My new friend sharing the view from my cabin.

I’ve been talking with Hendrik Forster for some time about spending some time with him in his Studio in the East Gippslands. For almost a year in fact, and then finally, at 6 45 Monday morning we met at Melbourne airport for a three week intensive mentorship of our own design.

Hendrik is an accomplished and celebrated silversmith of 40 odd years experience. His wife Kerryn is a sculpture artist and jeweller in her own right.

Hendrik is one of a dwindling breed of craftspeople who has an intense respect for the making process. I’ve noticed over the last two days that, in his workshop, all of his actions have purpose. Every piece of equipment is immaculately maintained and is functional. His space is clean and orderly. All of his tools are modified where necessary so that they fit the hand comfortably, are a nice weight and are good to use. I’m desperately hoping that some of this good practice will rub off on me!

In just a day and a half, I have poured a billet of silver, forged it out, rolled it to 6.5mm square and cut it to size to begin forging teaspoons. I have also learnt a new modelling process for 3d objects, fixed my computer with a sterling silver clip, enjoyed the beautiful landscape of east Gippsland and drank a lot of wine…

My bench at Hendrik’s workshop

Hendrik showing me how to model in 3d