Artist statement

Transient

Sam Mertens is a jeweller and metalsmith whose interest in metalworking began with the goal of becoming an engineer. In 2000, Sam undertook a practicum with Airbus Industries in Germany, where he developed his attention to detail whilst learning many of his basic metalworking skills.  Sam discovered he enjoyed making and creative process far more than engineering, so upon his return to Australia he enrolled in Jewellery and Silversmithing at Charles Sturt University. After completing two years at Charles Sturt, he transferred to the Art School at the Australian National University where he studied under Johannes Kuhnen, graduating with honors in 2007.

Since finishing Art School, Sam has utilised his training in an eclectic range of jobs. He has taught jewellery making at Sturt in Mittagong, worked as a technician to develop diamond ceramic composite materials for Ringwood Diamond Material Technologies and worked as a  technician at the Australian National University’s Research School of Earth Sciences. During this time Sam also worked as a metalsmith for Johannes Kuhnen. He later completed a Diploma of Education at the University of Canberra and worked as a secondary school teacher in Art, Design, Wood and Metalwork.

Sam has kept up his own metalworking practice partaking in several group shows and doing commissions. He has had studios in Canberra including at ANCA where he was on the gallery committee for three years. At the start of 2012 Sam moved to Melbourne to focus solely on his practice. He now works as a metalsmith and technician for artist Susan Cohn, works at RMIT university as a gold and silversmithing technician and has his own practice based at Workshop 3000.  

Sam makes both jewellery and objects and these two practices often play off one another. His work is currently focused on the examination of how light interacts with his work. Sam does this by carefully selecting his materials and surface finish in conjunction with acknowledging how people will touch, feel and interact with his work.