Monday – Gun day

Even I thought we were done with gun-days…

1.1.2017

The last post was all about the impending photo shoot of the above-titled work, which took place without a hitch just over two weeks ago. A huge ovation and a raucous Hip-Hip-Hooray! for my 56 intrepid volunteers, who modeled the 73 pieces that I had made in the previous month like absolute professionals. We worked basically by city, so we managed to get the works arrayed across our models.

I then took all the wearable works back into the studio to photograph them with the 73 containers from which they had come. After that I packed up the whole of 1.1.2017 and sent it to Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh, and emailed a batch of the finished photos of the piece by the deadline, as per our contract. Then I reclaimed my weekends!

Contemporary Craft are now assembling the works of the 26 artists juried into Transformation 10: Contemporary Works in Found Materials in preparation for opening the exhibition and  awarding the Elizabeth R. Raphael Founder’s Prize on the 14th of September.

Now I’m working towards other deadlines. Have I mentioned that I’ll be in an exhibition With Other Eyes starting at the Ruthin Craft Centre in Wales on the 29th of September? I’m currently waiting on my first ever order of enamel decals (don’t worry, you’ll hear about it) while slowly slicing some 2mm shipping container steel.

So that’s why I regretfully don’t have any images to share of the work, or the shoot, just yet. But if you seek them out on Facebook, a few of my volunteers posted their images and thoughts. And yes, I’m still doing the editing on the pictures that I didn’t send (we shot about 680 images on the Saturday in Fremont, and I took about that many again in the studio), so I will be able to share images of everyone involved, and the whole work, very soon.

In the mean time, there was some positive gun news on The Guardian recently-there’s been more sales slumps for one of my favourite brands << you’ll be sure to shovel on the sarcasm for those last 2 words, won’t you? >>

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!

Happy New Year!

It’s been a while but it was inevitable. I’m back after a month off, and with a lot to tell you!

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 😉

Resist – in a store near you!

Orange is the new black, or is it? Blue is the new colour, the colour of the resistance.

dmc_b-p_resistearrings03a

The resistance is growing, and coming to a store near you – at least if you live in Seattle, Vancouver BC, Melbourne or Canberra. I have had people purchase at the trunk show, direct from me (thank you Vancouver jewellery denizens) and make orders for sales in Melbourne and Seattle, and I am so proud that we’ll be hitting $100 made for Islamic Relief USA really shortly.

For those of you who were holding on until the pieces reached your timezone, the Melbourne delivery to Bini Gallery was made yesterday and the Canberra batch (to Bilk, of course!) should arrive by Friday at the latest. Each of those stores will also have a resist neckpiece (like the one below), while the earrings are joined by pins and tiny little pendants I’m calling talismans in Vancouver at The Craft Council of BC and at Danaca Design in Seattle.

Body/Politic - Resist neckpiece

And I have not forgotten you, Perth. Get in touch as I’ll be making arrangements for a special delivery in the next month or so.

Resist

Body/Politic is getting some enamelled sistren, and I’m having a trunk show!

Plan for a new work, Resist. Part of my ongoing series of Body/Politic works.
Plan of a work-in-progress piece, Resist, which forms part of my ongoing series of Body/Politic works. To get the colouring I’ll use vitreous enameled tiles against the raw sandblasted steel. The layout of colours is done to spell ‘resist’ in binary, with the 0’s represented by grey tiles, and the 1’s by blue.

Dunno about you, but I woke up with all the nerve endings firing in my gut on Wednesday morning, just before 3am. After nigh on an hour of bleary-eyed semi-consciousness, and after the hopes that sleep would take me back into her embrace had been dashed (such a temperamental lover) I caved in and checked my phone. My sisters in Australia had offered condolences that I didn’t need to swipe through to see, especially the one from Courtenay that ran thusly:

Ffffffffaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrkkkkk

Fuck.

That was the entire message, but it told me that counting had finished and the map had been painted orange. Finally having the early predictions confirmed (I’d gone to bed early, both to avoid the anxiety of waiting and to read a good book – Mary Beard’s recent SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome – which turns out to be quite an apt companion for right now,) was definitely not going to help me sleep.

So I did some thinking. And a bit of googling. And at around 5:30am I placed an enamel order. I’ve never had much call for blue enamel before, so my stocks are paltry. Once this was done, around 6am, I went back to sleep reading about an ancient fallen empire.

My early morning thoughts ran something like this; I already have a body of work that is about putting encoded messages into the world, like this piece:

your body is your vote, 2016. Stainless steel, 585 yellow gold, titanium.
your body is your vote, 2016. Stainless steel, 585 yellow gold, titanium.

