SNAG 2018

So much to see and do at the SNAG conference this week, but try these for starters!

For those of y’all headed to Portland for the SNAG conference, here’s a few things I’m involved with that I’d love for you to check in on:

1\ Crossings

See works by SMG and CMAG members at Crossings in the Pearl District

Crossings is a combined show of Portland Creative Metal Arts Guild (CMAG) and Seattle Metals Guild (SMG) members. Come check out the best of the Northwest!

It’s on at: Annie Meyer Gallery
Wednesday 23r​d​ May-Saturday the 26t​h​ May
12-5:30pm and during Gallery Crawl – 5-8pm on Thursday
120 NW 9th Ave Ste 102, Portland, Oregon 97209

The Crossings show explores the intersection of diverse disciplines, processes, and media. Artists were encouraged to work across craft boundaries such as incorporating ceramics, wood, or glass. Collaborations between artists were also encouraged. This show represents a cross section of our metals communities and a wide variety of styles and materials will be represented, including jewelry and sculpture.

It’s the only exhibition I’m involved in that’s in a real gallery, so please get out and support it!

/ / /

The rest are a part of SNAG’s own Adorned Spaces, which runs Thursday, May 24th, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm and Friday, May 25th, 10:00 am – 8:00 pm at the conference venue: Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront, 1401 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR.

2\ (Un)common Interest

Curated by (and including) Sharon Massey, it showcases: April Wood, Ben Dory, Kat Cole, Jim Dunn, Michael Dale Bernard, Jessica Tolbert, Maia Leppo, Lynn Batchelder, Melissa Cameron, Sarah Holden and Michael Hull. Need a hint as to why we’re all together in this one? We all like to work in STEEL! (who doesn’t?)

See in rooms G,H and I next to the main ballroom that is hosting all of the presentations.

3\ In Touch

Katja Toporski and Anja Eichler’s co-curated exhibition from Munich Jewellery Week, In Touch, is getting a second outing just for SNAG, and I for one am very pumped to finally see it! And see it I will, long and often, as it is kitty-corner (don’t you love Americanisms?) from the Plate Glass show, in Salons C + D, on the same level as the main SNAG presentation venue!

This time it will feature one of my award-winning social unit works beautifully arranged, as I (and the universe – I did not invent the signage from which it takes its form,) originally intended.

…hopefully… There’s a lot to get done that afternoon, folks, because…

4\ Plate Glass

is having it’s 3rd and final outing in the USA. I’m making the display equipment out of cardboard, while coordinating the object drop-off for my current container-to-jewellery barter scheme (which is ultimately to complete the Monday-Gun Day project) which means I have also been able to add to the design a handy place to stash all the containers I receive from you this week!

Please consider helping out with the swap project if you can (forward it on to those distant cousins in Florida, why doncha? – or if you are at SNAG, I’ll have self-addressed padded envelopes for you to pick up to help you mail me something in return for your jewel), and definitely come and see this show. It’s received rave reviews in its two previous incarnations, and I think this is the best display yet! (Or it will be when I finish it…)

Phew! And if you’re chillin around these parts often, (and coming to P-town this week) you might recall I mentioned that it was my birthday couple of weeks back. The hottest rumor is a combined Seattle-peeps birthday celebration on one of the nights… Come say helloooo and get the skinny.

Can you help?

Searching for containers from specific places in the USA – to be made into art!

*** UPDATED June 20th***

containers from my collection

As I promised last week, I’m back in the US from Australia, where I was celebrating my 40th birthday with my family!

And now I’m here, I have a favor to ask:

Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with my series of posts, entitled: Monday – Gun Day, where I have been cataloguing the weapons used in each of the fatal shootings in the US on January 1st, 2017. (There’s more intel as to why in this post.) Thanks to the incredible resources of the Gun Violence Archive I’m almost through the research phase – in which I made drawings of all the guns used in fatal incidents on that day – and I’m ready to start making.

I was going to used objects – containers specifically – that I had to hand, but now that doesn’t feel right. I have objects from all over the place – I’ve picked them up in my travels throughout North America, Australia, Asia and Europe. And that is the problem. The rate of gun violence, as we are now almost constantly being reminded, is unique to each country. So using objects from other places in a project referencing gun violence in the USA doesn’t ring true.

