Contemporary Jewellery since 1997
Barbara Nanshe values and practises sustainability principles.
Born in Launceston Tasmania in 1964 and growing up experiencing the many wild places Tasmania has to offer, I have a deep connection to the forest and ocean. My inspiration comes from my passion for the environment and love of animals.
The stories inherit in my jewellery connect the wearer to the deep power of the natural world and inspire & nurture personal connection to the planet through the wearing.
Lead by my intuitive use of ethically sourced materials and my loyalty to the story and positive energy principles, I produces vast styles of adornment from simple to intricate. Barbara enjoys embellishing her stories with vintage & antique objects to tune the message & produce truely unique & meaningful pieces.
The stories inherit in her jewellery naturally connect the wearer to higher purpose because at the heart of every piece is Nanshe’s crusade to inspire and nurture personal connection to the planet and ourselves.
Nanshe gravitates to making jewellery as amulets, animal and travel adornment, natural forms and totems. Inspired by land, organic forms and natural materials, her choices convey the honouring of earth, the moon, trees, the self, animals, and contemporary ideas around feminist issues and the environment.
Mixing many types of materials in her work best suits her expression, but she will also use one to two types for simplicity of form or story.
99% of materials used, including sterling silver, gold and copper, is recycled or salvaged. Barbara seeks locally cut, Australian and ethical sourced stones as well as cutting stones herself to reduce the environmental footprint as much as possible.
Barbara loves found materials such as ceramic shards and one use clay pipe parts, because they already have a story or a history that she can combine with her own.
“Found objects and old or used materials speak of past times that I could not express easily with new materials or form”, says Nanshe.
Barbara loves spending time combing antique fairs and markets around the world for those special items to attach to her story in her work, but mostly she loves finding her treasures on the ground.
Barbara often veres towards simple forms representing the landscape around her.
She is interested in geologically distinct happenings such as stone forming and land shaping events.
Her wanderings take her to many geologically distinct places that speak of time lines in evolution and produce ancient stones and wonderful landscapes and animals.
The one use clay tobacco pipe parts Nanshe found in the mud on the Thames River, London, are some of her prized materials to work with.
They send her images of life on the river hundreds of years ago. They lend themselves to line decoration with Posca Paint and add a unique element to her pieces,which often have names such as “On the Bank”, “Tidal Moon Water”; Under the Bridge”.
Barbara gets so much joy from designing and making her Organic Forms Series of rings and cuffs.
She points out that there are endless combinations to be designed and made with recycled and mixed metals; stones and texturing. They speak of earth and land forming events across time; volcanoe flows, changing rivers, finding treasure after the rain; mythology; travel, hearts desire; unusual forms in nature.
The collection appeals to a large audience because of the broad spectrum of connections for the wearer.
Barbara loves a good problem to solve with various techniques. She will often use several setting types from claws to bezel to moulded shape to flush settings for stones on her pieces.
This combination of style and technique treats the stones differently, to honour each one solve design problems and provide an interesting story in the overall piece.
Womens Ideaology interests Barbara. Colonial stories of women; contemporary womens issues; all interest her for pride and the adornment and empowerment of all women.
Pagen concepts and mythology; honouring the spirit of past peoples, places, Barbara’s pieces are art for adornment, self expression and connection to power. The positive images are used for imbibing belonging, empowerment, self expression and are used as amulets for ritual and protection.
Dogs, birds and cats other domesticated animals are some of her favourite subjects.
There is an age old relationship between the animals and also with humans.
Barbara particularly loves to report the antics of her dogs in relationship with the home and bush environment.
Animal Interactions of all kinds are researched, recorded or expressed.
“I rarely miss an opportunity to represent birds in an exhibition or collection to inspire their conservation and protection” says Nanshe.
Barbara Nanshe thinks like a sculptor and tends to build her story and conceptual pieces like they are mini sculptures. Pieces are approached like they are a jigsaw, each part dependent on another, sometimes resting for days or weeks while Barbara looks for that perfect element needed to fit the story or shape to complete the piece. All pieces are one off.