Calendar: April 2010

31 03 2010

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So busy…

29 03 2010

Things have been pretty crazy for me this last week and sadly I haven’t had enough hours in the day to do all that I’d like to! For the first time ever, I haven’t had time to write a story for today… apologies to my regular readers. I have lots of stories ready to write though, however may not get around to doing so for a few days yet …

  • a review of ‘XAOS‘, an exhibition at the Hellenic Museum including jeweller Nicole Polentas
  • a review of ‘Flock‘, an exhibition at RMIT First Site as part of LMFF
  • a story on my recent trip to see the collection at the NGV International (with thanks to Amanda Dunsmore, the curator of Decorative Arts)
  • the catalogue for ‘Sting of Passion‘ arrived in the mail a little while ago – so excited and will share more about that!
  • and I have been doing some making lately (which is why I’m so impossibly busy), and will share that story when the pieces are actually completed

There are many more stories waiting in the wings, but I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you … in the meantime, happy making and happy reading.

Artist profile: Lucy Hearn

26 03 2010

It’s been a little while since my last post in this series, on Claire O’Halloran, and I thought it was about time to remediate the situation. Again I have turned my attention to jewellers who were in my class at RMIT, and I’m happy to say that Lucy Hearn (nee Blackmore) has agreed to be my subject.

All images used with permission of the artist; not to be reproduced without permission.

White Ring Green, 2007, Copper, enamel, sterling silver and plastic - photo by Jeremy Dillon

1. What have you been up to since we graduated from our RMIT undergraduate degree (at the end of 2006)?

Well… After finishing third year in 2006, some of my work was exhibited at Craft Victoria as part of FRESH! which was great and lovely to meet Kate Rhodes and talk to her about my work.
I started 2007 with a new husband and a new name. Then I went back to RMIT to start an MFA… I didn’t really want to leave yet. I had some work fly to Germany for the Talente exhibition.
And I began to work in a different direction… enamel!
Since then, my jewellery has been selling from Studio Ingot and Craft Victoria. And I was commissioned to make a limited edition of pendants for e.g.etal.
I’ve also been involved in group exhibitions, such as Jewellery Topos in the Netherlands, Transformation at Gallery Funaki, Fruit Loop Bagues at First Site Gallery and of course the RMIT It’s Got Legs series of exhibitions. I also had a small solo exhibition in the window at Craft Victoria.
I finished the MFA at the end of 2008 and went to Amsterdam, Paris and Pforzheim for a short but very inspiring trip in 2009.
Since then I’ve been taking a bit of a break from serious jewellery making, concentrating instead on having fun with my 7 month old daughter.

Fruit Loop Bagues Group Exhibition with Nicole Polentas, Mel Miller, Nina Oikawa and Lucy Hearn at First Site Gallery, 2008 - photo by Lucy Hearn

Wow, so much success! A couple of links to see more:

  • see the RMIT website for information about the exhibition in the above image ‘Fruit Loop Bagues
  • Craft Victoria ‘Fresh!’ 2006 [here, under her maiden name] and announcement of stock [here]
  • Studio Ingot artist profile [here]
  • Gallery Funaki ‘Transformation‘ was an award exhibition, and it is fantastic Lucy was a finalist [here]
  • see the RMIT School of Art Gallery site for more on the ‘It’s got Legs 2008‘ and ‘It’s got Legs 2007
  • also see my previous review stories on: ‘Jewellery Topos‘, ‘It’s got Legs 2009
  • and my previous stories on her pieces in my jewellery collection: #13, #9#7, #6
  • Lucy was also interviewed in The Age early last year [here]
  • e.g.etal announcement of Lucy being awarded the pendant design [here], image below

e. g. etal pendants, 2008, Sterling silver, copper, enamel and plastic - photo by Terence Bogue

2. What has been your most exciting / rewarding experience over the last few years?

Being a part of the Jewellery Topos exhibition in the Netherlands was super exciting. It was a fantastic experience to travel there and meet Marie-Jose of Marzee. Her jewellery collection is phenomenal, I was so overwhelmed by amazing things to look at that I began to feel dizzy and sick… or perhaps it was just morning sickness? The entire trip was incredible, I was also able to see some impressive collections of ancient jewellery in the Louvre Museum and in Pforzheim, Germany.

