Purpose, Process, Paper

If you’re heading to Chicago for SNAG, or you’re already there, I invite you to check out this exhibition, sensitively curated by Catherine Bowyer and Kiff Slemmons. Of all the things at SNAG this year, this is the one that I’d most liked to have seen in person.

Wanneroo Community Art Awards

Melissa’s a sculptor – who knew?

As advertised last Friday was the opening of the City of Wanneroo Community Art Awards, and at the opening I was awarded the main prize in the Sculpture category!!

Me and the Wanneroo Mayor

If you’re in WA and want to see the show, head to 3 Rocca Way, Wanneroo from Monday to Saturday until the 14th of June, from 10am-4pm.

For those nowhere near, there’s a bunch of images of the night on their Facebook page (spot one of me and Coop that bucks the trend of us taking only awful photos together – well done that photographer, you may have broken the hex) or have a look at the virtual tour of the exhibition.
Or check out the list of the award winners here. (And a big hello to the person I met at the exhibition during the Welcome To Country hand-linking – now that I’ve seen that work I get you, and I’m on the same page 😉 )

Earrings et al

Bilk gallery in Canberra is having another earring show and as you can see I’m in it. As are a bunch of far more frequent makers of earrings than I, so if you have ears and you’re in the area I hope you’ll get along.

Opening Friday 3 May 6pm – 8pm
It’s been three years since the last ‘WHAT IS IT WITH EARRINGS?!’ exhibition at Bilk Gallery! In fact it has been six years since the original title grew from a conversation about this wonderful form of adornment and the frustrated response to the lover of earrings with the exclamation – What is it with earrings?
This year we have an exceptional collection of outstanding earrings and ear ornamentations – one off and unique from; Peta Kruger, Johannes Kuhnen, Carlier Makigawa, Kath Inglis, Taweesak Molsawat, Melissa Cameron, Larah Nott, Marian Hosking, Bin Dixon Ward, Helen Aitken-Kuhnen, Wen-Miao Yeh, David Walker, Chris Bahng, Mio Kuhnen, Jane Bowden, Sim Luttin, Jane Reilly, Phillipa Gee, Simon Williams, Angela Giuliani, Julie Blyfield, Anna Daveron, Jill Hermans, Dan DiCaprio, Nellie Peoples, Godwin Baum, and Samantha Chester.

Also opening next Friday is the Wanneroo Gallery 2019 Community Art Awards & Exhibition.

Saturday 4 May – Friday 14 June 2019 // Monday to Saturday 10am – 4pm, at The Gallery, Wanneroo Library and Cultural Centre, 3 Rocca Way, Wanneroo WA 6065

I have a new small sculptural work in the show, and I’ll be at the opening next Friday night, so if you’re a fellow-artist or invited guest please come say hi!

More details on their website

Image of WIP for the exhibition Marfa, TX

Finally, the new workshop is in use! This is the beginnings of a new exhibition, titled Marfa, TX, that will take place at Bilk in September of this year. It’s been a long time in the making – I opened my ‘time capsule’ from my 2017 trip to the adopted home of Donald Judd a couple of weeks ago, and I’m just about finished mapping my ‘finds’ from it both online, and, as you can see, on my bench. I plan to share my google map here soon!

(I’m willing to accept that my last sentence might only excite its author…)

Adorn is open!

Bethamy Linton -3 pieces from the Vanishing Australian Bird Series – 2018

We had a great time at the official opening last night where Bethamy Linton received a whopping great pearl from Haddy’s Gemological Services in recognition of her stunning works (above).

Now er look forward to the the Driven to Adorn Forum TOMORROW! This will be my first opportunity to share what I’ve been up to in the USA for the last 6.5 years with my home-town crew. Please come along and say hi!

