Guild of Leg Waxers


Guild Unlimited

works | history | future

Tracey Clement

Jeweller to the Guild of Leg Waxers

leg waxers, body polishers, de-flocculators
Patron Saint

A smooth leg is an image of youth. In this society the cult of youth is all pervasive. The monthly ritual of leg waxing is a way to exercise control over the body, demonstrate power and defy age.

The job of the leg waxer is to restore order to bodily chaos. Using hot wax, a spatula and strips of fabric she helps to create an illusion of youth and of power. She sends you out feeling beautiful and in control.
Each brooch has successively more hair removed from it until the final one is completely hairless. The different brooches may indicate the level of expertise the leg waxer has over her art, or the seniority of the guild members. They are also paradoxically a demonstration of both the waxer’s power over uncontrollable bodily eruptions, and an acknowledgement of her powerlessness against the omnipotent cycles of nature—hairless will always turn back to hairy in time.

Untitled brooch 925, nylon bristles, bees wax, approx. 95 mm long, 2001 (photograph Tracey Clement)

It happens to me sometimes that I spend a long time making a decision and then, when it is finally made, I forget all of the careful deliberating on that led me to my choice. So, when people ask me why I became a jeweller I have to honestly say I can’t remember. I do know it was a conscious decision and I’ve decided to stick by it. I came to Australia to study jewellery design, from the USA by way of an 11-year stopover in New Zealand. I became interested in metal after first exploring ceramics, photography and stained glass windows. A long way around on both counts, but one that seems to have led me to the right place in the end.

Tracey Clement lives in Sydney.