MJW/Schmuck week 2018

I’m not going, but about 18 of my closest steel and titanium and enamel and silver and gold friends _are_!

fuck□this□president□and□the□regime□he□rode□in□on, stainless steel, vitreous enamel, titanium. 2017

This is one of my works that will feature in the exhibition In Touch, curated by Anja Eichler and Katja Toporski, taking place in the week we like to call Munich Jewellery Week (we’re #61 on their map) beginning this Wednesday in beautiful Munich.

Our list of artists is really impressive: Anja Eichler, Catarina Hällzon, Lore Langendries, Moniek Schrijer, Anneleen Swillen, Katja Toporski, Mallory Weston, and of course me, Melissa Cameron.

The show is on at – »Verein für Originalradierung« Ludwigstrasse 7, 80539 Munich
Opening Reception: Wednesday, March 7, 2018, 5 – 9pm
Opening hours: Thu – Sat 10am – 7pm, Sun 10am – 2pm.

Please go along and say “G’day!” to Katja and Anja for me, and congratulate them on pulling this whole wonderful thing together. They’ve done an amazing job at artist-wrestling and installing. [Insert rapturous applause from Seattle.]  And if you are in Munich – and I know who some of you are already – stay warm, and have a whale of a time!

Pratt Fine Arts Center – Class!

Enamel on steel – the basics, as I know them, and advanced techniques like firing peskily-sized pieces

Julia at Pratt has me slated to lead a workshop in April. Please come, it’s probably your last chance to see me teaching at Pratt Fine Arts Center here in Seattle for a while.

Workshop: Liquid Enamel for Steel and Copper
Saturday April 14 and Sunday April 15 
9:30 AM-5:30 PM
Jewelry Studios – Pratt Fine Arts Center
1902 South Main Street

Fingers crossed I get to see my two favourite regulars there (you know who you are 🙂 )

Munich Jewellery Week – In Touch

Going to Munich Jewellery Week? Schmuck? Well go see In Touch!

Munich Jewellery Week (Current Obsession, Klimt02) is almost upon us, and if you’re like me, you’ll live the action vicariously through Instagram and Twitter. But if you’re going, then have I got a show for you…!

In Touch, curated by Anja Eichler and Katja Toporski.

»Verein für Originalradierung« , Ludwigstrasse 7, 80539 Munich
Opening Reception: Wednesday, March 7, 2018, 5 – 9pm
Opening hours: Thu – Sat 10am – 7pm, Sun 10am – 2pm

(I remember this venue from last year for the courtyard that buffers it from the street, and finally getting a close-up of Carina Shoshtary‘s works.)

They already have images of most of our works up on the In Touch Facebook page if you’re keen on a sneak peek of what will be in the show. I have sent a bunch of brand new pieces never before exhibited (one, my new favourite, I finished last week), as well as a few that have had only one or two outings before, which includes an award-winning series that was recently displayed in Japan.

And if you find yourself in Munich, with your phone in hand, think of the starving eyes not in Germany, craving new images that showcase the full diversity of exhibitions and beautiful bejeweled outfits that are happening.

And air kiss Matt Lambert from me 😉

Explaining Monday – Gun Day

Why am I still ranting about guns? Explanation finally comes 16 episodes in.


There’s been a lot of news about guns in the last week. Last Tuesday I filed this article away for inclusion in today’s regular post; the Guardian reported that Remington was filing for bankruptcy, due at least in part to what they had termed “‘The Trump slump.'” A friendly administration for the gun lobby, and gun owners, has spelled radically decreased sales for gun manufacturers. But then on Wednesday, in a turn-around that would give you whiplash were you researching anything other than gun violence in the US, there was a mass shooting at a school in Florida on Valentine’s day. The cycle begins again.

My Monday – Gun Day series began on the 9th of October, 2017, a week and a day after the largest mass shooting involving a single perpetrator in US history had taken place in Las Vegas (all the modifiers are to remind us that there have been larger massacres in US history, usually racially motivated like that at Wounded Knee, or the Colfax Massacre, which was perpetrated by white Southern Democrats against about 150 black men.)

Since then, across 16 posts (including this one) made on Mondays (US Pacific time), I’ve been sharing my research about guns, and more specifically, the guns used to kill the 63 people who died in January 1st, 2017. But why? Well, firstly, some backstory that might help to explain.

