August 31 - September 30, 2017
Since the origin of lapidary during the Stone Age around one million years ago, the skill of the gem cutter has become highly evolved but also remains limited. Rough minerals are cut into finely faceted gems, most of which are standard shapes that meet market demands. But what happens when you free yourself of these conventions? What if you let the rough speak and don't try to make it conform to these pressures? In NEO Cuts, Melanie Katsalidis explores a case for breaking the rules in lapidary.
Through her travels to the Central Queensland sapphire gemfields and international locations for other fine gems, Katsalidis has sourced rough material to custom cut and gathered unusual shapes which are now set into a one-off collection of fine jewellery. Natural untreated gems such as pastel-hued sapphires are carved into slices with rose-cut edges, complemented with unique cuts of diamonds. These one-of-a-kind pieces offer a new appreciation for the creative potential of lapidary, explored through fresh cuts and unique possibilities.
NEO Cuts is presented as part of the Radiant Pavilion Contemporary Jewellery & Object Biennial, 2017, with exhibition design by renowned art director and set designer Marsha Golemac.