"The fires of that season left a mark on the landscape and our psyches. On the South coast of NSW, smoke hung thickly in the air. Burnt leaves and charred timber floated on the waves and washed up on many beaches in huge drifts. The burnt matter piled high, blackening the sand. It was a surreal landscape. I came to see the destruction as nature’s way of drawing our attention to the effect climate change is having on our weather and environments. I gathered many pieces of that timber. The brooches are made using some of that material. They are made as relics, timepieces, a record and in remembrance. They are also a reminder that changes need to be made, to safeguard our environment."

Romana Toson majored in jewellery and silversmithing at Sydney College of the Arts (Sydney University) in 1983 and has worked extensively as a designer, maker and educator. She often works with materials that are organic in origin or are found or recycled.

Smoke Signals Series, 2020
Sterling silver, scorched driftwood, gold leaf
Brooch I SOLD
Brooch II,

Image top: Romana Toson, Smoke Signals - Brooch I, (detail) 2020. Photo: Courtesy of the artist