Joyaviva continues its journey

Joyaviva- A show featuring new collaborative works between Melissa and Jill Hermans amongst many others, has reached Sydney and opens soon (July 2012)

Following on from the Melbourne showing earlier this year, JOYAVIVA: Live jewellery from across the Pacific is now going on display at the UTS Gallery in Sydney from the 31st of July until the 31st of August 2012.

from the latest invitation;

Jacqui Chan Brooch from Host A Brooch in action, 2011, cable, silver

Curated by Kevin Murray, Joyaviva: Live Jewellery from across the Pacific is an exhibition of beautiful, potent objects that recover the power of jewellery in our world.

Made by a new wave of jewellers from Australia, New Zealand and Chile, each of the pieces on display is ‘alive’ as a device for sharing hopes and responding to our fears – ranging from threat of earthquakes to success in a school exam. Created from diverse materials, these objects link people together – transforming private wishes into shared stories.

Melissa Cameron, Jill Hermans, Caz Guiney, Maryann Talia Pau, Jin ah Jo, Blanche Tilden, Alice Whish (Australia)
Jacqui Chan, Ilse-Marie Erl, Sarah Read, Gina Ropiha, Areta Wilkinson, Matthew Wilson, Katheryn Yeats (Aotearoa / New Zealand)
Guillermina Atunez, Francisco Ceppi, Analya Cespedes, Carolina Hornauer, Massiel Mariel, Angela Cura Mendes, Valentina Rosenthal, WALKA STUDIO (Chile)

Level 4, Peter Johnson Building, 702 Harris Street, Ultimo, NSW, Australia
Open Monday – Friday 12-6pm

Joyaviva: Live Jewellery from across the Pacific was shown at RMIT in Feb 2012. It will be touring to Objectspace Auckland (NZ), Santiago and Valparaiso (Chile), Jalsuri Foundation (Bolivia) and Mexico City, Mexico
Joyaviva is a project associated with the Ethical Design Laboratory, a research area of RMIT Centre for Design. Supported by the Council on Australia Latin America Relations and Creative NZ

I got to see the first incarnation of the exhibition in Melbourne in February 2012 and I’m actually very interested to see how it comes together in a different venue. The Part B crew and myself had a discussion that centred on the perceived robustness of the colouring and display devices in the RMIT gallery. Touring exhibitions are a rare beast, and have very different design parameters to one-off shows, especially if you are keen to keep an exhibition such as this – which has so much ephemera connected to the displays – in line.

I was actually gifted with one of my own pendants – a Battery Backup piece – when I attended the artist talk for the exhibition back in March. I arrived promptly at 12:55 pm for a session that I soon found out had started 55 minutes earlier. Whoops! In my defense, I was just 2 days off flying to Seattle having packed all of my belongings into a large shipping container in the preceding two days. I wore the work all the way to Seattle, and took it off on my arrival. I now see the piece often, as it lives in my bedroom, but I rarely wear it. It somehow seems tainted with the chaos of that week…

For more stories about what happened to the pieces we made, please check out our C3 project blog.

Given my current (lack of) proximity to Sydney I guess I’m going to have to wait for some images or a review to find out what the show looks like now. Might I suggest, if you’re interested, please update me in the comments!

Once More, With Love

Once more, with love, opening very soon.

The Once More, With Love exhibition, curated by Suse Scholem and Simon Cottrell opens next week at Studio 20/17 in Sydney.

Suse has put together a great website for the show, that will be updated with images of the pieces in the future. Perhaps more importantly she has put up links to a lot of compelling reading in the Resources section of the site. Here you can read up on the issues to find out why she was so passionate about bringing the Ethical Metalsmiths concept of the Radical Jewelry Makeover to Australia, which culminated in this exhibition.

In keeping with the ideas of the exhibition there is a lecture being given next Tuesday, with the opening celebration to follow on Saturday.

“Cause and effect: is there such a thing as sustainable practice?”

Tuesday 31st July 6 – 7:30pm (6:30pm start)
Featuring: Suse Scholem, Sean O’Connell and Dr. Karin Findeis
with Simon Cottrell and Zoe Brand  on hand for questions and panel discussion.

Spaces are limited so please RSVP to for this free event, by Friday July 27 2012.


The exhibition itself opens on the 31st of July also, so if you’re so inclined you can pop in before the lecture. It features works made from recycled jewellery pieces as collected by Suse and remodeled into new jewels by:

Zoe Brand, Melissa Cameron, Sarah Carlson, Simon Cottrell, Anna Davern, Sian Edwards, Karin Findeis, Susan Frisch, Jill Hermans, Alison Jackson, Tassia Joannides, Julie Kiefel, Ali Limb, Vicki Mason, Regina Middleton, Sean O’Connell, Suse Scholem, Vicky Shukuroglou, Ute Roeseler , Melinda Young, Mark Vaarwerk.

And of course you can check it out over a glass of bubbles at the opening celebratory drinks on Saturday:

Once more, with love
31st July – 18th August 2012
CELEBRATION DRINKS – Saturday 4th August 4-6pm

Please head along to see these one-of-a-kind works by this diverse array of artists.

