Going to Greenville

Sovereign Body/Contested Body. Stainless steel, titanium, vitreous enamel, 2017

That title sounds like a John Darnielle song…

I’m on my way to East Carolina University for the Material Topics Symposium which begins tomorrow. Eep! I’ve just checked out the action packed schedule, and Nadia, Adam and co. have given us a Sophie’s Choice for the breakout sessions on Saturday morning. Or maybe to keep up with the parlance of the kids, it’s a Hunger Games kind of scenario. Now I’ve said it, the idea of seeing Stone vs Cooperman in a battle does tickle me, but to the death might be going a bit far. Though something tells me that Matty Lambert could (albeit with a heavy conscience – which would make for a gripping finale,) take them all out. However, I’ve not met Kimberly Winkle, so she is the dark horse in this competition. From the few images I’ve googled, I feel like she could be an unassuming type (not necessarily a closet killer, but it’s always the quiet ones, y’know?), so I’m not ready to lay any bets…

Anyway, that bout of creative writing (I think I’ve been cooped up too long today…) has not helped me to triage the list at all, so it remains to be seen who I will end up learning from on Saturday. But there’s time to influence me if you have any intel on ways to break the Cooperman-Lambert-Stone-Winkle dead heat. What I do know is that I’m on last on Sat afternoon, so if you have been on the fence, you still have time to head on over and check out what has been manifesting in my basement since I got to the US in 2012. And to catch the infectious Mike Holmes, a literal treasure-trove of information and history about the industry.

Though you will have missed the slew of openings scheduled for tomorrow night, as well as the keynote slot by Andy. Yeah, you should probably leave now.

In case it wasn’t obvious, I’m really looking forward to this one.

Deconstruct/Reconstruct

It’s taking me a few years, but I’m finally going to the annual East Carolina University Material Topics Symposium – entitled Deconstruct/Reconstruct – in January. It’s going to be amazing – the list of speakers and break-out presenter list is incredible! Am I just saying that because a bunch of my friends are going to be talking and I’m really looking forward to catching up with them all?

Of course not!

Where else are you going to see Mike Holmes reveal what he learned at Velvet da Vinci, and Andy Cooperman lecture and deliver a break-out on tool tips, or have the beautiful Matt Lambert deliver a break-out session? And then back it up with the vivacious Jina Seo and Harlan W. Butt! And this is me cherry picking – I don’t want to leave out the inimitable Judy Stone… Or Lisa Klakulak! Seriously – look at the list and the exhibitions too. And, hey, if you’re lucky, I might also have a few things to say 🙂

See y’all in Greenville.

US Exhibitions: North & South

One half of Quatrefoil Trio by Melissa Cameron, pieces made for a work in collaboration with Sean Macmillan, 2015. On display at BAM

The Bellevue Arts Museum is hosting an enormous group exhibition Making our Mark: Art by Pratt Teaching Artists, which went live at a grand party for the artists (and there’s a tonne of us) at the start of November. There are too many local legends to name; jewellers, wood-workers, painters, sculptors and of course the Northwest’s favourite, glass artists, so I’ll just mention me, and the very famous glass artist who happens to live across the street from me (!) Preston Singletary. We’re finally in a show together! One day I’ll work up the courage to tell him 😉

Also just opened is a show at form & concept center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, called Smitten Forum. So what is Smitten Forum, then?

Call it a mobile artist colony, a colorful social experiment or a crafty piece of performance art. Each year since 2014, Sara Brown and Marissa Saneholtz have invited a new group of pioneering jewelers and metalsmiths to work side-by-side in a communal studio for 7 days. The initiative is called Smitten Forum, and invitees range from emerging to well-established makers who employ a staggering array of mediums and techniques. This year’s participants are headed to Abiquiu, New Mexico in late December, but they’ll also leave their mark on the nearby art center of Santa Fe. The form & concept shop is pleased to present the Smitten Forum exhibition, which features wearable artwork from all of this year’s artists.

