Nancy’s Sewing Basket is closing

This is my favourite room in all of Seattle:

I’ve written about this place before, because I love it, and it’s chief inhabitant (at least in the hours that I visit), the dedicated 77 year old ribbon mistress Susan Pasco.

But now it’s closing. I’ve been in three times since I got the email, and no doubt I’ll sneak in one more time before it closes. In one of my missions I bought a yard of wool binding that I promptly used on a Halloween jewel (see instagram). On finishing that piece I quick-marched back up there to get some more. On the second trip I got 3 yards, then Susan, having remarked on liking the colour both times she measured it out for me, said she was “Going to deep six the rest of this.” and piled it behind her, then shuffled papers over it. I look forward to what she makes out of it – more likely a suit than jewellery.

Anyway, the ribbon room does not look like that photo (from 2015) any longer,  it’s been well depleted already, but if you do want to stock up on vintage grosgrain, this might be your last chance.

Goodbye, dear friend.

Save

Speaking Out Exhibition – opens Wednesday

Speaking Out: Art & Politics in Words
September 27, 2017 – November 10, 2017
Openings: 1-3pm and 5-7pm on Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Speaking Out highlights artists who use words as the basis of their work, creating pieces that inspire discussion around topics of political and social justice. What are the words necessary to start the discussion or argument, to pull people together or apart? How can language be used to share, to trivialize or to provoke? Can a word help you to see what it is like in the shoes of another? And how can a word of indifference end a discussion? We hope that you will see the work in the gallery as a starting place for conversation around topics that are highlighted in current events and contemporary activism.

Participating Artists:
Antonius Bui
Melissa Cameron
Satpreet Kahlon
Deborah Faye Lawrence
Holly Martz
Hanako O’Leary
Spooky Boobs Collective
Chris Walla
Matthew Whitney

Please come meet us at the second opening on Wednesday!

Enamel workshop and talk – next week

HEAT II in stainless steel, vitreous enamel and titanium, 2016. Image of the wall work and brooch, as installed at Arrowmont.

There’s a day or so left to register for my upcoming workshop in Oakland next week:

Enameling Recycled Steel for Jewelry and Objects – a workshop with Melissa Cameron

I will be sticking around in Oakland to attend day one of a weekend of large scale enameling at KVO Industries on the 9th, which is super-exciting. Knowing that I have plans to make some more panel-based works in the next year or so for a show in the UK, I’m looking to up my large-format game, and since Judy Stone at the Center for Enamel Art – all-round champion of enamel and artists – suggested I do it, how could I refuse? Not that my moderate-panel game appears to be too shabby, as I recently won a prize for Wall Works (for the above) in the Enamelist Society Alchemy 4 Juried Exhibition!

I’ll also be giving a free public lecture next Wednesday night at California College of the Arts:

“From a tamper-proof fence to Body Politic – my enamel journey so far” 7:30pm, Nahl Hall, Oakland Campus, 5212 Broadway (map)

Looking forward to spending time in the heat after just finishing up my Aussie shenanigans of the past few weeks. Northern Summer, come at me!

Going to Munich

spread from Art Aurea

Can’t wait to see my friends at my first international jewellery hook-up (it’s not that kind, please,) for the year, starting next week. If you want to see my work, and it’s just the one, it’s at Schmuck 2017, from the 8th-14th of March, 9:30am – 6pm daily at the International Handwerkmesse, in the Fairground Messe München, Hall B1.

And if you want to see a couple of my mates? Well the best place to see the line up, and what everyone else is up to, is on the Current Obsession website, or better yet in their Paper edition which you can purchase in select places in Munich (of course there’s also the shorter Master Program with metro map here, with thanks to Klimt02). Seek out Claire McArdle’s work in Sextet, opening Thursday March 9 from 6-8pm at Das KloHäuschen. And Zoe Brand will be exhibiting with Atta Gallery in Hall B1 – as a part of the internationally gallery line-up at the IHM. Then there’s Kat Cole in Perfect Strangers, and a tonne more people in Duality of Presence – just look up the CO list, yeah?

Meanwhile, lots of work to finish. Eeep!

