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[New Orchid Gallery] Marcos Davidson

Marcos Davidson

Marcos established his studio in 1979.

I work in a paradox. The inspiration is antiquity, but the work is
very much a product of the 21st century. I forge fuse and pin things
like a 15th century artisan, but I often use bakelite, the world’s
first thermoplastic, as a transport for gold, silver, platinum and

I learnt my craft from master jewellers from Egypt, Armenia, Hungary
and Denmark along the workbenches of one of Melbourne’s finest
jewellery workshops. I continue the tradition of bespoke jewelry, or
made to order, while maintaining a healthy exhibition program and
developing work for public installation.

My practice has continued in the city of Melbourne for 26 years and
I feed off the activity of the city, and its laneways and arcades.
It is like a hive with continual change of people, ideas and

I am inspired by the otherness of materials, the mystery. How
bakelite can be carved to appear like something else, a stone,
coral, or wood grain and gemstones become pools of colour that you
are drawn into.

I work bakelite using traditional lapidary techniques, forming and
carving the material wet. And like a sculptor facing stone or
marble, I have to attend to the grain and structure before I make
each piece.

People have this nostalgia for bakelite, they harken back to
utilitarian things that belonged to their family, radios, kitchen
containers, souvenirs. Now that bakelite Is 100 years old, it puts
plastic in the realm of antique lineage. Plastics are no longer the
icon of a new age, they have become everyday.

In this anachronistic world I am

The Jeweller appointed to the Guild of Turntabulists
Doctor of Nuptial Astronomy
Stepper on Cracks
Walker up Garden Paths
Breather of Air at Irregular Intervals
Maker of Pro Ballistic Ornament
Specialist in Common Things
Alchemist on the North wind
Chief of Stuff
Deputy Lard Minder
Chair of the Committee for Quorum Filling
President of the Republic of Monarchists
Bachelor or Haughty Culture
Jack of Blades
Master of Parts
Curator of Pilferous Concerns
Custodian of the Armillary Sphere
Keeper of the Alembic Martini
Patron Saint of Vinyl
Leader of men women and fallen parking inspectors
Professor of Reboantic Studies
Purveyor of Mollusc Confections
Tribal leader of Those Who Cross Bridges
Beat Monger