Brunswick student Tae Schmeisser was a little girl in primary school when she first became fascinated by marbles and all things glass.
Playing marbles in the playground during the 'marble season' over the summer months at school became an obsession; Tae, 24, was attracted to their luminosity as 'a little world in a tiny sphere.'
By the age of ten, Tae knew she wanted a career fashioning objects d'art in glass, and after various tertiary studies in glass both at the Australian National University in Canberra where she grew up and at the Toyama Institute of Glass Art in Japan, Tae knew she needed technical skills in silversmithing to refine her glass artistry into unique designer jewellery.
This year, she moved from Canberra to Melbourne and enrolled in the Advanced Diploma of Engineering Technology (Jewellery) at Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT) and has just been awarded a $1,000 study grant at NMIT sponsored by Fuji Xerox Australia.
'I was absolutely ecstatic for the grant because it enables me to buy the new tools I need for silversmithing as well as helping ease my economic stress over relocating from interstate,' Tae said.
'It means I don't have to cut corners and it also enables me to pay for a make-up artist for models wearing my designs so I can produce professional quality photos to send out to distributors and retailers to try and get my designs in the marketplace in Melbourne.'
Tae already sells her designs at the National Gallery of Australia retail shop in Canberra and now has the freedom to pursue her goals in Melbourne.
Her ambition is to become a production jeweller and while she acknowledges it's a process and a journey, the grant has helped her take a step forward to achieving her goals.
'It's a skip, hop and jump forward that gives me the materials to make the most of my course at NMIT.'
Tae still has a passion for marbles, with over 5,000 in her collection.
She has two bachelor degrees in Asian Studies and Visual Arts (Glass) from the ANU and said all her glass work had focused on body adornments.
'I have been dancing since I was eight-years-old and have used my knowledge of the body and movement in my glass work,' Tae said.
'I have both a love of glass and a love of the body and it seemed appropriate that I needed to learn jewellery techniques to make all the clasps and settings for my glass designs.'
She said she had chosen NMIT as it had a great reputation as a hands-on course that also involved design concepts and creativity.
Interview / Photo Opportunity
Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener, on 03 9269 1579, 0413 483 182 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) – Situated on six campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne’s north plus a regional campus at Ararat, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce. NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.
Interview / Photo Opportunity
Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener.