love lace?

Melissa has made it into the Love Lace show, happening in 2011. Plenty of time left to procrastinate, eh?

So, back in April I entered Love Lace. I have just found out that one of my entries (yep, I entered several potential pieces – I was gallery sitting, what else was an unoccupied jewellist to do?) has been chosen to be exhibited. My proposal was based on making a pattern in the vein of my Red Tin Set out of the tin pictured above.

It’s an interesting tin, and I’m going to design a pattern that fits in with one, or maybe many, of the motifs already present. Hopefully it’ll be interesting…?


Melissa made a pair of earrings that look like hollow strawberries, which seem to have turned blue…

Friedrich told you, Father. We were berry picking.
I forgot! You were berry picking.
Yes, we love berry picking.
All afternoon?
We picked thousands.
They were all over the place.
What kind of berries?
Blueberries, sir.
Blueberries?  It’s too early for blueberries.
They were strawberries!
Yes, it’s been so cold lately, they turned blue.

here comes the…

Melissa made a brooch for her friend, the bride. Not ‘The Bride’ – Uma Thurman’s character from Kill Bill, but a different one, ‘k?

brooch I’ve been making for a friend.

and here was my first attempt at torch firing wet-process enamels…

not what I was going for, but interesting none the less. I made the rookie mistake of attaching the fittings first, so either way the enamel had to go.

and this is if you want to make one yourself!

part b – june 26

Who wants to see a Karl Fritsch show? Part B does!

We’re back out an about, and visiting Gallery Funaki again. This time we’re going to see Karl Fritsch’s show, Freeling.

It’s at the usual start time of 2pm, and will certainly involve coffee afterward, somewhere nearby.
As always, the more the merrier.

previous part b, and an even earlier edition…

world wide jewellery suppliers review project… phew!

Melissa updates the site, adds more content, and then won’t stop banging on about it in this post.

yep, here at the jewellist we’ve just undergone some minor renovations. Unlike most renovations this one was quick and painless, for which, as always, I gratefully thank TurboNerd.

The reno’s have allowed me to add another section to the blog site, which is aiming at the lofty purpose of ‘online collaborative project’.

Whass that about, then?

Well, I’m interested in creating an annotated list of jewellery suppliers. The aim is to collect information on their location, wares and any specific quirks, so that anywhere in the world one may go, one may lessen the hours otherwise spent hunting for jewellery tools. This list then, obviously, is only for places with an actual street presence. With a front door. (As opposed to a ‘portal’. Though I’m not opposed to a market stall, so long as the quest you undertook to find it is replicable.)

So I’m asking (please!) for submissions to help me reveal and review all of them. To add your favourite retailer, send me about 200 words, which includes the name and physical location of your chosen store, and I’ll pop it up in the WWJSRP section. (send to To kick it off, I’ve added my review of Twin Plaza Metals, in Melbourne.

(note to self; next time invent shorter acronym)

being crafty

Melissa sidesteps the craft-art argument, by using David Byrne as a shield and Marcus Westbury as a diversionary tactic…

David Byrne – yeah, him of Talking Heads fame, amongst other things – has weighed into the craft-art debate in his latest journal post. He has an interesting perspective, relating the debate to music, of course, and photography.

Now to spoil the very end of the post; his suggestion is to go renaissance and apprentice yourself to a master. It’s an interesting idea, especially in light of something I read on Marcus Westbury’s blog recently, Are volunteers in the arts exploited? The connection being that if you were to apprentice yourself to the person you really wanted to learn from, would you expect payment? I have been applying for funding to do just that – learn from a master- and I have not once thought that any fruits of my learning would be of such value as to attract monetary compensation from the teacher. To put it another way, I am seeking an unpaid apprenticeship.

All this is hot on the heels of a email I received yesterday, seeking advice on how to become a jeweller. Going by the questions put to me, to those with little knowledge of ‘art jewellery’, it would seem that an apprenticeship is the gold-standard learning model. (The ‘traditional’ poorly paid apprenticeship, that is – hello to my sister the furniture manufacturer!)

So we have agreement, as those outside art-jewellery think David Byrne is correct. To the apprenticeship! So why are there no artist-jeweller’s offering traditional/paid apprenticeships? Is it because of Marcus’s call to arms, which is essentially; why be exploited, when you can exploit yourself? Or does it come to another arm of his argument – there’s not enough money, not to pay you, anyway.


Melissa meets titanium wire. The first round goes to the titanium.

can you draw down titanium wire? yes, but it breaks, as per exhibit A, above.

I don’t like to go off half cocked, as it were, so as usual I did my research. Once again, Ganoksin lead the way with their post Working Titanium. I should be able to draw it down three times once annealed, it says. Hmmm.

The tension built up so much that by half way through my first pass the wire was shooting through in 5mm clumps before grabbing again, which made an interesting pattern on the metal (that looked like the sections of a she-oak leaf). By 3/4 of the way through, it was down to 2mm sections, and it was making a loud ringing noise as it went. It sparked as the end of the titanium passed through the plate.

I then annealed it, and every time tension built up again, it broke. After a three breaks, I re-annealed, taking much more care in getting it all glowing red. I finished that pass, and well, you get the picture. It would seem that work hardens to the point that you can’t finishing drawing a long length of it, but at least annealing and cooling is quick.

I started with 914mm of wire at approx 1.2mm diameter. I now have 1390mm in nine pieces, at sizes ranging from 1mm – 0.7mm. Still, I should be able to manage a few ear hooks with that.