Katherine Bowman, jeweller

Katherine Bowman starting making jewellery as a child, using tools she found in her Dad’s garage. Much later, she went on to study Fine Art History at Melbourne University, and then Gold and Silversmithing at RMIT, where she now teaches.


‘Journey’ ring. 2011


Even to the casual observer, tactility is key to Katherine’s work. She says that it is an essential ingredient for her. “I think that sense of touch allows people to make their own stories with the work or about the work. I think that’s the whole point of making, to have a response from a person.”

It is this hand-made quality that is also one of the things that inspires her about jewellery from older times and places, including ancient Roman, early Egyptian and pre-Cycladic art. She loves that it looks like it is handmade, inclusive of tool marks and its process, and that the imperfection inherent in the handmade is what makes it perfect.


katherine bowman - treasure ring

katherine bowman – treasure ring with pink sapphires



18ct yellow gold Thin Random ring set with white and champagne diamonds, and a ruby on the inside. 2011.


Her choice of materials is based on their aesthetic value, and while she chooses gold for much of her work, the choice is based on its colour and luminosity as much as for its inherent value. She also likes to use a collection of stones in one piece, “because there is never just one side to any story. And different stories contain different things, like fragments of songs and smells and other things that cannot be explained in just one way.” She likes how the idea continues to grow with the wearer. From her most recent collection ‘Journeys’, she states “Jewellery is like a travelling story; it collects vignettes and memories as an individual wears each piece.”

earrings – sterling silver with yellow gold plate. 2011


katherine bowman - jewel box ring

katherine bowman – jewel box ring


Lily ring


“I try and make something new look like it’s old, like it has an energy and life of its own that came through its own creation. That is very important to me. There’s so much jewellery in the world, but there’s only one me. The jewellery I make comes from everything that I know. Hopefully the end result carries some of that.”


katherine bowman - celestial necklace

katherine bowman – celestial necklace


Shifting mediums with ease, Katherine Bowman is a drawer and painter, and sculptor too. Of course, her illustrations for jewellery designs are stunning.


katherine bowman – illustration


And Katherine also takes gorgeous photographs. You can check her drawings, paintings, and photographs on her blog here, and on her website here.

You can see her jewellery at e.g.etal and Studio Ingot.

Tamara Schneider – FW Textiles

Funky Wombat Textiles is Tamara Schneider. A graduate of both the Whitehouse School of Fashion Design and the RMIT School of Fashion and Textiles, she then went on to complete an internship with the fabulous Timorous Beasties in the UK (and you seriously need to check those guys out too!).


tamara schneider - in bloom (spring blue)

tamara schneider – in bloom (spring blue)


tamara schneider - hibiscus swirl

tamara schneider – hibiscus swirl


She returned to Australia and launched FWT in 2010 with her signature Lyrebird range of prints. Since then she has continued to add new designs, applying them to an ever increasing range of items. Besides providing prints on base cloth for use in upholstery and drapery, FWT also has a range of textile homewares, including lampshades, cushions and hand-printed teatowels.


tamara schneider - blooming heaven (emerald)

tamara schneider – blooming heaven (emerald)


tamara schneider - blooming heaven (raspberry)

tamara schneider – blooming heaven (raspberry)


Tamara uses a combination of hand drawn illustration and computer aided design to create her original designs, and fabrics are printed both by hand and digitally. And having the flexibility of being in a small business means that fabric and wallpaper can be custom coloured, and printed on demand.


tamara schneider - birds in the flowers (aqua)

tamara schneider – birds in the flowers (aqua)


tamara schneider - birds in the flowers lampshade

tamara schneider – birds in the flowers lampshade


Environmental concerns are also of high importance to her, and so water based pigment is used for both the digital printing and the hand printing. Water based inks do not contain PVC or phthalates and are much more environmentally friendly. She states “Aware of the environmental aspects of traditional textile printing techniques Funky Wombat Textiles is constantly reviewing and upgrading its production and manufacturing processes in order to ensure that the only impact it makes is an aesthetic one.”


tamara's workspace

tamara’s workspace


Funky Wombat Textiles is based in Melbourne. You can find their website here, and you can join them on Facebook here.


Kathy Fernandez – wood

“Within repetition of quite ordinary things in the everyday, there is infinite variation. Go for a walk, and pick up a rock. Pick up another one, just nearby. Compare them. Both are composed of coarsely grained granite. both are roughly the same size. Look closer. This one has orange and bright green lichen; that one has soft, damp moss. This one – here a bump, there a hollow. This one has a small crystal of white quartz embedded … and so on. Each rock has a myriad of subtle differences, available to those who bother to take closer look.”  – Julie Gibbons, 2001.


Here is the first in a series of photographic essays from contributing artists. Each of these photographers has paused for a brief moment to take a closer look, and has seen something extraordinary.


The first is Kathy Fernandez. I hope you enjoy her vision as much as I do.














Kathy Fernandez has always been drawn to the captured image.  She was completely awestruck on viewing the rich denseness and light of Velazquez‘ painting Las Meninas at its home in the Museo del Prado in Spain, and is equally captivated by the majesty of Nick Brandt‘s wildlife photography.

Kathy is a psychologist by trade, and lives near Kincumba Mountain on the Central Coast of NSW, where these photographs were taken. You can find more of Kathy’s work on her website here, and on her blog here.