Soo Jeong Lee and Natalia Milosz-Piekarska

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About Soo Jeong    About Natalia

19 May 2015

What holds onto you?

Love holds onto Kayne.

12 May 2015

What holds onto you?

Tension and anxiety holds onto Yeshe.


5 May 2015

What do you hold onto?

Yeshe holds onto her breathe.

28 April 2015

What holds onto you?

New beginnings hold onto me.

21 April 2015

What do you hold onto?

I hold onto wings (dreams)

14 April 2015

What do you hold onto?

I hold onto time.

Kayne holds onto time

7 April 2015 

What do you hold onto?

I hold onto faith.


What holds onto you?

Faith holds onto me.


31st of March 2015

What do you hold onto?

“I hold onto travel.”



What holds onto you?

“Chocolate holds onto me.”


24th of March 2015

What do you hold onto?

“I hold onto Elora.”

What holds onto you?

“My bed holds onto me.”


18th of March 2015

Sorry for missing out a week and being a day behind!

My family have recently learnt that dad has colorectal cancer. So the past few weeks have all kind of been a bit of a blur of doctors, specialists, ct scans, mri and alot of painful waiting and hopeful praying! But I know my dad is in the best hands and he would like me to keep going so thats what I’m going to do!

I recently had a wax workshop at Masterworks Gallery here up in Auckland where I had the opportunity to show the public how I work make a collaborative work with them! Firstly I introduced them to the wax that I use then asked everyone one to make 2 charms. I asked everybody to make a charm in response to the question “what are you holding onto?” and “whats holding onto you?”

Here is one of the responses.

Screen shot 2015-03-18 at 10.29.41 PM

WN2015.4 (email)

I loved how people from all different ages, mums and daughters, friends, flatmates, sculptors, husbands and wives came together to make.

WN2015.5 (emial )

For me I think having people really excited me. Not only did I feel honoured to have people turn up! But I was blown away at the creativity by the people. Their willingness and excitement towards making something.

WN2015.3 (email )

After everyone had made their two charms I went around and collected the charms and then wrote down their responses to the questions. I was moved at some of the responses and had a giggle at some. I can’t wait to share them with you.

The first set of charms going to cast are…


Elora (left)        Bed (right)

3rd of March 2015

Continuation of the research project

“What are you holding onto. What is holding onto you?”




Currently still collecting peoples answers and quickly drawing their responses. Trying to keep it spontaneous and not too thought through. I want to see what we hold onto and what we are held by. Are we held by similar things? how do they hold onto us?

Its interesting to see how alot of things that we hold onto or that holds onto us is not physically able to be grabbed or physically able to hold us…

key words that are running through my mind.

-connections-collaborative-emotional-humanness-relate-the unseen- linked

not quite sure of what the finished outcome will be but for the time being I want to get more responses done and hopefully have an idea in which way to go.

24th of Feb 2015 

sorry I didn’t keep my promise about blogging every tuesday I think I needed some time to recover from Jewel Camp+Masterclass…

On the 7th of Feb I flew down to Wellington to attend Jewel camp (One day where we presented our 7minute presentations of a general overview of 2014) + a 4 day Masterclass which was lead by Ben Lignel.

The 4 days were divided

Day 1 – Hunting and Gathering (Goals: Getting a sense of varied strategies for ‘growing questions, learn to document research, recognize the difference between conceptual intent and material outcome.)

Day 2 – Unpacking, Repacking (Learn to identify what is interesting in an idea, learn to set yourself intermediary briefs. Processes for the production of products versus projects.)

Day 3 – Curation & Exhibiting

Day 4 – Curating & Exhibiting (2) working for others

The whole experience was INTENSE and FANTASTIC at the same time so I when people asked me how it was I replied “it was INTENSELY FANTASTIC”.

It was intense in the way we had our work (both work that were working + not working) out on tables next to each other and then having crits and lots of answering and questioning and trying to figure out the answers again. But after the first day I felt more mentally prepared and went into the classroom with the mindset that I had nothing to lose and everything to gain = breakthrough.

Day 2 was the highlight of the Masterclass for me.

Our goal was to ‘Learn to identify what is interesting in an idea, learn to set yourself intermediary briefs. Processes for the production of products versus projects.

We also had questions like

How can you tell a foundation idea from a project?

Which qualifies the other?

Do artists only have one idea?

The task was with another mentee, look at three key pieces you have brought. Identify what they are about. What it is trying to do. Is your practice idea or process based? Finding an idea: what does it mean for you? After the session, make a list of strategies/ideas/themes that you think provide a foundation to your practice.

Then… (its not over yet)

Deliver a little presentation of your key work – a three minute pitch – that will conclude itself with 1 to 3 questions (use these questions to get feedback: what do you want to know from them?)

