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Sarah Heyward

When Melbourne artist, Sarah Heyward, enrolled in a short course in jewellery making at Melbourne Polytechnic, she enjoyed it so much she applied for the Advanced Diploma.

Since her graduate show, for which she won an award, the former community worker has exhibited her contemporary jewellery collections in galleries around Australia.

Melbourne Polytechnic graduate and Melbourne artist Sarah Heyward is making a name for herself in the Australian art world. Since graduating from Melbourne Polytechnic’s Advanced Diploma of Engineering Technology – Jewellery, the Brunswick-based jeweller’s work has been shown in Melbourne and Canberra, and her most recent collection is included in an exhibition at Sydney gallery – Studio 2017.

Working mainly in steel, gold, silver and rough diamonds, Sarah says she is inspired by urban landscapes, architecture and industrial materials. “I use modern materials and technical practices and unusual combinations of colour. People really like the rough diamonds because no one else is really using them in Australia.”

Before completing the jewellery course at Melbourne Polytechnic, Sarah studied psychology at university, and worked for a paralegal service, providing outreach to women in prison. Now aged 33, she plans a return to the community sector, but hopes to concentrate on jewellery once she has added to her portfolio. In addition to Australian representation, Sarah will need to approach overseas galleries when the time is right. “For contemporary jewellery, you can’t rely on the Australian market because you won’t get enough sales. I’ll approach galleries in places like Japan, Germany and the UK because they have a really interesting contemporary movement at the moment. The Japanese aesthetic is very interesting to me.”

She describes her work as simple with lots of hidden detail. “Initially it will look simple but it engages you and requires you to take another look. It’s bold and angular and at the same time subtle and delicate.”

Sarah had no formal artistic training but was always interested in art, particularly ink drawing. “I wanted to explore my artistic side, and I did an introductory course in jewellery making. I found I enjoyed the intimate process, so I applied for the advanced diploma. The staff [at Melbourne Polytechnic] are fantastic and it was really good to work in an environment where they fostered artistic development and technical ability.”

Sarah received her big break at Melbourne Polytechnic’s graduate show, when Melbourne gallery – e.g.etal – presented her with a graduate award for her designs incorporating steel, gold and silver. The award, available to all accredited institutions teaching jewellery design or gold and silversmithing, included a cash prize, advice on starting a design business and the opportunity to show a range of work through e.g.etal.

Sarah’s collection of rings and pendants is currently on exhibition at e.g.etal, where the pieces are also for sale. For more information on Sarah’s work, see www.egetal.com.au and www.sarahheywarddesigns.com.


Advanced Diploma of Engineering Technology - Jewellery