Grace Fraser Unseen Forces: Jewellery Studio

  • Tauira / Student
    Grace Fraser
  • Kaiako / Lecturers
    Carl Douglas, Yana Dombrowsky-M'Baye
Judge's comments:

Translating the often unseen forces of jewellery making into tangible spatial experiences, where intersecting elements and materials dynamically engage with light, sound, and reflections to create an immersive and thought-provoking environment.


Unseen Forces is a jewellery studio and exhibition space for Cross Street, near Auckland’s Karangahape Road. It is an exploration into the forces we feel but don’t necessarily see. The existing building has been redesigned to reveal the unseen forces of jewellery making: the tensions and stresses generated through forging metal, as well as the social and cultural forces at work in personal adornment. Nearby street intersections were seen as points of tension that transfer energy around the city. At the end of Cross Street the new City Rail Link station will effect the energy, pace, and directionality of the street. Magnetism came into the project as a process to reveal patterns of force to the eye using iron sand on paper.
The pivoting glass door at the entrance casts reflections that dart across the pavement, intersecting people passing and leading them into the space from the street. The jewellers work above a retail space, sitting at bespoke tables which are intersected by the vertical blade-like columns that cut through the building, channeling light down from above.
When the jeweller hammers against the table, the columns carry the vibrations down to the retail space, aligning them with their exhibited work below and creating an connection between client and creator. As the force reveals itself through sound sensitive wires connecting to a shallow basin of water, lines of force cast across the displayed jewelry, immersing the client in the effect of force.