Introducing Philip Noakes


I was born in London in 1951 and in 1972 completed the technically demanding, five-year full time, Diploma in the Design and Craftsmanship of Silversmithing at Sir John Cass College of Art, London, (1972), now the London Metropolitan University.

“The Cass” was affiliated with the prestigious Goldsmith’s Company. During my studies I was awarded a number of prizes and sat for the City and Guilds of London Institute examinations (today in an altered form known as the Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council Awards) that judged my design and technical skills allowing me the privilege of registering my hallmark at Goldsmith’s Hall.

This award is an independently recognised measure of my technical and design skills. The Goldsmith’s Company has a long and prestigious history and is highly regarded in the gold and silversmithing industry U.K.

After completing my studies I worked in Hatton Garden (London, U.K), the key trade area for the jewellery, silversmithing and precious gem industries in London. I followed this with a role working for the esteemed architect, designer and goldsmith, Louis Osman developing a number of high profile commissions, including church plate, private commissions.

On my arrival in Australia in 1975 I worked as a designer and silversmith with jeweller Eric Car, Fremantle, and subsequently moved to Sydney to work with jeweller Tony White.

In 1981, I established my own jewellery workshop and in 1985 opened a contemporary jewellery gallery and workshop, Studio Noko in Surry Hills, Sydney with partner, Kate O’Sullivan (Katherine Kalaf) and showcased the work of contemporary studio jewellers from Australian studios.

Studio Noko broke new ground by seeking and gaining coverage for contemporary jewellers in prestigious fashion and design magazines as well as promoting contemporary Australian studio jewellery through an exhibition program and a window showcase.



On my return to Perth, Western Australia I was the lead designer and jeweller for the newly established Kailis Pearls, Fremantle where I researched and developed new collections for the brand. I was able to bring studio jewellery aesthetics, significantly enriching the profile of original jewellery making in what was a commercial, mainstream jewellery context.

In 2012 I established the innovative Contemporary Metal jewellery and silversmithing workshop and studio with jeweller Claire Townsend to create a context for skill learning and the promotion of contemporary jewellery. An ongoing series of classes has ensured that students at all levels have access to skilled technical training in Perth. This has been an important contribution as Institutes of Technology have minimised contact hours and lecturer contact. Throughout my career I have received a number of awards for design and technical skill. I have exhibited consistently since 1975 throughout Australia. I am included in a number of public and private collections including National Gallery of Australia, the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney, the Art Gallery of South Australia and the Art Gallery of Western Australia.

In 2016 Philip was made a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Goldsmiths in London. At present he is working towards a major exhibition of silversmithing to be held at Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery at the University of Western Australia in 2019.

Artist Statement

From the very first copper and brass candlestick I made in high school, I knew I had an innate curiosity and deep interest in forming and shaping metal.

I studied for the technically demanding Diploma in the Design and Craftsmanship of Silversmithing at Sir John Cass College in London for five years where I learnt about the history of gold and silversmithing from Byzantine times to the 20th century. I was particularly drawn to the simplicity, minimalism and refinement of Scandinavian silversmiths and the aesthetic and hand-making skills of the Arts and Crafts movement. The work of these craftsmen and women has had a profound influence on my own career and they continue to inspire me to this day.

I have collaborated with many highly regarded goldsmiths, silversmiths and jewellers throughout my career and have worked on ceremonial, civic and private commissions. The late renowned silversmith Louis Osman had a unique way of working with metal that displayed the forming and hammering on surface textures, and my own work still bears witness to his considerable talent and the time I spent working with him in his studio.

I am committed to pursuing innovation and excellence in my work and I keep the continuity of my craft alive with historical references and contemporary concepts. My latest body of work encompasses the classical bowl form, combining traditional skills with modern fabrication techniques and sculptural aesthetics.

My practice responds to the changing environment in which I find myself and through exploration of a diverse array of options, both artistic and practical. I find myself reimagining the world I inhabit unconstrained by history but, at the same time, using it to initiate new projects and explore innovative techniques.

I find I am in a constant state of flux while designing, making maquettes to formulate ideas, solving potential problems and, finally, working on a piece. My work is forged from a combination of discovered aptitudes and happy accidents, through an impulse to create and then through a rigorous process of trial and error, success and abject disappointment to  arrive at a unique and hard-won end result.

Silversmithing remains my passion and I embrace the challenge of designing and creating beautiful objects while keeping abreast of recent technology and innovations, and using history as my reference bank to invigorate my creativity and experimentation.


