26 March – 27 May 2020

Following an Australian summer dominated by bushfires, Dianne Beevers’ HOW TO COOK A KNIFE reminds us that fire is still a valuable element. Both cooking and knifemaking share the medium of fire, a love of tools, and the food produced by both.

As part of her speculative design practice, Dianne reflects on what might happen if people learnt how to make their own domestic tools; the knife, fork, spoon, chopsticks, bowl and drinking vessels. This exhibition reveals her first accomplishments in knifemaking, two Damascus kitchen knives that are the outcome of two weekend workshops led by blacksmith, Nick Hackett. 

Fire is essential in knifemaking, whether forging metal for the blade with a traditional coke or contemporary gas fire. 

These knives represent a beginner’s journey in the field of knifemaking – a practice Dianne is keen to build on.

Dianne Beevers

Currently Newcastle based, Dianne also often works in Melbourne, where teaching in jewellery, furniture design and public art supported her practice as a designer-maker following her fine art training in Newcastle. Transitioning from two to three dimensions is an underlying thread in her practice as Dianne pursued skills via masterclasses, an Advanced Diploma in Visual Arts - Furniture Design, and to follow a Masters in Art - Art in Public Space at RMIT University.

Dianne’s metalwork production includes wearable objects, jewellery, sculpture, blacksmithing, and most recently knifemaking - where utility is equally concerned with aesthetic, and the metal blade with the timber handle draws upon her earlier training with wood. Sustainability and recycling materials has been central to Dianne’s practice for two decades. She consciously limits her production to periodic one offs or small batches. Object drawing occurs post-production, rather than commencing with drafts. Dianne begins with the materials, designing and making.

An active exhibitor, Dianne’s most recent exhibitions (2019 -2020) include jewellery, objects and sculptures, for MasterMakers - RMIT Gallery, Melbourne, Profile 19 (JMGA NSW) Australian Design Centre, Sydney and in Summer Exhibition at Newcastle’s Curve Gallery.

Dianne is the winner of the Australian Design Centre Award for Profile 19.

Image top: Dianne Beevers, Damascus Knife, 2019 Photo: courtesy of the artist
Image Bottom: Dianne Beevers, Hardening by Quenching the Blade, 2019 Photo: courtesy of the artist

Blade Hardening