I started working with silicon, I think it was year 2 in art school and I sort of really got hooked by not using it as a mold but using it to take the shape of things like pouring it over a salt and pepper shaker to make something that looked like a rocket. Pouring it inside funnels, making wobbly things, and I think it was the wobbliness and sort of the inherent sexual connotations that come with wobbliness got me going And you know, its ability to move and communicate it was so much easier to do that with a wobbly silly thing than something serious and hard and cold like silver. So the Puddle Pendant that’s in Wunderrūma was actually a by-product of something else I was doing. So this process was kind of by accident. It was basically a project that I was doing with Lisa Walker and the ‘Handshake Project’ And we were doing this little experiment where she would send me something and I’d do something to it and send it back and we went back and forth about five times But when it first came to me it was just a piece of plastic like off a lunch box or something just a sort of bowl thing, and so my first instinct was to drill holes in it and the second idea was to layer up silicon inside it So I decided to combine the two and drill holes in it and then drip silicone through it So I sort of figured out a contraption to hold the thing together and started dripping it through and then I got this awesome puddle underneath and I was like “oh, yay!”, you know, just the greatest kind of accidents bring about the best work sometimes. The Snow Brooch came about when I went to Munich in 2013 for the Handshake show And when I arrived there there was snow all over the ground And, you know, coming from New Zealand, I haven’t spent that much time with snow As it got warmer it started melting, and everyone else started arriving and, you know, by the time the Schmuck week was on there was no snow on the ground, just these piles of really dirty snow that had been sort of shovelled off the paths and they were getting smaller and smaller as the days went by And it was about then that I had the idea of making a snow brooch You know, making a snow ball, wearing it for awhile But devastatingly there was no snow left So, on the last day actually me, Fran and Renee went to Neuremberg, and on the train as we were going further north the snow started falling and there was more and more snow and I started getting really really excited ’cause I could make this brooch. And of course no one would see it so I wanted to video it, you know I could video it on my iPod. As we were walking through the town I was scouting out the perfect kind of spot to do the video and make this snow brooch. And I finally found it on this bridge and just sort of did it in one take. My iPod was about out of batteries so I only just got it and Renee just stopped recording right after I’d put it on and it had fallen off and it was just perfect timing. I think it’s probably the best brooch I’ve ever made and it was just so good that I’ve got it on tape The sushi brooch was quite funny actually. I went with a few friends from work op-shopping in South Auckland and we’d been to, I think, 3 or 4 op-shops and I hadn’t bought anything and everyone else had bought some clothes and some things or whatever and I just hadn’t found anything exciting. And then we were at the check-out and I was just waiting for my friends to go through and I saw this packet of fake sushi just sitting there by the counter and I was like, “woah!”, and I had a look around at it and it had a $2 dollar sticker on it and it had a little sticker on the side saying “From Janet’s giftshop in Samoa.” And it sort of started me wondering, you know When you see an object like that, well, when I see an object like that I immediately pick it up and sort of, you know, think about its wearability. And I just thought it was an instant brooch really. I took it back to work and stuck on a pin and called it a brooch. That’s kind of what I, you know, the thing I really love about jewellery and using found objects Special things like the found box of sushi and this thing Every now and then you find an object that’s so special that just has to be worn And it’s those things that really really engage people and get people talking You know it just grabs their interest I think, like, “what is that?” You know, like sometimes I wear a tube of UHU glue and so many people come up to me and say, “Excuse me, did you know you’ve got some glue on your shirt”, and I say “yeah”. That whole thing of catching someone’s eye by what you’re wearing and initiating a conversation, really ’cause, you know, the thing about, you know, everyone’s got their own sort of shyness about talking to a new bunch of people. But if you see someone who’s wearing something awesome you can just go up and go, “wow, what’s that?” and that’s an instant conversation starter So for awhile I was making these things just so that, you know, they could be conversation starters for people who owned them and, well that was my kind of context anyway, to use as a marker of “otherness.” You know, that you’re not normal like everyone else, you might be someone who’s interesting to talk to And breaking down those social barriers between strangers So that was kind of my starting point, and, you know that still drips through the whole, “look at me, look at me” kind of thing with these things ’cause, you know, they are very bright and colourful.