Bye bye studio

25 03 2014

Regular readers will know of my recent struggles with the muse and creative process. Yes, it’s been a underlying theme for ages.

You probably also spotted my recent break-up letter with my studio.

Well – it’s really happening – I’m moving out of the studio.

Big sigh. Sad times indeed. Heart-breaking to be honest.

It’s taken a lot of soul searching to finally admit that I’ve (hopefully temporarily) fallen out of love with making jewellery. I will keep visiting exhibitions and writing though, for I love the community and certainly love seeing the making of others!

I will also keep my equipment, as I do hope that the love will return in time.

Therefore, my beautiful studio buddies are looking for a jeweller to take up my space in the shared studio. They’ve been established in the same studio for many years, and I spent more than three happy years there with them. They’re seriously just lovely and gorgeous people!

The kind of person I know they’re looking for will be responsible, reliable and a kind of kindred spirit…

The studio is part of the Red Box artist studios in Collingwood.

If you’re looking to share a studio space (and have your own bench etc), email (or facebook message) me and I’ll pass on your message.





Metal price update

18 03 2014

It’s been quite a while since my last metal price update.

1. Gold per gram in A$ : oh dear, prices have increased quite a bit this year

as at 18Mar14; click on image for original source

as at 18Mar14; click on image for original source

… and creeping up near a year-high and prices seen during 2012:

as at 18Mar14; click on image for original source

as at 18Mar14; click on image for original source

2. Silver per kilogram in A$; and again, a bit of a jump recently

as at 18Mar14; click on image for original source

as at 18Mar14; click on image for original source

… though not so bad considering where it was over the last few years:

as at 18Mar14; click on image for original source

as at 18Mar14; click on image for original source

previous metal price update: 21st November 2013





Hoorah: 5 years and 1200 posts

1 03 2014

Today is my fifth anniversary … five years since I started writing this blog.

The first year anniversary called for paper (traditional) or clocks (modern).
The second year anniversary called for cotton (traditional) or china (modern).
The third year anniversary calls for leather (traditional) or crystal (modern).
The fourth year anniversary calls for fruit or flowers (traditional) or appliances (modern).
The fifth anniversary calls for wood (traditional) or silverware (modern) … ooh…

Perhaps to celebrate, an image of my favourite silversmithing object : ‘Avebury‘.

Avebury; image not to be reproduced without permission

Avebury; image not to be reproduced without permission





Caz Guiney @ Personal Space Project

6 02 2014

This is my first review-from-afar of an exhibition. Sounds strange doesn’t it? Is it possible even? Well, this post will go some way as to tell if I can do it justice.

Regular readers are familiar with my admiration for Zoe Brand – the lady is a visionary. She has set up a gallery in her bedroom: Personal Space Project. If you don’t already know about it, you must.

The current show (for the month of February) is work by Caz Guiney.

exhibition media; click on image for original source; used with permission

exhibition media; click on image for original source; used with permission

How beautiful is the display? I love it.

Zoe documents the exhibition so wonderfully with images on her website that I think I have a feel enough for it to be able to write a little about it, even though I haven’t visited the space in person. If there were many more items, and the space larger than could fit in one photograph, then I would suggest the task of getting a feel for the cohesiveness of the work would be quite difficult. Thankfully it’s perfectly compact and made accessible.

I was especially intrigued by the introduction in the exhibition text: “In this work Guiney explores the difficult and perhaps even ethical situation that many jewellers face; what do you do when you have a potential goldmine just casually tucked away in boxes under your bed?

that's my name don't wear it out  (2014); image used with permission; click on image for original source

that’s my name don’t wear it out (2014); image used with permission; click on image for original source

More of the exhibition media: “This series examines the process of revisiting old jewellery projects and explores the possibility of liberating them from the archival tissue, the zip lock bag and bubble wrap to give them another opportunity to shine, communicate and tell stories. The particular project from which these works have been emancipated is Precious Nothing (2008)…

And seriously beautiful new art objects these are.

I especially love the one above; the composition is fabulous with all the young fellows admiring their friend’s swanky chest adornment. It’s like he’s saying: ‘yeah, I know, it is pretty ace isn’t it’ … and feeling all proud of himself that he’s made his mates envious … and stuff …

(left) i know you are but what am i (2014) & (right) your dumb and i'm not (2014); used with permission; click on image for original source

(left) i know you are but what am i (2014) & (right) your dumb and i’m not (2014); used with permission; click on image for original source

The titles are adorably childish and viciously insightful; given the looks on the faces of the children you couldn’t think of a better title when you see them. I remember saying things just like that to my family when I was a kid. So naughty. And I like that cheekiness combined with the black and white somewhat dorky images (from knitting patterns), succulents for colour and the gold for a grown-up touch. And I’m pretty sure I ate party foods from plates just like those as the same age.

I’m quite taken by these. You can tell, I know.

Adoration aside, I too regularly wonder what on earth I should do with some of the pieces I’ve made – especially those I’m not proud of or no longer like. I once had vague delusions of grandeur that I would hold onto them in case of some imaginary future retrospective when I become totally famous. Pft.

As that’s really not going to happen, questions are perpetually on my mind about what to do with all the pieces. I am a minimalist and do like to clear things away regularly; I don’t like to own objects that don’t fit a purpose, with aesthetics being one of the most important purposes of all.

I can’t imagine how this would weigh on a maker’s mind if they had more than I do (I would say I have relatively little), and where gold and more precious materials have been used (most of mine is just silver).

I’m all for makers repurposing their pieces if the result is going to be as stunning as this work or if it opens a new window on another way of viewing their practice. Start with that route; the experimentation alone is valuable experience.

But if that doesn’t quite work out, I would seriously recommend documenting the piece (photographs and sketches and even the story behind it) and then melting away – it makes room for more new work, and releases some funds too. That is in fact a large part of why I’ve documented my RMIT pieces on this blog – once that was done I felt more able to let some of those pieces go and be melted away.

Caz Guiney is at Personal Space Project (Canberra and online) for the month of February 2014. Zoe’s writing about Caz’s work is most definitely worth your reading (more than mine I dare say).





Making, thinking

12 01 2014

Is it odd that I want to make jewellery items that I don’t wear myself?

At least I won’t be tempted to keep the pieces for myself, yes.
Though does it mean that I won’t thoroughly understand them?

Case in point: earrings (with hooks).

I don’t wear earrings. Though I do have a strong desire to make some.
I won’t be able to test them on myself for weight and feel and wear etc…

But then again, I’m sure there are others who do the very thing.
Specifically, other men or women without pierced ears.
I imagine a proxy can be made; or a friend roped in to help.

Right then … thinking over … it’s all fine.
Hoorah.
Thanks so much for listening.





Doodling

11 01 2014

It’s quite wonderful what ideas end up on the paper when you just play for the sake of playing, draw for the sake of drawing …

drawing 11Jan14; image not to be reproduced without permission

drawing 11Jan14; image not to be reproduced without permission

I may even make it into the studio to play with metal soon …