And now it is also an exhibition, with this year’s Smitten cohort exhibiting: Sarah Perkins, Melissa Cameron, Bryan Petersen, Cappy Counard, Cheryl Rydmark, Tanya Crane, Rebekah Frank, Anika Smulovitz, Don Friedlich, Laritza Garcia, Leslie LePere, Hannah Oatman, Marissa Saneholtz and Sara Brown

It opened on the 24th of November and finishes on the 6th of January. And Smitten Forum itself? Yes, this year I’ll close out my year hanging with that awesome crew, at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. Yes, the Ghost Ranch that Georgia O’Keffee lived and worked at.

Tales in the making.

A plethora

of exhibitions contain my work right now!

Social Unit, 2017

Beijing International Jewelry Exhibition 2017 has some of my enamel works, and it has a short run, from November 18-26, 2017 at Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology Park (BIFTPARK)

Itami International Jewellery Exhibition in Japan also began on November 18 and runs until December 24, 2017. I’m pleased to share that I was awarded one of the Judge’s Choice prizes for the Social Unit series (above) in this years Itami!

And finally, Bilk gallery has White Christmas, for which I made a few new goodies, like the ornament below, and some jewels to go along with them of course. Because who doesn’t want to match their decor this celebration season?

Wreath ornament, 2017

The resistance is growing

And so too is my line of jewellery, entitled Resist.

Resist Drop earrings, Resist neckpiece, ÿ neckpiece

The ÿ neckpiece is the latest addition to the series, and yes, it is the type of welded steel chain one might normally use to doubly secure one’s trailer to the hitch at the back of the car. I got it at my local hardware store (Shout out to 5 Corners Hardware – yes, not to be confused with the 5 Spot – a diner also in Queen Anne, or 5 Point Cafe, just down the road in Belltown. If you’ve not visited Seattle, and Queen Anne especially, the crosswalk motif is ‘at least 5 lanes of traffic, awkwardly conjoined’ and is somehow considered a whimsical feature. Shout out to Sydney, AU, I know you know this scene…) a year or so ago when contemplating chains for my piece for Boris Bally’s gun show Imagine. This length has thus been hanging on the door to my basement studio for long enough to leave semi-circular marks as the chain frequently arced across the door, tethered by a single nail.

I was gradually sandblasting every scrap of steel chain I could come up with in my studio, and one day I was sitting at my enamel bench when I realised there was one I hadn’t tried. Cut to 20 minutes later, after hand sawning a sacrificial link *twice* in order to separate it from the rest of the length (the chain is just too thick to try and bend to get away with one cut alone), I was hugging the sandblaster in my usual fashion. Because zinc is a neurotoxin at just about the same temperature that enamel fires, it pays to assiduously remove all traces of galvanisation. Once blasted, I painted on a pretty swatch of my favourite blue of the day, fired, and viola! I had a beautiful chain, that read ‘ÿ’ in binary, because, well, ÿ are we in this mess…?

And in case you’re new, ÿ binary, or even, ÿ blue?

In the Resist system of binary/ascii* communication, the 0’s and 1’s of binary code are switched from numbers to colors, gray and blue respectively. By individually enameling each part of a piece in the correct sequence, I encode words like ‘no’ onto earrings, or ‘resist’ onto pins and neckpieces.

So why blue? Because that color is the opposite of orange on the traditional color wheel.

‘no’ chain earrings

These little messages in jewellery form are each hand-made and hand-enamelled in stainless steel, with titanium rivets and ear hooks on the ‘Resist tile’ pieces. They are very reasonably priced, and in some sort of seasonal coincidence, all of my stores have just been resupplied! What [in]credible timing!

Please go check out these pretties ‘in the real’ in Australia at:

Bilk Gallery – Canberra
Studio 20/17 Project Space – Sydney
Bini Gallery – Melbourne

and in Seattle and surrounds at:

Bellevue Arts Museum Store
Danaca Design
Fancy

And if you’re around Seattle’s U district this coming Friday, Danaca Design is having its first ever Black Friday Jewelry Sale!

