Calendar: May 2009

30 04 2009

all month:

  • Mildura Arts Centre [link] ‘ornamentomology‘, a travelling jewellery exhibition by JMGQ [link]; 30 April- 3rd June
  • NGV International [link] ‘Dressed to Rule: Imperial Robes of China‘ (textiles); 17th April – 6th September
  • NGV Ian Potter [link] ‘Shared Sky‘ (two-dimensional); 13th March – 2nd August
  • Craft Vic, Natasha Dusenjko ‘Babel‘ (ceramics) [link], 6-8pm, artist talks at 5:30pm; 30th April – 13th June
  • South Melbourne Market: Style after dark (night market) [link]; 5:30 – 9pm every Thursday (7th, 14th, 21st, 28th)
  • Makers Mark [link], Carolyn DelzoppoFuture in the Past‘ (jewellery: cloisonne enamel), all of May

1st May: Lamington Drive [link], Andrea Innocent’s ‘alone, but not lonely‘ (illustrations); until 23rd May

3rd May: last day of Mark Strizic ‘Melbourne in Transition‘ (photographs) at Gallery 101, 101 Collins Street [link]

5th May: Gallery Funaki [link], opening of Marian Hosking’s ‘silver seams and small blocks‘ (jewellery); until 30th May

5th May: Studio 20/17 (Sydney), ‘Paper Text‘ (jewellery) [link]; opening night 7th May 6-8pm; until 30th May

6th May: last day for applications for Melbourne Design Market (held 14th June @ Federation Square) [link]

9th May: last day for entries into the Contemporary Wearables ’09 Jewellery Award and Exhibition, curated by the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery [link]

9th May: Craft Vic ‘Hatch’ market [link], City Library, Flinders Lane, 11am – 4pm

14th May: Craft Vic presents a “free law talk entitled Expression, Authenticity and Appearance. The talk is being organised as part of Law Week 2009 and will be presented by Freehills Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys. This information session is ideal for all craft practitioners concerned with protecting intellectual property with copyright, trade marks and registered designs. Taking place on Thursday 14 May at 6-7pm, this talk is free! Places are limited of course, so please give us a call on 9650 7775 to book a spot for yourself and maybe for a friend too.” [link]

17th May: last day for Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts ‘A Secret Life of Plants‘ (two-dimensional) [link]

17th May: last day of No Vacancy Art Market, No Vacancy Gallery, QV [link]; from 24th April; Thu-Fri 11am – 9pm, Tues-Wed, Sat-Sun 11am to 5pm

17th May: Abbotsford ‘Makers Market’ and ‘Shirt and Skirt Market’ [link], 10am – 4pm

22nd May: last day for applications for 2010 City of Melbourne Arts grants [link]

23rd May: last day of Lucy Folk ‘Pasta‘ in the windows of Pieces of Eight [link]

26th May: Pieces of Eight, Meredith Turnbull’s ‘Some Become Strangers‘; until 20th June

…link to April calendar, and May sneak peek…

NGV Collection

29 04 2009

It seems that rainy days inspire me to visit to the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). The intent for my visit was to see the ‘Dressed to Rule‘ exhibition (which I will write about shortly), but I also wanted to see if the exhibit of items from the jewellery collection had changed.

My last visit was less than a month ago, so I was a little surprised and pleased to see a new exhibit. On this visit, items from the collection were exhibited in one of the larger cases: a promotion! There were eight items last time, and this time there were twenty-seven; with Otto Kunzli being a major focus of this grouping.

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page 1

  • Nel Linssen, Necklace, 1995; paper – there are fantastic images on his website
  • Nel Linssen, Necklace, 1999; paper
  • Gert Mosettig, Necklace, 1998; aluminium, brass
  • Theresa Hilbert, Brooch, 1999; silver
  • Theresa Hilbert, Vessel, Pendant, 1996; silver

page 2

page 3

  • Otto Kunzli, Gold makes you blind, bracelet, 1980 – this is a well-known piece by Otto, where the gold bracelet is covered in black rubber
  • Otto Kunzli, Oh Say!’ Brooch, 1991 – again, another very well known piece, an acidic commentary on American life
  • Gerd Rothman, ‘For him for her for Mo Stahr’, bangle, 1990; gold
  • Karl Fritsch, Ring, 2005, 2005; oxidised silver, glass – I like the playful stacking of riotously colourful glass gems
  • Helen Britton, Red blue brooch, 2007
  • Helen Britton, Yellow structure, 2008
  • Peter Bauhius, Vessel, 2004; silver

page 4

I thought the photography policy of the NGV was not to allow visitors to take any photographs. However, on this one visit alone I saw two people taking photographs of items in the permanent collection; one even doing so with a guard standing right nearby – so is it okay?!

The NGV website offers good information on note-taking and sketching in the gallery, but it took a deal of searching to find their general conditions of entry where it is stated that: “Whenever you are on the NGV Premises you must not:

  • use photographic or recording equipment in areas where this has been restricted;
  • use flash photographic equipment without the express permission of the NGV;
  • use mobile phones and other devices in artwork display areas;
  • touch, or in any other way, interfere with artwork on display;
  • smoke in the building;
  • eat or drink in artwork display areas or other places where this is restricted; and
  • bring animals on the NGV Premises, except for guide dogs”

So, that must mean that photography in these areas was not ‘restricted’ – though I saw no clear signage as I wandered around various exhibits and gallery rooms, which areas were ‘restricted’ and which weren’t. Next time I will ask for photography permission … though I do like sketching….