I presented 3 variations of pegs that was working on, for me they were working as I was exploring functional objects that were used to hold onto things and play around with how my objects could be holding onto us in FUN ways.

I had three questions.

Does silver work should I explore materials?

Is the scale to small?

Do the hands work?

I was able to answer all questions by the end of the mastercamp! well the third questions I’m currently exploring. While discussing my work a question was raised. What does it mean to hold on? How do people hold on if they have no hands? What other ways do people hold on. Don’t you think you are somewhat restricting your possibilities by representing holding on by hands?

So I began researching straight away.

I took a pad of paper and piece of charcoal.

And asked 2 questions.

What do you hold onto? What holds onto you?


5th of Feb 2015


The word function means for something to work or operate in a particular way. I had a conversation with a friend of mine about my idea of FUNction and how I’m thinking of fun ways jewellery holding onto us. We both agreed that fun isn’t a word you associate with the word fun. Function is boring, my friend Kirsten told me an example of how the word functional is kind of like when you were younger and go school shoe shopping with mum and she would choose you the shoes that were the most practical.(the black leather roman sandals, not the black pulp ones a little bit of heel and strappy straps…)

suitable but not exciting = functional

I want to further explore by looking objects with uses and play around with the different functions they have.

I’ll post some photos soon…

So far I have been playing around with hooks and pegs…



27th Jan 2015

“i keep thinking of fishing hooks and lures, how they grab on and wont let go. Also those prickly burrs that stick to your socks when walking in long grass… just moving away from brooch pins and thinking about other ways that things ‘hold on’…” (email from Natalia)



Try, Trying, trying!! “try to make the hands themselves act as a brooch pin. it would seem fraudulent to have a hand pretending to hold on if it’s actually a separate pin doing all the work.”(email from Natalia) Playing around with wax of different ways these little hands can latch on the body. Thinking about fish hooks, thinking about monkey bar hands that could somehow hang onto someones shirt, pins that pinch… trying to push scale tooooo 20th Jan 2015 DSC_0121


From last weeks homework I set myself the task of thinking of different ways that these objects could be attached to the body. But it was harder than I thought… I sat down with each piece and a piece of paper and drew different ways it could be pinned onto or attached onto the body. But trying to find to invent new ways these to be attached seemed somewhat forced and coming from the head rather than heart. So the more I tried the less I wanted these objects to be wearable… However I will make some wearable just as these are experiments.


IMG_3881 IMG_3828 (1)


Still play with attachments and keep casting.

1 idea came about when I got back to Auckland and saw that all my silver pieces had gotten tarnished from the sulphur from Rotorua. It made me think about how my pieces had kinda grabbed a bit of home for me. It made me think about how jewellery holds onto the environment and how that effects the colour, texture and meaning of things…..

13th Jan 2015 In 2015 I have made it a goal to update my blog on a regular basis so every Tuesday I will update the blog of thoughts, photos of progress and conversations with Natalia.


 ‘holding on’ 

I emailed Natalia about making work responding to the idea/word of ‘holding on’ and she emailed me back…

“I think the idea of ‘holding on’ is a strong one as it relates to the fundamental function of jewellery also. Jewellery ‘holds onto’ our bodies and/or clothing. Jewellery is also a way that we figuratively ‘hold onto’ things such as memories, feelings, identity etc. So, ‘holding on’ is both physical and metaphorical.”

“Hands are your visual focus, but consider the many facets of what it means to ‘hold on’ and how the contemporary jewellery object can communicate these meaning through both form as well as function.

“Think about attachment. How could your jewellery objects hold onto their wearer?”

“Think of innovative ways of pinning, clasping, grabbing, binding, wrapping, hanging…. Etc”

So in response to the email I sat down with my wax ready to just make what ever I popped into my mind when thinking about the word ‘holding on’. It made me think of rescue situations in movies when they scream out ‘hold on!!’, people holding on to bus handles, babies holding onto their mums hands. I didn’t want to restrict myself to the idea of ‘holding on’ to just jewellery, I wanted to freely explore the meaning and how my hands could communicate the idea.





Before starting I was a bit hesitant whether I should be thinking about attachment in wax before casting but that seemed to immediately grab hold of my freedom of just making whatever popped into mind because I started to spend too much time thinking about how they would work, and how they could be attached. So in the end I decided to make and think about attachment after they were cast. Now after they are cast I am pondering and wondering how they could be attached on. Im trying to be inventive but I’m having trouble deciding whether it is working or not because I am either thinking its to predictable or the attachment takes away from the object too much.


Work on attachment – try to invent new ways that these pieces could hold onto us.

Think about the importance of them being wearable… do they even have to be?

