‘Top posts’ for 2013

29 12 2013

As I did this time last year, I thought I’d see what the ‘top posts’ were in 2013.

Excluding ‘Home Page’ and other pages, the top 10 posts with the most ‘clicks’ during 2013 were:

Most popular posts since I started writing (March 2009):

I’m looking forward to a busy 2014 … happy reading!

A new plan

27 12 2013

I think I may have a new plan, to relight my jewellery-making love-fire.

Simple making. Simple skill exploration.

stone01 stone02stone03

I’ve bought a few little stones recently (above: pretty pink tourmaline, seraphinite, peruvian opal), and have many I’ve collected over the years (sapphires, onyx, opals). The new plan is to make these into ‘traditional’ jewellery items, without the woven paper-silver I’ve used to date. Simple pretty things. Perhaps without any conceptual development (*gasp*).

Making presents

24 12 2013

I love making presents.

What could be better than having an idea for a gift especially for someone you love, and being the single person in the whole wide world to make it come into existence.

These are for my most favourite 10-year-old in the universe. I should probably wait until after Christmas day to share these photographs, but I’m pretty darn sure that the recipient doesn’t read my blog. Plus, I’m a bit excited about them.

image not to be reproduced without permission

image not to be reproduced without permission

This is her first Christmas having pierced ears, so I hope she likes these. Naturally she can’t wear them to school, but I envisage her wearing them to friends’ parties and such.

I thought about making her hook earrings, instead of studs; but she’s very active and hooks are more easily misplaced than studs.

They’re made with purple banded agate beads, fine silver and some sterling silver components.

And then I totally outdid myself in spectacularity (it’s a word now) by making my card into a little stand for them. I know.

image not to be reproduced without permission

image not to be reproduced without permission

Merry Christmas beautiful young lady.

Mmmmm silk

23 12 2013

I may need an intervention. I have a developed a magnificent compulsion to buy (from DyeforYarn) and knit with mulberry silk yarn.

I’ve already shared the lovely dark blue silk shawl. Lately I’ve made another shawl, using a different pattern … this time in a more neutral silver and grey.



The specifics:

Next: not sure, maybe more socks or a light-weight pullover…

Even more

22 12 2013

Sunset beauty.

sunset 19Dec13

sunset 19Dec13, facing East

When you look, there is beauty pretty much everywhere.

More beauty in suburbia

21 12 2013

Rose gorgeousness.

roses 21Dec13

roses 21Dec13

On the spot: NMIT vs RMIT

20 12 2013

I was recently asked by a potential jewellery student for some advice about choosing between RMIT and NMIT.

BIG question.

So I thought I’d reproduce (without the parts personal to the original enquirer) my answer here, in case it’s of interest to others.

First things first: this conversation was only about these two schools, but it should be noted that other options are available (see this post) with the other most formal established school being Monash.

So … what was my answer?

It’s a tricky topic and one that everyone would answer differently.

I’m happy to give you my personal opinion, but it’s only mine and from my experience, and certainly not the gospel; the final decision can only be yours after all.

As a caveat though, (as you probably read on my blog) I did the RMIT course but it was years ago now (2004 – 2006); the course seems to be a little differently structured now and the projects different. To be quite honest, I didn’t know about NMIT when I applied to the university courses; I’d not lived in Melbourne before and only knew about Monash and RMIT. So I made a choice between those two (at the time I wanted to do a ‘university fine art degree’), based solely on how the interviews felt and what I thought of their graduate exhibitions and facilities. I loved RMIT but was happy that I had done jewellery evening classes beforehand, otherwise I’d have been under-prepared skills-wise.

On to RMIT vs NMIT:

Did you have a chance to see the graduate exhibitions? They were quite different and probably the most excellent demonstration of each school.

Did you have an interview at both schools? Perhaps you got a ‘gut-feel’ for the one that suited you best and felt right?

Each course seems to me to have quite a different focus – NMIT is known for being technically focused and connected to industry, and RMIT more conceptually and contextually focused. That is not at all a criticism, but a description of their historic evolution.

NMIT used to offer an evening or part-time stream (they may still?), which is helpful if you need to work during the day to fund uni.

If a student was really serious about jewellery or metalsmithing as a career, I’d personally recommend starting at NMIT to get a good grounding in technique and handskills; then going to RMIT if they’d like further artistic development and the international connections that university offers.

I have known a number of students who transferred into 2nd year RMIT after 1st year at NMIT – and that seemed like a good way of doing it (though that was a few years ago now, you’d best check if that’s still possible).

Another option may be to learn some handskills before you start either course.

One is the MADA (Monash) summer intensive. I’ve not done this before, but it looks like a great introductory option. http://artdes.monash.edu/fineart/shortcourses.php#

I’d also recommend Northcity4 classes (the people here are lovely), but the timing may not work with starting a uni course; though there’s no reason you couldn’t do both if you wanted to! http://northcity4.com/beginners-jewellery-2/

I hope that’s helpful. Most of all though I hope that I haven’t made it more confusing for you!

Best wishes for your decision and best of luck in your future – I’ll keep an eye out for your name in future exhibitions!

Everyone’s view on this would be different I expect.
The more views potential students are exposed to, the more informed their decision can be.
Please contribute and share your thoughts too.