My previous posts about the concept, the acquisition and sorting of materials, my materials and the start of making my piece.

Enamel on Steel – some insights

Enamel on steel. Give it a whirl!

I’ve been compiling a list of notes about enamelling onto steel, based on questions that I am commonly asked by students. Now, I’m by no means an expert on the subject, but I’ve had a bit of experience, so I’ve decided to devote a page on this blog to the topic. Please let me know if you have any more questions or further suggestions of what I should cover in this section. Thanks!


Part B goes to Sydney!

Part B goes to Sydney with Oh Opal!

If you’re in Sydney today please go say hi to my mates (and/or their jewellery), all from the Part B collective. They’re up from Melbourne and at Studio 20/17 for the second launch of the show Oh Opal!

They’re having celebration drinks from 4-6 pm at the gallery, with further details (and some images of the wonderful installation) on the Studio 20/17 site, as well as the Part B blog.

If you do get along, please say a big warm ‘Hello!’ to the Particles and the Studio 20/17ers from me!

no, my work didn’t travel. My piece was a bit of a let down, so it fulfilled its obligations in attending the first show, but was thereafter retired…

Badges & Buttons, Waistcoasts & Vests

Melissa heads to San Francisco for an opening that includes her works at Velvet da Vinci gallery

As promised earlier, me and Turbo hit San Francisco on Friday arvo just gone for the opening of the B&B, W&V exhibition at Velvet da Vinci gallery.

It’s a great show, the works are by turn interesting, punchy, engaging, beautiful and thought provoking, and the installation is a credit to Mike, Elizabeth, the specially created hangers (by Tom) and the gallery. It’s a wonderful space, huuuge in jewellery terms, and with that allows sensitive display of all types of works in its diverse yet cohesively presented array of cabinets.

Works by:

Dail Behennah, Michael Brennand-Wood, Stephen Bottomley, Ken Bova, Melissa Cameron, Jim Cotter, Susan Cross, Robert Ebendorf, Beate Gegenwart, Caroline Gore, Jane Harrison, Gretchen Goss, Arthur Hash, Thomas Hill, Timothy Information Limited, Basil Kardasis, Felix Lindner, Megan McGaffigan, Trish O’Hara , Matthew Partington, Maria Phillips, Marissa Saneholtz, Marlene True, Elizabeth Turrell, Jessica Turrell.

It was great to catch both Mike and Elizabeth again after our rendezvous at Touchstone last month (ooh, looks like I forgot to post about that – consider this reference a teaser…), and San Francisco really turned on the charm for my first visit.

If you’re on the facebook you can like some more images here, or follow Elizabeth and Mike on the twitteh.

Deadlines July 2012

Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. Get into it!

Current deadlines. Get amongst it! **(see blow for changes)

Woolahra Small Sculpture Prize – Does not say that applicants have to be Australian, and it’s the first year you can pay with PayPal. However, you do have to provide your own postage in both directions. Closes Friday 20 July, 4:00pm AEST.
[ Julia deVille and I were in this exhibition last year… Go jewellers!]

The Bascom – American Crafts Today (Yup, USA only) Juried exhibition with cash awards for best works, due Jul 21st.

Santo Foundation: Individual Artists Grants 2012 – International grant/prize, due July 31st.

Creative Australia – New Art/Creative Development – An AusCo grant for Australian artists, due August 1st.

**Lark Books – Showcase 500 Necklaces – Another publishing opportunity from the famous 500 line of books. Applications due August 1st

Re-Fresh – Juried exhibition at Brooklyn Metalworks, artists must pay transport both ways, due August 12th.

Skills and Arts Development – Residencies – Visual Arts – This was how I got to go to the UK for my residency. Due August 20th.

The Aesthetica Art Prize – International art competition in the UK includes money, exhibition and publication for the winner(s), due August 21st.

ArtStart – AusCo award for emerging arts professionals. Get one! Due September 20th.

Suspended in Pink – International artist call-out. Pink works wanted for juried exhibition to tour Birmingham, Munich (during Schmuck ’13) and the US. Deadline September 21st.

Art Jewelry Forum – Emerging Artist Award 2012. $7500 + a show at an AJF member gallery, for the best emerging artist. Won last year by Farrah Al-Dujaili. Deadline September 30th.

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

*Details are a little thin. There was no exhibition this year (apparently due to poor entries?!) but in 2011 there was an exhibition and prize of a 2000 Euro voucher towards rental of a booth at Inhorgenta 2013 awarded to Kim Heejoo (who I was lucky enough to meet while I was in South Korea last year). In 2010 Erin Keys and I were in the exhibition, and there was no prize. Our works travelled for over a year, appearing in Florence, Inhorgenta Munich and in Poland.


[disclaimer – please check all dates for veracity, for only a fool would rely on my tiny brain…]


** Fresh edit as of July 18th: Word to the wise, I had trouble submitting my application in Firefox, but managed to get through it all in Safari.

A new space is born

New blogs, shenanigans afoot on Melissa’s website, and more!