7th Jan 2015 DSC_0251 I’m home. For the first time I have been home without working. Rotorua is the place I call home. It is slow, old fashioned and homey. Its away from full time work, its away from busy schedules, alarms and the everyday hustle bustle of city life. DSC_1286 Im kinda treating this one month away from my normal full time busy life as a residency. DSC_1293 I am inspired most when sitting outside in my parents back yard. Its crazy how everything seems to be inspiring when you have some time to think. Even the clothes hanging on the clothes line got me thinking about jewellery. Recently I have been thinking about how jewellery holds onto us. How it holds onto our fingers and wrists, how they hang onto our necks, but also how we hang onto jewellery. DSC_1318 These are some casting I brought with me from Auckland, I was playing around with wax while thinking about gestural forms that signify ‘holding on’. After making them I want to think about how they could be worn on the body. Think about the function of holding on and how jewellery does that. What do we hold onto? DSC_0042 Things I am thinking about these days. How do we use our hands? This is a book Natalia saw one night and thought I would be interested… image IMG_2356 So I purchased it and started to read it. Its a book about how the hand shapes the brain language and human culture. The author Frank R. Wilson is a neurologist. I have only started the book but already it has got my interest. He begins by getting us to focus on how dependent we are on our hands. “Where would we be without our hands? Our lives are so full of commonplace experience in which the hands are so skillfully and silently involved that we rarely consider how dependent upon them we actually are.” IMG_2363 Another book I purchased. 1st of November 2014 Recently I was invited to my friends workshop after talking to him about wanting to carve dads hands out of the wooden bowl. He laid out 3 different saws with to cut the wood. I wanted to cut the hands out without machines and wanted to do it myself. Sawing the wood was actually quite easy! Lucky I found a easy to cut Rimu bowl at the op shop! It was interesting how while sawing through the soft wood I immediately thought of my dad. Not just because I was sawing out his hands but I started to reminisce about how we used to saw fire wood together. The smell of saw dust going up my nose, the sound of the saw going against the grain, the saw blade getting caught in the wood. The conversations we used to have like “don’t force it let the saw blade do the work” all these memories started to enter my thoughts. Its quite funny how an action with your hands can remind you of an action you did so many years ago. Its almost like your hands have a memory storage. I think my dad will like his wooden hands. not only because I made his hands but because I will tell him about how while making them I remembered sawing wood with him many years ago. IMG_2360 IMG_2144 ‘I’ve got you’ IMG_2142me and mums hands. ‘give and receive’ When thinking about what materials would best suit responding to dads hand I immediately thought of wood. There is something about the warm, ‘giving’ shape of a wooden bowl that reminded me of dads hands. After looking at op shops I found the perfect one! IMG_2087 IMG_2070 October 13th. These are my dads hands. They are generous, caring and big. Dad uses them to cook me yum food and chop wood. IMG_2028 October 11th And I am working towards our first Handshake Group Show at Toi Poneke Gallery! So I emailed Natalia .. Screen shot 2014-10-11 at 9.47.42 PMI started with a photo of my brothers hand. IMG_1927 and my response to it. IMG_2004 Natalia emailed me back asking some questions that got me thinking for a whole week. Are you restricting your work too much by sticking to conventional scale and methods of hanging/wearing jewellery? I guess I wax is a kind of default answer I have for things because its easy and quick. Maybe I should use this project to enable go explore different materials, different ways hanging and methods of wearing jewellery. By using different materials it would give me the opportunity to play with scale too (probably the first time…:/) If you are interested in interaction and gesture and communication how can you make your resulting work participate in this aspect of your concept? This has been something I have trying to figure out but after thinking about it all this week but I think it is something I will figure while the project goes forward. At the moment Im not sure how to make my resulting work participate with the concept of interaction, gesture and communication. I did think about asking people on instagram to # (hashtag) themselves and I would respond to the photo of their hands but for some reason there is something non personal about it. I’m not sure where the project is going to lead me but I think by me taking photos of peoples hands around me and then making something in response to it is a way for me to

  • see how different people use their hands,
  • a way for me to make with my hands,
  • to explore the many different gestures and explore more about the hand.
  • explore materials, movement, scale and interaction and communication in a fun way.

How does your choice of material tie in with your theme? Apart from it being a easy material to explore gesture with, does it communicate anything else? (Materials have a strong language of their own, be mindful of this.” There is something about the wax (especially the pink dental sheet wax that I love. The hand made look of when it is moulded, how fast and easy it is to work with, the intimate scale of it, the fleshy pink colour kind of looks like skin. Its also cheap so I don’t worry about experimenting and wasting heaps. Wax is like a 3D drawing for me. But I do want to use this project to explore different materials because its a chance for me to make with hands differently. I have recently taken a photo of my dads hand and I think I want to carve his hands out of a wooden bowl. One thought I have is that hands are not generally idle, so wonder if is photography the best medium for communicating gesture expressiveness? I have been taking photos and find myself not being happy with them because they look not natural or they don’t capture what I see. So I do want to take more videos and that way I could take still of the video too. How do you see the images and resulting work relating to each other in an exhibition setting? To be honest I am not sure just yet but I do picture some physical objects I have made with some form of media. Not sure if it involves people participating just yet but I think in the beginning its going to be a project where I explore the hands through meeting other people.

