I've been fortunate to know Tilda for some time now.
Her gentile nature offers glimpses of rich creative interiority.
Harbouring a deep appreciation for art history and sculptural forms, puzzle pieces I've collected of Tilda's process reveal themselves full picture upon my visit to her jewellery studio.
A pair of antique pearl earrings her mother wore and bestowed upon her loom on the studio desk.
We're surrounded by evidence of geological fascination and a reverence for time passed, as her crater like shapes appear as gilded fossils and she unveils a timber box of collected antique beads & pearls, to be reincarnated in new forms.
There is a tangible sense of exploration in this space, of an individual gently negotiating with organic forms. We inspect a little library of wax forms, studies of a technique debuted in Tilda's latest collection. It is explained to me that the wax is carefully attached to a piece of wire and begins to dance in the air, shaped by her breath. I think of it as a kind of breath ballet and ultimately a meeting place between her control as the maker and a yielding to the will of her materiality. It feels as though we could study these little shapes daylong, little labyrinths of irreplicable documentation.
This excursion leads me to interview Tilda and gain some insight into her practice.
HOW WOULD YOU INTRODUCE TILDA JEWELLERY IN A FEW WORDS?
Tilda jewellery is my personal exploration of materiality and wearable forms.
WHAT LED YOU HERE? CAN YOU SHARE SOME OF YOUR EARLIEST MEMORIES OF BEING DRAWN TOWARD JEWELLERY MAKING?
I was exposed to sculptural practices through my dad when I was a kid, he was a bronze sculptor and I took a genuine interest in his work and process. I recall spending afternoons with him carving bars of soap into human forms which are similar to the process of wax carving.
I have always been drawn to the art of gold smithing, the permanence of the materiality and energy these small objects carry throughout history resonated with me and that’s how my jewellery journey began.
YOUR SCULPTURAL EXPLORATION WITH YOUR FATHER SUGGESTS AN INTEREST IN RECYCLING DISCARDED MATERIALS. HOW DO ASPECTS OF RECYCLING & REINCARNATION REVEAL THEMSELVES IN YOUR PRACTICE?
There is so much beauty in refining discarded materials into new objects and forms. Inspiration is all around us if we look close enough, there is such an abundance of materials with the potential for new life. It’s my strong belief that its our job to explore pre-existing objects before sourcing new.
Where possible, I use recycled metals for my casting along with precious metals that have the ability to be remelted and repurposed in the future. Most recently I have been exploring the idea of repurposing vintage beaded jewellery into the woven Gloria belt.
THERE IS AN APPARENT SENSE OF GEOLOGICAL FASCINATION IN YOUR FORMS. HOW HAS GEOLOGY INFLUENCED & INSPIRED YOUR WORK?
I'm fascinated by this incredible landscape we call home and the land’s rich history and gradual evolution of geology. Similarly with metals, we see changes in oxidation as a result of being worn and aged dependant on the wearer’s unique story and way of life.
Jewellery has given me an avenue to freeze and fossilise a vision or texture. In many of my designs, I have used the surface of a special stone given to me by my mum as inspiration for my textural pattern.
CAN YOU SHARE AN ORIGIN STORY & A BIT BEHIND THE PROCESS OF CONCEIVING ONE OF YOUR FAVOURITE PIECES?
One of my favourite pieces from my debut collection is the Dala Ring. The Made of Stone collection was heavily influenced by my trip to South America, the rocky landscapes and museums exhibiting Incan gold jewels.
One of my favourite hikes was climbing Colca Canyon in Peru, we began our trek at the rim of the rocky canyon down into a sparkling oasis as wild condors soared above us. Over the course of the three day hike, I envisioned a ring that would encapsulate the canyon through my signature rocky texture and embody the beauty of the landscape.
HOW IS YOUR PERSONAL STYLE REFLECTED THROUGH YOUR RANGE? AND WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL STYLE APPROACH?
In creating my personal wardrobe, I look for timeless pieces that will remain integral to my everyday wardrobe for years to come. I prefer to invest in high quality materials that feel and look great to wear, often buying from local designers who prioritise the longevity and quality of the piece.
I tend to lean towards neutral tones. Lots of black! It's the perfect canvas to show off the shine and texture in my accessories. Lately I have leaned into the idea of laying my jewellery over a flattering black silhouette and the gloria rope belt.
WHAT ARE THE ASPECTS OF YOUR PRACTICE THAT YOU LOVE MOST & CONVERSELY WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND CHALLENGING?
My favourite aspect of my practice is the lost wax casting process. It’s an incredibly beautiful process working with soft and hard waxes to adopt a pre conceived idea. Wax can be a challenging medium to work with initially. Throughout my years of practice I’ve discovered that the more I surrender to the material and allow it to take its own shape - the better the results, I think that’s why my work has developed this organic style.
IN TIMES OF FLUX, STAGNANCE AND/OR UNCERTAINTY HOW DO YOU CENTRE & GROUND YOURSELF?
In times of flux I enjoy a slow morning routine. Taking my time to enjoy a coffee, read a good book and cuddle my kitten friend Dali. When I’m feeling anxious I love to journal or raffia weave while listening to Nala Sinephro.
By allowing myself the time and space to slowly start the day I’m often more fuelled to create.