By Robert Frolla


A group of graduating jewellery students is exhibiting their collective body of work at North Fitzroy’s Red Gallery.

From June 8 until June 25, Form will exhibit work by students in Melbourne Polytechnic’s Advanced Diploma of Jewellery and Object Design course. Over 30 students’ work will be in the exhibition, which will have approximately over 150 jewellery and object design works on display.

The exhibition chronicles the students’ work and learning across their two-and-a-half-year course. Form, as suggested by its title, will be devoted to a number of themes and techniques of crafting jewellery.

Form promises to be a diverse exhibition, not only because there are over 150 works on display, but also as all 30 students come from many ethnic and cultural backgrounds, which many have used as inspiration for their own jewellery crafting.

Lauren Trojkovic is one of the graduating artists who will be exhibiting her work in Form. Lauren’s work involves crafting metal and corian, and draws upon themes that bring together sculptural forms, subtle embellishment and flashes of the unexpected in a contemporary way.


A work by Lauren Trojkovic, a graduating jewellery artist.

“I take inspiration from the graphic shapes and elaborate nature of ethnic jewellery,” she says.

Kelly Safarewicz, another graduating artist, celebrates the everyday beauty in Australia’s flora and fauna. Her work goes far as enough to look almost like native plant life.

“I like to explore the theme of Australiana through a mixture of traditional techniques and new technology to make beautiful jewellery and objects,” she explains.

Melbourne Polytechnic’s jewellery and object design courses have been a long-standing part of the university, going far back when it was formerly known as the North Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT).

The university’s Fairfield campus is home to many of the jewellery and object design courses. These include not only the Advanced Diploma, but also the Certificate II in Engineering (Jewellery), the Certificate III in Jewellery Manufacture, and the Diploma of Jewellery and Object Design.

Short courses, such as silversmithing, gem setting, jewellery CAD and jewellery enamelling, are also offered at the Fairfield campus.

Because of the wide range of courses, the top studio facilities and devoted teachers, the jewellery and object design courses have a reputation for producing top graduates. Notable alumni include Tessa Blazey, Karla Way, Asha Nicholas, Laura Eyles and Romy Mittelman.

All the graduating students are proud of the exhibition they have collectively put together, as well as the course and the experience they have gained.

Kelly Safarewicz 2

A work by graduating jewellery artist, Kelly Safarewicz.

“We are all so grateful for our time spent in the workshop and the valuable lessons taught by our teachers. Especially Lynley Traeger,” Kelly says. “Every year Lynley goes above and beyond to see that the students create an exceptional exhibition.”

“Attending Melbourne Polytechnic has not only helped me grow as a person, but also creatively,” says Charlie Shires, who will also be exhibiting her jewellery in Form.

“Both teachers and students were always encouraging and willing to brainstorm and bounce ideas around – which if you are creatively blocked is a godsend!” she says.

“Whilst I have so enjoyed my time studying, I am looking forward to seeing what happens in the future and watching both [my] and my classmates’ work blossom further.”


Form: Melbourne Polytechnic Jewellery Graduate Exhibition
Wednesday 6–8pm, June 8 (runs until Saturday June 25)
Red Gallery
157 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North, 3068

Red Gallery is open Wednesdays to Saturdays at 11am – 5pm.


Robert edits for The Northsider and Phantasmagoria Magazine, and is an intern at Busybird Publishing.

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