Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bench Marks!

I'm a big fan of using ordinary, everyday materials and giving them a fresh new twist.
My second favorite materials of choice (after Lino of course) is cut up bits of Laminex and Formica (the brand names of bench and table top laminate).

I have blogged about my Laminex scores at Lino Forest numerous times, but I'm not alone in my love of Laminex. Here are three jewellers who utilize the colourful and functional material and refashion it to create a small celebratory ornaments and amazing wearable artwork!

Alice Potter is an Adelaide based jeweller who works out of the Gray Street Workshop.
Laminex sample chips are one of her materials of choice, and she shapes, layers and rivets them to form cool abstract designs and super sweet "Bye Bye birdie" brooches.

Stored Laminex off cuts on Alices workbench.
It's great to find a jeweller who is passionate about recycling and doesn't like to waste anything. When asked about her creative process here Alice says "I reuse all of the waste product anyway (rework and refine the metals, keep all small scraps of paper and plastics for future projects, etc), so I am not fussed about getting my hands straight into the making side of things."
Alice Potter's simple, but effective Laminex disc earrings.
Victoria Matthew's 2008 exhibition entitled "The Tingate Family Caravan Holiday" at Studio Ingot was an ode to 50's nostalgia, family jaunts in the caravan with the kids and pets, and the fancy modern material of the time-Laminex!
Victoria's cut out silhouettes of housewives, working dads and well behaved kids remind us of the dated social mores and defined gender roles of the 50's.

Gorgeous sparkly and swirly Laminex caravan pins and pendants complete with matching poodle and family sedan/van combo earrings.
Victoria's perfect 50's cookie cutter family intricately cut from the popular bench top material of the era, Laminex.

Rebecca Hannon is an American born jeweller, living in Ithica, New York.
No prizes for guessing why her silver and laminate range of jewellery made my heart flutter. The bold colour palette ( the main reason I love using Laminex and Formica chips), the patterning, the layering and the general gorgeousnes of these pieces.

Rebecca says this about her creative process; " I work in a series and find each new grouping a challenge to create a tension between the story and the medium to evoke meaning. materials are endless; one must search and then concentrate to find the subtle message found in an object"


  1. Oh those caravans, and those multi-coloured flowers make my heart skip a beat!
    I have to email this post to my BIL to check out.

  2. AnonymousJune 21, 2010

    If i had a million dollars i would buy every, single thing that you blog about! Awesome!!!

  3. LOVE! I'm off to check out more of their work now! Thanks for sharing :-)

  4. Back when I was making ceramic jewellery I would often incorporate laminex. It went great with the porcelain and silver. It was just the right light and colourful something extra that I needed.

    All the pieces (and designers) above, are FABULOUS!