From the Maker&Smith email circular (Carola from M&S has organised this extravaganza and will be hosting the event on Sunday):

This is a quick note to remind you about the ‘Driven to Adorn’ forum of conversations about contemporary jewellery taking place at the Joondalup Reception Centre on Sunday 24 March from 2pm. (Registration is required. Tickets are $30 each to cover artist fees and catering.)

We cannot wait to hear what Katherine Kalaf has to impart – a wealth of knowledge not only about her extensive archive of makers and hands-on experience as a founder of the contemporary jewellery movement in Australia, but also her best tips for creative entrepreneurs.

Also, how amazing to hear from six of our contemporary jewellers who are making waves in WA:
Melissa Cameron, Sarah Elson, Susannah Kings-Lynne, Bethamy Linton, Claire Townsend and Alister Yiap will show us what they’ve been working on and lead us in discussion about contemporary craft matters in WA.

Read about the presenters and opportunities on our website.

Register via the City of Joondalup.

Carola & Mary Ellen

Fundraiser for Islamic Relief Australia

These resist series neckpieces and earrings are being sold to raise money for Islamic Relief AustraliaIslamic Relief Australia is an international aid and development charity working to end poverty, illiteracy and disease.”

Thanks to the powers of Instagram the neckpieces have been snapped up, but the two pairs of earrings (above) are still available.

You will have seen these before around these parts, but they are from my long-running Resist series,so each neckpiece spells ‘resist’ in ascii/binary, while the earrings spell ‘no’. These jewel messages are each hand-enamelled on stainless steel, with titanium ear hooks.

The full purchase price of AUD $130 for a chain or $215 for each pair of earrings will go to them in honour of those Muslims who lost their lives to a white supremacist terrorist last Friday in beautiful Christchurch.


USA – USD (same dollar amount) over PayPal with shipping inclusive
Australia – AUD bank transfer with added $10 for shipping
NZ – ships free
UK – Shipping is AUD $21.50, so for the earrings that makes it £128 all up

If you live elsewhere, please get in contact

I usually give 5% of the price of this series to Islamic Relief USA but owing to my relocation this will now be going to the Australian arm. This series is still available atBilk Gallery and Bini Gallery in AUS and Fancy, Bellevue Arts Museum and Danaca Design Gallery in Seattle.


Last Friday’s murder of 50 Muslim people at prayer in New Zealand has shocked and saddened the world, and seen an outpouring of empathy and generosity towards those who were attacked. For those looking for a tangible way to show your support, you’ll probably have seen the multiple funding pages which go directly to the families involved:

United for Christchurch Mosque Shootings: Support the victims and families of shootings in 2 mosques in New Zealand

Victim Support Official Page: Christchurch Shooting Victims’ Fund

Al Manar Trust: Emergency Appeal Christchurch Victims

And then there is Know Their Name, set up to share the names and stories of those who died.

There are good signs that the New Zealand Parliament will ban semi-automatic firearms, but it is the usual tragedy – that it takes a terrorist act of this magnitude for citizens and lawmakers to come to a consensus about the place of these guns in our society.

And for us Australians who see a federal election looming, it’s time to think hard about who our representatives will be, and what they say about this, and future, horrific acts of violence perpetrated by white terrorists. As to future white-perpetrated violence – our past aggression in holding up our unearned privilege is provenance enough. Of course I’m not willing future acts to happen; rather I’m fearing the worst of the entitlement we’ve all seen on display in people of my colour, across all strata of society, compounded by politically troubling times.

A brief but informative take on Australia’s history as a nation built on white nationalism is by Jason Wilson on The Guardian. As per Wilson, we live in an “environment that has nurtured white supremacist terror.”

It’s on white people to undo white supremacy. We’ve got a lot of work to do. On that note, of late I’ve been doing the Me and White Supremacy Workbook by Layla F. Saad. It’s one more prong in the setting of accountability and true equality, a gem I truly prize.

Studio progress

The workshop is almost at full power, captain.

