Leather and metal cuff by Justine Bonnin

Justine Bonnin, winner of our 15th Annual National Jewellery Student Competition, tells the story of her journey towards jewellery as an art form in this excellent interview in MetalAid

"On a bicycle trip in western Africa, during which I met many artisans, my perspective on jewellery as an art form changed. They all had their own techniques and tools. Each piece of jewellery had its meaning in relationship to where it had come from, like some kind of a code evoking the wearer’s status, or their belonging to a certain group. This relationship with jewellery was completely unfamiliar to me, and I was extremely intrigued. That is when I became conscious of jewellery’s potential for expressing meaning. I wanted to push my creativity further, and decided to join the École de joaillerie de Montréal. There, I once again discovered another facet of jewellery: contemporary jewellery, where the piece carries a message that relates to both the wearer and the viewer. The idea of using an object in order to carry a message was what I was unconsciously waiting for." -Justine Bonnin

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