Sunday, 24 November 2013

I'm MOVING Blogs!

In an attempt to condense, refresh and hopefully simplify my online presence, i'm changing blog hosts over to tumblr.

Accompanying my website,, my new blog, ahhness HQ, will continue to act as a news board for all things ahhness related including new work, shows, events and inspiration.

This is my last post for Sad as i am to leave this old friend, i hope you will stop by ahhness HQ for a look and follow.

See you there!

Monday, 9 September 2013


I've finally done it! After much dragging of feet, i've managed to get together a little website to help tidy up my showcase of work. The website by no means is a comprehensive folio of ALL my work, i'll leave my blog to do the job of journaling all my various projects and pieces. The website will aim to highlight a selection of pieces from both my conceptual, production and precious collections.

I have also taken the plunge and opened a small online shop. I am still learning on the job, so please be patient and keep checking back as i update and adjust things as i go along.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

All that glitters...

As i've been rapidly expanding my precious collection, i thought i'd do a recap post taking a stroll through some of my designs to date. 

I work predominantly in 18ct yellow or white gold, though i am open to discussing other precious metals. I also mainly work with sapphires and diamonds as they offer both a vast array of colours, from dusty pinks, greens, mauve, blues, yellows, champagnes, brilliant whites etc, as well as giving you the hardness and longevity to sparkle away for an eternity and beyond.

I design both women's and men's pieces and am always open to chatting about custom designs.

If you have a special occasion you'd like to mark with something golden and/or sparkling, drop me an email for a little chat on what i can design for you.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

A little bit of twinkle.

A new little twinkling treasure just delivered to Pieces of Eight Gallery.
This 18ct yellow gold ring houses a spray of champagne and white diamonds sprouting amongst a subtly botanical setting.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Black Gold.

A new addition to my collection of precious rings.

Black Gold in an oxidised 18ct yellow gold band is unisex and can be made in any width or thickness.

The oxidising process turns the golden lustre of the band to a dark smokey black. However, over time and with wear, the gold starts to shine it's way back through, a slow subtle reveal. The band has a rough file mark texture which gives the golden surface a soft and subtle tone, earthy and subdued.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

A special pair of wedders, for a very special pair.

Fresh off the bench, these 18ct white gold wedding bands are about to find their home on the fingers of a very lovely couple who shall remain nameless until after the wedding. But for now, i have the pleasure of sharing a little snapshot of the rings.

His is a plain 18ct white gold wedder with a rough textured finish, while hers in an 18ct white gold wedder, also with a rough finish and with a scattering of small coloured sapphires in various tonal shades of mauve and dusty green.

More pics to come...

Wednesday, 8 May 2013


More images to come...

Diamonds and sapphires and gold, OH MY!

My new collection of engagement and wedding rings marry the clean crisp lines of beautiful princess cut stones with organic soft settings.
Diamonds and sapphires are set into 18ct yellow and white gold, celebrating, not concealing the handmade techniques of stone setting.
Textured and raw, the gold acts as a soft and muted backdrop to the bewitching sparkle of the stones it contains. Hammer marks and scratches remain visible in the metal, giving life and story to each piece.
As though recovered from an archeological dig, these rings echo a sense of mystery and magic.

These rings are now available at e.g.etal. Custom commissions are available.

Image, (from bottom to top):

18ct yellow gold ring with 18 x diamonds
18ct yellow gold ring with solitaire princess cut Champagne diamond
18ct white gold ring with princess cut Parti sapphire & 20 x diamonds
18ct white gold ring with princess cut diamond and 2 x parti sapphires and 10 x diamonds on shoulder
18ct white gold ring with 18 x diamonds


This year will see Melbourne contemporary jewellery, e.g.etal, celebrate it's 15'th birthday.
To celebrate this milestone, e.g.etal has asked it's artist to create bespoke pieces that explore the number 15 in any which way they wish.