I began the Monday – Gun Day series with an introduction to my work Gun from 2013/14. To design the work I replicated the AR-15 knock-off (made by Remington) used in the Sandy Hook mass shooting of 2012, into which I incorporated facts and figures I had researched about that days killings, which was, at that time, the second most deadly mass shooting perpetrated by a single person ever in the United States. I was making a series of pieces that used the tools of war to make a statement about humanity’s continuing poor relationship with itself, which I entitled The Escalation Series. My use of this gun, with all of its associations, pointed out an additional fact; the other tools of war I made pieces about were designed for, and were chiefly only accessible to, organised armies. This weapon, designed for and known as as the M-16 in the US armed forces, was and still is far too easily accessible to regular citizens of this country.

I thought after The Escalation series, in which I made jewellery pieces that depicted the following weapons of war:

fire arrow
cartridges with Minié ball bullets
Lapua Magnum shells (sniper rifle shells) from Combat Paper
multiple caltrops

as well as 3 versions of HEAT, a work (pictured below) that shows the molten metal spatter and penetration of a HEAT missile through armoured tank steel, that my association with weapons was done for a while. My focus had made a gentle pivot which saw me making mosaics out of enamelled laser cut steel, with which I could write by turns gentle, piercing and witty messages in binary.

From the series HEAT, (1 of 3) 2015
9 wall-mounted panels (565mm x 565mm – 22 3/16″ x 22 3/16″)
Stainless steel, vitreous enamel. Image Melissa Cameron.
From the series HEAT, (1 of 3) 2015
neckpiece (480mm x 480mcm – 19″ x 19″)
Stainless steel, vitreous enamel, titanium. Image Melissa Cameron.


Then two things happened. I had been recently juried into the Elizabeth R. Raphael Founder’s Prize, for which I am to make a work out of found materials, and on the 1st of October I decided to do a stock-take of all the found objects I have lying about in my study, the same day that the current most deadly mass shooting perpetrated in modern times (this seems to be accepted as anything since 1950,) by a single shooter, happened.

Having memorialised a single-person shooting before, I did not want to go down that route again. I’ve read a lot of stories about Sandy Hook, and will continue to do so the rest of my days (it’s reportage on unjustified killings of defenseless white children in a 1st world nation, and thanks to our social/political/class climate, we will find it in the media for the foreseeable future,) and it’s a lot. And I don’t want to have to repeat myself.

I have other things that horrify me just as much as 59 deaths by one person in a day. 59 deaths on any day is a pretty shit day by most of the world’s standards, and I wanted a way to make that point. So I picked a day, New Year’s Day 2017, and got to work.

We know the weapons of the mass shootings because they get so much publicity. (The Guardian already has 3 pages of articles about last week’s shooting.)  [I’m getting cynical, which I usually try to banish from my writings, but it’s almost as if the amount of publicity is inverse to the amount of action that will be taken against the problem, despite the fact that I learned in another Guardian article linked to the Trump Slump article that, “Only 22 to 31% of Americans adults say they personally own a gun.” And what they call “gun super-ownership” is actually concentrated to 3% of the population.] Anyway, digressions aside. We know so little about the other gun deaths that happen in this country because everyone is so inured by the frequency of the killings that everyday gun violence doesn’t make it to the national news. But the weapons used by the mass murderer are studied ad nauseam, so of course we learn about the guns, the shells, the alternate weapons, the victims, the scene, the police department response, the slow and painful moving on.

But what about all the the other shootings? Which guns are responsible there?

Hopefully in just a few years time the gun lobby will face a shakedown that will be compared to that experienced by the tobacco lobby, and their unconscionable actions will be pored over in as much details as the lives of those involved in the Sandy Hook massacre. For right now, I’ve learned that there are great resources for finding out who was killed, when, and where, and more loosely, how. What’s becoming clear is that there is no focus put on the gun responsible, nor its manufacturer. In any other arena, should over 30,000 people get killed by any single type of object in a year, we, the public, would cry out for all the statistics on the make, model, age and condition of the thing responsible.

Thus my research project; for each person listed as killed on the Gun Violence Archive on the 1st of January, 2017, I am finding out what make and model of gun killed them, (or my best estimation thereof,) to draw a picture of what that gun looked like.

And when I have a picture of those 63 weapons, I’m going to make a wearable piece of jewellery that incorporates every f*cking one of them.

Smitten Forum

The one in which I talk about going to the Smitten Forum in Jan of this year. It was ace. Reminiscing continues within, with pictures.