Three-phase is plugged into this baby on Thursday. Now to finish rewiring the kiln. All I’m missing is a drill press. I’m having tool-envy flashbacks to the one that was at Monash – now that was a good bench drill.

Transformation 10: short documentary

Showcasing the work 1.1.2017 as a part of the Raphael Prize at Contemporary Craft

While I was in Pittsburgh last year, as a part of the Elizabeth R Raphael Founders Prize, I worked with Di-ay Battad and Michael Pisano of Pisano Films on this short documentary about the piece 1.1.2017.

I’m really grateful to Michael and Di-ay for their sensitivity in making this piece and for being so amazing to work with. Michael asked really probing questions and listened carefully, and went off and and did a great job editing the piece. I think they’ve done a beautiful job. Thank you again to everyone at Contemporary Craft – Kate Lydon and Janet McCall especially – for making this happen.

And if you’re in the Pittsburgh area be sure to support Contemporary Craft as they move to their new home in Upper Lawrenceville. The plans look amazing – good luck to you all for the transition!

Adorn and Driven to Adorn

Joondalup Art Gallery showcasing jewellery as a craft in March 2019

Happy New Year!

My studio is finally back on line after a 5-month hiatus, during which time Bruce and I have moved country, sold a house in the USA, bought a house in Australia, made some minor renovations to the place and celebrated the closing of a year and the beginning of a new one. I did not stop working entirely but I did take advantage of the studio down-time to slow down a bit. The year proceeding the move was intense, but it was planned that way knowing that there would be some down-time immediately after our US exit, which in the end worked great.  It has taken a month since the unpacking began to get my office and studio back in working order, and while I have a few tweaks left to do for full functionality in the studio (anyone have a drill press or air compressor going cheap?) the non-studio work on upcoming exhibitions and other events never really ceased. Which brings me to the latest news:

The Adorn exhibition and Driven to Adorn forum

The Jewellers and Metalsmiths Group of Australia – Western Australian (JMGAWA) branch is hosting a member exhibition at the City of Joondalup Art Gallery from 18 March-12 April 2019, and local craft thinker Carola Akindele-Obe of Maker and Smith is presenting a day of conversation with well-known local makers to coincide with the show on 24 March. And if that’s not enough, local legends Sarah Elson and Claire Townend will be teaching one-day classes of their respective specialties the following weekend; cuttlebone casting and enameling. I learned how to cast with Sarah in high school – in an uncharacteristic display I believe I drew and made a butterfly (in a surprise twist I was not actually influenced by Sarah’s superb Moth series as I believe they came later) – while Claire was my teacher when I went back to Curtin to dabble in jewellery in 2005. I’d not be where I am today without these two engaging instructors who are also thoughtful makers.

The Driven to Adorn conversation on March 24th will feature Katherine Kalaf, who in her Cottesloe gallery played host to significant international artist including – very memorably – the recent Loewe Prize shortlisted artist Giovanni Corvaja. Katherine’s space and the makers she attracted were an inspiration to me in my early career, and she was one of my first stockists. After Katherine’s presentation the Driven to Adorn forum will move into a 6×6 presentation, in which I will be one of the six local makers to present six minutes on an aspect of their practice. The full listing of ‘sixers’ for the afternoon is:

Melissa Cameron, Sarah Elson, Susannah Kings-Lynne, Bethamy Linton, Claire Townsend and Alister Yiap


Joondalup Art Gallery
4/48 Central Walk, Joondalup WA 6027
18 March – 12 April 2019

Tuesday – Thursday: 10am to 2pm
Friday: 10.30am to 2.30pm

Driven to Adorn

2-5pm 24 Mar 2019 (Includes afternoon tea and an invitation to a viewing of the Adorn exhibition after the forum)
Joondalup Reception Centre, Boas Avenue, Joondalup
Places are limited to 30 and there are 16 spots left (as of 15.2.19)

DRIVEN TO ADORN – a forum for craft conversations