Wednesday, September 16, 2009


The Red Sand Garden, the Eucalypt Walk, and the Dry River Bed are just a few of the various landscapes found within Melbourne, Australia's Royal Botanic Gardens.

One other attraction located on the grounds is the National Herbarium of Victoria, which contains over one million-plant specimen. Australia is also the home of featured jewelry designer Simon Cottrell.

All jewelry is engaging no matter the style or type of materials used. It captures your attention causing you to marvel at its design.

Cottrell's jewelry and objects are not beautiful in a conventional sense, but the forms are undoubtedly intriguing.

Cottrell is a graduate of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMITU), receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Goldsmithing and Silversmithing, as well as a Masters Degree in Fine Arts.

His designs possess an absorbing mechanical and futuristic aspect as he implements not only gold and sterling silver but also stainless steel, and Monel. Monel is a corrosion-resistant metal used to make musical instruments, ships, and pipes, and the metal seems to add a substantial, almost militaristic dimension to his pieces.

His mixed metal objects and jewelry appear to possess a puzzle-like, interlocking component as though he made individual parts and assembled them. Interestingly enough, my visual deconstructing or constructing is exactly the reaction Cottrell wants.

There is a distinct, somewhat scientific, intellectualism to his creative process. "It is attentiveness that enables us to understand the nature of cause and effect within the production of materials. The visual `simplicity' of an object contains a complexity within its structure," he explains.

"I am materializing my view of the `nature of things', which in turn is just giving you something to look at and hopefully bring you in closer. Getting accustomed to looking closely at small things, like jewelry, leads us to break down the components of something larger."

Cottrell is the recipient of RMITU's L. Puzsar Award for Best Jewelry Design in Gold and Silversmithing, the Johnson Mathey Award for Excellence in Silversmithing, and the Koodak Peoples Choice Award. Exhibitions of his innovative designs have been held in India, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, London, the United States, Korea, and Germany.

Cottrell does not have a website at this time; however, you can view more of his objects and jewelry at
Photo 1 (top right): Green Gold and Stainless Steel Tight Cluster Brooch
Photo 2 (bottom left): Sterling Silver Blob Brooch with Facetted Tubes
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