I talked up my participation in Smitten Forum briefly before it happened. And then it happened from the 27th of December until the 3rd of January, at Ghost Ranch (yes, of Georgia O’Keffe fame) in New Mexico. And I’ve been meaning to share it ever since. So, what is it? Well, it’s the brain child of two jewellers Sarah Brown and Marissa Saneholtz, who, from what I can tell, are best buds with complimentary admin skills. They like to work and holiday together, so while they’re at it, they gather a group of wonderful beings at a different location each year to join in working and playing together for a week. This year’s crew was: Sarah Perkins, Melissa Cameron, Bryan Petersen, Cappy Counard, Cheryl Rydmark, Tanya Crane, Rebekah Frank, Anika Smulovitz, Don Friedlich, Laritza Garcia, Leslie LePere, Hannah Oatman and the two aforementioned heroes Marissa Saneholtz and Sara Brown.

Our rag-tag team of local legends and talented artists from all over the country (and, it has to be said, one random from Australia via the PNW,) got together, cooked up a storm and enjoyed a wonderful creative week  – that is if you weren’t one of our number downed with the super-flu and confined to quarters for most of the week. There was relative isolation which added to the atmosphere, though there was the obligatory patchy wireless internet and cell/mobile phone reception and we were only a 15 minute drive from the local store. We weren’t completely slumming it, and we were just one hour or so from a fancy resort with hot springs… Of course we went! Well, some of us 😉

I took the opportunity to gather scraps from my studio (nails Turbo pulled from sundry pieces of furniture in the basement when disassembling obstacles to the team who put in the french drains last year, washers found on the street and offcuts from my latest chain series, for example,) and sandblast them before I left. Once there, when not hiking and photographing, I was able to enamel them thanks to Sarah who lugged her kiln across the country. With this strange array of bits and pieces I created a bunch of little meditations (or sketches if you’re feeling more generous) on a theme of realignment and repair. The parts formed new coalitions (in the coalescence sense of the root word), aided by their recently acquired visual uniformity. I have plans for all the metal I magpied (past participle of magpie, v: to pick up shiny [or often rusty] discarded objects in the street) while in Marfa, TX, last year, and this was my attempt at a trial run. I could not resist the local soil though, so that became a feature too, as did a few rocks “sampled” on a hike.

It’s a really special place. If you ever have the opportunity to go, leap at it. I believe it operates as a summer camp that has art and jewellery classes. And certainly don’t equivocate if the super-duo Marissa and Sara ever get in touch.

We were all smitten.

(You’ll have to ask Sara and Marissa who I stole that last line from 😉 )


Plate Glass – Seattle opening!

Afternoon tea at Fancy? Don’t mind if I do! Come for the plates, stay for the tea!

Nicolette Absil – Krinkled Peony Saucer, 2017

You are cordially invited to join me and Sally, staunch patron of the arts here in Seattle (and not to mention gallery owner), for afternoon tea tomorrow from 2pm. Come sip and munch delectable treats surrounded by beautiful art, in the freshly landscaped garden of delights that is Fancy, at 1914 2nd Ave, Seattle.

With exquisite treasures on show (such as the work by Nicolette Absil, pictured above and Steffi Götze, below) there will be something to surprise and impress even the most winter-weary residents of the Emerald City.

Do come!

Steffi Götze – Raum. 2017

For those who simply can’t tomorrow, the exhibition closes March 10th.

Hammer time

My work for the Artist Trust Auction, coming up later in February.

Point Line Plane brooch iv, 2013

You can touch this. If you go to the Artist Trust auction (Saturday, February 24, 2018 at the Fisher Pavilion, Seattle Center) you could even win it! The menu is up and the artist works already online look good. Just sayin…

And on now:

I am very pleased to have my work Ruchnoy Protivotankovy Granatomyot (or RPG) in this exhibition, which, as the exhibition media tells it, “drew over 1,000 submissions from 8 countries around the world. Juror Perry A. Price selected 70 works for exhibition at the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center including works from 27 states in varying media including metal, wood, plastic, ceramic, fiber, glass, and mixed media.”

31st annual Materials: Hard + Soft International Contemporary Craft Competition & Exhibition
Meadows Gallery, Patterson-Appleton Arts Center
Opening Reception | Friday, February 2, 6 – 8 PM (Artist Awards at 7 PM)
February 3 – May 5, 2018

Recognized as one of the premier craft exhibitions in the country, Materials: Hard + Soft began in 1987 and was originally initiated by area artist Georgia Leach Gough. Now in its 31st year, the exhibition opens to international artists as we celebrate the evolving field of contemporary craft and the remarkable creativity and innovation of artists who push the boundaries of their chosen media.

