joy in the little things

What is this thing, and why did we fly it 10,000 miles to ask it this question?

exhibit A:

So you can probably understand that by the time I got to the last box, incidentally marked ‘tea towels’, I thought that my jewellery tools, which I had asked the guys to wrap, hadn’t made it in the air shipment, and B, if they had, some of them would be in pieces.

Imagine then my surprise then:

when I pulled out from an unwrapped and unsealed box of tools at the bottom of the box, not one, but two saw frames, with blades still tensioned. I’m ready to roll!

(has anyone seen my removable bench pin?)


Sunshine Coast Art Prize – closes tomorrow!

Just got an email about this one, so apologies that it’s a little last-minute. Still, could be worth it for all you Aussie residents:

Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2012 closes 31st March

They have 2D and 3D categories, and quite a few prizes.

BTW, for those looking at putting work forward for the Jewel Book, I was encouraged to use wetransfer to email files to them. Shoot me an email if you can’t find an address for them.

Studio News

Melissa is in Seattle! Now what happens?

Yesterday I began researching studio spaces in earnest. Not long into the process, after reading about several types of studio spaces online located all around the city, I ran into Activspace. Having heard about them from a few people I really wanted to see one, as most people I had spoken with had decried their less-than-romantic architecture. Of course being an interior designer… well, you know.

In my travels I also had heard about, which I then found online, a local gift store that sells jewellery, and who also rent out space. At this site, and at the Activspace one too, I saw the same name pop up, which made me inquisitive. Why was she not renting at Venue? Upon seeing her website full of beautiful work, I noticed a reference to a ring made for ‘Mum’. Hmmm.

After some more investigation, I took a punt and sent off an email to local jeweller Amy Bixby. She is a Seattle resident, who originally hails from New Zealand. She kindly agreed to meet with me, and soon after welcomed me into her beautiful and tidy studio space to chat about the ins and outs of studio rental in Seattle. She was a wealth of studio info, and also gave me tips on Seattle business rules and the details of stocking and working at Venue. They have a great system where if you agree to work for them regularly, they will up your commission. Clever.

After this adventure I went and purchased two lights at Glazers Camera, which is conveniently located a 5 minute walk from our apartment. It also happens to lie between the apartment and Amazon’s offices, so I had a little help lugging the gear home.

These are the first in a list of replacements that I’ll be getting in the next little while. I usually had my lighting rig set up at home so that I could photograph works on the weekend and because my studio was just too small (and meaty perfumed/dusty). Until I have my studio I can’t really start ordering the bigger items but at least having the lights makes me feel like I’ve progressed.

And should we happen to have a party here in our Aussie ghetto I’ll be able to light up the place like the MCG!

Upcoming Deadlines

A smattering of upcoming deadlines

Jewel Book closes 1st April.
This is an opportunity that was emailed to me, but on the website it looks like an open call-out… The publishers seem new to jewellery, but I have it from a friend in the industry that their books seem reputable. More info here: JewelBookEMAIL

Contemporary Art Society of Victoria Brooch Show closes 20th April

The Year That Was 2006 closes 27th April

City of Hobart Art Prize closes 1st May


Oh, and from a previously mentioned Deadline for Hardware Store Jewellery, an image of my work Alternate Strung Anchors has just gone up over at Art Jewelry Magazine’s website. And it turns out that my piece is up there with a work by Dauvit Alexander (aka The Justified Sinner), a friend of mine from Glasgow.

Jewellery Unleashed!

Jewellery Unleashed! The Symposium.

There was this amazing symposium recently, I have just found out. And part of the awesome was a presentation by Ben Lignel. I can’t remember where I got the link from (so very sorry, but I started watching the clip earlier in the week whilst jet-lagged, and didn’t finish it til last night, and in the intervening space I forgot where it came from) so my heartiest of apologies if it was you. Anyway, the presentation itself gives much food for thought. Interesting times.