I contemplated the idea of time, of milestones, and thought about ways in which we mark special moments in our lives. We take photos, keep journals, throw parties, give gifts, get tattoos... all manner of things.

This idea of markers of time led me to reflect on the humble charm bracelet. They come and go with fashions, but somehow they seem to remain and hold their own as treasured reminders of places, people and events in our lives that we want to keep close.

With this though in mind, i set out to create my own version of the charm bracelet. I had no intention to break any new ground, it's a simple bracelet, it's practical, comfortable and understated. The charms are small and quiet, their forms are abstract yet familiar, free of prescribed ideas and notions of what should be celebrated. Each one is open to interpretation and meaning.

Hand made from silver (bright or oxidised), 18ct yellow gold, 9ct rose gold, bone and resin, each charm is a one off.

The e.g.etal charm bracelet has 15 one off charms and will be available once the 15 year celebrations kick off.

Individual bracelets can be ordered with specific charm requests, with room to always add more as time goes by.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Special Commission Story.

Late last year at our Open Studio event, a lovely couple approached me to ask if i could be commissioned to make a special wedding necklace based on some of my designs on show.
Always ready and excited to take on a new project and challenge, i made a time to meet up with the lovely bride to be, Lauryn, to have a chat about what she might like to have made.

The brief was to create a necklace that combined a collage of handmade beads made from a variety of materials such as resin, ceramic and timber, all within a pallet of off whites, neutrals and dusty pinks, but still using the shapes and textures that she loved in my more colourful pieces. There was also the request to add a little shock of colour and preciousness with the addition of a piece of rough turquoise and a handmade silver bead or two.

While taking into consideration the neckline of the wedding dress, the desired pallet, and the variety of materials, Lauryn was more than happy to let me run free with the brief allowed me to play with a range of ideas and compositions, consulting via email and a few studio meetings to come up with a final design that was at once delicate, subtle, unique, whimsical and mysterious.

During the consultation and design process, i had the chance to chat with Lauryn about her wedding plans and future plans. It's always so lovely to hear people's stories and be a part of such a special occasion.

A few days ago i received a lovely email from Lauryn letting me know that the wedding was a success and that the necklace was a hit.

It's lovely to get such positive and happy feedback, and i thank Lauryn for letting me share this story and the beautiful pic she sent me from their special day.

I wish Lauryn and her new hubby all the best for all their future plans!!!


Thursday, 28 February 2013

Oops, its been a while...

above - work in progress
below - still from film

Yikes, time flies!!

Christmas came and went, and i've been back in the studio for ages, but somehow i've managed to completely lose track of time and this little blog of mine.

So, to quickly catch you up - along with chipping away at a new precious collection (stay tuned), i've also been working hard finishing off a very exciting collaborative project with contemporary dancer, and good buddy of mine, Katherine Doube.

This project is part of a major group show titled, Signature Style, curated by Nella Themelios and Kim Brockett. 

Here's a bit of a run down:

Signature Style is a major group exhibition exploring models of collaborative practice in contemporary jewellery. Featuring the work of some of Melbourne’s most exciting artists and jewellery practitioners Signature Style will be a significant addition to the emerging discourse around collaboration and contemporary craft. Collaboration poses a very different method of working – by its very nature, collaboration eschews individual artistic identity in favour of some kind of ‘third’ position.Signature Style will examine new methodologies of working and ‘work’, thinking through the potentials of collaboration within craft and design.

I teamed up with Katherine to create a wearable piece that at once informed and was informed by a choreographed piece of dance. 

The result has been an articulated shoulder piece that references something that lurks down in the deep blue sea while also paying homage to the undergarments of ballet and dance costumes.

Katherine's dance is a study of underwater movement observed in a variety of sea creatures, while also working consciously with the qualities and restrictions of the shoulder piece. 

The resulting dance piece was filmed in a blackened theatre space with carefully placed spot lighting to create the feel of a creature moving through a mysterious abyss. 

