Deadlines November 2012

Jewellery competition, learning and exhibition deadlines, November 2012

Upcoming opportunities to exhibit, learn or perhaps even teach, from all over the place (but mostly in Australia and the USA.)

Sienna Gallery: State of The Union. Share 5 of your latest pieces with Sienna GalleryNEW Deadline November 9th.

Indiana University Program for International Visiting Artist-in-Residence (PIVA): International artists are paid to teach for a term at Indiana University Bloomington. Entries open September 1st and close November 15th.

Ketel One – The Modern Craft Project. In concert with Wallpaper* magazine, a bunch of exhibition opportunities as well as the chance to win $100,000. (Not sure of what currency.) Entries online for ppl 25 years or older, and due November 30th.

Fabricated: Art Jewellery/Jewellery Art, Juried exhibition, online application. Due December 3rd.

Preziosa Young 2013. Must be under the age of 35 for all of 2013. Eight finalists are selection for exhibition in Florence, Italy, in 2013. Due December 15th.

Snag Exhibition In Print 2013 – Call for images of jewellery. Guest Curator Susan Cohn wants your images. One smart, one casual and one… well… your choice. Due Jan 15 2013.

SNAG 2014 Conference Presenters. Want to speak at SNAG? Due Jan 15th 2013.

Australia Council Early Career Residencies. They are what they say, and they offer up to $30K for artists and/or organisations. Due Jan 29th 2013.

La Frontera (trans. the borderlands). Exhibition about the US/Mexico border at Museo Franz Mayer, Mexico City and Velvet da Vinci gallery, San Francisco. Submission deadline Jan 30 2013.

Contemporary Australian Silver and Metalwork Award, the award/exhibition formerly known as Buda. This year it’s headed to the Bendigo Art Gallery after many years being hosted by the Buda historic home and garden in Castlemaine. Deadline Feb 1 2013.

National Humanities Award – Medal Design Competition. For artists in the USA, chaps. Deadline Feb 1st 2013.

Amberif Design Award. Polish competition to produce a ring in amber. Deadline Feb 10th, 2013

Haystack’s Open Studio Residency. Open to anyone who can get themselves there. Deadline March 1 2013.

Building Jewelry from Found Objects. I’m teaching a class in Pittsburgh at the SCC (I know, I know, how sneaky…) on the 2nd and 3rd of March, 2013.

Design Sans Frontières: Metal Artists In Collaboration. Two designers, one vision. One major clause – one of your pair must be a member of the Metal Arts Guild of Canada. Due March 15th 2013.

Artist Blacksmith Association of North America – first ever convention. Lumpkin and Columbus, Georgia. March 15-17 2013.


**disclaimer – please check all dates for veracity, and watch out for time zone shenanigans**

The kiln finally speaks

Melissa is working on her kiln, but the kiln is working on her too…

Few dramas with the new kiln. At this stage it likes to function only when on a lean. TurboNerd has been contracted to look into it, with the first attempt suffering from a bit of mis-diagnosis. Tonight we hopefully will come up with the goods.

In the mean time, I did manage to fire some test pieces on Monday. Yes, this if from a steel (tin) can. It’s a great material! And chickpea salad makes a great lunch…

Melissa Cameron - enamel sample, 2011. Liquid enamel on steel shim.
Melissa Cameron - enamel sample, 2011. Liquid enamel on steel shim.
Melissa Cameron - enamel sample, 2011. Liquid enamel on steel shim.
Melissa Cameron - enamel sample, 2011. Liquid enamel on steel shim.

Anamika got me onto this material while I was in Bristol. She kindly let me keep a couple of her samples. I think they’re beautiful.

Anamika Vijayaveeraraghavan - enamel sample, 2011. Liquid enamel + porcelain slip on steel shim.
Anamika Vijayaveeraraghavan - enamel sample, 2011. Liquid enamel + porcelain slip on steel shim.
Anamika Vijayaveeraraghavan - enamel sample, 2011. Liquid enamel on steel shim.
Anamika Vijayaveeraraghavan - enamel sample. Liquid enamel on steel shim.

Day 18 in Bristol

The photo-journal of Melissa’s final day in Bristol.

Curtains for me…

On the newest building on campus, the one that now serves as the main focus at the entry points – either by foot or via road, there is a neon sign which reads (their capitals):


Looking at it now makes me miss the lack of punctuation. On first appraisal it reminded me of a Ben Folds song Not The Same, and the old maxim that everything you do – or don’t do – changes you. That train of thought made it seem a little naff; in that someone would choose to have so obvious a text serve as the introduction to a cluster of campus buildings, especially at an art school.

