Experiment 5

14 05 2015

Play continues…

Study 005′ … not sure what to name this one.
I had planned on altering it, but it was just so lovely being so plain, I couldn’t bring myself to change it. So the alteration will be done with the next one.

Study 005

Study 005

Study 005 ; before being released from the work-board

Study 005 ; before being released from the work-board

[images in this post not to be reproduced without explicit author permission]

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Previous, now superseded, posts about learning jewellery making in Melbourne


So pretty

10 05 2015

They’re so pretty when the light shows the pearl-like metallic papers.

Shimmer shimmer.

Studies 001 - 006

Studies 001 – 006 ; click on image for larger version

Experiments 1-4

9 05 2015

I think I may have hit on a successful mind-trick to get creative without fear of waste and without needing to feel that it must work towards something big, or that I need an end-outcome in mind.

I’m calling them studies and experiments – it’s a simple word trick, but it seems that my mind is simple for the words are light enough to release me into play.

weaves 1,2,3,4

weaves 1,2,3,4

Study 001, White‘ – I wrote about recently

Study 002, Calm Sea
– testing different papers thicknesses for vertical v horizontal
– turns out I prefer the same thicknesses though

Study 001 and Study 002

Study 001 and Study 002

Study 003, Hard Crimson
– I wanted to reflect the words of the beautiful poem I wrote about recently
– this doesn’t feel a successful reflection though
– it’s a bit too red-white-blue (which I prefer to avoid for its nationalist connotations)

Study 004, Hard Crimson 2
– another attempt at the hard crimson poem
– unfortunately the red just isn’t right, nor is the balance of dark and sky
– I have more work to do on this idea
– and I need to find a darker red

Study 003 and Study 004

Study 003 and Study 004

[images in this post not to be reproduced without explicit author permission]

Hide it or show it

8 05 2015

I own a couple of very beautiful rings.
I do like looking at them, for they are gorgeous.

When not being worn they’re locked securely away.
But I want to look at them even when I’m not wearing them.

So I’ve been thinking about making a little display of them.
However … well … a part of me is worried about them being stolen.

Though that’s a bit silly right … because:

  • when my apartment was broken into (about a decade ago now) the weird-stealing-people found every bit of jewellery I owned anyway, no matter where I had hid it
  • I can always lock them away on the days my cleaner comes (yes, I am so bourgeois; in my defence my tricky health meant I needed to make difficult choices about where I want to spend my energy; I reasoned that the cost of the cleaner means I have stamina and time to do more soul-nourishing things)
  • living on my own means very few unapproved people wander through the place
  • it’s not like I’d have the display near a street-facing window where passers-by should chance to see them
  • the only other reason for not having them displayed somewhere would be for metal/surface care … however I rotate my rings regularly (erm that sounds stranger than I meant it to!), and therefore it’s not such a problem for me (there are always polishing cloths to care for that)

Do you display or hide?

Katherine Bowman ‘My Assemblages’ @ Milly Sleeping

6 05 2015

Katherine Bowman is showing a small collection of works ‘My Assemblages‘ at Milly Sleeping (a lovely little boutique in Carlton).

It’s a gorgeous group.

photograph taken with permission

photograph taken with permission

The above photograph doesn’t do it justice at all. The colours are wonderful, the display is beautifully balanced, and there’s a sense of delight that’s palpable.

I was especially taken with the pendant second-from-the-left … I even tried it on … I’m still thinking about taking it home. If you’re like me and regularly read Katherine’s blog, you’ll also have seen some images of these as I did; even so, when I saw them in person their scale surprised and pleased me.

I also tried on the rings, and they’re completely amazing (especially Ring #3).

Make sure you check out Katherine’s blog for much more beautiful photographs of these works, as well as the accompanying watercolours.

This is a perfectly compact and coherent collection, and offering this kind of showing space to a maker is pretty special. Most importantly because of the small-ish scale : my feeling is that it may permit a little more adventure, perhaps it would encourage a maker to take a little more risk to follow a new line of enquiry when the group is relatively intimate.

As a maker (though relapsed?!) I’d find this kind of presentation forum and scale much more approachable and achievable, as opposed to a blockbuster solo show (well at least that’s how I’d imagine it). And the fewer objects there are, the more each one can be seen in better focus and appreciated for its uniqueness.

Go along; be inspired.

Katherine Bowman’s ‘My Assemblages‘ is at Milly Sleeping until 24th May 2015.


See also:


Still life paintings

5 05 2015

I was watching a documentary the other day about still life paintings (‘Apples Pears and Paint. How to Make a Still Life Painting‘, BBC).

It was pretty good.
Though one thing annoyed me, perhaps unreasonably …

Starting with the interesting observation: that a great majority of still life paintings are lit from the left. I’ve been looking at art since I can remember and admit to not having made this observation.

Another few interesting comments: that the painting of everyday objects was considered the most lowly manner of art for centuries, and that the painting now considered to be the first ‘still life’ is Caravaggio’s ‘Basket of Fruit‘ (1599).

Caravaggio 'Canestra di frutta' (click on image for original source)

Caravaggio ‘Canestra di frutta’ (click on image for original source)

Then onto the theory / justification for the left lighting: that it was due to the increasing literacy (coinciding with the time of the Renaissance) and that in western culture information is read from left to right; and therefore we ‘read’ all information from left to right, even visual information. Ergo the left-originating light in still life.

I think the simpler reason still life paintings are lit from the left is that many artists are right-handed, and that if the light were to come from the right then the paper/canvas wouldn’t be well lit and the working hand would create a shadow.

Actually, I recognise that itself contains an assumption … do you know of any evidence of left versus right hand tendencies in artists?


Apparently Leonard da Vinci drew and painted left-handed – which may actually discredit my idea above, as some of his portraits are lit from the left, with others from the right … but he’s a genius, so he could well have done whatever he liked.

Also, this article discusses claims of left-handed artists, dismissing many of them.

More research to come … I’m wondering if this hasn’t already been the subject of someone’s thesis … surely …