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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1978 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Watkins, David (designer and maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Blued steel inlaid with gold

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 36, shelf C, box 1

David Watkins began his career as a sculptor and jazz pianist. In the sixties he made his first attempts in jewellery and in the seventies he pioneered the use of computers as a design tool. Music and sculpture feed into his work, which is all about form, rhythm and colour, recently developing into abstract symbols and metaphors. Watkins' oeuvre developed from early miniature sculptures into large-scale wearable objects intended to interact with the body. The concept of art for the body is deeply embedded in his work. Watkins remains firmly committed to modernity.

Watkins explores a wide range of materials, from paper and gold to industrial materials such as steel, aluminium and titanium. He stretches them to their aesthetic and technical limits. For him machine technologies bestow beauty, thus traditional craft and modern technologies can coexist without loss to one another.

In 1978, David Watkins and Wendy Ramshaw became Artists in Residence at the Western Australian Institute of Technology in Perth (now Curtin University) sponsored by the Australian Crafts Council.

During this period Watkins pursued new work in steel and gold with a primitive element. This was expressed through the use of blacksmithing techniques, recalling his family roots in the Black Country. He was fascinated by the possibilities offered by forging, flattening and thinning steel under the hammer. As in this bangle a single piece of steel could change in thickness and profile, or form natural curves. The metal surface had an ancient feel, left partially raw, or through filing, refining and inlaying it with gold. The processes of heating and re-heating, working and re-working endowed the pieces with the feel of preciousness through labour.

Place of Origin

England (made)


ca. 1978 (made)


Watkins, David (designer and maker)

Materials and Techniques

Blued steel inlaid with gold


Diameter: 8 cm, Depth: 0.2 cm

Descriptive line

Bangle, blued steel inlaid with gold, by David Watkins, England, 1978

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Beatriz Chadour-Sampson, 'David Watkins, Artist in Jewellery', Stuttgart 2008

Labels and date

10. BANGLE, mild steel inlaid with gold, England; 1979
Designed and made by David Watkins
Museum No. M.56-1981 [07/1994]


Steel; Gold




Jewellery; Metalwork; Ironwork; Europeana Fashion Project


Metalwork Collection

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