And yet…

As I was driven out of the car park today for the last time by Jess I stared at it pretty hard.


Curtains for Elizabeth…

Elizabeth is now in the throes of cleaning out the enamel research studio at UWE. Her position has been made redundant, and without her in enamel research, there is no-one to fire the big kiln, so it will close. She will take her enamels, her work, and her knowledge away with her.

She, and everyone in the studio, has been working hard to finish up Antony’s commission, and Anamika (the last artist-in-residence, from Chennai) left Bristol early in May. Elizabeth and Jessica hope to set up their own studio in the near future, and as for the immediate future, Elizabeth will be teaching at Penland for the summer.

Meanwhile, I’m in the market for a kiln.

Day 17

Day 17 in the Centre for Fine Print Research in Bristol. My second last day…

This morning I’m late in – yup, out collecting more washers. The studio shifts in my brief absence. There’s wall-to-wall artists in here throughout the day, starting with Roger right next to me. Later he’s replaced by Carol, and later still, by Peter Daglish.


Day 16

Day 16 in Bristol, Melissa is up to more shenanigans with enamel and enamellists.

We’re on the home stretch of my Bristolian odyssey. Day 16 and I’m still in the studio, working on my latest hoard of washers. I’ve finally caught Antony, he of the large cooker panels. He also happens to have an interest in hexagons, so later we bond over their architectural and jewellery potential. Ergo, me photographing him as he shoots my pieces;

Antony photographs my works-in-progress. We're all papparazzi in this studio...

As for me, I’m trying to average 100 freshly coated and fired washers a day. Yeah, that’s loads of washers…

What Antony was taking a photo of... More washers!
More trussed washers, fired - foreground section has a second coating of a beautiful GREEN!

Peter Skubic

Peter Skibic. Melissa finally gets IT.

During Schmuck this year, on Friday the 18th of March to be specific, a retrospective show of Peter Skibuc’s work opening at the Pinakothek Der Moderne in Munich. I went along, dragged by Jessica and Elizabeth as they found me skulking around the Italian’s show (about to head to the hotel to drop my shopping – Helen Britton catalogue etc – and have dinner accompanied by a stiff drink…) while they were en route to the Museum.

Turned out it was just about the best show all day. (I did see eleven shows that day, so I’m restraining a little cos I can’t remember all of them…)

It really was/is a great show. After standing amongst his sculptures that were all mounted on head-high plinths as if they were jewellery, then bending down to see his smaller recent works, I had an epiphany. I finally ‘got’ his work. I’d studied his stuff before (planes of precision cut stainless steel strung on stainless cable… How could I not?) but pictures on the internet and seeing the many pieces being worn by collectors that night, and of course the many more on display, are two completely different things.

And then Bettina Dittlmann enlightened us on the colours he uses. He thinks like an engineer, so the colours have to have a system. You can’t  just choose them on a whim, I hear you ask? Of course not! So, you come up with an alphabet of colours and probably shapes too, I’m guessing. So the use of a colour is dictated by the spelling of different words. What words? Well, Bettina informed us that somewhere in the collection is a brooch that spells her name. Awww. Wonder if he’s ever done a Melissa?

The video in this post was found on the Panie Przodem blog. Very cool.

Day 15

Still hanging in Enamelleing area of the Centre for Fine Print Research at the University of the West of England in Bristol. Still enamelling washers, but also having a go at an enamel transfer. This is where a screen print is made of your design in a special enamel + paint medium onto a thin layer of paper-backed plastic. You take the print, on its paper substrate, and submerge it in water briefly. This loosens the gum that sandwiches the two layers together, so that you can slide the plastic layer off the paper, and with some of the gum still on the plastic, you can move it about a little until it settles neatly in place on your object. That’s the theory…

It’s handy to keep the paper layer nearby, in case your piece of plastic loses its tack. You can then gently slide the paper under the plastic layer again to deposit a little more damp goo. Essentially you’re back where you started, but since you’ve just practiced the whole process, with luck you’ll make a better fist if it the second time around. Sound like I’m talking from experience? Yeah…

First transfer on mug - straigtening continues...
Positioning transfer with paper backing still in place. This will be repeated...
After initial firing - plastic gone, but text still vulnerable until 'proper' firing (over 750°C)

And well may you ask “Melissa, why mugs?”