So jealous…

3. What do you like most about making?

I love it when something works! When I pull a large enamelled piece out of the kiln and it hasn’t cracked or dripped and it’s beautifully shiny and finished after all the work I’ve done. It’s so satisfying. Possibly because this doesn’t happen every time!

White Vessel Group, 2007 - 2008, Copper, enamel and plastic - photo by Jeremy Dillon

From my personal viewpoint, I love Lucy’s spontaneity and willingness for the metal to guide her, especially when raising a piece. Though that said, her drawings are quite delightful too.


Not to mention her incredible sense of colour and injecting fun into personal adornment.

White Brooch Orange, 2007, Copper, enamel, sterling silver and plastic - photo by Nicole Polentas

Lucy and I sat next to each other in our final year in our undergraduate degree, and she always had a pretty good way of sensing when things weren’t quite working out for me and somehow always said something to put it all into perspective. The colour she used injected a much-needed jolt into our workspace (my work during that period was fairly minimalist with respect to colour), and I found myself experimenting with her way of working and I think it loosened my approach and I became more comfortable with figuring it out as I went (and not having all the answers before I started making).

4. What is the next step for your work / What does the next year or two hold for you?

The next step is to put a studio together which will happen later this year and start some serious making again. And after that, I’m not sure… I would love to build a body of work for a solo exhibition, but no plans at this stage.
I intend to continue enamelling and raising vessels and have fun playing and experimenting with them.

Many thanks to Lucy for being so generous and sharing so much about herself! I look forward to hearing more stories about her adorable daughter, and seeing her work develop when she finds the right time to return to making.

All images used with permission of the artist; not to be reproduced without permission.

Update (3rd April 2011): Lucy now has a blog

Update (7th October 2011): I am happy to say that Lucy has provided an image of her makers mark / hallmark … please also see my Makers Mark page for other artist marks!

Lucy Hearn; with artist permission

… previous artist profile: Claire O’Halloran

RMIT Year 1, Semester 1, Jewellery #3

24 03 2010

First year, first semester, Jewellery, project #3: ‘Colour setting’ – bezel setting

As our enamelling subject really required a means of cold joining, it was good timing that the second jewellery ‘making’ project was bezel setting. I was pleased though that I’d had wonderful tuition in this technique at the Goldsmiths School previously, so understanding the skill expanded the possibilities of design for me.

I took the title at face value for this project, and thought about setting a stone that was actually used to ‘make’ colour – such as lapis lazuli (blue) or malachite (green) or similar. My key reference book here was one that I had bought on impulse in Scotland during a short holiday there in mid-summer 2003 (I’ve written before about visiting stone circles there), and love and have re-read several times: Victoria Finlay’s ‘Colour: Travels through the paintbox‘ (here).

My original intent was to simply set a piece of lapis, however upon encouragement of the guest lecturer for the project, took it a step further and decided to literally ‘set the colour’ – to use a tablet of watercolour paint instead of a stone.

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

It made sense that this be a ring, to reference that painting is usually done with the hands. The shape then obviously echoes the tablet itself. In contrast to project #2, there was only the one idea for this project.

colour setting ring; image: Mark Kral; amended copyright notice: not to be reproduced without permission

The above image is one taken at the time of assessment that year by an acquaintence as a favour – I like how the shadow gives details of the ring that cannot be seen from the angle of the photograph. Though it’s a bit grainy and doesn’t really show the intense colour. That said though, I have made numerous attempts myself but have had no success – it seems like one of those pieces that’s almost impossible to photograph.

side profile of ring; amended copyright notice: not to be reproduced without permission

I wouldn’t never consider wearing this ring as it’s too heavy and unbalanced. More importantly though I don’t really like it as something to be worn, though I like looking at it – I now think of it more as a conceptual exercise. Sometimes there are pieces (especially in first year) that end up being done mainly to satisfy assessment and don’t really resonate – though all projects have the potential and whether they do or not is probably more about time, timing and selection of the idea to go ahead and make.

Update [4th March 2013]: this object no longer exists, as I decided to recycle it!