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Mark Vaarwerk


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fuse: jewellers and artists exploring self and society through diverse technology. exhibition. 26 January - 17 February 2008

Part of the JMGA inside-out conference 2008. Participating artists Kirsty Boyle, Vernon Bowden, Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr, Leah Heiss, Ryota Kuwakubo, Mark Vaarwerk, Nicholas Bastin. Curated by Sean O'Connell. Image to left work of Vernon Bowden.
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this new gallery shows some of the work to be potentially included in the fuse exhibition
more >

metalab christmas show. sydney, 6 - 28 december, 2007

three bracelets have been recently submitted for the metalab christmas 2007 show. This green one is the sexiest, my favourite so far. Must see HDPE. more >

MoBspace christmas sale, brisbane. 29, 30 november 2007

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workshop. adelaide, 29, 30, 31 January 2008

as part of the JMGA 2008 conference program, yours truly will be teaching a 3 day workshop on experimental techniques for plastics sourced domestically - especially plastic shopping bags and plastic bottles. Participants are required to collect bags and bottles (see images, left) for use in the class. visit the JMGA SA website for enrolment, more >

august 2007. K.W.Doggett Fine Paper. Promotional.

to promote the launch of their new recycled art paper range "envirocare" k.w.dogget fine paper printed this poster featuring work of artists using recycled materials. inlcudes work from anna davern, emma davies, stephen gallagher, nicholas jones, simone leamon, robbie rowlands and myself (i made the rings, large white bracelet and red cubes necklace in this image).

brisbane, australia. 18 april 2007.

Coverage of the craft queensland "50 Brooches" show by the Courier Mail. Click on image to read.

brisbane, australia. 21 july 2007

i am now the proud owner of nine 3L ice cream topping bottles! what to make? thanks to the staff of wendy's ice cream, stafford for saving these for me rather than throwing them out.

evidently, the patrons of wendy's, stafford, consume 27 litres of ice cream topping in one week. Quite something for the middle of winter...

the "wendy's bracelet" (click on "more" for shortcut to image) is made from these same bottles. more >

brisbane, australia. 15 july 2007

home again, after 3 months based in london. Time to think about getting back into my workshop and making something...

aberystwyth, wales. 24 june 2007

the town, cardigan bay and the Aberystwyth Electric Cliff Railway seen from constitution hill.

aberystwyth, wales. 24 june 2007

london. 22 june 2007

site of the 2012 olympics. Stratford.

london. 22 june 2007

site of the 2012 olympics. Stratford.

london. 22 june 2007

site of the 2012 olympics. Stratford.

london. 22 june 2007

site of the 2012 olympics. Stratford.

london. 22 june 2007

site of the 2012 olympics. Stratford.

london. 22 june 2007

site of the 2012 olympics. Stratford.

berlin. 15 june 2007

apartment block, linienstraße.

berlin. 18 june 2007

the U-bahn

berlin. 17 june 2007

world war two bunker, which still stands on reinhardstraße. Its concrete walls are 2m thick.

berlin. 16 june 2007

kaiser wilhelm memorial church from tauenzienstraße. built in 1890's this church was bombed in 1943 by the RAF. the ruins have been left standing which the new bell tower and church buildings flank. These were consecrated on May 25, 1962 - the same day as england's new Coventry Cathedral was consecrated- the original was bomed by the luftwaffe in 1940.

berlin. 15 june 2007

from left the old postfuhramt, new synagogue and fernsehturm or TV tower. oranienburgerstraße.

the synagogue, situated in the former jewish center of berlin, survived destruction by the nazis on "the night of broken glass" in 1938, was destroyed by bombing in 1943 and restored again in the 90's.

berlin. 15 june 2007


berlin. 15 june 2007

old building, auguststraße.

berlin. 14 june 2007

stairwell in kunsthaus tacheles, oranienburgerstraße. if you want to see graffiti, murals, stickers, stencils, any kind of street art then go to berlin.

oslo. 3 june 2007

from bygdøy

london. 31 may 2007

row of cottages, west ham.

