NMIT video

26 08 2010

A web-tastic friend has pointed out a video that NMIT have produced to showcase their jewellery courses (though not sure whether it’s new this year, or has been around for a little while).

This is a great video and worth watching by anyone considering studying jewellery at a tertiary institution. The most interesting part for me is their (justified) emphasis on their focus on hand skills; and it also shows their great bench facilities (though having used both NMIT and RMIT studios, I do feel the silversmithing and larger-scale equipment is better at RMIT – personal opinion only!).

The NMIT site also has a static page: NMIT Static Page

A quick search of the other tertiary institution websites turned up:

  • two static pages for RMIT: one for the general degree: RMIT General Fine Arts
  • and one jewellery-specific RMIT G&S (though in my humble opinion, the entire RMIT needs re-working to look fresher).
  • a search of Monash confirms they now seem to be offering a broad-based first year and a more specific second/third year, that includes jewellery: Monash Page
  • Box Hill Tafe also has a static page: Box Hill Tafe page

It seems to me that NMIT has the marketing edge on all of them with the excellent information in their video…

Update (29th August): I’ve changed the layout of this post, removing the full pathnames and replacing them with tidier-looking links.

Update (29th August): on a related note, there is a discussion on Kit and Caboodle about places to learn jewellery-making [here]; of particular interest is Simon Cottrell’s viewpoint.

Claire McArdle ‘Tokens of Place’ @ Guildford Lane Gallery

24 08 2010

Thank goodness Guildford Lane Gallery is open on Sundays, otherwise it would be more likely I’d miss out on some exhibitions … there never seems enough time to visit all shows I want to see (for example, I am very unhappy I missed out on Open Studios at Nicholas Building – damn work!).

installation view; photograph taken and used with artist permission

Claire McArdle’s show at Guildford Lane Gallery is ‘Token of Place – which she spoke about in the rapid fire papers at the RMIT seminar a few weeks ago. The show was on the ground floor when I visited (above), where it looked a little lost among darker music space (the gallery hosts jazz groups on Fridays I understand), though Claire tells me that it will be moved to the second floor for the next fortnight.

installation view; photograph taken and used with artist permission

This is an interesting body of work, where each piece is made with collected and crushed rock/dirt and is titled with the location and time the materials were collected. I really responded to the idea of tracing a journey.

Claire writes in her artist statement:
The pieces could be from a street you walk down every day.
Each piece holds a memory of a place, to be carried with the wearer on their personal journey.
All the pieces are blackened silver with the variation in colour and texture of the rocks presenting a palette of the urban and rural environments the artist traverses.
These collected works are a history of place for the maker. A journey traced in jewellery.
They are a memento of a moment.
A token of a place.


The pieces are very well presented against (and incredibly discretely and well attached to) boards that look like rendered concrete – a perfect background for the pieces derived from an urban environment.

I particularly liked:

  • a little pin with dark green material called ‘Cedar Avenue, 4.14pm‘;
  • the resolution to the earring construction on ‘Brunswick Street, 12.42pm‘ is wonderful;
  • and the hinged earrings ‘Heatherdale Road, 12.18pm‘ were well-made, unexpectedly and delightfully sparkly.

Drybough Street, 7.12pm ; image courtesy of artist; copyright belongs to the artist

The above image was one Claire sent to me – I like that it’s placed against the concrete and not in a typical ‘white-space’.

The pieces as a group tell a story and have a shared vision/intent, and as such the show has great cohesion – contributed to no doubt by the palette of found rocks but also due to the choice to only use blackened sterling silver.

I wondered if the design of each was influenced by or referenced the place the materials were found, or something that was in her mind when she found them…

Claire McArdle’s ‘Tokens of Place‘ is at Guildford Lane Gallery until 29th August 2010.

Now it’s closed

23 08 2010

After the one week extension, Makers Mark gallery is officially closed.

photograph taken 22nd August 2010, on front door of 484 Collins Street store

So … who is going to open the next jewellery / artisan-metalsmithing gallery??

Update (28th August): … but their website remains the same as it was weeks ago… when will it be taken down?

Update (29th August): oh also, I have removed their site from my links page too…

Little brooch

22 08 2010

Last year I did an evening course at NMIT – it was called Leisure Jewellery and was basically studio access for people with jewellery experience and their own project, with an experienced jeweller on hand to ask questions.

I couldn’t find the energy or time to get to all of the sessions (working fulltime in an office can mean depleted energy by 6pm), but I used what time I did spend there ‘getting my hand back in’ so to speak. A little saw-piercing and a wee bit of soldering on the fitting…

It’s not conceptual at all, it’s not really even to my taste, but it gave me something to practice on. The pattern is based on the paper I used to weave my necklace in second year.

little brooch

paper that inspired the design

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