Precious Debris

“I literally pick things up off the ground. I love knowing that each discarded object carries with it a unique past and a story,” says Romy Mittelman. “The film canister necklace previously held someone’s real photos, documents of their life. I like to honour and capture that history in a meaningful and unexpected way.” Romy manipulates precious metals by hand to create organic jewellery forms: rings, necklaces, earrings, brooches and sculptural objects, incorporating found objects such as bottle caps, beer cans, film canisters and computer chips, making permanent what was once ephemeral. Her work draws upon ancient production techniques, channelling the aesthetics and sensibilities of handmade tribal jewellery. Along with techniques like hand fabrication, soldering, painting and oxidization, home-made tools are used in creating the work. “Unlike the factories and machines that mass-produce the objects that I find to use in my work, I am passionate about handmade and traditional jewellery making techniques,” Romy says. ‘Precious Debris’, an exhibition at e.g.etal in Melbourne, opens on April 12th.