Going to Greenville

Sovereign Body/Contested Body. Stainless steel, titanium, vitreous enamel, 2017

That title sounds like a John Darnielle song…

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.

Deconstruct/Reconstruct

It’s taking me a few years, but I’m finally going to the annual East Carolina University Material Topics Symposium – entitled Deconstruct/Reconstruct – in January. It’s going to be amazing – the list of speakers and break-out presenter list is incredible! Am I just saying that because a bunch of my friends are going to be talking and I’m really looking forward to catching up with them all?

Of course not!

Where else are you going to see Mike Holmes reveal what he learned at Velvet da Vinci, and Andy Cooperman lecture and deliver a break-out on tool tips, or have the beautiful Matt Lambert deliver a break-out session? And then back it up with the vivacious Jina Seo and Harlan W. Butt! And this is me cherry picking – I don’t want to leave out the inimitable Judy Stone… Or Lisa Klakulak! Seriously – look at the list and the exhibitions too. And, hey, if you’re lucky, I might also have a few things to say 🙂

See y’all in Greenville.

Enamel workshop and talk – next week

HEAT II in stainless steel, vitreous enamel and titanium, 2016. Image of the wall work and brooch, as installed at Arrowmont.

There’s a day or so left to register for my upcoming workshop in Oakland next week:

Enameling Recycled Steel for Jewelry and Objects – a workshop with Melissa Cameron

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!

Radiant Pavilion x Shared Concerns

For those of you visiting Melbourne for the upcoming Radiant Pavilion festivities (on the map we’re stop 53, on the Collingwood/Fitzroy border), and of course all of you locals, please consider yourself invited to the opening of Shared Concerns at Bini Gallery from 5:30pm on Friday the 25th of August.

This opening of the show is very special as it will see a record attendance of participating artists at the opening – we will be joined by our Victorian artists Jill Hermans as well as Caitie Sellers from Richmond, VA in the USA, and me! I’m so excited to see everyone in my beloved second home city, I just can’t wait! Hope to catch you there 🙂

Plate Glass Exhibition

Plate Glass opens next Monday!

The opening celebration will be on Friday the 4th of August, the first night of the Enamelist Society Alchemy4 Conference at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I’ll be there to open the show and see the other enamel exhibitions that are simultaneously on at Arrowmont, including the 16th Juried International Enamel Exhibition, in which I happen to have a couple of work, as well as attend the conference.

Why Plate Glass? Well, I was asked to curate a show early to mid career artists for the conference, so I invited artists from all over the world to show off their talent and skills in the enamel medium by working on the same simple canvas – a plate!

The invited artists are:

Nicolette Absil
Alicia Jane Boswell
Susan Buchanan
Kat Cole
Katie Collins
Danielle Embry
Laura Eyles
Aurelie Guillaume
Annie Gobel
Steffi Götze
Naoko Inuzuka
Kaori Juzu
Rachel Kedinger
Inari Kiuru
Mio Kuhnen
Zachery Lechtenberg
Camilla Luihn
Sharon Massey
Lindy McSwan
Marissa Saneholtz
Samantha Skelton
Demitra Thomloudis
Jen Townsend
Claire Townsend
Leah Wadey
Kate Wischusen
Hsiao Ai Wang
Aurelia Yeomans

and they have each excelled themselves in this exhibition. Come along and see the shows, and if you’re about next Friday, please say g’day!

Enamel Class – September

Coat hanger experiments, 2012. Steel, vitreous enamel, silver solder

The Center for Enamel Art in California has invited me to lead one of their Radical Enameling workshops, so I’m headed to The Crucible in Oakland from the 6th – 8th of September for:

Enameling Recycled Steel for Jewelry and Objects – a workshop with Melissa Cameron

Got a hankering to try out some experimental enameling? Join us to find out how straightforward and un-fussy enameling can be. We’re going to work on all types of steel – including that which we find on the street – to make beautifully enamelled jewels and objects, with the addition of porcelain enamel that will be applied in its liquid form.

I always look forward to these classes because of the way people surprise themselves when confronted with a medium that can be used in such diverse ways; behaving like watercolor, spray paint or even sand. Its versatility enables each maker to leverage their mastery in traditional materials – say even pencil and markers – and then make permanent the results by literally baking them on.

And hey, it’s in “beautiful, downtown Oakland, California!”

(Thanks to Roman Mars of the 99% Invisible podcast for being the indelible voice in my head for that line 😉 )

Steeling myself

Image of a Resist neckpiece (that spells 'resist' in binary) in stainless steel and vitreous enamel. Photograph by Melissa Cameron.
Body/Politic – Resist neckpieces, collage. 2017

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!

UK people

And those willing to travel, here’s an opportunity for you to see me amongst some incredible speakers next month:

2020 Visions

ACJ’s 20:20 Visions Conference 7 – 9 July, Sheffield 

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.

xx m

SMG and the Wawona

Wawona – Pixel by pixel, 2017. Wawona wood, titanium, stainless steel

Launched in 1897, the Wawona was the largest three-masted sailing schooner ever built in North America. The ship was used to haul lumber up and down the Pacific Coast and used in the Bering Sea codfishing trade. In 1970 the Wawona became a National Historic Site and she was the first ship in the nation to be listed on the National Register. In 2009 she was deemed too expensive to restore and was demolished.

Come and see what the Seattle Metals Guild have done with the pieces of the ship that were not made into the huge sculpture by John Grade at MOHAI (that’s the Museum of History and Industry for all y’all not in the PNW [Pacific North West – and yes, I did that one to be facetious 😉 .])

The exhibition opens at Northwind Arts Center May 6 – 5:30 pm

701 Water Street, Port Townsend, WA
Thursday – Monday, 11:30am-5:30pm
Tuesday – Wednesday, Noon-5pm
360-379-1086

May 4 – 29 | Opening and closing dates
May 6 – 5:30 pm – Opening Reception and Art Walk
May 7 – 1:00 pm – Art Talk
See Klimt02 for more teaser images, and the Northwind Arts Center page for extra info.

5 years

Australia and the USA from the Coat Hanger series, 2012. Recycled steel, steel, vitreous enamel.

St Patrick’s day; the middle day of 3 straight days of anniversaries, for me. From the image above I think it’s easy enough to guess what happened to me on the 17th of March 2012. My life, my work, everything changed. But, one can say that about every day that we get to share on this planet. For me, this last 5 years has been full of days like these.