More upcoming

my studio, circa 2016

Announcing more stuff! Here’s some other things that I’ll be doing over the coming months:

March: Starting March 18th I’ll be in an exhibition curated by the irrepressible Maggie Smith (not the dame, but a grande dame) called Tech in Craft. So far we have two dates, from the 18th-27th of March at Libbie Mill Library, Henrico Co Virginia, and then directly after at CodeVA’s Eureka Workshop, Richmond VA until May 5th. These are non-traditional exhibitions venues as this series of exhibits is focused on education, so I can’t wait to see what people have to say! More on this shortly.

Studio disruption – Also in March we’ll be having our basement – aka my studio space – waterproofed. On the place side I won’t have to navigate through the space on pontoons during the wet season (and being Seattle, it rains only a paltry nine months.) but on the down side I have to pack up the studio to keep the sensitive equipment – and the sandblaster – away from the dust. (It is well timed to sort out the taxes though…)

May: From the 9th of May I’ll have work in a show at the new Studio 2017 Project Space in Sydney organised by the impressive Sarah Heyward, entitled:

FORCES: Strength and Fluidity in contemporary jewellery and object practice using steel – the dirty metal

Also in May: Along with everyone else I’ll be at the SNAG Conference in New Orleans – come along to the Trunk Show where I’ll have my little collection (including some of the RESISTance) laid out and bag yourself a pretty.

July: I’ll be speaking at the Association for Contemporary Jewellery’s 20:20 Visions Conference in Sheffield in the UK. My presentation will be on my work, and the political turn it has taken which began at a residency I undertook at the University of the West of England in 2011.

August: It’s looking very likely that I’ll head over to Arrowmont for the Enamel Society Conference, where you can see my previously mentioned latest attempt at curating, the exhibition Plate Glass.

At Arrowmont I’ll also have works in the exhibition Alchemy4, the 16th Juried International Enamel Exhibition, sponsored by the Enamelist Society. So please come along to see that too! I plan to be there for the opening on the 4th of August. After Gatlinburg the show will tour, first to the Ohio Craft Museum, Columbus, OH and then beginning early in 2018 it will be exhibited at the National Ornamental Metals Museum, Memphis, TN.

September: In the first week of this month I’ll be teaching an enameling workshop as a part of the Radical Enameling Workshop series presented by the Center for Enamel Art at The Crucible in Oakland, California.

 

So, if this is ‘more stuff’, what was the original stuff?

IMAGINE Peace Now

It feels as though it’s getting harder to imagine every day, but if you’re keen for a refresher on what’s at stake if we can’t find a way to work together, the IMAGINE show is a great start. And it’s not all doom and gloom, there’s a dark sense of humour driving several of these works. If you’re in the area please head to the newly relocated Society of Arts and Crafts at 100 Pier 4 Boulevarde, Suite 100, in Boston from 6-9pm on Thursday the 23rd of February for the opening.

This is the second stop for this exhibition, which is running for quite a time, so you have until June to see a sobering collection of metal art made from decommissioned weapons seized by the Pittsburgh Police Department. If you can’t get along, there is a pretty amazing catalogue in the works which I’m sure will be available in Boston, and I’ll post the details of where you can source it from elsewhere very soon.

Happy New Year!

jewels  jewellist

My last jewellery works for 2016 were very… striking?

There’s a few things already on the agenda for 2017, so here, in an attempt at chronological order:

  • In March I’m headed to Munich for Jewellery Week, as I got into Schmuck with The Drone work! (Full listing of participants on Klimt02) Let me know if you’re heading over so I can look out for you, eh? (Unless you already have, and tbh, you probably did…)
  • The Shared Concerns exhibition hits Bilk in Canberra in April/May
  • I’m in an exhibition called Drawing the Line at Facèré here in Seattle, also starting in April.
  • I’m curating an exhibition for the Enamelist Society conference at Arrowmont this year. Emerging enamelists beware, I’ll be getting on contact with a tight deadline very, very soon.
  • I have preliminary plans to hit Radiant Pavilion in August/September in Melbourne, where I’m hoping to bring some United States of America-ns to town with me. We’ll be opening/showing Shared Concerns at Bini.