Both film and shoulder piece will be shown at the exhibition which opens at Craft Victoria next week.

Opening Thursday 7 March 2013, 6-8pm
At Craft, 31 Flinders Lane Melbourne
Showing from 8 March to 27 April 2013

The group show also includes work by:

Nicholas Bastin & Matthew Dux
Dan Bell, Bianca Hester, Charlie Sofo, Nathan Gray, Christopher LG Hill, Liang Luscombe & Oliver van der Lugt
Tessa Blazey & Alexi Freeman
Michaela Bruton & Kane Ikin
Milly Flemming & Dani Maugeri
Natalia Milosz-Piekarska & Katherine Doube
Nina Oikawa & Bridget Bodenham
Meredith Turnbull & Manon van Kouswijk
Karla Way & Dylan Martorell
Katherine Wheeler & Polly van der Glas

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Festive spirit.

Having a bit of fun in the studio getting pieces out to my various galleries in time for Christmas...

Sine a little light.

Summer is heating up, the Christmas rush is upon us, and love is definitely in the air. 

Here are two recent engagement commission to share...

An 18ct yellow gold engagement ring with a champagne and white diamonds, and an 18ct white gold engagement ring with a scattering of white diamonds.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012


Three new 18ct yellow gold rings.

Left: Laurel Ring - available at E.g.etal
Right: (top) Ancient Coil Ring, (bottom) Ancient Tracks Ring - available at Pieces of Eight.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Open Studio preparations...

Busy making pieces for our upcoming Open Studio. Do drop by if you can!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Nicholas Open Studios 2012! Aug 16th - 17th

It's that time of year again when our studio doors are flung open to the public for two days of show and tell and hopefully a bit of shopping. 

We'll also be open on that Saturday from 11 - 5pm as part of Craft Victoria's Craft Cubed satellite events. So come by, say hi, stay for a refreshment and peruse our wares. 

Sorry - Cash only!! 

Friday, 18 May 2012

Design Files interview - Fri 18th May 2012

A couple of weeks ago i was approached by the notoriously fantastic Design Files team for a bit of a chat and studio visit. I also had the privilege to meet The DF's creator, Lucy Feagins, when she came round to the studio to take some shots and have a bit of a chin wag. Lucy was a warm and generous interviewer and photographer who took the time to make sure she captured the essence of the space and my approach to my work.

I knew the interview would be posted up some time in the next few weeks, but i didnt know when exactly, so what a lovely surprise to find myself reading it over breakfast this morning.

Thanks Design Files!!!

Link to the interview on The Design Files Here.

