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David Walker

What medium do you work in?
As a contemporary jeweler and maker of objects I work with almost any material but predominantly with metals including silver, gold, copper, brass, bronze, steel, aluminum and titanium.

Where is your studio?
I have just moved into a new studio recently transformed from the original garage / boat shed in the garden of my home in Guerilla Bay.

How long have you had your studio?
I am still in the process of setting up my studio having just moved from a studio I shared with my partner, Margaret Ainscow.

We shared the studio for 3 years since building our new home at Guerilla Bay.

Tell us what you love about your studio?
It has plenty of space to work in and to store materials and equipment with room to spare for future expansion.

It is painted white and the light from windows and skylights reverberates throughout the space.

The windows face west into a neighbour’s large park-like paddock but if I look left and southwards from my workbench I can see Broulee Island and the coastline beyond.

As soon as I enter the studio I feel a sense of calm and focus as if I am in a state of prolonged meditation. It’s a very satisfying and inspirational space to work in.

Tell us about the strangest object in your studio?

I have a life sized head made in steel wire that hangs in the studio.

It was made by one of my students in response to a project I set for them to draw a part of the body and then to interpret their drawing in three dimensions.

The open wire form has the appearance of an X-ray and is hard to determine which side is being viewed.

It is eerie and disturbing in some ways but also compelling and a reminder that art is not necessarily about elegant aesthetics.

My small collection:
These works were made from beer cans by an elderly gentleman in Geraldton, WA. They are a reminder that precious ideas can be made with humble materials. I particularly enjoy playing with the two dogs and they never fail to bring a smile.

Tell us about the oldest object in your studio?
At this point, having only just moved into my studio, I am yet to install a favoured artifact from my archives so the oldest object is one of my tools. On a sabbatical in London in 1980 I was commissioned to make a gift for a friend’s wife.

To assist the making process I bought a small bench vice that clamped to the kitchen table of the house we were renting in Islington. It was such a useful tool I brought it home to Australia and it has been used daily in the various studios I have occupied since.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what one thing from your studio would you most like to have with you and why?
The essential object for my stay on a desert island is my jeweller’s piercing saw. It will cut any material from the hardest metals to the softest woods and make short work of bone and shell.

It would enable me to continue my creative practice and to explore ideas with any available material while I play the part of Robinson Crusoe.

Tell us about your art practice?
My jewellery and objects explore narratives and experiences of the Australian climate and landscape. Working with silver, gold, stainless steel and titanium, I use the creative process to reflect on connections with my environment.

Recent jewellery works have focused on the light and space that surrounds the foliage of plants and trees as they restlessly move in tandem with wind or the passing movement of the viewer. On the other hand the objects I make explore function, form and structure that connect with the architecture of our urban environments.