So I suddenly find myself in need of containers from a specific list of places. Fifty-four places, in fact. And if you have a friend or relative in the area, please feel free to pass this along.

This is where you come in. If you happen to live in one of the places listed:

Send me a container to become a permanent part of this artwork, and I  will send you a limited edition jewellery piece in return.

I sense your next question: “Container, what kind of container?”

Practically anything accepted – well washed food tins, plastic milk containers or even a yogurt tub, I don’t mind. Upcycle or re-gift me, please! I love a thrift store find, or new things from grocery stores or markets – I seek and find all over. Wood too! I just need to be able to cut or saw-pierce a motif into it, so not too thick, but most materials accepted. (Preferably not stainless steel – the best way to check that tiny, cute but essentially useless colander you have is with a magnet. I love magnetic steels – I’ll cut them for days – but if it doesn’t stick it’s probably regular stainless.)

Map from the Gun Violence Archive – Interactive Map

I’m looking for a single container (though multiples needed in a few places) from each of the places listed below. Or, if you own a souvenir item from one of these places, that you are willing to part with, I would gladly accept it. (And yes, I do consider ashtrays, coasters and trays containers, too. See image at top for a portion of my current stash.)

Logistics:

1/ Get in touch – blog@melissacameron.net

  • Please be in contact before you send something, to make sure I have not yet received anything from your place. I only need one container from most of this list, and so I’ll work on a first-come, first served basis.
  • If you happen to have an item in mind, please email me a photo of the container I can used for planning. I will also add your object as ‘pending’ on my list for others to see.

2/ Send the item (to arrive by  June 20th, 2018)

    • to:

Melissa Cameron
2212 Queen Anne Ave. N. #412
Seattle WA 98109

  • Naturally, include the place name of the object in the packaging, as well as a name/address + email contact to ensure you get your jewel

3/ Jewels shipped in August

  • stay tuned to the blog for developments of this very special limited series.

*** List of places still remaining – June 20th update***  (and updated printable list of Places June 8 – this includes all the maybe’s – if you are in a place that I have only a maybe commitment, please get in touch!):

State City Or County
Alabama Birmingham
Georgia Allenhurst
Georgia Moultrie
Illinois Rockford
South Dakota Rapid City

Yes, it’s like a Kickstarter but instead of cash, it’s local objects being turned into jewels. A barter-kickstarter, if you will. Please pass this along, and lets come together and make some art!

 

Queries? Please email me: blog@melissacameron.net

Seattle – Enamel Classs

THIS WEEKEND! And one in June…

Image of a Resist neckpiece (that spells ‘resist’ in binary) in stainless steel and vitreous enamel.

Come hang out and do some Liquid Enamel for Steel and Copper with me at Pratt in Seattle this weekend! Why? Because enamel on steel is a unique process in the enamel world, and I’m not bad at it – see above* –  and, because opportunities to come spend time playing with me in the mighty USA are quickly running out.

I already put this news out on the socials (look at me, writing like the kids talk), so apologies for the duplication, and also I’m sorry if this is brand new to you, (it may not be the most sympathetic forum to tell y’all) but… We’re moving back to Australia in October.

Which makes this the second last opportunity that US folk have to join in a workshop with me while I’m still a full-time resident. I absolutely intend to come back and visit everyone, but getting working visas and employment authorization have only become more difficult the longer I have lived here, so who knows when I’ll be able to do this again.

The final weekend workshop I have scheduled is on the weekend of the 16th-17th of June at Danaca Design in the U district of Seattle. There we’re going to concentrate on Enameling Recycled Steel for Jewelry. That class will be some of the same, but also a little different since we’re going to walk the neighbourhood to find some of our materials on the street – basically duplicating how I tend to live my life. I’ve been working up the courage to take this risk with a whole class for a while, so I hope I’ll have a few courageous souls who’ll be interested in trying it out with me 😉

But same goes for this weekend! If you’re in the area and have ever thought “Hmm, an enamel class sounds good, but I have to do my Spring cleaning – I’ll get the next one”, maybe… you know..

 

*Enameling and firing steel chain has some quirks, so there’s a few tricks and tips that I’ve figured out in my practice that I’ll be sharing. And of course it comes along with all the usual info, much of which crosses over into all forms of enameling.

