Calendar: February 2012

31 01 2012

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In the press

30 01 2012

I noticed an article in on-line The Age today titled: “‘Secret’ engagement rings, the opposite of bling” [link].

The journalist writes about the secret details of jewellery, known only to the wearer: “Ostentatious displays of wealth are giving way to subtle – even secret – details in jewellery.” “While some jewellers decorate the undersides of brooches and pendants, secret details are most popular in engagement rings and wedding bands.”

There are some lovely contributions by Gianna Rosa (from e.g.etal), Katherine Bowman, David Parker and Cinnamon Lee.

Mmm … sounds familiar … this particular aspect has been one I’ve written about quite a number of times (most especially on 25th May 2009), as I very much like the intimacy and secrecy of a detail only known to the wearer …

It’s good to see aspects of jewellery being discussed in mainstream media.

RMIT Year 2, Semester 2, Jewellery #1

30 01 2012

Moving from the first to the second semester of my second year at RMIT….

Second year, second semester, Jewellery, project #1: ‘Gold

Unfortunately I seem to have misplaced the original project brief, though obviously it was to focus on Gold. Part of our background work on this project was to play around with various alloys of gold – making green gold (mixed with silver), red gold (with copper) and various carat alloys.

This was our main jewellery project for the semester, and I immersed myself in it with delight.

Initially I undertook a lot of reading about the place of gold in cultures. I found some interesting pieces of knowledge:

  • the Spanish plunder of gold from the ‘New World’ made me sad; “according to official reports of the Spanish colonial administration, about a century after the beginning of the conquest of America, 181 tons of gold and 16,000 tons of silver had been brought to Spain from American colonies” (‘El Dorado – Columbian Gold‘, p13; ISBN 0-7241-14130); the Inca also used gold ornaments to apply to their textiles
  • textiles of Ancient Greece were sometimes also adorned with ‘gold spangles’, and “some textiles even had very thin strips of gold woven into their wefts” (“Greek Gold: Jewellery of the Classical World“, ISBN 0-714-2202-5)
  • also, I remember reading somewhere that in Ancient Greece gold necklaces were made from set / standard weights of gold – so that the wearer knew exactly how much their piece was worth; it was a means of making wealth portable and able to be escaped with easily if needed (though I can no longer find where I read this)

It’s obvious that my interest was in the use of gold in textiles … a follow-on from the textile references of first year … gold thread embroidery (especially Chinese) … and the below image was my favourite of the time.

from my visual diary at the time; image from 'New Ideas in Goldwork', Tracy A Franklin; ISBN 0-7134-8780-1

My thoughts went into a kind of tangent at this point, into the beautiful detail of quilts … I’m not sure I can connect that to the gold embroidery though, at the time it was more of a parallel thought; my favourite at the time was from ‘Quilts of Provence‘ (ISBN: 0-500-01741-7; which became one of my favourite books).

image from visual diary; from 'Quilts of Provence', Kathryn Berenson, ISBN -0972369-0-1

After writing the above, I realise I’ve actually written about this project in a previous post: My gold brooches (5th October 2009).

Also, I shared some more images of the work in my 100th post (27th July 2009).

So instead of writing more about it, and risk repeating myself, I’ll share more images of the brooches.

gold brooch; image not to be reproduced without permission

group of gold brooches; image not to be reproduced without permission

And as you can probably tell, these are the brooches from which I’ve taken the banner of my blog:

MelbourneJeweller banner; image not to be reproduced without permission

… last post: RMIT Year 2, Semester 1, Theory #2

In the press

27 01 2012

In today’s The Age, a little promotion for Lord Coconut’s current exhibition ‘BEARS, BOOMERANGS, BATHERS & BOOZE – KITSCH AUSTRALIANA‘.

from The Age, 27th January 2012

Excellent to see!

From my garden

26 01 2012

While I haven’t written much about it recently, I am still loving having a garden. Especially my roses.

Today I found the most beautiful purple rose my garden has yet gifted me.

purple rose

It made me smile.

Blog roundup

26 01 2012

A little stroll around the interwebs …

  • Part B, Melbourne Jewellery gathering, has their ‘ManJewellery’ work exhibiting online on CraftHaus [link]
  • also on CraftHaus, I found a post seeking applications for an online exhibition of ‘Behind the Brooch’ [link] – I’ve often enjoyed the back of jewellery [see previous post] – deadline for application 1st August 2012
  • I like the little container Elise Sheehan has made [link]
  • Emma Grace is looking for ‘fixers’ for the Sustainability Living Festival (Melbourne) [link]
  • through Jessica Morrison’s blog [link] I’ve found out about Schtick – I shall visit!
  • striking new work from Katherine Bowman [link]
  • Katie Jayne’s brooch back is too lovely to be hidden [link]
  • Kim Victoria Warne shares some images of great new work [link]
  • Lucy Hearn is exploring some new directions [link] – I like!
  • through Mel Miller’s blog I’ve found an exhibition in Adelaide I hadn’t previously noticed but looks too good to miss [link]
  • I continue to love reading Peaches + Keen blog [link]
  • Zoe Brand will be moving on from Gaffa shortly … sad, but good too, in the right kind of way [link]

Happy reading.

‘Renaissance’ @ National Gallery of Australia, part 2

24 01 2012

… continuing from yesterday’s post …. and the standout paintings:

4. ‘Madonna and Child with Saint Paul, Saint Agnes and the Cassotti donors‘ Andrea Previtali 1520 [gallery page]

sketch; image not to be reproduced without permission

5. ‘Portrait of a child of the house of Redetti‘ Goivan Moroni 1570 [gallery page]

sketch; image not to be reproduced without permission

exhibition media; click on image for original source

The picture above was my absolute favourite of the exhibition – the textiles are beautiful.

The more than 70 works are grouped into:

  • Gothic to Renaissance
  • Madonna & Child
  • Altarpieces & Portraits
  • High Renaissance
  • Late Renaissance
  • Northern Italy

There is a kind of cohesion to the exhibition actually … one you don’t usually find in a blockbuster. Perhaps the majority of the works were donated by the same collector, and as such have a kind of similar aesthetic or collection quality … I can’t put my finger on it, but it was more like visiting a private collection than a group of works from a vast public collection.

This period of art is certainly one that I appreciate, though I wouldn’t say that it lifts my heart in the way that the later German/Flemish art or Impressionism does. I think I prefer to imagine the intellectual development and scientific debate, and adore the drawing of this epoch.

That’s not to say I was disappointed, far from it. Though I wasn’t euphoric; my heart didn’t sing like it has done in the presence of incredible art that I connect with before. Though I am very glad I made the effort to go.

Renaissance‘ is at the National Gallery of Australia until 9th April 2012.


Update (24th January): I meant to mention in the original writing of the above, that the NGA website for the exhibition has exceptionally good documentation and images of all of the works. Therefore, if you want to see the whole exhibition from the comfort of your computer, you can. Of course it’s not the same as seeing them in person: the colour, the scale, the relationship with other works in the room, the ambience … though if you’re not sure if you want to go or not, you may use the gallery listing to determine if your favourite artists is there…