I hope you all had joyful solstice and New Year celebrations too 😉

Resist

Plan for a new work, Resist. Part of my ongoing series of Body/Politic works.
Plan of a work-in-progress piece, Resist, which forms part of my ongoing series of Body/Politic works. To get the colouring I’ll use vitreous enameled tiles against the raw sandblasted steel. The layout of colours is done to spell ‘resist’ in binary, with the 0’s represented by grey tiles, and the 1’s by blue.

Dunno about you, but I woke up with all the nerve endings firing in my gut on Wednesday morning, just before 3am. After nigh on an hour of bleary-eyed semi-consciousness, and after the hopes that sleep would take me back into her embrace had been dashed (such a temperamental lover) I caved in and checked my phone. My sisters in Australia had offered condolences that I didn’t need to swipe through to see, especially the one from Courtenay that ran thusly:

Ffffffffaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrkkkkk

Fuck.

That was the entire message, but it told me that counting had finished and the map had been painted orange. Finally having the early predictions confirmed (I’d gone to bed early, both to avoid the anxiety of waiting and to read a good book – Mary Beard’s recent SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome – which turns out to be quite an apt companion for right now,) was definitely not going to help me sleep.

So I did some thinking. And a bit of googling. And at around 5:30am I placed an enamel order. I’ve never had much call for blue enamel before, so my stocks are paltry. Once this was done, around 6am, I went back to sleep reading about an ancient fallen empire.

My early morning thoughts ran something like this; I already have a body of work that is about putting encoded messages into the world, like this piece:

your body is your vote, 2016. Stainless steel, 585 yellow gold, titanium.
your body is your vote, 2016. Stainless steel, 585 yellow gold, titanium.

Body/Politic is a series of jewels where the medium is part of the message. The two-toned grids of pixels represent lines of binary code. Each piece literally spells out a message on the body of the wearer; readable to those who can interpret binary, the language that is the foundation of our digital culture. (These borrow from the visual language set up for the Drone works.) The messages reflect on the human condition, on how we are embodied, and what that means. The words/phrases that became works in the first series exhibited in March include your body is your vote (above), body, vote, unrepresented body, power and recently (just last week, for an upcoming show in May) I completed intensely embodied.

These are pieces are personal and political. They are words that reflect on my own physical body and its position in the world, and on the bodies of others who are in significantly more compromising situations, most particularly those bodies in combat areas, migrating bodies and those bodies who are suffering with illness.

Now before this gets too heavy, lets get back to the quality thinking time that my sleepless hours gifted me. So I have a trunk show booked for next week, and while I’ve been making the measured and politically/socially reflexive jewels like the work above over the last few years, none of those pieces are slated to be on the table next week. My plans for this week were to spend some time reorganising my stash of jewels to find some things that the good folks of Seattle haven’t seen before, and to make a few last pieces from the leftover parts of my La Geometrie laser-cuts to take along with me.

But then y’all had to go and elect an orange for a president.

I very purposely chose a blue top to wear yesterday, in protest (stay with me, this is relevant). And I’m in blue jeans today. Why? Because in my waking hours I was fixating on the fact that blue is the complimentary colour to orange on the colour wheel. Yep, this means it’s the opposite. So I’ve taken all this care dressing because I want to be the opposite of orange (yeah, despite my red hair.) But blue doesn’t just stand in opposition. It is the colour of the tears being shed for this and other depressing and alarming recent political events.

Blue is the colour of that soon-to-be pendant at the top of this (very long) blog post. It is the colour of the stockings on the women fighting to inform, enlighten and protect themselves, and it is the colour that HRC used to paint her campaign, and Bernie Sanders his. It’s the colour of the sky, of steel, and a bloody nice colour for an absolute shit-tonne of enamelled earrings.

And lets reiterate here, in RYB colour theory it’s the colour diametrically opposed to orange.

Body/Politic - Resist earrings

As it turns out, blue is the colour of the logo of Islamic Relief USA as well.

My search to find the opposite of an orange charity also began in the wee hours of Wednesday, and I’ve selected this one to give 10% of the purchase price of each pair of my brand new line of Resist earrings (pictured above) sold anywhere in the world. They’re going to retail for $30 US, and orders will be direct through me. (For anyone outside of Seattle, my postage price is being confirmed – please see below.)

