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.

Click to help Studio 20/17 in Sydney!

That’s what it says. Clicks will help this little gallery get a big website makeover!

Sydney Gallery Studio 20/17 is in a campaign to rescue their website, where they’re being pitted against other ‘local’ websites to see who can get the most clicks. I’ve been (patchily) remembering to go and click the link daily, but I am but one lonely web-user and my campaign of supporting them could do with a bit of a leg-up.

This is where you come in..

Go here and click on the ‘vote now’ button. It’s that easy! And then leave the window open on your browser so you can do it again tomorrow.

Thank you 🙂

Website weevils

Melissa has been weevling about on her website. Is weevling a verb? Probably not…

Melissa Cameron. Point Line Plane Object I, 2012, from the La Geometrie series. Stainless steel, vitreous enamel. Image © Melissa Cameron, 2012.

Over on my main website the paucity of ‘Upcoming’ information had been noted by onlookers and insiders and brought to the attention of management. Gradually some of my shortcomings in the photo editing department had been corrected, leaving me to avoid viewing whole sections of my own damn website simply for my own sanity. There have been recent outings of a number of new works, of which I am quite proud and of which I had as yet unseen images. And the printer broke, leaving design work at a standstill (don’t worry, it’s not terminal, it turned out to have a bad batch of yellow ink).

The prevailing conditions were just about right… All that was needed was a shirtload of time and a backlog of podcasts to listen to.

Thus I’ve put down the tools this past week to weevil about on my website. To be perfectly honest, I got back from Australia with a tenacious strain of The Plague and so settling into the increasingly damp basement (despite the probability of needing to turn on the enamelling kiln which might help alleviate that problem) didn’t seem like the best decision for my health. And so, once I made if off the couch and back upstairs to my mean machine in the study, it was GAME ON!

Et voilà! I present to you the annual subtle overhaul of my virtual home. Despite first impressions which may lead one to believing that it’s just business as usual, there’s been quite the renovation; many existing images were fixed, images from older series that were held back awaiting exhibition/book publishing have now been added, as have many new works, including just about the whole La Geometrie series from this year. And yes, it is about a year since I last did this. Perhaps I should think about trying it biannually?

And finally, to explain myself. The first category, the ‘Exemplar’ group is there to bring works of all sections together in a single unique rainbow. This is mostly for applications in which the overseers have requested a single website link to images by the artist. It will be staying, for the time being.

Hey, you gots to leave some room for improvement, eh? 😉

Arrgh!

I’m running late on ye olde blog post this week, sorry y’all. I don’t like when people use the b*** word, but there’s been shenanigans afoot at the Aussie Embassy to Queen Anne and South Lake Union, which has taken up much time, as well as … dare I say it… precipitated some downtime. (Or as we prefer to say here, we were out of the office on official escort duties.) These were of course all tied to comings and goings at the Embassy.

Work has progressed, mostly unseen, and mostly tied to the reams of deadlines coming up at the end September. I’m getting into my Ferrous application with works I finished in time for my afternoon tea a little while ago, and had to post some earrings to Bilk for an upcoming show in their Canberra Gallery (see image below), of course not to be confused with this, their show at Incinerator Gallery in Melbourne. And then there is new work for this year’s futile entry into Schmuck.

While I’m here, another big congrats to Kaoru Rogers and Amy Zubick (who coincidentally happen to be exhibitors in my online show Coming up from the south) on their recent success at the NCJA awards. The Coming up from the south exhibition runs for another 10 days, and has itself garnered some great and some unusual feedback, which I mentioned earlier and which I still encourage you all to read, especially if you’re a fan of Claire McArdle’s awesome Public Displays of Attention series.

Finally, the big show I’ve been working on opens in less than 2 months!! It’s my first US solo outing (admittedly with 2 other soloists – so it’s more of a one third of a trio show really) and I’ve got one more work, and a bunch of wallpaper, to make. Arrgh!