Stay fearless and limitless. Think about material, movement, scale, interaction, and communication. Don’t think too much about jewellery and wearability.

Well. well. weel. It is 18th of September 2014. During this time I had my first THinkspace show and Jewellery box Show at Masterworks Gallery in Auckland. jewellery box around of applause ringjewellery box banglejewellery box which way ring Link to the website! SooJeong Lee Zine Inside (Draft) Its quite a unreal weird feeling having your work on show. From being a student who was always too scared to attend openings and nervous to talk with ‘real jewellers’ it was exciting, nervous but fun learning experience. I was really lucky to be given the opportunity to show my work to the public. Last year when I graduated I was awarded the Masterworks Jewellery Box graduate award. It was a huge honour and really exciting first show I could work towards after university. To be honest having the jewellery box show was really good as it motivated me and gave me a reason to keep making. I didn’t realize how easy it was to stop making. Working full time and catching up with friends and resting doesn’t give you much time for making. But having shows and exhibitions are a great motivation and goals to work towards I think… Also all shows are a great opportunity to get to know your local/ not so local galleries as well! I am extremely grateful for the super encouraging and patient ladies at Masterwork Gallery for being so excited and helping me with both shows! THinkspace is a show that I applied for after I knew I had the jewellery box show in September. Greedy I know but I wanted to show people how I work… Initially I wanted to show my wax hand drawings but after having a critique skype session with Natalia I decided to have a go at drawing with binding wire. So after many weeks of playing with the binding wire, pricking my hands and having wire all over my bedroom floor I installed my drawings all over the walls of one little room at Masterworks. The binding wire drawings to me were like pencil drawings. Draft unfinished doodles that might develop into a more thoughout pen drawings.. 10001088_712117845503063_3550067956010390173_o This is a random idea I had. You HAVE to wear it with 5 other people. haha imagine how awkward but funny the conversations you would have. 1606453_712118405503007_7614609927918292907_o “Shy hands” Just by bending the wire slightly, making them longer it makes them suddenly look like two slightly shy hands…


“just the two of us” just a ring idea to keep together two people who wanted to be close to each other. 10471398_712123698835811_2611155958963874478_o Its interesting to see other peoples reaction to your work. My dad who came all the way from Rotorua to Auckland took great photos while I was too busy being nervous and talking to friends. Looking through photos I liked this photo because I had never really seen other people looking at my work. Putting your work out on display is quite a scary thing. I remember days before the opening feeling anxious about what people might think. However I think its a learning curb and I think the more I will exhibit and the more I prepare I will able to become less nervous and enjoy. At first it took a while to get use to the wire as it seemed so flimsy and too bare but after a couple of go’s I knew this was going to be very helpful. I had been always using wax as it was fast and an easy way out to work out my ideas and get it out of my head while it was still fresh. So I am trying to be more experimental with scale and enjoy this material to draw out the ideas I am having on how jewellery connects. image So the next day I brought some binding wire and gave it a go. The whole point to this mentorship is to try things that I might normally not do. image 29th of July After having a skype session with Natalia introduced me to the amazing work of Alexander Calder wire sculptures! After showing her my little same sized wax drawings she challenged me to go bigger and be more experimental…. image 20th of July The first thing we discussed on our skype session was “How do you pronounce your name?!” so after a few goes we got better. Natalia was in the middle of cooking dinner around 8pm in Melbourne and I was in my pjs around 10pm Auckland NZ time so we both didn’t have too much time. This is a photo of my thinking/brain blah/reminders of what I should be thinking about and should discuss with Natalia. Things like

  • How should we communicate?
  • What do we both want out of this Handshake mentorship?
  • How she works?
  • How she started to exhibit in international shows?
  • What she is working on.
  • Her process
  • How she is motivated to keep on making?

brainstorm Soo Jeong and Natalia’s First skype! We actually had our first skype session on the 13th of May. I got really excited with my big sketch book and a pen ready for any notes I might have to jot down. I even had pieces of work ready just in case she hadn’t had seen my work before. But turned out that my skype didn’t work properly so we couldn’t see each other but could only hear each other. So she wasn’t able to see my cool Australia jersey… photo1 IMG_4337

One thought on “Soo Jeong Lee and Natalia Milosz-Piekarska”

  1. hilda gascard says:

    I wanna hold your ha-ha-ha-hand, I wanna hold your hand………………….XXX

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