Jeweller Natalia Milosz-Piekarska at work in her Melbourne studio.  Photo – Lucy Feagins
Details from the studio of jeweller Natalia Milosz-Piekarska.  Photos – Lucy Feagins
NEW things!  The Carnival Series by Natalia Milosz-Piekarska for E.g.etal
It’s been a while since I interviewed a jewellery designer,  but very glad to be back in jewellery-land today with incredibly talented local designer / maker Natalia Milosz-Piekarska!
Natalia’s work is so unique and for this reason kind of hard to describe.  For one thing, she has an incredible knack of disguising the materials she uses in her work.  Often combining handcarved timber and resin in irregular organic shapes, the pieces are incredibly lightweight, and once textured and painted in her signature vibrant hues, it’s not entirely clear exactly which materials have been used, or indeed where one material ends and the other starts.  It gives the works a real sense of other-worldliness, as familiar materials are re-worked into completely new unfamiliar forms.
Another unique characteristic of Natalia’s work is that many of the pieces, particularly the 3Dimensional timber / resin ones (see the brooches and rings below) feel almost like little living creatures!  Perhaps of the underwater or insect variety?  When visiting Natalia in her studio last week and seeing her work up close in person, so many of them really reminded me of characters from a Miyazaki animated film -Amazing! (As I rambled on and mentioned this uncanny resemblance, thankfully Natalia took it as a compliment, saying that’s exactly the look she was going for!  Phew!  I talk too much).
Last year Natalia was awarded the British Council ‘Realise Your Dream’ and Ian Potter Cultural Trust travel grants – both of which assisted her in undertaking a self initiated internship with renowned UK fashion/costume jeweller Scott Wilson in London!  Natalia researched and approached Scott directly, and found herself working for him for 6 months fulltime – an amazing opportunity which has given her an incredible wealth of experience and inspiration for her own practise upon returning to Melbourne.
Natalia is now back in a busy rhythm of designing and making new wearable works for her local stockists, and she also works one day a week lecturing at RMIT.  When not designing, making or lecturing, Natalia can also be found working at Pieces of Eight, which of course stocks her own jewellery pieces and the work of so many other wonderful local makers.
DO visit Natalia’s blog here!  You can buy her work at the very best local jewellery galleries - e.g.etal and Pieces of Eight in Melbourne, Metalab and Studio 20 / 17 in Sydney and many more stockists listed on her blog.
Massive thanks to Natalia for her time sharing her story with us today.  She’s offered up so much wisdom and generous advice for budding independent designers and makers – thankyou Natalia!
Jeweller Natalia Milosz-Piekarska in her Melbourne studio.  Photo – Lucy Feagins
Tell us a little bit about your background – What did you study and what path led you to what you’re doing now?
I initially studied Design/Visual Communication at Monash, and in my final year I had the opportunity to take up a gold and silversmithing class as an elective. I was actually really terrible at it, and when I graduated it wasn’t exactly at the forefront of my mind, though neither was a career as a graphic designer. So instead I collected a few stamps on the passport and travelled for three years.
It was upon my return to Melbourne, and after being hugely inspired by the contemporary jewellery scene both locally and abroad, that persuaded me to give gold and silversmithing another go. I did some short courses to get my basic skills up, before finally applying for RMIT’s Gold and Silversmithing degree. I studied for four years, and have been out in the real world making work almost full-time ever since. When I’m not in the studio you can find me teaching at RMIT one day a week or working at Pieces of Eight.
Stackable rings by Natalia Milosz-Piekarska for Pieces of Eight
You’ve recently returned back to Melbourne after a stint in London where you completed a studio internship with renowned fashion/costume jeweller Scott Wilson. What did you learn and take away from this experience?
It was an intensely exciting and challenging time! Apart from having followed and admiredScott Wilson’s practice for some time, one of the reasons I wanted to work for him was due to how different our aesthetics and practices are. Scott’s work, more often than not, is about beautiful clean lines, precision, angles and attention to detail. He’s also has a multifaceted practice where he produces his own collections, as well as collaborating with fashion designers and creating one off amazing costume pieces for musicians and performers. It was great working with someone who has successfully managed to straddle the worlds of art, design and fashion without compromising quality and craftsmanship. While working with Scott I picked up a whole bag of new technical skills that I otherwise wouldn’t normally apply to my organic, free form work, and I also gained a much greater understanding of how diverse and collaborative the world of a contemporary jeweller can be.
Last year you were awarded both the British Council ‘Realise Your Dream’ and Ian Potter Cultural Trust travel grants. Given your success rate, what advice can you creative types, like yourself, about the secret world of grants?
Oh, don’t jinx me! I don’t know if there are any big secrets I can divulge. I guess with my successful applications (and I assure you there have been many unsuccessful ones) it’s been mainly due to applying for the right grant at the right time of my career. If you’ve arrived at a certain point in your career development where you truly feel like some financial assistance is what’s needed to propel you to the next level, then it’s a matter of articulating this clearly to the funding body you’re applying to, and demonstrating how their assistance can greatly contribute to your future development. The more you apply for, the better you get at articulating what you’re about and what you want to get out of what you’re doing. I think the process of applying for grants is valuable in itself, as it really forces you to think about your work and the direction you want to take it.
Individually handcarved and painted jewellery pieces by Natalia Milosz-Piekarska, inspired by food.
How would you best describe your own style of jewellery design?