Buh-cause Studio Fusion is having a show in honour of this year’s royal nuptials entitled “Two Mugs”. The British have a long tradition of commemorating such occasions with the release of thousands of “collectors edition” crockery and homewares.  And in homage to that tradition, everyone in the enamel studio, and a few outsiders besides, were making decals to put onto a mug for the show. Some were political – £5,000,000,000 being the amount of money lost in productivity for the bank holiday that the nation will be enjoying/enduring on the wedding day, others funny – a royal garter versus a brides lacy one or ‘Zara & Mike’ – the ‘other’ royal wedding of this year (Zara Philips – another grandchild of Her Maj will also marry this year, but whose ‘big day’ is getting lost in the princely hubub), while some mugs were just plain nice. Mine was attempting to be political/funny, but as it’s the only with a clear Australian perspective in the bunch I’m thinking the point might get lost…

I wish I could name all the artists. I know that Matthew Partington did the Zara&Mike and the £5,000,000,000, and that Anamika and Cathy’s were in that bunch, but that’s about it. Sorry to all the artists for not taking names. (Please feel free to email me with work credit details.)

Speaking of Cathy, she brought in her work to show today:

Cathy's enamelled brooches - silver, copper, enamel, thread.

And Anamika set out more of hers;

Anamika shows off her latest - enamelling on her metalworking, and to the right, copper pieces using copper firescale as the green colouring agent

And me? I spent another day wrestling with the massive sandblaster and my comparatively tiny washers.

Yet another hoard of washers
Yet another hoard of washers: sandblasted


Melissa in Edinburgh. The red-head finally sees the home of her ancestors 😉

Waaay back on March 25th I flew from Bristol to Edinburgh, and arrived just in time for a Friday night on the town. Alice, an MFA student from Edinburgh College of Art, organised drinks in the Grassmarket with a bunch of other jewellery students and the odd architect, writer and architect/writer. We had great chats and I was treated to some palm reading and local dance moves before they kindly deposited me back at the hotel when the pub closed.

I wandered around and through the Castle the next day, and on Sunday I caught up with The Justified Sinner (aka Dauvit Alexander, maker of jewellery and lecturer in same) for a trip around the city itself, which meandered, amongst other places, into a car-park flea market and the National Museum of Scotland. The market was brilliant, I scored a few great pieces (of the usual tin-and-coaster variety), and the displays in the museum were pretty amazing too.

Like in Milan I was really impressed with this exhibition design, and the willingness to alter the mood of the place with the architecture in favour of, or even deference to, the works on show. It wasn’t always the case throughout the museum, but I thought it was really noticeable, and of considerable benefit, in the few key areas that it was done.

Also at Dauvit’s suggestion I popped into Greyfriars Kirkyard on my way past. I’ve since learned it’s supposed to be the most haunted place in Edinburgh. Luckily I didn’t come out with any new bruises…

The next day I headed into the Edinburgh College of Art to meet some of the students and give a lunchtime talk on my practice. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to chat with the really talented and dedicated students – and staff – all of whom gave me a warm welcome.

Day 14

Melissa is still in Bristol, this time she shows off what Anamika has been up to. And a bit of her own stuff too.

Anamika spreads out her works to date. Well, most of them, I think… She still has a few tucked away. It’s a curated spread, shall we say?

Most of these are mixtures of enamel – white mostly, with graphite. Yup, the humble  stuff of pencils. It does great things to enamel.

like moon craters, for instance…

It creates bubbbles during firing, after which Anamika has stoned many of these pieces back (rubbed them with an abrasive stone, designed for this purpose, thought more often than not, actually a diamond-coated abrasive pad) to create the crater-like surface.

the first section of her works on square material
the second half - all these works vary between copper and steel substrates
Copper circles; many utilising transparent enamel with just the natural changes that copper undergoes during firing.

Meanwhile, the washers continue. Managed to fire 100 of them today with the grip coat (an undercoat that allows enamel to stick to mild steel better than a coat of regular enamel) and 10 with a coat of a lovely emerald green over that. The green coat is very thin so the green coated washers come across as a hint of green over the dark grip coat. The green comes through more if a coat of white is applied first. I did that with one, but decided I preferred the darker version.

All of this was done by 3pm, when I rushed home in preparation for my trip to Edinburgh.

this hoard the result of yesterday's collecting
Prepare to be blasted!
colour! washers from throughout the week
a curated pile photographed at a jaunty angle