MJW/Schmuck week 2018

I’m not going, but about 18 of my closest steel and titanium and enamel and silver and gold friends _are_!

fuck□this□president□and□the□regime□he□rode□in□on, stainless steel, vitreous enamel, titanium. 2017

This is one of my works that will feature in the exhibition In Touch, curated by Anja Eichler and Katja Toporski, taking place in the week we like to call Munich Jewellery Week (we’re #61 on their map) beginning this Wednesday in beautiful Munich.

Our list of artists is really impressive: Anja Eichler, Catarina Hällzon, Lore Langendries, Moniek Schrijer, Anneleen Swillen, Katja Toporski, Mallory Weston, and of course me, Melissa Cameron.

The show is on at – »Verein für Originalradierung« Ludwigstrasse 7, 80539 Munich
Opening Reception: Wednesday, March 7, 2018, 5 – 9pm
Opening hours: Thu – Sat 10am – 7pm, Sun 10am – 2pm.

Please go along and say “G’day!” to Katja and Anja for me, and congratulate them on pulling this whole wonderful thing together. They’ve done an amazing job at artist-wrestling and installing. [Insert rapturous applause from Seattle.]  And if you are in Munich – and I know who some of you are already – stay warm, and have a whale of a time!

Smitten Forum

The one in which I talk about going to the Smitten Forum in Jan of this year. It was ace. Reminiscing continues within, with pictures.

I talked up my participation in Smitten Forum briefly before it happened. And then it happened from the 27th of December until the 3rd of January, at Ghost Ranch (yes, of Georgia O’Keffe fame) in New Mexico. And I’ve been meaning to share it ever since. So, what is it? Well, it’s the brain child of two jewellers Sarah Brown and Marissa Saneholtz, who, from what I can tell, are best buds with complimentary admin skills. They like to work and holiday together, so while they’re at it, they gather a group of wonderful beings at a different location each year to join in working and playing together for a week. This year’s crew was: Sarah Perkins, Melissa Cameron, Bryan Petersen, Cappy Counard, Cheryl Rydmark, Tanya Crane, Rebekah Frank, Anika Smulovitz, Don Friedlich, Laritza Garcia, Leslie LePere, Hannah Oatman and the two aforementioned heroes Marissa Saneholtz and Sara Brown.

Our rag-tag team of local legends and talented artists from all over the country (and, it has to be said, one random from Australia via the PNW,) got together, cooked up a storm and enjoyed a wonderful creative week  – that is if you weren’t one of our number downed with the super-flu and confined to quarters for most of the week. There was relative isolation which added to the atmosphere, though there was the obligatory patchy wireless internet and cell/mobile phone reception and we were only a 15 minute drive from the local store. We weren’t completely slumming it, and we were just one hour or so from a fancy resort with hot springs… Of course we went! Well, some of us 😉

I took the opportunity to gather scraps from my studio (nails Turbo pulled from sundry pieces of furniture in the basement when disassembling obstacles to the team who put in the french drains last year, washers found on the street and offcuts from my latest chain series, for example,) and sandblast them before I left. Once there, when not hiking and photographing, I was able to enamel them thanks to Sarah who lugged her kiln across the country. With this strange array of bits and pieces I created a bunch of little meditations (or sketches if you’re feeling more generous) on a theme of realignment and repair. The parts formed new coalitions (in the coalescence sense of the root word), aided by their recently acquired visual uniformity. I have plans for all the metal I magpied (past participle of magpie, v: to pick up shiny [or often rusty] discarded objects in the street) while in Marfa, TX, last year, and this was my attempt at a trial run. I could not resist the local soil though, so that became a feature too, as did a few rocks “sampled” on a hike.

It’s a really special place. If you ever have the opportunity to go, leap at it. I believe it operates as a summer camp that has art and jewellery classes. And certainly don’t equivocate if the super-duo Marissa and Sara ever get in touch.

We were all smitten.

(You’ll have to ask Sara and Marissa who I stole that last line from 😉 )

 

Going to Greenville

Going to Greenville, NC. Flight got delayed, so I’ve got a little more time on my hands than originally expected…

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

East Carolina University Material Topics Symposium – entitled Deconstruct/Reconstruct – is going to be a blast. See you there!

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

Melissa will be enameling and talking about enameling for all comers in Oakland next week. Come along!

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

Shared Concerns is opening at Radiant Pavilion in Melbourne on the 25th of August. Come meet 3 of the artists!

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 at Arrowmont next week!

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!