Welcoming Environment for Fresh Insights on Work

Rings, Stefanie Cheong, 2018

In our Voices of Makers blog jeweller Stefanie Cheong shares her experience of taking part in an AAS Constructive Feedback Session in 2018 and explains how the process helped her to revise and evolve her work.

Throwback to October 2018 and my first AAS AGM, this was also the meeting where I joined AAS as a Board Member. In the afternoon Helen Voce offered the opportunity for a group of members to participate in a Constructive Feedback Session. This came at a great time for me, as after about five years since graduating and working on various projects, I had just started to re-explore my making practice. It was the perfect opportunity to get a fresh response on my new experiments and samples.

I was nervous to present the work, as I had yet to share any of this collection with an audience. I also had the Elements Festival in the diary which was my first showcase since my graduation in 2013, so was eager to have feedback on the run up to this.

The structure of the Critical Response Process used was considerate, helpful and supportive. My favourite element of the experience was presenting the work without me giving any introduction and then having others respond to it, as often you can give a lot away when introducing your work so it was refreshing to see how others read it. I also liked that it gave room to ask targeted questions that you specifically want a response to and then space to reflect.

These works in progress were shared at the session.

From the session I was able to evolve some of the design elements that I wasn’t sure of and it also gave me an insight on what was working in terms of material choice, design aesthetics and functionality of the work. This process helped me to revise elements of the work before putting it out to a wider audience.

This is my more current work showing the subtle changes to scale, forms and the way things are fitted with the metal elements.

Interchangeable ring, Stefanie Cheong
Geo stack, Stefanie Cheong

I completely recommend this process to anyone looking for feedback on works in progress or looking to refine existing work. It’s a welcoming environment, that provides various responses from each of the other makers in the group and you also have the opportunity to feedback on others which is really interesting too!

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