Body/Politic is a series of jewels where the medium is part of the message. The two-toned grids of pixels represent lines of binary code. Each piece literally spells out a message on the body of the wearer; readable to those who can interpret binary, the language that is the foundation of our digital culture. (These borrow from the visual language set up for the Drone works.) The messages reflect on the human condition, on how we are embodied, and what that means. The words/phrases that became works in the first series exhibited in March include your body is your vote (above), body, vote, unrepresented body, power and recently (just last week, for an upcoming show in May) I completed intensely embodied.

These are pieces are personal and political. They are words that reflect on my own physical body and its position in the world, and on the bodies of others who are in significantly more compromising situations, most particularly those bodies in combat areas, migrating bodies and those bodies who are suffering with illness.

Now before this gets too heavy, lets get back to the quality thinking time that my sleepless hours gifted me. So I have a trunk show booked for next week, and while I’ve been making the measured and politically/socially reflexive jewels like the work above over the last few years, none of those pieces are slated to be on the table next week. My plans for this week were to spend some time reorganising my stash of jewels to find some things that the good folks of Seattle haven’t seen before, and to make a few last pieces from the leftover parts of my La Geometrie laser-cuts to take along with me.

But then y’all had to go and elect an orange for a president.

I very purposely chose a blue top to wear yesterday, in protest (stay with me, this is relevant). And I’m in blue jeans today. Why? Because in my waking hours I was fixating on the fact that blue is the complimentary colour to orange on the colour wheel. Yep, this means it’s the opposite. So I’ve taken all this care dressing because I want to be the opposite of orange (yeah, despite my red hair.) But blue doesn’t just stand in opposition. It is the colour of the tears being shed for this and other depressing and alarming recent political events.

Blue is the colour of that soon-to-be pendant at the top of this (very long) blog post. It is the colour of the stockings on the women fighting to inform, enlighten and protect themselves, and it is the colour that HRC used to paint her campaign, and Bernie Sanders his. It’s the colour of the sky, of steel, and a bloody nice colour for an absolute shit-tonne of enamelled earrings.

And lets reiterate here, in RYB colour theory it’s the colour diametrically opposed to orange.

Body/Politic - Resist earrings

As it turns out, blue is the colour of the logo of Islamic Relief USA as well.

My search to find the opposite of an orange charity also began in the wee hours of Wednesday, and I’ve selected this one to give 10% of the purchase price of each pair of my brand new line of Resist earrings (pictured above) sold anywhere in the world. They’re going to retail for $30 US, and orders will be direct through me. (For anyone outside of Seattle, my postage price is being confirmed – please see below.)

About my blue charity:

Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA), based in Alexandria, Virginia, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) humanitarian agency and member of the Islamic Relief Worldwide group of organizations. IRUSA was founded in California in 1993. In addition to international relief and development initiatives, Islamic Relief USA also sponsors and funds domestic projects ranging from emergency disaster responses to assisting the American homeless population and supporting those who cannot afford basic healthcare.

Wikipedia

My pitch:

Resist Earrings, $30 (US dollars) a pair.
stainless steel + blue enamel.

For your set you can mix and match or play it straight, or even buy an extra one so you can decide what kind of (blue) day you’re having. More colours (yup, all blue*) coming soon. How to get yours? See below or email me: resist@melissacameron.net

Trunk Show!

If you’re in Seattle, please come along next week if you’re keen to check out my rainbow of blue earrings* or if you just need a shoulder. Together we can chat about resistance. It’s on at:

Danaca Design
5619 University Way NE, Seattle, Washington 98105
Thursday, November 17 at 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM
(Facebook event – do them a favour for catering and let them know if you can 😉 )

Earring suppliers!

Australia: you can count on Bilk and Bini Galleries getting a stack of these in the next week also, and for my sistren in Perth, I’ll see y’all in December and I’ll be sure to carry a few of these in my pocket.

USA: If you’re not in the PNW keep a look out, I’ll be posting the postage details ASAP

Canada – OK, BC: I’m heading up to Vancouver in a couple of weeks (no, not seeking asylum, though did I tell you the one about my grandparent who was born 12 miles south of Tisdale??) so let me know and I’ll bring them with me. The rest of you? Let me figure something out. We’re family!

Everywhere else: If you’re keen please get in contact and I’ll figure out your shipping rate. (I will be in Munich for the second week of March, and might even head to the UK for a hot minute, so if you can hold out that long…)

 

In the mean time, know that while my heart is blue, my gaze is steely.

 

*My Dad bought me my first car, back in the day. While we were looking around at listings he told me, “You can have any colour you like, so long as it’s blue.” I gratefully received a Corolla in midnight blue, despite preferring the burgundy…

Conference Papers

Geeet your used conference papers here!

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.

 

Laser Cutting

Laser cutters. I know you want them, well here they are. Be kind to them, they are pretty great.

