Blanche Tilden

Blanche Tilden (Melbourne, from Kiama)

‘The harder I work, the luckier I get’ / “Cuanto más trabajo, más suerte tengo”

  Function to provide those striving to achieve something against the odds with a moment of inspiration
Activation At a critical challenge, the host grates the gold ingot against the file provided, which creates a shower of gold dust, to accompany the words ‘The harder I work, the luckier I get.’
Materials 750 gold, oxidised 925 silver, hardened steel file

Blanche Tilden is celebrated for a combination of modernist precision and creative interpretation of the machine. She started her undergraduate degree at Sydney College of Arts, where she specialised in a combination of glass and jewellery. She continued her studies at Canberra School of Art then took at traineeship with Susan Cohn at Workshop 3000. With Phoebe Porter she developed a participatory jewellery event titled General Assembly. Her work has been shown at Gallery Funaki Melbourne, Helen Maxwell Canberra, Jam Factory Adelaide and Sabbia Sydney. See

The harder I work, the luckier I get

Tilden’s charm consists of two parts that can be rubbed against each other:
  • Part one is a section of a 24 carat gold bullion ingot (from gold dust gathered from 20 years at the bench)
  • Part two will be a grating surface
These two parts are connected with a chain, made to sit together, and are to be worn as a pendant/necklace. To activate the charm, the gold ingot is rubbed against the grating surface; this ‘work’ will generate a small amount of gold dust and activate the charm. The words to activate this charm are: ‘The harder I work, the luckier I get.’
Tilden’s ‘charm’ is a statement that the capacity to change things for the better depends more on our hard work than mysterious forces beyond our control.
To read one person’s account of what it is like to live with this charm, read the charm offensive.


3 thoughts on “Blanche Tilden

  1. Hello Blanche, I just love the charm you’ve made, I wish I had one of my own right now as I’m dealing with a lot of anxiety while I prepare for a big show that I’m doing in a couple of weeks. I love the fact you departed with gold dust from your bench to make the charm, it makes it much more special. Those filings really tell a tale of long hours at work carving your own luck.
    Warm Regards from Washington and good luck with all!

    • Hi Analya
      Making work for exhibitions always feels to me like entering a tunnel – once you are in there, there is only one way out – with the deadline only ever getting closer …so – keep going – you’ll get there!
      I have been helping with the installation of Joya Viva – the exhibition looks great.
      Thanks for your feedback
      And good luck for finishing your work

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