Farewell, you gorgeous thing

25 10 2015

I’ve written a number of times before about old works … pieces we’ve made, hold on to, unwilling to throw away but aware that equally we don’t actually want to keep them for we don’t like them, they don’t say what we wanted them to, we’ve moved on, etc.

With the benefit of time (it’s almost nine years since I made this piece) I’m ready to let go of ‘Scale‘ (from my third year at RMIT).

I have photographs I’ll treasure, but I no longer need the object – it just takes up space and I don’t have it on display.

Scale, 2006

Scale, 2006

I adored making it. I loved researching and drawing for it. Planning it. Obsessing about it.

I’m planning on giving it to someone to re-purpose the metal (stainless steel, aluminium, monel) … for a new life.

‘Figurative Impressions’ @ RMIT School of Art Gallery

5 09 2015

This is wonderful! I am SO excited to see that some pieces from the fabled RMIT W.E.McMillan Collection are on show. Bravo.

Figurative Impressions‘ is an exhibition at RMIT School of Art Gallery, of selected pieces from the A.D Hope acquisitive figurative award (in memory of his daughter Emily Hope); one of the awards that makes up the multi-award collection.

[Update 15Sep15 : I have been contacted by RMIT and asked to remove my images, as they do not want images of the exhibition on the internet.
I am extremely disappointed by this. I was careful to ask permission to take photographs, and was told I could and given no restrictions on use of those images. I made sure I took general and not detailed photographs, and reasonably low-resolution so they would be barely useful for others to reuse.
Given the above, and my understanding of applicable law, I am within my rights to use these images … but have removed them as requested.
It’s shame – a post without pictures is pretty boring.

There was an image here of work by David Neale, Jessica Morrison and Stephen Robb]

I remember seeing quite a number of these in creation while I was studying (2004-06) and of course since then at various exhibitions. The real treat were the pieces from earlier years. THIS is why so much more needs to be done with this collection (I’ve written about it a number of times before)!

[Update 15Sep15 : There was an image here of work by Elfrun Lach and Claire O’Halloran]

I remember Claire O’Halloran making the pieces (bottom in the above image) – so beautiful, and it is such a joy to see them again … they are even more beautiful than I recall them being.

Works from the collection on show:

  • 1983 : Viliama Grakalic
  • 1985 : J. Carter
  • 1987 : Miyuki Nakahara
  • 1988 : Stacey McCall
  • 1989 : Sandra Marasco
  • 1990 : Sarah L Ross
  • 1995 : Rei Shimada
  • 1997 : Timothy Quantrell
  • 1999 : Anna Davern
  • 2001 : Katherine Bowman
  • 2002 : Katherine Tiffany Fuller
  • 2003 : David Neale
  • 2004 : Jessica Morrison
  • 2005 : Elfrun Lach
  • 2006 : Claire O’Halloran
  • 2007 : Penelope Pollard , David Scully
  • 2009 : Catherine Da Costa , Fiona Simmons
  • 2011 : Claire McArdle
  • 2012 : Stephen Robb
  • 2013 : Inari Kiuru (very probably my favourite piece(s) of the last decade)
  • 2014 : Christopher Massey

[Update 15Sep15 : There was an image here of work including a piece of Anna Davern’s]

Sorry, I was only able to visit this on its last day … ‘Figurative Impressions‘ was part of Radiant Pavilion and was at the RMIT School of Art Gallery until 4th September 2015.

‘Around The Table’ @ First Site Gallery

5 09 2015

Alongside ‘Wondernamel‘ at First Site Gallery is ‘Around The Table‘ … a gorgeous group of metalworking and ceramic pieces.

The table in the first image below was particularly fabulous.

  • I think the small sterling silver object on the left is by Pam Camille
  • the gorgeous blackened two-piece object is by Nell Grant
  • and I think the collection of porcelain and copper objects on the back table is by Rebecca Smith
  • [The photographs I took with the work-list references were overexposed due to lighting, so I have had to go by memory – please correct if you know I’ve got something a bit wrong]
photograph with permission

photograph with permission

Participating artists:

  • Pam Camille , Tao Delves , Eva Giannoulidis
  • Nell Grant , Cara Johnson , Naasicaa Jade Larsen
  • Sharon McEntee , Lucy Mactier [tumblr] , Belinda Michael
  • Samantha O’Farrell [website] , Julia Obermaier , Rebecca Smith
  • Michelle Stewart , See-Mun Soo , Ann Welton
photograph with permission

photograph with permission

Check out the First Site facebook page for more photographs.

Sorry, I was only able to visit this on its last day … ‘Around the Table‘ was part of Radiant Pavilion and was at The First Site Gallery until 4th September 2015.

[I think this may be an annual exhibition, the inaugural one being last year; sadly I couldn’t visit it, but I hope these continue in coming years.]

