Calendar: November 2011

31 10 2011

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This weekend

30 10 2011

A little while ago I mentioned I was to attend the David Bielander workshop at RMIT. Sadly I had to pull out; scheduling and over-commitment issues, just too much to do (a lot is on at work at the moment) and something had to give.

Never fear though – I foresee much craftiness in my near future….

ready for craftiness

Update (3rd November): the knitting pile on the right hand side went here

Melbourne jewellery galleries and artists: part 3

29 10 2011

The “Melbourne jewellery galleries and artistspart 1 and part 2 posts I recently wrote have not received comments …

Hopefully that means what I’ve written isn’t a surprise to anyone – in fact, it probably isn’t really news to those jewellers making a living from their making.

That said, I’d love to hear from artists about your experience regarding exclusivity – what has been good, what could be better. Does what I’ve written reflect your experience?

Also please share your thoughts on the evolution in the retail market and the emergence of artist-owned online retail spaces…

Your comments can of course be made anonymously – simply enter a made-up name and don’t enter a website into the comment form (the email address you enter is confidential and won’t be passed on to readers or anyone else).

I’d LOVE to hear from you.

Why? Really.

28 10 2011

In another case of ‘what the?‘ and what seems like an extravagant waste of precious metal … the news tells me that apparently the Perth Mint has created a 99.99% pure gold coin that weighs over a tonne and is worth over A$50m.

media image; click on image for original news source

Erm … why?

And tell me, that wasn’t paid for by tax-payers money was it?

I like bowls

28 10 2011

I like bowls.


That is all.

Melbourne jewellery galleries and artists: part 2

27 10 2011

PART 1 yesterday———————————————————————

PART 2 ——————————————————————————–

It’s actually been two weeks since I wrote the first section of this post (part 1), and I’ve since received responses from many of the galleries I contacted.

The question I asked was pretty simple (as I know gallery staff have way more important and interesting things to do than spend time on my emails). And I offer them my sincere thanks for answering me.

Does ***gallery*** have a standard policy for their artist relationships?
(i) exclusive within Melbourne and/or Victoria; or
(ii) an exclusive range or collection, with the artist free to have other work at other galleries / online store / private commissions; or
(iii) no exclusive requirements; or
(iv) something else / combination / depends on the artist.

My summary of the responses is below (with general comments underneath):

  • Alice Euphemia – “rarely requests” exclusivity (as the “handmade nature of the work we have stocked usually limits the production and creates uniqueness and ‘exclusivity’ anyway“)
  • e.g.etal – do not ask their artists to be exclusive as one of their “founding principles was, and still is, to support artists to make a living from their work“; though they do recommend stocking different ranges / collections at different outlets; and they do requests of their artists that prices are consistent if sold through other galleries / outlets (Emma was very generous in her reply)
  • Gallery Funaki – traditionally an exclusive requirement within Victoria, and still to a large extent on a case-by-case basis (Katie sent me a wonderful reply too)
  • Lord Coconut – no exclusivity; though request for consistent pricing if the pieces are sold elsewhere
  • Pieces of Eight – the lovely ladies at Po8 are super-busy on their work in developing Edition X; an online shop for a selection of artists – which implicitly speaks volumes about their vision of the future of the contemporary jewellery space (will write about this soon! and I’ll update this post when I receive their response)
  • Small Space – if possible, a different range / collection from other outlets (though the majority of the work stocked here is Robyn’s); Robyn made an important point I totally understand and can agree with: “to ask a contemporary jeweller to stock exclusively to just one gallery in Melbourne is not a feasible option when making a living from the handmade and the contemporary can be so difficult.” (Robyn was also very generous with her reply to my email)

To add to the above, some of the main points made in the replies included:

  • Some of the galleries have commented that the inclusion of cast elements may impact the possibility of non-exclusivity (and therefore requests may change in the future).
  • Also, many galleries do ask for artists to be considerate and respectful when managing private commissions, with many requesting (one with a specific policy on the matter) a customer to be referred back to the gallery where that customer has used the gallery to effectively ‘shop for’ a jeweller and then approached the maker directly (a practice I wondered about in my previous post).
  • Further, there is consensus that the artist-run online retail-space (like bigcartel platform) is a bit blurry; its increased prevalence and popularity may introduce the need to review such agreements (or at least make explicit considerations of such) in the near future.
  • Finally, galleries are usually founded by people who make and/or support makers, so they are very respectful. Many do take a great deal of care in developing excellent relationships with their artists, through which any of these kinds of matters can generally be managed as they arise.

My sincere thanks to the gallery people who have been so generous in replying to my emails and sharing their practice with me.

I will watch in interest in the coming years as the online economy moves and changes the retail environment – and I hope that galleries can still survive, in fact thrive, in the new market.


Melbourne jewellery galleries and artists: part 1

26 10 2011

PART 1 ——————————————————————————–

I’ve been thinking about this for a little while … the relationships between the key Melbourne jewellery galleries / retail spaces and the artists they stock.

For each of the below galleries (in alphabetic order) I went looking for a page on their websites showing a full listing of the artists whose work they represent. Not as standard as I actually expected – a bit surprised really.

From seeing which artists are with which galleries, it looks on the surface that artist agreements with these galleries are not strictly exclusive.

Some examples are below. I haven’t chosen these artists for any other reason than I likely love their work and therefore remember them in each gallery (note though, these may not be the only galleries they have work in):

So it’s pretty clear we have a pretty amazing group of galleries in Melbourne that are okay with giving artists a greater chance of making a living by being stocked in a number of locations (and not locking them in exclusively).

The only possible exception to that is Gallery Funaki … I think … I thought their artists were exclusive, though the David Neale example has confused me.

Also, I vaguely remember being told that Alice Euphemia had ‘exclusive-range’ requirements of artists – though I’m not sure that’s the case for the above artists, so maybe the arrangement is artist-specific?

I also thought some of the other galleries prefer a separate or exclusive group of pieces / collection from the artist; so that it is unique to their retail space.

So to be sure I had the correct information, I wrote to each gallery to ask.

So all of the above text was written before contacting any of the galleries. I wanted to keep it unedited, as it shows the thought process of this post.

Also, while researching the above, I remembered the first post I wrote on this kind of topic earlier this year – it is still relevant and I’d like to expand on it a little further in this post too.

PART 2 coming tomorrow—————————————————————–