Calendar: August 2009

31 07 2009

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Blog roundup

30 07 2009

It’s that time again!

  • I know I keep mentioning Katherine’s blog (but if you’re not already regularly checking it, then I’ll keep reminding you!) – her recent contemplation of blue is lovely [post]
  • David shows us painted gold – beautiful! [post]
  • Julia deVille has a show ‘Cineraria‘ at Sophie Gannon, opening 29th July, until 22nd August [post]
  • Cat Preston mentions her MA thesis is on ‘men and jewellery, it’s history, it’s possibilities, the gendered aspects of jewellery‘ – I think this is fascinating and I look forward to her sharing her thoughts in time (and perhaps sharing some of mine with her) [post]
  • I tend to concentrate on Australian makers, but the presentation of this exhibition caught my eye – I think it’s stunning [post], and reminded me of Cassandra Chilton’s silhouette pieces

Happy reading and happy making!

Past exhibition: ‘Ad Astra per Aspera’

29 07 2009

When I moved to Melbourne (to study goldsmithing) the first exhibition I visited was the 2003 RMIT Gold & Silversmithing Graduate exhibition ‘Ad Astra per Aspera‘, which translates to ‘to the stars with difficulty’, at the Melbourne Gold Treasury Museum.

This was a key moment for me – I wandered around the exhibits and felt like I was in the right place; that this was something I not only wanted to do, but felt I was able to do, and it made sense to me and almost felt like home.

catalogue cover; catalogue designer: Lachlan Conn

catalogue cover; catalogue designer: Lachlan Conn

There were two works here that I connected to immediately and still remember their impact quite vividly:

  • Sarena Mazzeo ‘neckpieces‘ – the two necklaces were made of crocheted components with a back-clasp out of satisfyingly substantial sheet metal cut in the same pattern as the crocheted pieces; I remember having an ‘ah-ha’ moment seeing these, that jewellery didn’t need to be all about metal and could incorporate not just the traditional crafts I had learnt as a child but the traditional materials too
  • Melanie Katsalidis ‘shelf to life‘ – a delicate sculpture of a tree from MDF; the catalogue shows a detail image and not the whole piece, so the scale and details have become fuzzy with time; but it was the acceptance of this artistic expression within the confines of the degree I wanted to do was a sign to me that the way this discipline was taught here was going to give me enough breadth to explore both materials and scale

The 2003 graduate year included some makers who have since become pretty well-known (in alphabetical order):

Looking back through the catalogue (which it can truly be called, as this was before the accompanying publication became a ‘book’ which included essays), the skill-level of these makers still impresses me. It’s a delight to be reminded of the beauty of the work.

The 100th post!

27 07 2009

Today is a very special day indeed, for it is my 100th post.

To celebrate, I thought I’d turn the attention from others jewellery to my own work. I finished my bachelor degree over two-and-a-half years ago, and have not made a lot since … but when I think about the pieces I made that I still love, and perhaps still have some further potential to explore, the group below is often thought of.

Note: the images in this post may not be reproduced without permission – this is an exception from the general copyright notice on this blog.

second year, 'gold' project

second year, 'gold' project

second year, 'gold' brooch

second year, 'gold' brooch

The banner for my blog is a detail of the above brooch – I still love these and do wear them occasionally.

More about their conceptualisation and some of my other work another time perhaps …

Beauty in suburbia

25 07 2009

Saturday afternoon coffee at a little cafe Spoonful, High Street, Prahran – the paper-cut on the wall caught my eye. It contains the words for ‘spoonful’ in Spanish (cuchara or cucharada). It’s pretty.


this is not a design market

24 07 2009

As part of the State of Design Festival, ‘this is not a design market‘ was held on 19th July 2009, and was fantastic! This was a perfect example of the vibe a market should have.

Despite getting a bit annoyed, and throwing a mini-tanty in my car, about it taking more than twenty minutes to find a car park in the area (and before it’s asked, yes I do reverse park!) – I had a lovely time once in The Factory. It is a pretty amazing space.

inside the market

inside the market

There were lots of fabulous stalls. I made sure I found Brown Paper Collective, to visit Melissa and Jasmine and friends. I was particularly excited to see some of Melissa’s new work – she generously gave permission for me to take some photographs.

photograph taken with artist permission

photograph taken with artist permission

photograph taken with artist permission

photograph taken with artist permission

It was so busy I couldn’t get good images of the other works – which is great for the makers really and I hope all the foot-traffic translated into sales.

The way I read the market website, this may not be a one-off – if not, then I look forward to the next one.


22 07 2009

Maybe it was because it was early-ish on the Sunday morning, but it was pretty quiet when I visited Design:Made:Trade at the Royal Exhibition Building. The event was part of the State of Design Festival, intended to “showcase Australia’s small manufacturers, product designers, and design makers to an audience of manufacturers, retail and export buyers and the public“.

Almost all of the stalls were very beautifully presented; and there were quite a number of jewellers. I would love to have taken some photographs, but a sign at the entrance clearly stated no photography or sketching – this is the first time I’ve seen sketching specifically mentioned. There are some images and stories about the event at HandMadeLife.

One stall that caught my attention was ‘A Skulk of Foxes‘ – I bought a brooch made by the duo a year or two ago, and I have always loved their name. Their Nadezhda brooches (below) were particularly gorgeous, and though I walked away without one they have been haunting me since … I may need to bring one home in the near future …

used with artist permission

image used with artist permission

I also liked the following:

  • the furniture from Tide, especially the Forest shelf
  • old-fashioned-styling of textiles from Sally Campbell; they are so similar to work I’ve made myself, that of course I couldn’t help but connect to them!
  • objects and lighting from Volume and Void

Design:Made:Trade was at the Royal Exhibition Building, open to the public on 18th/19th July 2009.