Yep, pleased as punch!

Enamel me

Seeking enamel news – please!

Corporeal Body, 2017

Oh no, Freudian slip – email me!

(I’m just repeating myself to the German speakers…)

The Enamelist Society (TES) would like to know what’s going on in the wider world of enamel, and somehow Anne Havel has roped me in to write a little something for their newsletter. That’s where you come in, with the whole email-me shenanigans.

If you in an upcoming enamel exhibition, or have enamel works in an upcoming show that you don’t think I’m familiar with; if you have you seen a cool collection that you’d like to share with the greater world of enamelists; or if you are leading a workshop, or doing a residency, or are in the know about some enamel event that needs more media coverage, then…

Drop me an email!

Include details, dates, images (with artist and photographer captions at the very least) and other relevant info, and I’ll personally add your secret spices to the gumbo that is the TES newsletter. And I’ll email you back, though probably not until within a week of the next first-of-the-month deadline.

enamel (at) melissacameron (dot) net

☝ add the @ and the . and lose the spaces. obviously.

Monday – gun day

Another Monday with more guns, more people dead. Researching a new work, online.

There’s been a bit more time for research today, and  have been trying to get to stop at a point with a new gun introduced into the chain (beyond my alternating default pistols), but we’ll see if I make it that far.

First up, 31 year old Gregory Clark was killed by a “handgun” at 1:52am on January 1, 2017. A person named Charles Hundley (47) was arrested over the incident, which occurred at a New Year’s Eve house party. I could find nothing beyond handgun, so this shooting will be attributed to Default Pistol 1.

Ruger SR1911 – Default Pistol 1

Kyle Androsky, 21, was shot and killed outside Third Base Bar in Superior, Wisconsin. His brother, David (27), was also shot in the chest but survived. A man has been taken into custody with having a firearm whilst on probation, but was not charged with the murder. With no information about this gun, aside from the bullets being found, this one is going to Default Pistol 2.

Default Pistol 2 – S&W M&P

Jeffrey Gooden (60) was killed just before 1pm when attempting to break up an argument over a girl, identified as his daughter, not wearing shoes while outdoors. The matter escalated quickly with gunfire exchanged. He and a fellow resident of Riverview Park Apartments were shot. The other victim drove herself to hospital and was expected to make a full recovery, one of his daughter administer CPR, but he was pronounced dead at St John Medical Center. I found no gun details, while the police were making pleas for two men involved to hand themselves in for questioning. Default Pistol 1, again.

Ruger SR1911 – Default Pistol 1

Here’s one that I’m just not sure should be on the list, but since the gun Violence Archive deems it so, I’m going to stick with it.

Twenty year old Juan Legarda Jr. was killed in Rapid City, South Dakota. A 26-year old man, Joseph David Rich, was charged with first degree manslaughter, for using a bayonet, attached to a firearm, to stab Legarda, and two others. The others, Trevor Chief Bear and Bradley Randall, resulted in an additional two charges of aggravated assault which were combined with outstanding warrants. Rich received a 10 year jail sentence after pleading guilty to 2nd degree manslaughter.

The bayonet is a tried and tested weapon, but is gradually falling out of favour owing to the fact that its original purpose was in infantry attacks, but it has become “a weapon of last resort” since World War II. From my research it seems they really are mostly a weapon for the military, though classic versions are traded by military enthusiasts. I’m going to use a drawing of the M9, which affixes to the ever-popular M-16 rifle. Given the M-16 is a version of the AR-15 by Armalite, made for the US armed forces, and I just happen to already have a drawing of another version of this weapon, the Bushmaster XM15-E2S, I’m going to reuse that image and affix to it the bayonet. Next week…

It’s been a long day of staring at weapons already.

This week’s openings

More exhibitions open around the USA this weekend.

‘Checking the Cost of Gun Violence’ by Harriete Estel Berman.

Imagine Peace Now continues it’s journey this weekend, opening on Saturday (or tomorrow evening if you’re among the artists or invited guests) January 20 – March 16 at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd. You can see my gun work, Resilience, there, but if you’re closer to the Metal Museum then perhaps you’d like to go see HEAT  at the Enamelist Society’s Alchemy 4 exhibition.


The opening reception for Alchemy4 at the Metal Museum will be Sunday, January 21, from 3PM-5PM. There will be a gallery talk given by the Director of Collections and Exhibitions, Grace Stewart, beginning at 4PM. The show goes from January 21 – April 29, 2018.