Update (25th June): clarification on the policy was later achieved! see this post

Julie Carter @ Small Space Jewellery

27 04 2009

I regularly check the websites of the jewellery galleries / retail spaces, looking out for new work or notifications of upcoming exhibitions. Recently I found that Small Space was advertising new work by one of their in-house designers, Julie Carter. The image on the site was just beautiful, so I decided to visit.

From the Small Space site: “Inspired by an old tradition of children’s story telling using shadow against the wall created through hand movement.

from Small Space website

from Small Space website

The work has been popular, and by my visit (later in the month) there were a handful left. And it’s no wonder they are liked, for there is a joy and innocence in them, for of course they remind us of games we played as children. And the flat two-dimensional representation perfectly suits the imagery.

For me, they particularly remind me of shadow games I played with my family during the electricity strikes in the early 80s in Queensland. Night after night we had no electricity, only candle-light, by which I would read Charlotte’s Web and sometime play this game with my family when we were bored of reading…


photograph taken with gallery permission

Small Space Jewellery is at 365a St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North – it’s worth a visit. Julie’s work is in the window for the month of April.

for thought…

25 04 2009

in favour:

  • Happiness depends upon ourselves.
    Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC)
  • Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
    Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948)
  • Remember that happiness is a way of travel – not a destination.
    Roy M. Goodman


  • A person is never happy except at the price of some ignorance.
    Anatole France (1844 – 1924)
  • To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821 – 1880)

Abbotsford Convent Markets

24 04 2009

I like this monthly market at the Abbotsford Convent, held this time on 19th May. It is listed as a combination of two markets, the Makers Market and the Skirt and Shirt Market. I’m not sure if there was any genuine delineation between the two, as they’re regularly held ‘together’. The market is mostly hand-made clothing and accessories, with a handful of jewellery makers.

A few months ago I picked up a gorgeous shift dress by Mint Slice Afternoon; and this month the affair continued, with a beautiful skirt coming home with me. Sharing her stall with Mint Slice Afternoon was BridBird – her hand-made felt brooches and necklaces are delightful.


photograph taken with permission of artist

Two other jewellers worth mentioning are Lisa-Keri Jenness, whose silver pieces are Celtic-inspired; and her stall-mate Belinda di Nino, whose earrings were modern yet classically shaped and beautifully made.

The next market at Abbotsford Convent is on 17th May, the third Sunday of the month.

Reworking pieces

22 04 2009

I have been spending some time archiving, and properly storing, the jewellery and silversmithing objects I made during my Fine Arts Degree at RMIT (2004-2006).

Spending time, indulging really, to leaf through the visual diary attached to each assignment piece, and in some cases I’ve made a technical drawing or a still-life rendering (a practice I picked up at the Goldsmiths School in Brisbane).

This process can take hours for each piece, for I can easily fall into reverie: how I was feeling at the time I was exploring that particular idea; what was going on in my life; what other objects could have been made instead of the one that actually ended up being made.

On that last point, one of the lecturers at uni once said that the hardest part of designing was not necessarily coming up with an idea, but deciding on which of your ideas to bring into existence. That decision was often uneasy, especially because in the first few years of the degree we are set tasks and assignments that need to be completed in limited time.

As I look over the underlying work for each assignment, I find that I am now having ‘better’ ideas on what I could do with various components in these fledgling pieces.

For example, our very first assignment was to make a jewellery piece with an element of cuttlefish casting. This was the very first piece I made at university, and I’m a bit shy about it and no longer even like it, and it doesn’t represent my style at all – but for the sake of the argument here I have included a photograph.

Project: Cut to the Bone (Year 1, Semester 1, 2004) image: Mark Kral

project: Cut to the Bone (Year 1, Semester 1, 2004); materials: sterling silver, silk, thread; image: Mark Kral

But now I look at the piece I created, particularly in context of the drawings I was making at the time of alternate uses of the main component, and find myself toying with the idea of essentially destroying the piece and making something else from the components.

This has been troubling me – if a piece is not successful, or no longer considered successful, is it okay to ‘remodel’ it?

  • Does it depend on how much time has passed since the piece was last touched – if it has existed in this complete state for five years should it remain as is, or if it was only a few months ago is it okay?
  • Does it depend on whether it has previously been presented as ‘finished’ – exhibited in public, or at an examination?
  • Should it never be altered after being ‘finished’ – if a better piece is possible, then make a new piece to reflect the new idea, and don’t touch the older piece – in this way an unaltered history of the artist’s development is kept?
  • Does it matter at all, the artist can choose to do whatever they like?

What do other jewellers think and do? What do artists in other media think and do? Leonardi da Vinci touched-up and altered the paintings that remained in his possession and if it’s good enough for him…

After giving it lots of thought, I’ve decided that given I made this object for university assessment and it effectively forms part of the documentation of my progression as an artist and jeweller, especially when placed in context against later work, that I won’t be destroying it. Though I suspect the urge will probably remain.

Blog round-up

20 04 2009

Yee-hah! What has been published on my favourite blogs and sites this week?

  • Pieces of Eight: the publication of massive two-volume “The Complete Compendium of Contemporary Jewellery 2008″; an international survey featuring a number of artists from the gallery [post]
  • Kate Wheeler‘s gorgeous drawings and ameoboid teapot [post]
  • Katherine Bowman‘s beautiful floral earrings and Ava ring [post]
  • Vikki Kassioras‘s vibrant sapphire bangle [post]
  • Kit and Caboodle‘s story on “Jewellery Topos“, the RMIT Postgraduate group exhibition at Gallery Marzee in The Netherlands [post]