Calendar: March 2010

28 02 2010

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Jewellery at auction #4

27 02 2010

There’s a jewellery auction happening in Malvern on Monday… I like looking through these types of catalogues, and favourites from this one include:

  • lapis lazuli bracelet [here]
  • a very interesting coral brooch [here]
  • jet and gold brooch [here]
  • citrine drop pendant (well the stone, not so much the setting) [here]
  • and I’m always attracted to onyx plaque rings [here]
  • a fabulous pale green amethyst [here]
  • the most horrid however is this ‘extremely unusual diamond ring’! [here]

RMIT Year 1, Semester 1, Jewellery #2

26 02 2010

First year, first semester, Jewellery, project #2: ‘Cut to the Bone’ – cuttlefish casting

This was the first making project, with the exception of the technical exercise we’d done in the first couple of lessons (filing a brass rod for a scribe handle – below).

technical exercise #1; scribe handle; amended copyright notice: not to be reproduced without permission

As part of this project, we learnt how to cast in cuttlefish bone. We were required to source it ourselves – which wasn’t easy actually, because it is usually found either on the beach (if you’re lucky!) or at a pet shop (as it’s used for keeping birds beaks healthy, or something); and the pet shops I went to were saying there were supply problems. Anyway, I did get my hands on two or three from memory, which meant I couldn’t make too many mistakes.

Being the first project in a degree I’d wanted to do for years, I struggled a little to get my thoughts together. And as it wasn’t limited conceptually, just in that the jewellery had to have a component cast in cuttlefish, it was almost a case of having too much freedom and to many possibilities to choose from.

Looking over my visual diary from the project, I was mainly interested in art deco at the time. However, despite really wanting to use that reference, I realised that the pattern inevitably left by the technique didn’t at all suit the art deco streamlined aesthetic.

from sketch book for this project; amended copyright notice: not to be reproduced without permission

Eventually I was swayed by a classmate’s test pour – a simple rectangular shape that contrasted with the organic cuttlefish texture. From there I recall it was somehow a natural progression to add the fabric component – not sure now why that was. The construction wasn’t easy, but I had help from my lecturer and our technician.

Project: Cut to the Bone; image: Mark Kral; amended copyright notice: not to be reproduced without permission

I’ve written before how I was not too happy with the outcome – I had made too much allowance for the eventual thickness of the fabric around the metal inner frame, such that that part ended up slightly out of proportion with the cast square. It is simply to heavy, and the pin too unresolved, to reasonably be worn. In hindsight it hasn’t connected to any future work – but I guess not everything that is made leads to something else or something better.

The cast square though is still attractive and I have often struggled with the urge to cut the piece up and use that part for another jewellery piece… but I won’t, because it was an assessment piece, I will let it stay intact … and yet never worn.

As I go through my other university assessment projects, I wonder whether I’ll have a group of ‘alternate’ pieces that didn’t quite get made which together could make up a whole body of ‘other’ jewellery, the ‘unmade’ series… ooh, another project idea!

Retail opportunity

24 02 2010

Just a quick note on a very exciting opportunity: Gaffa Gallery is looking for makers to stock their retail store.

Below information from Zoe at Gaffa (see also Kit and Caboodle):


Since its inception in 2006, Gaffa Gallery has provided a creative space for emerging and established artists and designers. As an integral part of its move to Sydney’s CBD, Gaffa will open the doors to a dedicated Jewellery and Object retail store.

At present we are looking for Jewellers, Ceramists, Glass Artists and Object makers to be represented in the retail store. We aim to showcase remarkable and exciting work, with a strong emphasis placed on quality craftsmanship, innovation and interesting design.

If you are interested in having your wares showcased in our retail outlet, feel free to tell us a little more about yourself and your practice.Please provide the following:

  • A brief bio (200 words)
  • A ONE page CV
  • Images of your work (max 5 images)
  • Along with a word document of captions details (title, materials and retail prices).
  • NB. Please make sure the size of your attachments does not exceed a total of 1MB.

Zoe Brand
02 9283 4273

For more information about Gaffa or the retail store please feel free to contact either Kelly Robson (Initiative Director) at or Zoe Brand (Retail Manager) at

Linden postcard show 2010

22 02 2010

The 2009 Linden Postcard show last year was one of the first exhibitions I wrote about when I started this blog. In fact, I still wish I’d bought the vent photograph by Jenny Marinovic. So I visited this year intent on allowing myself to buy a small piece if it called to me.

