WA’s Best Christmas Market Bazaar is just a few weeks away. Enjoy browsing a range of exquisite, locally designed wares from more than 50 WA artisans. In the lead up to this year’s event, we’re getting to know some of our stallholders. First up we chatted to Brett Barker from ijewellery.
Hi Brett, tell us a bit about yourself and what you’ll be selling?
I come from a family of artists that spans four generations. I originally trained in Art Education and taught in schools across WA. 25 years ago I moved in establishing ijewellery. All the jewellery I produce is created in my workshop in Fremantle
As well as the vast range of designs I have created, I have also been commissioned to design pieces for lots of high profile people and organisations. A highlight included creating Cuff Links that were presented to His Royal Highness Prince William, Duke of Cambridge during his Australian visit in 2014.
How do you make the works? Tell us about your process
I hand make everything. No computers or laser cutting machines, just my hands. To me, making jewellery is like creating a sculpture. I am always drawing and designing. I get inspiration from local flora and fauna, and cultural icons. I also like to create designs with a little humour.
Drawing is always the start of the jewellery making process for me, if I can draw it I can make it. I use a wide variety of construction techniques including melting, pouring, rolling, sawing, carving and the lost wax process. It can take days and even weeks to go through all the stages of crafting a new design.
Why is it important to support local makers?
A lot of jewellery I see these days is mass-produced and poorly made. When you buy from a local artisan you can meet and know who has designed and handmade the item. It’s far more rewarding for the customer and the local economy.
By supporting local makers you are buying something much more unique. The pieces have a story and a history.
What’s your top gift tip this Christmas?
My Fremantle Crane Earrings. You can’t get anything more Freo!