Sydney's jewelry scene

Hi, I am going to be studying abroad for a semester in Sydney at
UNSW’s art school. I will be a senior and I am majoring in jewelry.
I am leaving this Sunday and will be there for 5 months so was
wondering if anyone who lives there (or has been there) knows which
are the best galleries or jewelery places I should visit. Also, I am
very interested in seeing the differences between US & Australian
jewelry and I would love to see someone’s studio, so if anyone is
willing, I’m living in Bondi and am very eager to meet up with
someone around Sydney for a view into their jewelry world.

Vanessa Mitchell

Hi Vanessa,

    I am leaving this Sunday and will be there for 5 months so was
wondering if anyone who lives there (or has been there) knows which
are the best galleries or jewelery places I should visit. 

Your message was posted on a Saturday so I sure hope you meant a
week Sunday! Anyway, I visited Sydney a year ago and I didn’t get to
all the jewelry galleries that had been recommended to me, but here
are some comments on those I did visit, all in or near the Central
Business District (CBD).

Dino Designs is on Oxford Street, a very distinct neighborhood in
Paddington within the CBD. Oxford Street reminds me of a cross
between Hollywood Boulevard and Melrose in Los Angeles: If you don’t
like searching tiny side streets for parking spaces and have no
patience for crowds, you won’t enjoy it. But it’s quite colorful
with many blocks of shops, most catering to young people and
tourists. Dino Designs is a small storefront specializing in its own
line of resin jewelry and vessels. The work is well done, vibrantly
colored and a lot of fun.

Gallery OneFiveSix (156 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills) is on a
quiet side street away from the typical hustle and bustle of the CBD.
The interior is long and narrow with a showroom in the front and a
working studio at the back. It features changing exhibits of very
contemporary art jewelry and is, as far as I know, the only gallery
of its kind in Sydney. The owner, himself a jeweler, has taken a
tiny, bare, concrete-walled space and created imaginative displays to
showcase imaginative works. At the time of my visit, the featured
exhibit was brooches and I was delighted by the many variations of my
favorite form of jewelry. Well worth seeing!

Maker’s Mark (< ), in the heart of the
CBD, is a large, beautifully appointed, very upscale, designer
jewelry venue. Everything is white with rows of tall cases
containing impeccably arranged displays of jewels. You will not see
much of the unusual here, though there is some; but you will see the
best of high-end, gold and platinum work, much of it by Australian
producers but with some American artists, like Janis Kerman,
represented. There is a substantial selection of bridal jewelry as
well as a lower level reserved for special exhibitions, not
necessarily of jewelry. At the time of my visit, this display
consisted of the work of a fine glass artist.

Quadrivium ( ) is a mix of the funky and
fine. The jewelry is affordable and fun, made from a great variety of
media. A wide range of Australian artists is represented and their
work is inventive and often original, though not necessarily
one-of-a-kind. It too is a large space, split into two sections, one
dominated by jewelry and the other by different crafts media such as
glass and ceramics. Worth a visit, not only because of the contents
but because of the location in the not-to-be-missed QVB (Queen
Victoria Building)!

While I never made it there, Pyrmont Studios ( ) came highly recommended. It’s
apparently a jewelry workshop with several studio jewelers in

Have a good trip! Beth

Definitely pay Pyrmont a visit
Perhaps take a week workshop there, or rent benchspace.

Plus go to Object Gallery


B r i a n A d a m
e y e g l a s s e s j e w e l l e r y