Kevin Murray's Craft Unbound blog.

"Craft Unbound includes news and responses to the publication by Kevin Murray and Make the Common Precious exhibition, touring to Chile in 2006. The book and exhibition feature craft practitioners who are working outside of the conventional association of rarity with preciousness." more >

london. 31 may 2007

big steel thing, mill meads.

london. 31 may 2007

abandoned factory, livingstone road.

london. 31 may 2007

emergent monsters at dusk, sugarhouse lane.

london. 31 may 2007

stacked containers, sugarhouse lane.

crafty recycling blog. 26 may 2007. more >

amsterdam. 20 may 2007

House boats on Zuider IJdijk. This area is quite a labyrinth of canals, dykes, bridges and tunnels. small cottages and big house boats hide in amongst it all, some with eccentric gardens and accessories. Seems like quite an eclectic/kleptomanic neighbourhood.

amsterdam. 20 may 2007

from Zuider IJdijk looking towards spoorwegbassin. While there, i found Amsterdam - especially its architecture - often had a futurisitc almost utopian feel to it which i think was evident from this vantage point, even though they're just apartment blocks. Coupled with the warm and friendly locals makes it a city thats easy to like.

amsterdam. 18 may 2007

maintenance works in vondelpark.

amsterdam. 18 may 2007

from de ruijterkade looking across het IJ. Aparently amsterdam is undergoing a huge amount of develoment - which only seems to add to the vibrancy of the city.

nijmegen. 17 may 2007

not only is nijmegen the home of galerie marzee, which has an overwhelming, eyewatering collection of modern jewellery but it also has "velorama" - the dutch national cycle museum (which has an overwhelming, eyewatering collection of not so modern bikes). these are the "manomotive carriage" scotland, ca 1820 (front) and a "draisine" france, ca 1820. more >

amsterdam centraal. 16 may 2007

as you would expect, amsterdam is full of bicycles. this is the multi-level bicycle parking station at central train station.

back to asics, london. 2 may 2007

well, everyone knows london is a mecca for shopping. My primary must have/find/consume in london mission was for new sneakers, my gold metallic adidas having become more than a little tatty and smelly (top). Not being totally brand-loyal, i decided finally on a pair of orange striped asics (bottom), having swung over the years from asics to adidas and to asics again. Generally my habit is to really only ever have one pair of shoes, and to wear them till they die - finding a new pair is always a significant event, the dawning of a new era.
I also discovered a deli in the vicinity of covent garden with some fine looking fudgy looking brownies, which were also beyond resisting. I bought one which i intend (with the exception of the small portion i have nibbled) to have for breakfast tomorrow morning. cycling home on my high-speed-no-speed felt intensely good - very calm despite two coffees, despite constantly encountering signs like "WARNING this bus is over 18m long" and despite the general home-time bustle. I had my super chocolatey, super fudgey brownie in my shoulder-bag, along with my new pair of sneakers, everything else was irrelevant. London bicycle bliss...
Retail therapy? For sure.

Glasgow. 28 april 2007.

day trip to glasgow.

Edinburgh. 27 april 2007.

graffiti in the vicinity of south college street.

Edinburgh. 27 april 2007.

weekend in scotland. Edinburgh - very interesting city.

Edinburgh. 27 april 2007.

the castle. A very dramatic centre-piece of the city. I loved edinburgh for its hilly-ness. Winding staircases and narrow passages to explore and pretty hidden gardens. plenty of character. Not surprisingly this city attracts tourists (like me) a-plenty.

Edinburgh. 27 april 2007.

arthurs seat seen from the meadows.

Deutsches museum, munich. 21 april 2007.

inside the UNIVAC I.
"series production of universal computers began with the univac 1; the first model was begun in 1949 and completed in 1951. Altogether 49 of these computer systems were built. The selling price was a million dollars in 1957. The CPU consists of over 975 000 individual components. Total weight 19 tons."

