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We meet many curious makers, who've worked hard to establish their successful and innovative practices here in Hobart. We know and love their work at the maker, but what goes on behind studio doors before the fruit of their efforts arrives in store? We chat with jeweller, Jane Hodgetts to find out ...

meet the maker _ Jane Hodegtts jewellery maker

Tell us something that turned out better than you'd hoped in 2017?
The opportunity to move into a studio with another jeweller. I had been working from home with two young children for the last five years, so to finally work outside of the house was an exciting and long overdue investment. I achieve so much more in a day and my work is flowing beautifully. It's so beneficial to work around other people to share your thoughts, skills and ideas, and motivate and inspire one another.

What do you like to have playing in the studio while you work?
I have very eclectic taste in music! I tend to prefer a lot of older music, or the new work by artists I've listened to a long time, for example Bjork or Nick Cave. There will be days when I may listen to ABC classical radio all day.
Mostly though my favourite style of music to work to is old blues; Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Billie Holiday, Bo Diddly. I love it. Ultimately I'm a blues kinda girl.

What's your secret skill?
I'm pretty good at turning nothing into something. I see beauty and potential in so many things, everyday bits and pieces most people would discard. For example I just made some rockin' new earrings out of some unusual tubular shaped eucalyptus nuts that the kids and I have been making necklaces with. They sit so well inside one another and take on almost an antler shape!

Tell us something we don't know about the development process of new work in your studio?
My work has a very handmade aesthetic so I guess it's no surprise to learn that everything I make is designed, hand cut, hand textured and assembled by me. Generally I'll draw a range of designs that are influenced by an idea, and then make only two or three of them; I learn and see things along the way and usually one work leads to another. It's an intuitive process.

What's your favourite experience to share with visitors to Hobart?
Tough question without sounding cliched... We are so blessed here in Hobart to be surrounded by such natural beauty; the mountain, the beaches, the forests, I feel so much of it is special.
Of course as an artist I'll always take visitors to MONA and most likely for a walk, drink or fish and chips on the waterfront (yep, a cliche!)

Tell us about one work of art everyone should experience...

Anguish, a large-scale work by August Friedrich Schenck, painted in 1879, acquired by the NGV in 1880. To me it speaks of many things about life, death and humanity. It's the anguish, sorrow and determination that the ewe expresses (despite the hopelessness of her situation, encircled by a menacing murder of crows), that, as a mother, resonates most with me. 

Something you'd love to learn to make?
A long, tailored coat. Preferably in velvet.

Re-gifting: yes or no? 
Makes sense but no, I still cant find myself doing it. Gifts should be thoughtful and individual. Though children's gifts are more forgiving in this regard...

Do you have a favourite comment or story about your work you heard from a customer this past year?
A friend of mine (who is a big fan of my work) told me she went to a wedding and almost all the women were wearing my jewellery, including the bride, the mother of the bride, my friend and her mother!

You can find Jane's work online here.



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