Melissa Cameron Point earring II, 2012. Stainless steel, vitreous enamel, 925 silver posts. © MC

Emerging

Melissa has curated a show of emerging Australian jewellery artists over at Crafthaus.

I’ve been moonlighting as an online curator once again, back over at Crafthaus.

This time to showcase a group of emerging Australian jewellery artists, in an exhibition entitled:

The artists involved, in no particular order, are:

Sarah Hudson, Claire McArdle, Leanne Ryan, Chloe McColl, Jill Hermans, Sarah Munday, Justin Siow, Danae Natsis, Sarah Carlson, Amy Zubick, Kelly Jonasson and Kaoru Rogers.

Please check it out!

Amazing jewellery app

Nervous System. Melissa still has a jewellery crush on what these people can do with jewellery design and manufacture.

The folks over at Nervous System have done it again. They have created an app for the visualisation and creative customisation of one of their jewels in the Cell Cycle series. The video here (a work of art in itself) explains it all.

Simply amazing, on so many levels.

using your digits

Melissa discusses handiwork – particularly hers that has now appeared on the Ponoko Blog.

I’ve recently raved about the Ponoko blog in a couple of my posts, and in so doing caught the attention of the lovely Kristen who writes there. She asked me if I’d like to switch from raving about, to raving on the Ponoko blog, so today (well, yesterday already, it went up overnight) my guest post appeared on their blog.

I was given carte blanche to craft a post on whatever I wished, so I ended up adding an artist’s view to the handmade versus digitally produced argument. If you think about it, digits are both numbers and fingers, so maybe digital fabrication is just a nerdy way of saying ‘made by hand’…

thanks to the intertubes

Melissa talks design, and what is handmade? Well, she doesn’t talk, so much as quote others, to be honest…

…I’m kept informed on how ‘the design process before computers’ went about. Turns out this vid is also demonstrating the laborious hand crafting process that existed for prototyping objects before computers. The designers got to do the easy bit! (I feel for you designers too, don’t worry; hand drawing involved french curves back then, and they are definitely no fun.)

Design story: The Decanter from Landor Associates on Vimeo.

It’s hardly ancient history though; I have seen many of these processes in action by current makers. Between the ‘hero designer’ coming up with the ideas and the consumer-tested, final-approved product, the middle part of the process still comes down to some nerds in dust coats in a shed, making objects with stuff.

And a related discussion – what actually constitutes hand-made – has been kicked off in the Etsy forums apparently (I read about it via the Ponoko blog wrapup.) It’s an interesting question, and pertinent to my work. I use laser fabrication some of the time, and even when I’m not using it, my works are still misrepresented as being laser-cut. That makes me think that people don’t really know the capability of the human hand, nor the full capabilities of computer driven manufacture.

Being accused of laser cutting, by even fellow professionals, has happened in such a manner as to make me think that laser cutting a Bad Thing. Is it? I have never really thought so. And given I piece together all the laser-cut bits by hand, can I still call the result hand-made?

I take the position that my responsibility is to my ideas, and not to a particular manufacturing process. So is it not in my interest to get as many of them out there as I would like to, in whatever way I choose? Do I then have to throw away the hand-made tag? Do I educate people on what is and is not hand-cut? Does that make me look like a fence-sitter, someone who just can’t decide if she’s a purist or a futurist?

Hmm, as usual, more discussion required.

Day 1: Where do I come from?

Day 1 at Where Do I Come From, a workshop Melissa is attending at RMIT, being hosted by Helen Britton.

So like I said, I’m doing the short course at RMIT this week. I thought I’d share what I get up to each day, so here goes.

Day 1: two images of the city.

After being instructed to go out and take photos we sat to study what we captured. Before departing we were told to try and see the city with news eyes, as if we were tourists. It was tougher for some than others; being a fairly new recruit to the city myself I found it pretty easy to forget what little I know. But then again, I seemed to find what I always do in any city – junctions, slippages and odd details.