Deutsches museum, munich. 21 april 2007.

model of atomic structure of soda-lime glass.

Deutsches museum, munich. 21 april 2007.

remake of otto lilienthal's doppledecker. (biplane glider) 1895. 1896 otto crashes and dies.

Deutsches museum, munich. 21 april 2007.

overwhelming display of machines, tools, implements, instruments etc etc. from go to whoah. Beleuchtungswagen (illumination carriage) 1878. steam engine, electric light.

vicinity of thalkirchen, munich. 21 april 2007.

finally i find some rubbish in munich, and a square concrete thing with graffiti.

maximilianstrasse, munich. 20 april 2007.

heading west.

St Lukas, from Kabelsteg, munich. 20 april 2007.

and a man and his poodle, sunset.

maximilianeum, munich. 20 april 2007.

the bavarian parliament building, completed 1874.

museum reich der kristalle, munich. 19 april 2007.

numerous beautiful natural crystals, including this nice diamond octaherdron from south africa.

Campingplatz Munchen-Thalkirchen. 19 april 2007.

base camp for one week in munich. miraculously perfect spring weather, peaceful and quiet.

pinakothek der moderne, munich. 19 april 2007.

"kunst, graphik, architektur, design" Theres excellent jewellery to be seen here as well - the Danner-Rotunda (currently over 200 pieces displayed, selelcted by hermann junger and otto kunzli) and an exhibition of gijs bakker jewellery - in depth. This big black pointy flying thing is by luigi colani.

banks of the Isar, thalkirchen, munich. 19 april 2007.

popular picnic spot on weekends.

cheshire street, east london. 15 april 2007

my new bike - a 'tensor' zero speed, and a garbage truck

sidestreet off brick lane, london. 15 april 2007

around brick lane, and the east end in general is quickly becoming my favourite part of london. this is early on a sunday, brick lane at its sleepiest.

newham, london. 14 april 2007

early morning from my window. bleak, but somehow beautiful.

the victoria and albert museum, london. 13 april 2007.

Woven ivory? Mind numbing. Part of the japanese collection.

natural history museum, london. 12 april 2007.

my favourite exhibit at the museum is the minerals.

natural history museum, london. 12 april 2007.

my favourite exhibit at the museum is the minerals.

natural history museum, london. 12 april 2007.

my favourite exhibit at the museum is the minerals.

natural history museum, london. 12 april 2007.

my favourite exhibit at the museum is the minerals.

natural history museum, london. 12 april 2007.

my favourite exhibit at the museum is the minerals. this one reminds me of E.T.'s fingers

natural history museum, london. 12 april 2007.

my favourite exhibit at the museum is the minerals.

natural history museum, london. 12 april 2007.

my favourite exhibit at the museum is the minerals.

natural history museum, london. 12 april 2007.

my favourite exhibit at the museum is the minerals. this one reminds me of the 'transformers' action figures

sloane square, london. 10 april 2007

typical city of london stuff

newham, london. 10 april 2007

my canal. when the water is low all the muddy treasures are revealed. toasters, microwave ovens, bicycles, and the obligatory shopping trolleys. this is the scenic route to my tescos. i would love to get down there and fossick in the mud, must get some gum boots first! (i mean wellingtons). When the water is up all you see is ducks.

brick lane, london. 8 april 2007

after the sunday markets the place is a mess

newham, london. 7 april 2007

more rubbish. easily my favourite photographic subject.

newham, london. 6 april 2007

my home for the months of april, may and june, 2007, is at the top of this apartment, previously a sugar store house. sweet.

newham, london. 5 april 2007

light industrial busyness abounds in this area.

newham, london. 3 april 2007

streetcscape near stratford high street...

newham, london. 3 april 2007

the streets are full of rubbish. clutter and chaos everywhere. vicintiy of stratford high street.

newham, london. 1 april 2007

my view from the apartment window, overlooking warehouse rooftops.