Solo Exhibitions

1976  Philip Noakes, Collectors Gallery, Perth, Western Australia.

1978  Philip Noakes at Robin Gibson Gallery, Sydney, NSW, Australia. 

1979  Philip Noakes at Robin Gibson Gallery, Sydney, NSW, Australia. 

1980  Jewellery by Philip Noakes, Bonython Galleries, Adelaide, SA, Australia. 

1982  Linda Jackson & Philip Noakes: Jewellery & Opals, Jackson Studio, Sydney, NSW, Australia. 

1983  Philip Noakes at Bonython Galleries, Adelaide, South Australia.

1990  Philip Noakes at The Australian Jewellery Designers Gallery, NOKO, Sydney, NSW. 

2019  Philip Noakes’ Sculptural Silver, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, Perth, Western Australia.

2021 Philip Noakes Sculptural Silver, Australian Galleries Sydney, NSW.

2023 Philip Noakes Sculptural Silver, Australian Galleries Melbourne, Victoria.

2024 Philip Noakes Sculptural Silver, Lynton and Kay Gallery Subiaco, Western Australia


Selected Group Exhibitions

1975  Eric and Rinske Car Duo exhibition at Collectors Gallery, Perth, Western Australia.

1976  Christmas Exhibition at Collectors Gallery, Perth, Western Australia.

1977  Crafts ’77 at the Undercroft Gallery, University of WA.

1981  Opalinda catwalk parade at Jameson Street Night Club, Sydney, NSW.

1982-84  Australian Jewellery, touring in Europe. 
                Goldsmiths Hall, London, England,
                Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, England, 
                City Art Centre, Edinburgh, Scotland,
                Antwerp Diamond Museum, Antwerp, Belgium,
                Schmuck Museum, Pforzheim, Germany,
                Deutsches Goldschmeidehaus, Hanau, Germany,
                Galerie am Graben, Vienna, Austria,
                Kunste Industrie Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark,
                Galerie d’ Art Municipale, Luxemburg,
                National Gallery of Art, Athens, Greece,
                Dorrotya Utca Gallery, Budapest, Hungary,
                Palazzo Barberini, Rome, Italy,
                Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal,
                Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong,
                National Museum and Art Gallery, Singapore.

1983  Design & Tradition, Crafts Council Gallery, Sydney, NSW, Australia. 

1986  Function, Studio Noko, Sydney, NSW, Australia. 
          Big Bold and Beautiful Rings, Makers Mark, Melbourne, Australia. 
          Australian Happening at Nieman Marcus, Dallas, USA.

1988  Stuart Devlin Award, Meat Market Craft Centre, Melbourne, Victoria.

1990  Objects of Desire, Noko: The Australian Jewellery Designers Gallery, NSW. 

1992  Design Visions, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia.

1997  Pure Creation, Perth Mint, Western Australia.

1997  Pure Vision Jewellery Design Award at South Sea Consortium Pearl Design Award, at Shinju Matsuri, Broome, Western Australia.
          Artistic Australia in Tokyo and Nagoya in Japan for Artisans of the Sea

1998  Pure Creation ‘98 at Broome, Sun Pictures, Broome, Western Australia,
          Maker’s Mark Gallery, Sydney, NSW and Melbourne,
          The Goldsmith, Hobart, Tasmania, 
          Myer’s Sydney and other Myer venues around Australia.

1999  International South Sea Pearl Jewellery Design Awards, Hong Kong and touring internationally.

2015-17  A Year In the Making, touring Geraldton, Katanning, Albany, Wanneroo, Busselton, Kalgoorlie, Carnarvon, Mandurah, Port Hedland and Bunbury in Western Australia.

2017  Ring Master at Bilk, Design Canberra Festival, Australian Capital Territory.

2018  To have and to hold, the Daalder collection of international jewellery, Art Gallery of South Australia.

2018-19  Masters: Art of the Precious Metal Object, National Wool Museum, Geelong, Victoria.



1970  Third prize – Designer Silversmiths Under 21, The Goldsmiths’, Silversmiths’ & Jewellers’ Art Council, London, UK.

1971  Third prize – Silversmiths [Apprentices], The Goldsmiths’, Silversmiths’ & Jewellers’ Art Council, London, UK.

1971  Awarded joint Third Prize in the “Topham Trophy 72” competition – Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK.

1972  Second prize – Designers and Silversmiths, The Goldsmiths’, Silversmiths’ & Jewellers’ Art Council, London, UK.

1989  Diploma of Honour, Diamonds Facets 1989, Sydney, Australia. 

1996  “South Sea Consortium Pearl Design Award”, Shinju Matsuri, Broome, Australia, for Artisans of the Sea. 

1997  “Pure Visione”, section at Pure Creation ’97, South Sea Consortium Pearl (Jewellery) Design Awards, for Artisans of the Sea.

1998  “Pure Creation” section and “Pure Elegance Gold Award” at Pure Creation ’98, South Sea Pearl (Jewellery) Design Awards. 

1998  “South Sea Consortium Pearl Design Award” at the JAA Australian Jewellery Design Awards, for Artisans of the Sea.

1999  “Silver Award” International South Sea Pearl Jewellery Design Awards, Hong Kong, for Artisans of the Sea.



Art Gallery of Western Australia (Perth, Australia)

National Gallery of Australia (Canberra, Australia)

Powerhouse House Museum, (Sydney, New South Wales)

Private collections (Australia, U.K and U.S.A)

Art Gallery of South Australia (Adelaide Australia)

University of Western Australia, Collections (Perth Australia)



Chalice and Paten, Parish of Hutton, All Saints with St Peter’s church, Essex, UK, 1972.

Flying Fifteen Sailing Trophy, Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, Perth, Western Australia, c.1976.

Altar Cross, King’s School Parramatta, Sydney, NSW, Australia, 1981.

Votive bowls, for the school chapel, Saint Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School, Perth, Western Australia, 2014.

20 small silver bowls for St Mary’s Old Girls Association Western Australia, 2014.

Chancellor’s Farewell Gift, University of Western Australia, 2017.

Corporate gift for TPE (WA) Pty. Ltd. Trading as Production Edge, 2017.

City of Stirling 50 Anniversary Commission, Western Australia, 2022.

Chevron PHQ Art Program, Western Australia, 2023.

Numerous private commissions.