2022 Grad Show

Luke Winterhalt

AUArts Grad Show into the work

Jewellery & Metals


In my work, I explore the themes of decay and the relic through metalsmithing and digital drawing. My desire to create, paired with a love of history and mythology, led me to study jewelry and metalsmithing. Like being a reverse archaeologist; I make the objects that I hope to find. This results in the creation of pieces that formulate a view into the past with a more modern application.
Death and ruination are linked to the idea of change: the departure from what once was. This is related to much of the imagery I employ in my work, either through physical transformation or through symbols such as the raven, which embodies an omen of death as well as other connotations. I’m fascinated by the way an object can change over time, specifically, in this case, metals. I’m interested in how metals change due to outside stimuli in the environment such as heating, which can cause fractures, or changes in colour, and general decay from a pristine state. Finding ways to emulate these changes in a controlled manner is a major part of my process. It gives the piece the appearance as though it has survived the passage of time, when in reality, it is something completely modern in make; a form of artifice if you will. It creates a reason to speculate how the piece came to be here. What is its story? It becomes something for the audience to wonder for themselves. This extents into my drawing practice as well, creating digital paintings based on the same ideas and techniques that I utilize in my metal pieces in a more fantastical manner.

Swanson Custom

A commissioned piece intended to resemble the previous Hacksilver Ring, but less broken down, and allowed to wear down naturally, slowly wearing away the dark sulfur patina to allow for the bright silver underneath to shine through the more it is worn by its owner.


These pieces were inspired from my research on Norse artifacts, on of the most common finds for silver items was Hacksilver, a form of currency made from loot they acquired from raids and trading. Do to this the form of hacksilver fluctuates from anything from broken off pieces of wire, chunks taken from bracelets and rings. Essentially if it was made of silver and could be hacked apart it could be used as currency. As such I wished to convey this broken and aged look in the pieces I've made by repurposing the look of these items and bringing them into a more modern context as jewelry. The idea being frame them as though they still are the artifacts that they in part resemble, a sort of artifice to create yet another connection to the past.

Wear and Ruin

Pieces created with a more gothic, aged look in mind, reflecting ideas of memento mori and the wearing down of objects over time

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