Australia Council London residency begins. 30 March 2007.

I have torn myself away from my workbench in brisbane, australia, to begin my three month residency here in london. During my stay i will be researching the potential market opportunities for my jewellery in the UK and Europe. Keep checking here for occasional updates on my travels.

Craft Queensland Exhibition, "50 Brooches" 12 april to 6 may 2007

the piece shown on the left, '3 disk brooch (red,white)', made from plastic shopping bags, sterling silver and stainless steel, has been selected to appear in this show. Craft Queensland Gallery, 381 brunswick street fortitude valley, brisbane. more >

Great Green Goods blog entry May 22nd, 2006.

"Lovely jewelry created from recycled plastic bags and shampoo bottles combined with sliver and gold. The rings are formed by winding layers of ordinary plastic bags around an inner ring made of silver or gold then fused. A great combination of materials giving thought and substance to the world around us." more >

NEW bracelet series march 10, 2007

first series for 2007. Plastic bottles (milk, shampoo, orange juice, strawberry flavoured topping bottles...) plastic shopping bags and sterling silver. Thanks to michael and adam for collecting the wendy's strawberry flavoured topping bottles and wella biotouch conditioner bottles, morgan and the urban grind crew for their barambah organic milk empties which all went into making this series. See gallery section for more images

NOTCOT entry #3209

"Jewelry by Mark Vaarwerk, made from throwaway household plastic items like shampoo bottles." more >

Review in Craft Culture by Florence Forrest of Plastic Fantastic exhibition 28th July - 27th August 2005, Craft Queensland.

"Mark Vaarwerk's new brooch range applies his trademark use of recycling plastic shopping bags in a new way. The bags are cut into ribbons and wrapped around an inner core of silver, the plastic and silver is fused into a log shape and cut like candy into flat slivers roughly half a centimeter thick. The brooches themselves, are either a single sliver or a combination of them. The different colours of the plastic when heated intensify unexpectedly into deep blues and rich pinks, etc. Depending on the colour layering of the wrapped plastic and the uncontrolled process of melting, the circular shapes that result are imperfect, organic egg-like shapes or remain circular with a slight flattening of the circumference. Internally, a restrained fluid marbling of the internal circles of colour occurs. This has the effect of gently steering the association of the jewellery away from mass-cut perfectionism back to the hand-formed and organic." more >

Tree Hugger article by Kathreen Ricketson, february 21, 2007

"Australian artist, Mark Vaarwerk, reuses plastic bags and other throw away domestic plastic containers such as shampoo bottles, to create beautiful jewel-like brooches and rings. Of course this is not going to single handedly solve the worlds plastic bag problem, nor are we saying it is totally sustainable jewelery, (gold is also used), but this jewellery does give rise to alternative and thoughtful uses for discarded plastics." more >

blog entry by modamuse january 7, 2007

"We thought that the combination of everyday materials such as spun plastic shopping bags woven with silver elements is both suprising and beautiful. These simple yet elegant pieces challenges our perceptions of jewellery as being typically made of ‘precious’ material. We also hope that other designers are also inspired to see the different possibilities of recycling materials to create fresh and exciting work for us to post this year."
more >

blog by urban grind february 16, 2007

This is what my favourite barista has to say about my jewellery.Thanks morgan!

"Mark is a nice guy that has been coming to us for a while now to get his afternoon espresso. He is a Jeweller and a Paddington local which is cool but what I really think is cool about Mark, is that he makes his jewellery out of discarded plastics. He uses plastic bags and all kinds of bottles which is why he has started taking some of our used milk bottles and why I can't wait to finish the current shampoo that I am using. I bet he could do cool things with my black plastic shampoo bottle." more >

Polymer Clay notes blog entry December 27th, 2006.

"putting his spin on plastic. mark vaarwerk’s interesting and innovative jewelry made from sterling silver and plastic shopping bags." more >

ma roulotte blog entry about round exhibition. October 27, 2006

more >