‘Wondernamel 2015’ @ First Site Gallery

4 09 2015

I do love visiting the annual ‘Wondernamel‘ exhibition at RMIT First Site Gallery… RMIT students show their amazing pieces that include enamel.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that a characteristic of this show is the more experimental use of enamels compared to my time (ten years ago, ahem) and particularly its application to three-dimensional smithing pieces. I’d also venture to say there are fewer ‘traditional’ items, I don’t recall seeing cloisonné or champleve?


photograph with permission

My favourites include:

  • Katie Collins’s ‘And there it was, under the dust’ neckpiece is extraordinary (foreground in first image above)
  • the assured use of enamel on Sue Buchanan’s ‘Flower‘ pieces (second image below)
  • Naoko Inuzuka’s ‘Element‘ pieces
  • Katherine Hubble ‘Lillian‘ and ‘Ida‘ pieces (second from the foreground in the third image)
Sue Buchanan, Flower, black #6, #7

Sue Buchanan, Flower, black #6, #7

Participating artists:

  • Natasha Avila [website] , Sue Buchanan , Rossi Childs [website]
  • Katie Collins [website] ,  Annie Gobel [website] , Katherine Hubble [blog]
  • Naoko Inuzuka [website] , Cara Johnson , Wendy Korol
  • Lindy McSwan [website] , Elizabeth Rich , Michaela Pegum
  • Kate Wischusen [website] , Aurelia Yeomans [FBpage]
photograph with permission

photograph with permission

Check out the First Site facebook page for more photographs.

Sorry, I was only able to visit this on its last day … ‘Wondernamel‘ was part of Radiant Pavilion and was at The First Site Gallery until 4th September 2015 (today).

Other posts:

RMIT Art Collection Online

15 05 2015

Good news: RMIT have digitally recorded most* items in the RMIT Art Collection and made them available via RMIT Art Collection Online.

Launch media: “RMIT’s art collection has come out of the shadows, offices and walls around the university to reveal more than 1000 artworks in a searchable data base for students and researchers to explore.
The RMIT art collection online is a significant resource, facilitating wide general access to university’s dispersed art collection. It provides an immersive experience combining both technology and education – and allows everyone, everywhere with access to technology to explore the treasures held – including fine art, photography, ceramics, sculpture, textiles, new media and a ground-breaking sonic arts collection.

The ‘About’ section of the Online site states: “The collection comprises more than 1500 works of art in a wide array of media, including painting, sculpture, photography, prints and drawings, gold and silversmithing, and works in new media. Many of the works are on display throughout RMIT’s campuses, and form an important component in exhibitions at RMIT Gallery. Works from the collection are also regularly loaned for exhibition to other institutions, both within Australia and internationally.


Not-so-good news: so to my main interest, the gold and silversmithing collection under the auspices of the W.E. McMillan collection.

No, none of the items have been included in this online repository. Hence my most* statement above.

So while the RMIT collection does in fact include gold and silversmithing, they’re not (yet?) actually included in this excellent online resource (nor are they on display anywhere as far as I know).

I’ve written a number of times before about my desire for more student and public access to the W.E. McMillan collection:

To that end, late last year I wrote to the RMIT Gallery and expressed my interest in volunteering my time to specifically support work on this collection. I received an encouraging reply: “Plans are indeed underway to improve access to the McMillan Collection, both online and via permanent display. However, progress is slow …” “I’ll be very happy to keep you up to date on future projects and volunteering opportunities

I thought this was pretty exciting … however I’ve heard nothing since. I was offering them free time, along with some experience and knowledge with handling such items.
I could help make progress not-so-slow, right?!

Studying jewellery in Melbourne (update)

12 05 2015

It’s been over a year since I last wrote about places to study jewellery in Melbourne. Time for an update.

With respect to formal degree study, the schools in Melbourne are:


Now, short courses for jewellery and silversmithing:


There are also many jewellers who regularly open their studio doors and generously share their knowledge and passion.

… I’m sure there are many more, so I’ll add to this listing as I uncover them.


I’d really like to create a listing of the best short courses in Melbourne for jewellery making – can you recommend where you’ve been or heard is good?


Previous, now superseded, posts about learning jewellery making in Melbourne


‘Fresh! 2015’ @ Craft

20 04 2015

Finally I’ve made it to Craft to see an exhibition; though I’m still sad I didn’t manage to see the previous show ‘White Goods‘ (boo).

So it’s Fresh! time again.



I’m still getting my thoughts in some kind of order … but in reading the works list I noticed that all but two artists are RMIT graduates [there are ten artists; whereas previous years had 12]. I hope that doesn’t mean the Melbourne graduate craft scene is becoming RMIT-centric. Where are the other universities’ students? Are the courses just not there any more? Are the courses not of an equivalent standard (that’s a terrible question, but you can understand why it’s asked)? Are the selections simply reflections of this year’s judges preferences? Lots of questions.



Selected/awarded artists are:

  • Emma Blackmore (RMIT) – fashion (textile)
  • Katie Collins (RMIT; website) – gold & silversmithing
  • Leana Kim (RMIT; website) – ceramics
  • Christopher Massey (RMIT) – gold & silversmithing
  • Henry Madin (RMIT) – wood sculpture / furniture
  • Scarlett Mellows (RMIT; website) – print image practice
  • Jess Milne (VCA) – ceramic / furniture
  • Thomas O’Hara (RMIT) – gold & silversmithing
  • Tricia Page (RMIT; website) – trampoline!
  • Kate Sylvester (VCA; website) – painting (textile)

For me the most outstanding are the jewellery pieces by Katie Collins (below).



Mmmm … what did you think when you visited?

Fresh! 2015‘ is at Craft until 24th May 2015.

Other posts:

  • Fresh! 2014‘ (May14)
  • 2013 : this year the exhibition wasn’t at the end of the year but transferred to early in the new year; the year-naming changed over at this point
  • 2012 : oh, I must have missed this exhibition
  • Fresh! 2011‘ (Dec11)
  • Fresh! 2010‘ (Dec10)
  • Fresh! 2009‘ (Dec09)