Steeling myself

Image of a Resist neckpiece (that spells 'resist' in binary) in stainless steel and vitreous enamel. Photograph by Melissa Cameron.
Body/Politic – Resist neckpieces, collage. 2017

I’m on route to Sheffield to speak at the ACJ 20:20 Visions Conference about my works (spoiler, I’m on Saturday afternoon), and I’m getting pretty excited, and no, just not just to go to the multiple steel museums!

Now that the final programme has been published I see that along with catching up with friends I’ve not seen since I was last in the UK in 2011, I get to check in with a few faces familiar from other global jewellery haunts, which I’m really looking forward to.

I’ve found as the annual SNAG conference has become much more familiar to me, my participation has become very business-like (thanks especially to the annual Editorial Advisory Committee meeting and always spending the preceding week finishing work for the trunk show.) I’m looking forward to being able to learn about a less-familiar jewellery culture while meeting some heroes and making a few new friends. And having some relaxing tours of local museums and such, while finally (fingers crossed!) experiencing summer in England.

If you’re on Instagram, expect to see supreme random-ness from Sheffield, London, Birmingham and Manchester 😉 And if you’re in those places, look out for me in my hat!

UK people

And those willing to travel, here’s an opportunity for you to see me amongst some incredible speakers next month:

2020 Visions

ACJ’s 20:20 Visions Conference 7 – 9 July, Sheffield 

Speakers confirmed include Boris Bally (USA), Elizabeth Shaw (Australia), Melissa Cameron (USA), Johanna Zellmer (NZ / Germany) Simon Fraser (UK) and many more!

Delegate fees £180 / £100 for an amazing 3 day programme including food

What’s not to love?! Food too!
(BTW – jealous of Johanna and her 2 listed countries 😉 )

I’m going to talk about my work and especially my enamel journey. As you’ll all remember (…or not – don’t worry, no test…) my pieces in enamel started in 2011 thanks to the infectious and unrelenting energy of Elizabeth Turrell (see her latest project here) and has become an essential component of my protest work, the vehicle I use for spelling out encoded messages, which is practically all the work I have made this year. I’m also going to gad about England for a couple of weeks, so if you’re in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield or briefly Liverpool, lets grab a cuppa and have a chin-wag, yeah?!

(Lawd, I’m such a dag… ok, so look that up, and for the love of language, get beyond the first definition…)

I’m very much looking forward to it, but in the meant time, for all my friends across the pond, good luck with your election today. I know the world is feeling voted-out (or out voted) right now, but it’s one powerful way to get your message across. Being in a place where I don’t get to have my say, I can tell you, it’s worth a lot more than you might think.

xx m

this week in NOLA

Making America Great – presented by Platforma

10,000 Songs, 2013.

Part of the Adorned Spaces exhibit at the 2017 SNAG conference, Making America Great is a showcase of jewellery made by immigrants. It runs on the 25th and 26th of May at the Sheraton Hotel on Canal St in New Orleans.

Platforma is curators Bella Neyman and Ruta Reifen

#PlateGlassExhibition

works by Danielle Embry, Sharon Massey, Kat Cole, Nicolette Absil and Laura Eales

The adequately-oiled machine that is my studio practice has had some time out from being even that reliable of late (for many reasons, a great one being fixing the moisture problem that normally creates a less-than ornamental pond in my studio over the winter months,) so right now I’m busy finishing works and preparing images for two upcoming exhibitions that begin in early May – from the 3rd there’s a group show called Drawing the Line at Facere Art Jewelry in downtown Seattle and then opening on the 4th there’s Seattle Metals Guild and the Wawona –  at Northwind Arts Center in Port Townsend.

It’s too early for image spoilers on those (as in, I’ve not taken them yet..!), but if you are keen to get a fix of new works, check out the hashtag #PlateGlassExhibition on Instagram, for a bunch of new works in development by the 29 invited artists of the Plate Glass exhibition. This is the one that I’m curating for the Enamellist Society and will be shown during their biennial conference, this year in Gatlinburg, Tennessee at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in August, from the 2nd – 9th.

Several of the artists are new to the format of the plate, though needless to say I think they’re all doing an amazing job, and I truly cannot wait to reveal every single one of them to y’all in August. Until then we’re all lucky to have these images to marvel at and ponder over.

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?

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 😉

Conference Papers

I’ve done a bit of house-keeping today, and finally added my SNAGnext presentation from May to the list of conference papers, located over in that sidebar to the left (or above if you’re moblie-y inclined).  While I was there, I made Conference Papers into its own menu, so that you can now easily reach each of the three papers I’ve delivered to a few select audiences over the years. The new one I added today, and also (as of today) the 2013 paper from the JMGA conference in Brisbane, have in-line slides that go along with the text, which add something interesting to look at, especially useful if you get bored of all those words.

Below are links to each of them, starting from the most recent and working my way back. (And yes, I hope to work on sorting out the same deal for the symposium papers next 😉 )

1/ Holistic Thinking: Interconnectivity In Jewels And Practice, presented at the 2016 SNAGnext conference, in Asheville, North Carolina on the 19th of May, 2016.

2/ How to become an artist jeweller: a Seattle community case study, from the JMGA conference in Brisbane, first presented on the 14th of July in 2013 at the State Library of Queensland.

3/ This final one has been kicking around on the internet for a while – my presentation for the 2010 JMGA conference in Perth held at the Central Institute of Technology in April of that year, entitled:

Examining the connections between architecture and jewellery: Looking into the last 100 years to inform a vision of jewellery practice in the future.