Well, sadly, all was silent. No pieces called to me. Disappointing.

Linden building

That said though, there were a few pieces worth mentioning that were good, but three of the four had been already sold:

  • Betra Fraval “Moth”, midnight blue gouache (#505); her blog shows some more of her work
  • Suellen Entwisle “In Loving Memory” series, tins with resin, quiet and sensitive pieces in the currently popular oeuvre of recycling tins (incl. #430); afterwards I found that I had previously published a photograph of work Suellen had in the ‘In Bloom‘ exhibition last year [at least I think it’s the same person]
  • Carmen Reid’s beautiful pencil drawings of potatoes, and while the used envelope is a popular material, it doesn’t really lend itself to hanging in my home (incl. #1260)
  • Richard Webber “Untitled” oil painting (I think?) fusing the ubiquitous wooden jointed figure with the classical painting ‘The Valpincon Bather (1808)’ by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres [Louvre] with fantastic technique – it’s worth visiting the exhibition just for this one piece (#1630)

Again, there were an enormous number of works, and yes it can be overwhelming. That can be overcome with concentration and focus, which really needs to be employed to get over the annoying soundtrack of the audio/video work … it really distracted and detracted from the other works.

Oh, and I thought I’d have a quiet Sunday afternoon visit … shame I didn’t realise the St Kilda festival was on that day. Mmm, not so quiet!

Acland Street, St Kilda; festival

Linden Postcard Show‘ 2010 [link] is on until 27th March 2010.

Beauty in the city

20 02 2010

I like looking up when I’m wandering around our fair city. This spotted while waiting for the start of the Craft Victoria lecture ‘Make it, Design it, Fund it’.

Corner of Flinders Lane and Spring Street.

Past exhibition: ‘Sting of Passion’

19 02 2010

In searching for an image of a particular necklace last week [for this previous post], I literally stumbled across the below startling image on Klimt02. I immediately saw a connection between this neckpiece and the one I was searching for, and in fact the one Paloma wears in the image that kicked off this web of threads in the first place.

image used with permission from Klimt02; click on image to go through to original source; image not to be reproduced without permission from Klimt02

The above piece is ‘Neckpiece for Ophelia‘, 2009, of concrete and glass, by Kepa Karmona. It’s not exactly wearable, but my goodness it’s striking, yes?!

This was exhibited in Manchester Art Gallery, Jul-Oct2009, as part of the ‘Sting of Passion‘ exhibition.

The curator writes on Klimt02 [here] that this is: “An exhibition of jewellery made in response to Manchester Art Gallery’s collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings. The title of this exhibition, The Sting of Passion, is taken from a line in a poem, which the Greek poet, Sappho wrote as a hymn to Aphrodite.

The page on Klimt02 [here] shows a few more pieces alongside the artwork that inspired them – with permission, I have used a few of the images here. The one below is especially gorgeous – it’s a bracelet of sterling silver, fine gold and garnets, and is by Jivan Astfalck. Looking at it initially without knowing the scale, I thought it was a tiara, and thought that was just wonderful.

image used with permission from Klimt02; click on image to go through to original source; image not to be reproduced without permission from Klimt02

No, I didn’t see this exhibition personally. Aside from the connection to the other neckpieces I’ve been thinking of lately, another reason I write about it (and want to remember it for posterity) is that I sincerely love the idea of jewellery, or in fact any artwork, made ‘in response’ to other art. I’ve done a little of this myself, with some of my pieces in third year referencing portraits of Henry VIII and others of a similar era … I’ll share these another time.

Also, if it didn’t seem so daunting (and probably take years to develop and organise!), I have often thought about a project and exhibition where a handful of jewellers select an art work to ‘respond to’ (within a broad, as yet unspecified, concept/theme) and after the initial pieces are made, receive another jeweller’s piece to respond to; so two layers of response and two pieces from each jeweller … maybe some time in the future.

Update (25th February): it dawned on me that the last ‘past exhibition’ I wrote about was also a body of work responding to other art work, in that case ‘The Presence of Things’ exhibitors responded to pieces in the collection of the Embroiderers Guild of Victoria.

Update (28th February): I have been in contact with the curator of the project, Jo Bloxham, and her site has some wonderful images and information about this project – here.