Clouds - One Design

In response to a pretty consistent question, I’m going to share with you my laser cutters. I know, it’s either a very brave or completely overdue move…

OBLIGATORY CAVEAT: both of these companies will only deal with you if you have a drawing capable of being machine-read. Which means, you need to have a drawing in vector format (Autocad .dxf or .dwg is most common, [if in, say, Rhino, I’d imagine that’s a ‘save as’ option] or perhaps an Illustrator file saved to .eps – I have had some cutters deal very well with Corel Draw [and if you remember playing/working with that program, you’re older than you look!]) before they will look at the file to quote you a price. Real talk: if you need help with that, I’m not your person. I dream in AutoCad (*not actually true, but admit it, I almost had you?!) so I’ve never had to outsource that part of the process.

The drawing part is essential as the quote that either of these companies will want to give you is based on the machining time – which is a calculation on how long it will take the laser to trace the lines you have drawn. Part of that calculation is an allowance made for the thickness/hardness the material. For instance, working in wood is normally faster, ergo cheaper, while working in 1.5mm/0.59″ stainless steel is going to challenge some lasers, and therefore be more expensive.

These two cutters are best for very low tolerance work; they are precise, as I like to be able to put a .5mm hole in the middle of a 1.5mm channel (see above). If you’re looking for less precision, take a look at other options, as it’s likely that there are cheaper local people who can do your thang. TBH, that might even be a challenge for one of these people to do neatly, but I know their machine is more or less capable.

One Design - #07 Ring 01Image of Melissa Cameron, 2014

 

Ok, no more pfaffing:

Starting at the top – and I mean in terms of price, and from the image at top: expensive, great quality, medium turn time, will source and cut low carbon steel (for enameling)and titanium along with their regular lineup of metals: Laser Services USA

My preference for wood and mass production:
Cheap, medium quality (some deburring required with metal, depending on the cut), stainless steel and a huge array of default non-metal materials and with the option of very, very fast: Pololu

Please be nice to them, y’all, I want to be able to show my face at either of their establishments (or rather, web portals) well into the future 😉

Imagine

Melissa is in an upcoming show about guns – this one not of her own making. The irrepressible Boris Bally is in charge, and he’s Kickstarting the catalogue RIGHT NOW!

The irrepressible Boris Bally has been gathering a sizable cohort together around a shared passion – the erasure of guns in this country (the United States), under the exhibition The Innovative Merger (of) Art (and) Guns (to) Inspire New Expressions (of) [or I.M.A.G.I.N.E.] PEACE NOW!!

Clunky title aside, it’s a really interesting project. Months ago he sent out disarmed firearms to metal artists all over the world, who got to work on transforming their ‘pieces’ into new works. You might have already seen the process of other artists, including Dauvit Alexander’s inspired work on Crafthaus, or perhaps the many pages of images of finished pieces up on Facebook.

Well, the next step, before the actual launch of the exhibition (those of you undecided about going to East Carolina University’s annual symposium might just have found one more reason to hitch up the trailer and head over there in January) is to create the catalogue, and for that one, we need your help.

Boris has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a catalogue that will be worthy of the hundreds, nay, thousands, of artist hours that have already gone into the exhibition so far. We have a big sum in mind, but to make the kind of change that an exhibition like this has the potential of doing, the only option is to go big, or go home.

So please think about donating to this campaign, so we, as a metals community, can add our voices to those already speaking out against the violence that seems to be continuing unabated in this country, and around the world.

xx m

Tomorrow night!

Part B, Sin Título, Mexico. Melissa, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, Washington. Lots of stuff going on tomorrow night.

“San Título”, courtesy of Cristina Celis and Sin Título
“San Título”, courtesy of Cristina Celis and Sin Título

Two things..

Sin Título is opening their new studios in Mexico City tomorrow night, and with it they open an exhibition of jewellery for their patron saint, San Título. (Head back in time and read what happened when I met with them last year, and the event that kicked off this collaboration.) During last year Part B teamed up with Sin Título to work on a project together. We have created jewels for the saint, photographed them in Melbourne (and Seattle…) and these will now be displayed on the walls of Sin Título’s new digs in their first studio exhibiton. If you’re in Mexico, please check it out!

Jueves 30 de abril – 7pm
“Sin Título” Estudio de Joyería
Dr. Mora 9, 2o piso interior 22
Centro, Cuauhtémoc
México, D.F.

– A quick reminder that I’m giving an artist lecture tomorrow night at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.

“Join artist-jeweler Melissa Cameron as she presents her work through images and words in the BIMA Auditorium. This event is a special Meet the Artist presentation in conjunction with her 2014 Artist Fellowship through Artist Trust. Thu, Apr. 30, 2015 6:30pm — 8:30pm”

Doors open at 6:30pm | Reception with light food and beverage | Admission is free of charge with advance reservation.

Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
550 Winslow Way E.
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

And yes, discard my last few days of complaints via social media; I have found my voice and I will be able to speak tomorrow. See you there!