Jewellery Unleashed! The Symposium – Benjamin Lignel from Premsela, The Netherlands Inst. on Vimeo.

Seattle Suppliers

Melissa’s review of Seattle Findings. A jewellery supply store. What else?

So, on Monday I went into downtown Seattle and managed to find Seattle Findings, the local tools and supplies shop. It’s wonderfully close to Facere Jewelry Art Gallery (in the neighbouring building) and very easy to access from the street, and is in the main city block close to busses and not too far from the Seattle Streetcar line and light rail. (Streetcar = tram. From now on I will call it a tram just for old time’s sake)

The shop itself looked sparse (but maybe that’s cos I’m used to Koodak and AJS), there were all the basics of course, and a few small benches for sale, as well as some basic flexi-drives and a fair few ultrasonic cleaners. Drill bits and saw blades are hanging on a wall for customers to access and investigate, and they have a counter filled with silver findings, and another with gold-filled products. (Gold-filled, such a misleading name….)

In keeping with the long-standing American tradition of mail-ordering goods, (the self-same fascination which has ultimately brought me to these United States) I was told early into my encounter with the lovely sales assistant (a recent graduate jeweller, or jeweler as we call them here) that they can deliver all goods, and in fact, with direct shipping, some goods are cheaper when ordered through their online store and delivered direct than they are if you buy them in store.

I was specifically worried about the delivery of chemicals, and to my pleasure I found that they have Sparex, and that between all the different postage types – they can specify land delivery only – that they could probably deliver direct or keep them in store for me to collect if I preferred. I left her with the task of finding an equivalent for Tenacity in her range of chemicals, though I’m thinking it might be accessible online. I’ll have to check…

I was also told that a gas and oxygen setup is quite easy to procure, from my local hardware store. Oxygen from the hardware store? I know, smell the freedom. (This is yet to be proved, I’ll keep you posted.)

So in all, without actually buying anything, I’d have to give these peeps a pretty high rating. The staff were helpful, knowledgeable and courteous, and so I would definitely recommend them for the basics, though I think the list of findings might be a little limited. I’m going to hold full judgement til I actually order something, so no word yet on how many sets of pliers.

Stay tuned…


Melissa just moved to Seattle. Watch the blog become a travel diary…

So, for all of you playing at home, I have just moved house, from leafy and warm Balaclava in Melbourne, to an apartment in grey and chilly Seattle. That’s only a temporary description of the weather mind, I expect spring will come calling any second to change all that.

Back in December 2011 I mentioned the places where a jeweller might find a bench to rent if she were to find herself in a tight spot in Seattle – namely needing to work, with no place in which to do it. I’m not there yet, as I was busy making for an upcoming show in Japan right until the week before I left (at which point I had to deliver some tools I sold to new owners. Hey, if you’re one such owner, please say hi to your new electricity munching machine from me!) Thus far I have been happy to get over the move, celebrate my wedding anniversary by looking at houses to rent and figure out how to grocery shop here. All important things.

I have had a mo to also check out the local jewellery supplies store, and in the name of my World Wide Jewellery Suppliers Review Project, I’ll give you a brief description of my experience. Tomorrow 😉

Last look

Melissa’s latest solo exhibition closes this coming weekend in Sydney. Check it!

Check it!

My current exhibition ‘In Geometry I Trust’ closes at Studio 20/17 this Saturday. If you can forgive me saying it, I think it’s pretty good. What I mean to say is, I’m proud of it. I hope you like it too.

Melissa Cameron, 2X, 2012. Stainless Steel, vitreous enamel, 925 silver
Melissa Cameron, Crosshair Axis, 2012. Stainless Steel, vitreous enamel, 925 silver
Melissa Cameron, Prallel Planes II, 2012. Stainless Steel, vitreous enamel, 925 silver
Melissa Cameron, Coded Planes, 2012. Stainless Steel, vitreous enamel, 925 silver
Melissa Cameron, Parallel Planes I, 2012. Stainless Steel, vitreous enamel, 925 silver

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.