Tis the season to buy into the beautifully handmade resistance.

 

 

 

As ever, 5% the artist’s price from this series goes to Islamic Relief USA, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit humanitarian agency, whose work includes domestic and international development and relief projects.

*gotta put ASCII in there or I’ll have to face a nerd uprising

Tasting Tales from the Toolbox

Narrative Jewelry: Tales from the Toolbox has arrived!

I don’t know about y’all, but my eyes popped at the initial photos I saw of this book. Scale is a big thing with me, and a little part of me went “Eep, they’ve stuffed it.” when I saw the pics on the socials with editor Mark Fenn holding his advanced copy. Why? Because it is a mammoth book.

What can I say? I was just so wrong. Happily wrong (is that a thing?)

Mark and Schiffer have done a really beautiful job here, producing a book that I am really keen to sit down and read. There are so many artists and just soooo many works, packaged respectfully with each makers words, and laid out so carefully, all one book! I was so excited to turn the pages and see familiar ‘faces’ of artworks that I know and love, by artists who I respect, admire and of course also love.

Congratulations to Mark Fenn, to Jack Cunningham for his words, and to Dauvit Alexander (Mr Justified to those in the know,) on the beautiful cover, and to all of my friends in this one (all 241 of us!) We’ve done a good, and beautiful, thing. Please enjoy!

Monday – gun day

I want to know what guns were used in the first 59 killings of 2017, but I’m not sure if that information is going to be available. I checked the incident material on the Gun Violence Archive source list that gives the name and location of the victims, as well as links to police and new reports for each killing. Quonterio Davis, a Jefferson, Missouri resident, is the first person on my narrowed-down January 1, 2017 list (from last week’s post). The suspected killer is also named, but the weapon he used was not. A bit more digging found that Davis was shot with what a witness called a “chrome semi-automatic pistol”. I have not found a more detailed description, and I think that might involve having to find court documents.

In this research I think I’m likely to find that pretty common –  getting knowledge of the weapon or the rounds is maybe a bit more intel than people want to know. Then again, I may yet be surprised.

One thing that did not surprise was that the crime involved a hand gun. Wikipedia: “According to the FBI, in 2012, there were 8,897 total firearm-related homicides in the US, with 6,404 of those attributed to handguns.” Contributor Aude has even created a chart to visualise this:

By Aude – Self-published work by Aude, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1367669

An initial attempt at trying to find out the most popular handgun in the U.S. (at this stage, it looks like it’ll be a pistol,) to use as a proxy for a series of ‘unidentifiable pistol’ works, indicates that it could be another entire research project. Luckily, I found another great data source this week to add to the heavy-hitting Gun Archive. It’s called Statista: The Statistics Portal has Firearms in the U.S. – statistics and facts.

Ring Master

No, not me, I’ve made maybe a dozen rings in my career – but at least four of them will be on show at Bilk Gallery for the opening of Ring Master tonight! This group show of rings by makers from all over the world is a part of the Design Canberra Festival. To get into some jewels designed in AutoCad and handmade by me (with some laser cutting involved, though not in the little number above mind, it was hand-sawn all the way) you’d better get in quick 😉

Did I mention the show is on til Christmas eve? Timing!

Save

Ring Master – opening next Friday, Oct 27th

Ring Master, an exhibition exploring the notion and designs of the humble (and not so humble) ring. Featuring rings by; Helen Britton, Julia deVille, Johannes Kuhnen, Helen Aitken-Kuhnen, Carlier Makigawa, Godwin Baum, Julie Blyfield,  Melissa Cameron, Cinnamon Lee, Chris Robertson, Sean O’Connell, Jane Bowden, Bin Dixon-Ward, Philip Noakes, Vincent Pontillo-Verrastro, Mikki Trail, Sam Mertens and Mio Kuhnen (and many more).

This year Bilk Gallery is pleased to be part of Design Canberra Festival 2017 with Ring Master, an exhibition exploring the notion and designs of the humble (and not so humble) ring.