 

In addition…

… to the presentation I’m doing tomorrow on the SnagSpark theme of holistic practice (where I’ll go into how and why to sustain your creative existence and ways to attain and maintain flow from 3:45pm at the On Broadway Arts Building) I’ve also been added to the 20/20 lineup for Friday night.

“What is this 20/20 that you speak of, Melissa?”

I’m so glad you asked! This Friday, May 20th from 7:00-10:00pm at the On Broadway Arts Building (49 Broadway Ave) in Asheville there has been added a group of 20 x 7 minute slide presentations where people are going to “Show us their vision.” More specifically, I’m going to talk about my recent solo show Body Politic that took place earlier this year at Gallery Bilk in Canberra.

I’ve lots of things to say about the show, the work and the inspiration for each work, and only a tiny time to do it in (SEVEN MINUTES!!) so come watch me talk my own face red trying to squeeze too many words into far to little time. I’m on second so y’all better be on time!!

And of course, let’s not forget the Trunk Show – 3pm – 6pm in the Grand Ballroom at The Renaissance on Saturday.

And after that??

Whisky!

(that’s just one, of course, before an early night after which I head out to Spruce Pine to see our Shared Concerns show at Penland Galleries on Sunday the 22nd…)

Get in quick!

Shared Concerns exhibition 2016
Shared Concerns exhibition 2016
  • I’m in a tiny show at The Vatican at studio e which opens on Saturday night in Seattle’s Georgetown neighbourhood. The space is viewable 24-7 at 609 S Brandon street, Seattle WA 98108. Make plans quick to join me on Saturday May 7th at the opening from 6-9pm.
studio e gallery hours:

May 13th - June 4th
 Friday, Saturday & Sunday 1-6pm

also open late Saturday May 14th for Georgetown Art Walk 6-9 pm
  • Shared Concerns is open at Penland Galleries! For those of y’all heading to SNAGneXt in Asheville you should budget an hour each way to reach Penland. My plan is currently to car pool, and I’ll be heading out there on Sunday the 22nd of May. Look forward to seeing you there! If you do want to head to this year’s amped up SNAG (and see my *brilliant* presentation) you’d better snap to it – tickets now only available at the door.

I heart Asheville / Melissa does SNAGnext 2016

Image of Shared Concerns artists by Mercedes Jelinek
Shared Concerns artists by current Penland resident Mercedes Jelnieck

Keen observers will have noted my name on the list of people speaking at SNAGneXt this year in Asheville. Even keener ones will have noted that a few weeks ago I was near (and briefly in) Asheville, NC, at Penland for a week. Asheville: the neodymium magnet of the Carolinas*…

At the modified and re-branded SNAG conference this year I’m very pleased to have been invited to speak in the SNAGspark portion of the program, where I will be giving a presentation entitled Holistic Thinking: Interconnection in Jewels and Practice. There, amongst a few other things, I’ll share my “tips for maintaining a sustainable creative practice, gleaned from sources near and far.” The basic premise of my talk is that I get around, and in all the places I go, I’ve noticed a few common threads that help make for robust communities (first hint) and economically sustainable jewellery practices.

For those of you who are currently looking into coming to SNAG this year, it would be a wasted opportunity if you didn’t also go and visit the famed and newly renovated Penland Galleries while you’re in town. And because I am always in service to you, beloved reader, I am happy to provide you with one more excuse to take the hour-long drive into the mountains to finally see Penland for yourself, as showing there during May and part of June will be the Shared Concerns exhibition, which was the reason for my first Asheville visit earlier this year.

So, #SharedConcerns? What’s that all about?

Shared Concerns is an exhibition documenting the meeting of a group of artists, brought together to work in the Penland studios in the mountains of North Carolina. As a group they shared the intimate ‘concerns’ of their practice, and each has created a small suite of works that interprets the ‘concern’ of another group member. Pieces were begun during their Winter Residency at Penland, and finished in studios across the United States as well as in Australia and Denmark, where this diverse group of jewelry artists call home.

Myself and Aran Galligan, my friend and fellow Seattle-based artist, are coordinating the Shared Concerns exhibition series. Between the two of us we pulled together this group of jewellery artists to join us in North Carolina, many of who met each other for the first time just weeks ago at Penland. Our other participants are: Lynn BatchelderVincent Pontillo-VerrastroJill HermansDaniel DiCaprioCatie Sellers, and Kaori Juzu.

We spent a very short week with one another as participants in the Penland Winter Residency where we shared a studio, traded concerns to work on and enjoyed some profoundly creative times (as well as some amazing food) all on the Penland campus. We don’t know when we will meet again, but what we do know is that the work we began together will be completed over the coming months, and will go on show in the Penland Galleries in May, just in time to be seen by anyone visiting Asheville for SNAGneXt. From there the works will head on to Velvet da Vinci gallery in San Francisco for the opening of Shared Concerns there on the 1st of July, and from there it will travel internationally in 2017.

So if you’re coming to Asheville for SNAGneXt, be sure to set aside some time to see the best of this beautiful and creative city, drink some coffee (or at one of the supposedly *9* microbreweries in town) and head to Penland to see our Shared Concerns exhibition.

 

* Now, you realise that my getting around doesn’t usually mean dropping into Asheville twice in a six-month period, but they served me the best cup of decaf soy I’ve had since I was last in Melbourne (Cafe Vue, Melbourne Airport, April 2015) while I was there with the #SharedConcerns crew, so you know I have to go back. (This will be hot on the heels of another Melbourne visit *spoiler alert*, so the comparison will be more robust. Suffice to say, if it holds its own again, I’m thinking of moving…)