Cuttlefish bone casting demonstrations


Expect to fill all your senses at one of my cuttlefish bone casting demonstrations on the Sunday 13th and 20th November as part of the Peninsula Studio Trail open studio weekends.

There’s the smell of the burning cuttlefish bone, the heat of the gas, the noise of the torch, and the excitement of watching as the silver becomes molten and I carefully pour into the cuttlefish bone mould.

I will talk you through the process from carving the cuttlefish to casting, then back in the studio you can learn about the finishing stages of my refined contemporary jewellery. It is here that most of the hard work is done, as I take a very rough cast to a highly polished work of art that I sell directly from my studio.

My jewellery is contemporary, some might say bold statement pieces, they reflect my love of the sea and the Australian landscape.

I’ve been a resident of the Mornington Peninsula for over 17 years, taking up the art of Cuttlefish bone casting shortly after moving to these shores.

On Saturday and Sunday 12,13, & 19, 20 November my studio will be open in conjunction with the Peninsula Studio Trail artists  from 10am-5pm.


Workshops of the World

My McCrae studio © Katrina Newman

Workshops of the World

Workshops of the World have provided a glimpse into my studio in this wonderful article.

My studio is always open; however in November I open my studio over two consecutive weekends in conjunction with the Peninsula Studio Trail. These open days allow me to share with the visitors, the processes, techniques and work that goes into making the beautiful one off refined rings, pendants, earrings, necklaces, cufflinks and other works I puts on show.

I look forward to welcoming you to my studio on the 12, 13 and 19, 20 November 2016. If you would like to attend at another time please click on the Contact link or call me on 0413 304 013.

Artists share their techniques and open their studios!

Windswept beach sterling silver ring (cuttlefish cast) © Katrina Newman
‘Windswept beach’ sterling silver ring (cuttlefish cast) © Katrina Newman

It’s on again this weekend my studio is open to the public.

As part of this special event the “Peninsula Studio Trail Open Weekend‘ I will also be demonstrating the technique of cuttlefish casting on Sunday 2nd March 2014.

Expect to fill your senses with the touch of cuttlefish, the smell of gas, the heat, and the noise of the torch.  After a simple cast I can be soaking in perspiration despite wearing protective clothing including leather gloves and a leather apron made for me by a friend who witnessed the casting and immediately came to the rescue with the protective apron.

it really is very simple technique… I start by cutting the cuttlefish in half, then I carve out a basic design, join the two cuttlefish halves together with binding wire, before heating the silver in a crucible and pouring it gently into the cast.

It’s adrenalin pumping the process of filing your cuttlefish mould.  There’s the noise of the gas torch that is almost like a jet engine, the sweat that pours from my body, as it can take quite awhile to melt the silver or gold, and the moment when your nervously holding the crucible of molten metal and pouring it carefully into your cuttlefish.  I admit there have been a few misses, and with an audience on Sunday my hands are more likely to tremble than ever before.”

The result is a very rough cast.  At this stage I take the piece  to my studio bench and spend many hours cutting back the very rough finish.  I start with files and then move on to various grades of emery paper. The last stage is polishing with a tripoli and then a rouge compound to produce the final stunning quality works of art, that you see for sale in my Etsy shop and in my studio on the weekend.

My rings and pendants demonstrate a very modern approach to an ancient technique, representing both a primitive and personal response to the environment. It is no coincidence that these pieces are representative of the sea and its sands and objects that can be found on its shores.

The Peninsula Studio Trail of which I a member and recently elected President was established in 2009 as an artist’s initiative. It is a diverse and gifted group of 25 artists specializing in a range of mediums including ceramics, painting and printmaking, photography, gold and silversmithing and glass art.  Many of the artists are happy to show the techniques they use that make their art so special over the weekend. Artist’s studios are open from 10am-5pm on Saturday and Sunday 1st & 2nd March. See for more information on the artists that are participating this weekend.

My studio is located at 69 Cinerama Crescent McCrae and will be open from 10 – 5pm on both Saturday and Sunday.