Eclectic, whimsical, curious and spirited. It’s usually colourful, a little bit peculiar, playful and maybe just a touch mysterious. I like to think my work triggers a sense of curiosity, humour and magic. I like the idea that people find themselves drawn to my work and develop some kind of unexplainable bond with it, as though it was a mysterious treasure of some kind.
Love these painterly design drawings by Natalia, inspired by tasty Japanese cuisine!
You’ve exhibited your work everywhere from local Australian contemporary jewellery matriarchs including Pieces of Eight, e.g.etal and Metalab to galleries abroad in Auckland, Munich and San Francisco. Do you have any advice for emerging contemporary jewellers looking to make, exhibit and sell their work in Australia?
I think one of the most important things you can do as an emerging jeweller, or any kind of artist/designer for that matter, is to be active within the creative community around you. There are a lot of great projects, facilities and opportunities out there for creatives to get involved in, and they’re generally not hard to find and be a part of. It’s a great way to build networks, have your work seen and help you develop the knowledge, contacts and know-how needed to propel you to the next level within your practice.
Can you tell us a little about your current Carnival Collection made exclusively for e.g.etal, and give us a little insight into the inner workings of Natalia M.P? From concept to finished product, what processes do you employ when beginning a new collection?
The Carnival Collection is the beginning of a new body of work I started developing since returning home from the UK late last year. It has taken me a bit of time to get back into the swing of things, so I started doing little abstract drawings to help tease out some ideas. These drawings ended pinned up next to my workbench, and after starring at them daily I finally decided to try and make a piece of jewellery loosely based on one. It turned out to be quite a sweet little piece, so naturally I kept going!
I don’t have one particular way of working, I can be quite chaotic and spontaneous. I have a strong conceptual side to my work that I always rely on, but at the end of the day I love working with colour and materials, and often let them tell the story. Sometimes an idea will evolve from a drawing, other times I’ll just sit down and start playing with a bit of wax or a piece of timber, and a shape I like will start to take hold sooner or later.
New Earrings by Natalia Milosz-Piekarska for E.g.etal
Which Australian designers, artists or creative people are you loving right now?
I love the work of Melbourne-based jeweller/object maker Nicholas Bastin. His recent show at Craft Victoria was a knock out! I’m still dreaming about owning some of the pieces from that show. Australian born, Europe-based Lucy McRae is also making some major waves with her various projects. I’m really impressed with the scale and breadth of her work.
Recently if I’ve been in need of a little boost of inspiration and wonderment, a walk around the Living Water: Contemporary Art of the Far Western Dessert exhibition has really hit the spot. It’s at the Ian Potter Gallery until the end of the year and showcases some of the most stunning contemporary Indigenous Australian paintings I have ever seen. Finally the industrious and talented crew at the newly established NorthCity4 in Brunswick, Melbourne are high on my radar. This fabulous group, comprised of prominent and successful jewellers and creative’s in their own right, has launched a fantastic studio-based initiative offering workspaces, workshops, seminars and more to the jewellery and wider creative community.
Can you list for us 5 resources across any media (ie specific websites, magazines, blogs or books) you turn when in need of a bolt of creative inspiration when beginning a new piece or collection?
Mr Kitly has a beautifully kept Tumblr, as does Confetti System, both which I have become slightly obsessed with.  Chicago-based artist Essimar does beautiful things with paper and other bits and bobs. Patternity is great if I just want to stare at an avalanche of awesome imagery. I must also admit that I am a serial mag flicker, I’ve always got random magazines (both trashy and high brow) on the go. Currently I have an issue of Apartamentoon my bedside table that is feeding me loads of inspiration.
What does a typical day day at work involve for you?
I’ll usually go through all my emails at home over a pot of coffee and breakfast, then I’ll make my way over to the studio in the Nicholas Building. With any luck by the time I arrive some of my studio buddies will waiting for me, so we can dabble in a little procrastinatory chit chat before finally nutting down and starting work for the day. I’ll then have a good long look at the mess on my bench and get down to whatever business needs attending to, which usually includes a combination of finishing off a piece from the day before, starting something new or wading through masses of paperwork and bookkeeping.
Lunch is a bit of a ritual for me and my studio buddy Karla Way, who I’ve shared a studio with since we both studied together. If we’re both in on the same day we’ll head out to get something from down the road, come back up to the studio and eat together, while musing over life and work and all the bits in between. Then it’s back to the bench or out running errands to and from metal casters, gem dealers, stockists, art supplies shops and the post office. Each day varies, but I truly love going to work. I love my studio and the people I share it with.
Natalia’s workspace in The Nicholas Building, Melbourne.  Photo – Lucy Feagins
What would be your dream creative project?
There’s no one dream project to be honest. I just aim to keep things diverse, challenging and exciting. I’m open to any number of things that come my way. At the moment I’m currently working with a contemporary dancer for an upcoming group exhibition, and through this process have found that I would love to explore more collaborative work with other creatives in the future. I also love to travel, so any opportunities that would allow me to marry my work with travel are high up on the ‘dream big’ list!
What are you looking forward to?
Lunch! But really, in the more long term I have a few exciting projects brewing (stay tuned!). Otherwise I’m pretty easily pleased. I look forward to lazy weekends, a good meal with good friends, and new travel adventures.
The One‘ – beautiful engagement rings by Natalia for Pieces of Eight

