



Opening Images and Congratulations!

Thanks to all who came along to the opening of ‘The Nature of Memory’ new work by Jess Dare.  A big thanks to Clare Belfrage for her thoughtful opening speech, everyone had such a lovely time drinking mulled wine and discovering the delights of the works.

Also a huge congratulations to Jess, for having her work selected as one of the finalists in the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize, her exhibition ‘The Nature of Memory’ continues until the 5th of July.


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‘The nature of memory’ – A solo exhibition by Jess Dare



Please join us for an opening celebration drink on Friday the 31st May 2013 from 6-8pm

The Nature of Memory: an exhibition of jewellery, objects and photographs relating to the fragility of memory by Jess Dare – Friday 31 May until 5 July 2013

Jess Dare is an accomplished gold and silversmith as well as an extraordinary lamp worker, she lives and works in Adelaide at the renowned Gray St Workshop. In this exhibition she aims to express the ephemeral nature of memory through the fragility of glass and nature itself. As a jeweller she has always been drawn to the miniature, and views the world, in small minute details. This intimate sense of scale draws people into a small world of wonder and awe at the delicately constructed works on display.

Her current work draws parallels between the different ways that throughout history people have attempted to preserve flowers by means of illustration, photography, flower pressing, and botanical models.  Another powerful influence has been the extraordinary works of Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka- particularly the highly realistic collection of glass plant models created by for Harvard University between 1887 to 1936.

The collection of works which form The Nature of Memory express Jess Dare’s  fascination with this universal human need to hold on and preserve memories and moments in time.

“ Whenever I see a beautiful flower I feel an overwhelming and instinctive desire to preserve it forever- a natural human reaction to the exquisite things of this world. But flowers are living things too – they bloom and then wither away and are, a constant reminder of the transience of life itself. The sharpness of memories are rounded off by time; the colours fade and details are lost. Even the prickliest of memories lose their sharpness in time. This idea of deterioration is most evident when trying to capture, preserve, study and admire a fleeting moment of a flower in full bloom. Something is always lost or compromised- the smell, softness, detail, the dimension or colour. “

Jess Dare 2013


This week we are showcasing new work by Maureen Fay-Chauhan, Mio Kuhnen, Marcus Foley, Johannes Kuhnen and Marian Hosking.

Come in and view their beautiful ear rings, containers pendants and rings. 


Marian Hosking – Silver Wattle brooch and vessel, 925 silver, porcelain 

ImageMio Kuhnen – Posie ear rings, 925 silver, millifiori, enamel 


Make sure you get your copy of The Canberra Times today to see the wonderful article about our current exhibition ‘CHAINED’!!

You have until the 18th of May to visit this super great exhibition!




chain chain Chained @ BIlk

Thirteen Australian artists interpretation of “The Chain”

Movement, articulation and a nod to the historical reference to a reoccurring unit: the link. Or better than a string of pearls!

The results are as varied and imaginative as the makers, some are vibrant, others elegant and restrained with simple coloured lines.The artists have explored the theme in gold, titanium, silver, aluminium, glass, wood, recycled signs, all with an over riding link of movement as they beautifully fit the body.

A real chain of events now showing at Bilk Gallery – Alice Potter, Blanche Tilden, Jill Hermans, Johannes Kuhnen, Mark Vaarwerk, Maureen Faye-Chauhan, Michelle Taylor, Nellie Peoples, Phoebe Porter, Sarah Murphy, Sophia Emmett, Sean O’Connell, Tracy Pateman

Opened Friday 12 April until 18 May 2013

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Congratulations Jess Dare!

A HUGE congratulations must go out to gallery artist, Jess Dare for having one of the pieces from her current solo exhibition acquired by the Art Gallery of South Australia!!

We are SUPER excited to be showing this work in the gallery later in the year, so stay tuned!!


 Xylem Neckpiece from the Nature of Memory exhibition by Jess Dare

Bloom & Blush – Opening

Bloom & Blush, our fabulous new exhibition, opened last Friday. It was a great night, with many friends and colleagues coming together to appreciate the truly amazing work of Kath Inglis and Peta Kruger. Come in before the 23rd March to see these beautiful pieces!

Bloom and Blush – Peta Kruger and Kath Inglis


Bloom and Blush

A colourful new collection of works by Adelaide based jewellers, Peta Kruger and Kath Inglis. The artists have worked through their respective materials of metal and plastic to create wearable blooms of pattern and colour.

ʻThe flora that I feel most acquainted with is not from nature but from decorative patterns found at home – on textiles, illustrations, ceramics, glassware and other costume jewellery, which make reference to their original source but grow and change over time with different fashions and materials. These motifs form the basis of a botanical collection of my own.ʼ – Peta Kruger 

ʻIn recent times, the carving tools that fit ever so well in my hands are often replaced with domestic tools. The steam iron, sandwich press and oven are ʻnew toolsʼ that offer new processes of heat and fusion to my work.

Mulitcoloured collages of cut and carved PVC form into patterns of growth – a two-speed economy ranging from the curious growth-like plodding pieces to dynamic explosions of boom and bust. – Kath Inglis