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Matt Dwyer of Fio

A recent participant in Up Late in Design at the James Street Precinct, Queensland, Matt Dwyer’s brand FIO fuses old world charm with a a playful, whimsical fancy.

Dwyer’s choice of jewellery as his medium came early, and was an emanation of his fascination with sculptural art. ”I have always loved making things and from an early age was sculpting”, he explains, “Jewellery is essentially small sculpture and … I enjoyed the significance of a small object when in a jewellery context. The idea of wearable art/sculpture is what really inspired me and that sculpture held a place in our life beyond a gallery space.”. 

Dwyer’s talents were nurtured by his studies at the Queensland College of Art, where he was taught by accomplished jeweller Lyle Tweedalle and Danish coppersmith Yorgen DeVoss. Subsequently Dwyer has expanded his skills by studying with a master jeweller in Barcelona as well as a number of trade jewellers in Brisbane. Through these experiences he has learnt the broad skill set he employs to make his pieces, from making fine jewellery to hollow wares such as Teapots and vessels. He lists Caravaggio, Ron Mueck, Vernon Ah Kee and Mari Funaki amongst those he admires, and is equally eclectic when asked about the style of his jewellery: “My works are very diverse and fitting them into one particular style is very difficult”, he states. 

One factor that hold true across his creations is the meticulousness with which he approaches his craft; “I have a great passion for making objects, whether they are make-up compacts, tea infusers, perfume bottles, hand mirrors or vessels such as tea pots. I enjoy making these objects as they are a technical challenge, and encompass skills that are fast becoming lost art forms.”

As for inspiration, Dwyer lists memory and history as his greatest sources of creative ideas; “I have a very strong interest in objects that have a memory associated with them or stimulate an emotional response” he comments, and his latest artistic interest has been into Victorian era jewellery and objects.