Melbourne Questions

Your favourite Melbourne neighbourhood and why?
Uh oh, that’s tricky. I’ve just recently moved north side after spending my entire life south side, so my loyalties are divided. It’s not really a Melbourne neighbourhood, but I do love the Mornington Peninsula. My mum and her partner have a house up there, so it’s accidentally become the perfect getaway any time of year.
Your favourite fossicking spots in Melbourne for jewellery supplies/tools of your trade?
I have a few suppliers that I go to for all the technical stuff, but nothing beats a good old rummage through Camberwell Market, Chapel Street Bazaar, Savers, hobby shops and good old Arthur Daley’s on Swanston Street, the later which supplies us with our never ending bowl of sugary treats in the studio.
Natalia’s trusty toolkit.  Photo – Lucy Feagins
What and where was the last great meal you ate in Melbourne?
I had a pretty epic breakfast at St Edmonds just off Greville Street the other day. Also I can’t go past a  veggie baguette from Waffle On on Degraves Street – it’s so big it will keep you going until dinner time! And I have to say, nothing beats a home cooked Sunday roast chicken like the one I had at my buddy’s house last weekend.
Where would we find you on a typical Saturday morning?
If all is well I might go for a morning run, mainly to justify the lazy coffee, newspaper and pastry ritual that follows. Then it’s anyone’s game.
Melbourne’s best kept secret?
Well, it’s not really Melbourne CBD, and it’s not really a secret, but there is a little local food store in Red Hill that has the most mouthwatering array of local produce including cheese, meats, preserves, wines, beers, the world’s (unofficial) best apple juice etc. – you name it, it has it! It seriously is that overwhelming that it’s been known to induce mild panic attacks caused by unadulterated happiness.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Showcase 500 Rings - Lark Publication

This epic publication arrived in the post the other day. A HUGE survey of contemporary rings from around the world, another great feat in keeping with the infamous 500 series books from the folk at Lark Craft Publications.

While flicking through it over breakfast, i was proud as punch to find myself nestled amongst many friends and heroes.

If you're a jewellery fan and collector of great art books, this hefty tome is definitely one to get you all inspired and amazed!
(Find here on Amazon)