G29 – Alchemy Now


“A hundred thousand elixirs created by The Truth
Yet no alchemy like patience is known to Man”


In the modern era, crafts offered a path “back to nature”. They expressed a love of natural dyes, local clays and native timbers.

But what if we run out of nature? Or do we prefer to leave it alone?

The makers in this issue have developed ways of extracting beauty from the residue of human activity. They have invented an alchemy for the anthropocene era. Yes, it is possible to live within our limits without forgoing the quest for beauty that gives life meaning.

Critically, their work promises a better use of the planet. Mining and industry often extract value without accounting for the hidden costs on the environment. These works highlight the materials on which we depend.

You are invited to take inspiration from the skill, creativity and vision of the makers who have shared their stories.

Many thanks to the pathfinders who helped navigate this issue: Carla van Lunn, Emma Davies, Gussie van de Merwe, Inari Ikiuru, Kath Inglis, Liat Segal, Maria Fernanda Paes de Barros, Mark Edgoose, Melinda Young, Peta Kruger, Reihane Raei, Stewart Russell and Vicki Mason.

This issue is in partnership with the Luleå Biennial of Craft and Art an event in northern Sweden that features local makers in a global context.

(Image above: Kyoko Hashimoto, Guy Keulemans and Matt Harkness, Polylactic Acid Chain (large necklace), 2020, PLA, 2173 x 939 x 110; photo: Carine Thevenau).

Down to earth

Alchemic experiments

Remnant beauty



Jeannette Cooperman How Plastic Liberated and Entombed Us

Robert Pogue Harrison(2008) Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition. University of Chicago Press. Chapter One – Vocation of care

Heide Gustafson Dust to Dust: A Geology of Color


This issue is dedicated to Alice Potter.


Alice Potter was a jeweller, artist and much-loved personality within the Australian jewellery community. I took Alice’s maternity leave Production Manager position at the JamFactory when she was pregnant with her first child back in 2014 and we later worked together as colleagues in the metal studio. That experience ended up opening so many doors that ultimately brought my partner and I back to Adelaide this year. Alice’s work had a particular quality that captured vibrancy of colour and a gorgeous sense of rhythm and arrangement. I’m tremendously inspired by Alice’s intuitive, prolific, creative talent and feel a deep sense of gratitude for her.

Kyoko Hashimoto