About my blue charity:

Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA), based in Alexandria, Virginia, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) humanitarian agency and member of the Islamic Relief Worldwide group of organizations. IRUSA was founded in California in 1993. In addition to international relief and development initiatives, Islamic Relief USA also sponsors and funds domestic projects ranging from emergency disaster responses to assisting the American homeless population and supporting those who cannot afford basic healthcare.

Wikipedia

My pitch:

Resist Earrings, $30 (US dollars) a pair.
stainless steel + blue enamel.

For your set you can mix and match or play it straight, or even buy an extra one so you can decide what kind of (blue) day you’re having. More colours (yup, all blue*) coming soon. How to get yours? See below or email me: resist@melissacameron.net

Trunk Show!

If you’re in Seattle, please come along next week if you’re keen to check out my rainbow of blue earrings* or if you just need a shoulder. Together we can chat about resistance. It’s on at:

Danaca Design
5619 University Way NE, Seattle, Washington 98105
Thursday, November 17 at 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM
(Facebook event – do them a favour for catering and let them know if you can 😉 )

Earring suppliers!

Australia: you can count on Bilk and Bini Galleries getting a stack of these in the next week also, and for my sistren in Perth, I’ll see y’all in December and I’ll be sure to carry a few of these in my pocket.

USA: If you’re not in the PNW keep a look out, I’ll be posting the postage details ASAP

Canada – OK, BC: I’m heading up to Vancouver in a couple of weeks (no, not seeking asylum, though did I tell you the one about my grandparent who was born 12 miles south of Tisdale??) so let me know and I’ll bring them with me. The rest of you? Let me figure something out. We’re family!

Everywhere else: If you’re keen please get in contact and I’ll figure out your shipping rate. (I will be in Munich for the second week of March, and might even head to the UK for a hot minute, so if you can hold out that long…)

 

In the mean time, know that while my heart is blue, my gaze is steely.

 

*My Dad bought me my first car, back in the day. While we were looking around at listings he told me, “You can have any colour you like, so long as it’s blue.” I gratefully received a Corolla in midnight blue, despite preferring the burgundy…

Being in the world

I’ve found a couple of things:

1/ Auction for Aid – raising funds for the Refugee/Migrant Crisis

Like their About page on Facebook says, they are an “Auction For Aid – Contemporary Jewellery Auction to benefit the refugee crisis.” A bunch of UK based jewellers, (amounts are in GBP) are auctioning off some pretty great looking work on Facebook (yes, you do seem to need an account to bid) that will post/ship internationally.

Welcome to the 2016 Auction For Aid. All money raised will be going to two charities, MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station) and SALAM LADC (‘Salam: LADC’ stands for ‘Peace: Lebanese Association for Development and Communication’), both charities doing wonderful work to help with the current refugee crisis.

2/ Alliages – The contemporary art jewelery agenda

Finally! An interactive calendar for jewellery events! Look out for deadline info there, and add your own to boot.

The jewelery agenda, the place you can see the contemporary art jewelery events : exhibitions, openings, lectures, awards, etc … You can propose your event to be published in the agenda by clicking in the “Add Event” blue button

Have at it, my sistren.

Introducing…

Anna Davern, The Duke of Devonshire, 2015

As the local representative of the Melbourne Jewellery Massive, I’m making a rare trip out of the studio tomorrow (July 27th) to talk up my buddy Anna Davern‘s work at the opening of the exhibition Funny Business: Making Mischief, at Facèré gallery here in Sea-town.

As usual there’s an artist talk before the opening on level four of the building (get details from the gallery on the ground floor on your way past,) at which I’m going to say a few words on behalf of Anna’s works – which really are rich and interesting enough to do all the talking themselves. So there’ll be some classic Davernator works on screen accompanied by my sketchy musings from 4pm, where more importantly you’ll get to meet a couple of the actual artists –  Kristin Lora and Tom Hill – followed by the usual bubbles and cheese back down in the gallery space. Come along to make your acquaintance with some beautiful works by a well respected Australian artist, and of course all the other local heroes, at Seattle’s premier art jewelry gallery.

See you there!