Artisan Jewellery by Lydia Baker
I am a proud Indigenous woman, wife and mother from beautiful Bundjalung Country, the northern coastal area of NSW, Australia. Like my ancestors before me, I have a wandering and creative spirit, descending from both the Mununjali Tribe of Beaudesert and the Butchulla Tribe of K'Gari (more commonly known as Fraser Island). I have always been drawn to the creative arts and have a love for all types of jewellery. These passions ignited my own journey a few years ago, with some sketches and tools, I began a self-taught journey into silversmithing and I love it. I love the process, creating with metal is so much fun. Not to mention opal shopping, meeting mad opal miners and hearing their stories.
I'm inspired by culture, the stories, our ancestors being custodians of the land, and my love for the Australian Bush. This includes the traditional aboriginal techniques of drawing dots, circles and symbols into the sand, on the rocks and onto themselves. The dot painting technique onto canvas, a more modern form of this tradition, gives me great inspiration also.
The jewellery I create is a blend of inspirations, my own personal stories and my connection with the land. From nature to paper, I spend countless hours creating my thoughts into designs using these inspirations.
I then begin ...
My hand drawn designs then take shape. I start with recycled sterling silver metal, in sheet or wire forms. I use a jewellers saw to cut out shapes and hand saw the metal. I use many different metal working tools, stamps and hammers (mostly from dads shed or purchased second hand at flea markets). I love using tools that have been around for years, each leaves its own mark on the metal. I'll use a jewellers torch to then heat the sterling metal and solder all my pieces together. After a piece is constructed, its then time to polish and finally set those beautiful stones.