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