Short films and a performance; crafting experience as well as the object
Last Friday night I went to the Real to Reel Craft Film Festival here in Perth and it was incredible! Presented by local craft heroes Maker & Smith (organisers of workshops, talks and other beautifully thought-out and executed events) it is screening again this Friday night in Perth at Camelot Cinema. The fest is then touring to Melbourne – end of this month – and Sydney – early next – so check out that first link for dates. I love a short film fest, and this was one for the ages.
Also in Melbourne you have the Su san Cohn performance Meaninglessness in the middle of this month. Please go, it looks to be another powerful presentation from one of Australia’s finest jewellery thinkers. I look forward to living vicariously.
In her practice Melissa Cameron has perfected the application of liquid enamel onto small objects. It’s a unique enamelling method, well suited to both flat and dimensional forms, with coating found objects like wire and tiny laser-cut parts being Melissa’s specialties.
In this workshop with the artist, learn her tips and tricks for using liquid enamel on steel and copper, from metal surface preparation to enamel mixing, application, and firing. Extend your decorative palette with textures and patterns using simple techniques, well suited for use on items of jewellery and small objects.
This masterclass is being held in conjunction with Melissa Cameron’s solo exhibition at Bilk Gallery opening on Friday the 13 September 2019, 6pm – 8pm.
Workshop details Time: 9.30 am – 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 14 – 15 September. Location: Workshop Bilk, 403 Captians Flat Road Carwoola Queanbeyan NSW Australia. Attendees will need to bring their own lunch. Coffee and tea will be provided. Materials: All materials and tools will be supplied. Cost: $450 per person for the two days. Maximum of six places available.
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:
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)
This year’s dynamic speaker line-up includes European jewelry artist Terhi Tolvanen, metalsmith/sculptor David H. Clemons, jeweler/enamelist Deborah Lozier, and repoussé master Douglas Pryor; plus Ideation: From the Belly to the Brain, a panel discussion featuring artists Melissa Cameron, Eva Funderburgh, and Gina Pankowski.
The Symposium will be in Seattle this year, rather than in Tacoma as originally planned. Due to unforeseen circumstances, we’ve had to make a last-minute change, so this year we will be at the Langston-Hughes Performing Arts Institute, with everything the Symposium has to offer: Silent Auction, Book Sale, and a fabulous line up of speakers and panelists, detailed above.
Date: Saturday, October 6, 2018 Location: Langston-Hughes Performing Arts Institute, Seattle, WA
It’s the day before I leave the USA permanently for Perth, Australia, so come say goodbye and join us at the after-party to end all after-parties!
3/ Uneasy Beauty
See my works Drone: Attempts to Kill… and RPG in this exhibition at The Fuller Craft Museum in MA, curated by Suzanne Ramljak the former editor of Metalsmith Magazine.
Uneasy Beauty: Discomfort in Contemporary Adornment will bring together 75 examples of contemporary jewelry and costume that demonstrate the immense power of adornment to impact us physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Showcasing wearable work in various media from regional and national artists, the exhibition will explore the outer limits of comfort through works that constrict body movement, irritate the skin, make extreme demands, or touch upon sensitive cultural nerves. Uneasy Beauty is part of the Mass Fashion collaborative, a consortium of eight cultural institutions that aim to explore and celebrate the many facets of the Bay State’s culture of fashion. This exhibition is curated by Suzanne Ramljak, an art historian, writer, curator, and former editor of Metalsmith magazine.
October 6, 2018 – April 21, 2019
Fuller Craft Museum
455 Oak Street
Brockton, MA 02301
This exhibition, begun in 2016, seems to pick up more relevance as it goes. If you’d like to see it in your town, please let us know.
Before I present all the details, I wanted to tell you that this show is a real labor of love for the curator, Boris Bally. I had the privilege to hear him speak last year at the Association for Contemporary Jewellery20:20 Visions Conference in the UK about the genesis of this exhibition, and to speak with him about the show both there and at SNAG. In speaking with him, it’s clear that he’s driven by the pure desire, in fact need, to make these things go away from the hands of vulnerable people in this country. He also just happens to be one of the most generous and humble artists that I have ever had the pleasure to meet, so if you are anywhere near St Louis, I really do urge you to go see him speak. (And if you do, please tell him that I sent you, and that I’m thinking of him.) And more amazingly, he is but one part of an incredible line-up of presenters, panelists and artists who will be talking about gun violence in St Louis and the USA.
Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design will partner with Maryville University to present I.M.A.G.I.N.E. Peace Now, a powerful traveling exhibition created as a positive response to the rising tide of gun violence in America. Conceived by metalsmith Boris Bally and brought to St. Louis through the help of his long-time collector Michael Staenberg, the exhibition features works by some 100 artists who have crafted sculptures using decommissioned firearms collected during community buy-back programs.
Over the last twenty years, we have seen the rise of this violence sweep into our schools, movie theaters, malls, and neighborhoods. Throughout history, artists have often served as the voices and illustrators of movements for change. This exhibition is an invitation to conversations about violence in America today and about potential constructive responses to that crisis.
Maryville University Opening Reception + Panel Discussion
Morton J. May Foundation Gallery
Thursday, April 5, 5:00 – 8pm
Conversation Towards Peace
Thursday, April 5, 7:00 -8 pm
Maryville University Auditorium
With the opening of I.M.A.G.I.N.E Peace Now, we invite you to join metalsmith / activist / organizer Boris Bally, Geriann Brandt, director of Maryville University’s Criminal Justice program; a spokesperson from Moms Demand Action; and Becky Tingle, CRC, CLPC, child therapist with Alive, Inc. They will discuss the effects of gun violence in our everyday lives. Panel moderator is Art Holliday, award-winning KSDK newscaster. This event is free + open to the public.
Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design Opening Reception + Curator’s Talk
Friday, April 6, from 5:30 – 8:30pm
Boris Bally Curator’s talk, 5:30 – 6:30pm
Craft Alliance’s Delmar Loop Gallery
Thursday, April 12, 4pm
Matt Donovan will read excerpts from Gun Shy, his book-length work-in-progress that delves deep into America’s gun culture. Donovan is an acclaimed author whose works include A Cloud of Unusual Size and Shape: Meditations on Ruin and Redemption and two collections of poetry – Vellum and Rapture & the Big Bam.
Bullets into Bells
Saturday, April 14, 7 – 9 p.m.
The Stage at KDHX in Grand Center
In partnership with the Saint Louis Poetry Center, local poets and activists will read from the anthology Bullets into Bells: Poets and Citizens Respond to Gun Violence.
More exhibitions open around the USA this weekend.
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.
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.
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!
The one about going to Sheffield in the UK to do jewellery things.
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!
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.