I’ve been blogging the shenanigans of getting my new space together, but as I see now, that ain’t nuthin. In the time it’s taken me to get a space and fill it, Jill Hermans has built her space and populated it with her tools. Check out the action at her new blog, a space to create.

While we’re on the topic of new sites, Mel Miller (whose artist talk is today if you’re in Sydney-town) via her blog gave me the heads up about Bin Dixon-Ward‘s new website.

And since I was in the mood, if you check the right-hand-side of my blog, you will see a few new names and even categories of links added to my collection. If I’ve not found you yet (and if indeed you care…), please send me a link.

Badges Buttons Waistcoats + Vests

Melissa made a few badges for a show in San Francisco. It’s party time in California!

The Badges Buttons Waistcoats + Vests exhibition opens next week at Velvet da Vinci jewellery gallery in San Francisco. If you go to that first link, you can see some images of the pieces I have made that will be in the show.

The exhibition is curated by Elizabeth Turrell and Robert Ebendorf, and includes jewellers and artists from the US and the UK:

Dail Behennah, Michael Brennand-Wood, Stephen Bottomley, Ken Bova, Melissa Cameron, Jim Cotter, Susan Cross, Robert Ebendorf, Beate Gegenwart, Caroline Gore, Jane Harrison, Gretchen Goss, Arthur Hash, Thomas Hill, Timothy Information Limited, Basil Kardasis, Felix Lindner, Megan McGaffigan, Trish O’Hara , Matthew Partington, Maria Phillips, Marissa Saneholtz, Marlene True, Elizabeth Turrell, Jessica Turrell.

What am I doing in that list? Well, I’ve just managed to sneak into this one as a US artist, though I was invited into the show by the UK based Elizabeth, on behalf of the US curator, Mr Ebendorf.

The long-winded name alludes to both the genesis and the topic of the exhibition. Elizabeth and Robert both are interested in, and frequently make, badges/buttons as a part of their separate practices. Following on from the exhibition The Enamel Experience: International Badge Exhibition that Elizabeth curated, and which toured the US  in 2007,  they decided to have a combined US + UK artist show.

The subtle differences between US and UK terms for the same objects are the reason for the double naming of the show, as in the United States a button adorns a vest, while in the United Kingdom a badge adorns a waistcoat.  (I think I have that right?!) The concept is that each artist adorns their chosen waistcoat with one or several buttons/badges brooches (!) and the whole ensemble is displayed

As for my work, the waistcoat was sourced from a second hand store in Fremont, about  a 10 min walk from our house in Seattle. The pieces were hand-sawn in some slightly beaten up recycled mild steel that has scratches through the paintwork, that I’m reasonably sure came from some old cable-concealing skirting boards at Monash university in Melbourne. The lettering is Century Gothic font (that one’s for you Rameen :)) which I worked to get the joins so that the lettering itself would be sufficient to keep the piece together. But why lettering and what’s with the message?

My artist statement:

The lexicon of the badge is specific and short. Short also describes the length of words used, sculpted to convey maximum meaning in mimimum space. The work BanStopSaveFightSolve interrogates the didactic language at play in badges, using terms that have had broad cultural significance (take Ban the Bomb and Save the Whale as two prime examples), as a way of investigating how meaning is conveyed through this format. Plesanteries are dispensed with, as is nuance or subtlety, when a sensitive issue is boiled down to an abrupt word-symbol. The meaning is thus re-sized, not for the benefit of the message, but to be appropriate for wear.

I am exhibiting six pieces, a single large magnetic brooch affixed to a waistcoat making up the piece BanStopSaveFightSolve, as well as 5 separate smaller works, Ban, Stop, Save, Fight, Solve, each of which is also in mild steel and magnets. The five smaller pieces will be for sale for immediate take-away during the exhibition.

I will be traveling to Velvet da Vinci gallery in San Francisco (2015 Polk Street  San Francisco CA 94109) to the opening of the show, so if you’re in the area on Friday the 13th between 6 and 8pm, please come down and say hi! (As a hint, I’m likely to be the only female Australian in the room.)

The exhibition runs from July 11th until August 26th, and will tour to the Society of Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh later on in the year.

Melissa Cameron. Ban 2012. Recycled painted mild steel, plastic-covered magnet.

Blast from the past

Melissa has a studio. Again. All of it, well, except for the Sparex…

compressed air – yeah yeah

Big thanks to those of you who carefully studied the image in my last post and thought to yourselves “Oh ho ho, Melissa, that will never work!” but decided to keep quiet about it. Well, turns out we managed to figure it out ourselves, eventually. Upon receiving the new bushing I ordered in the last episode, I realised that I was gong to need one extra connecting nipple, and possibly more importantly, that the filter would probably not work on the 90° angle that it was being tilted on, due to me inserting the elbow BEFORE the filter rather than AFTER it.

So with some more reconfiguration, and after sending Turbo to the hardware store one last time… (we said that every previous time) I now have compressed air. Hurrah! Sixty gallons of it, in fact. Compared to the 55L (or 14.5 gallons) of my last compressor, that’s a lot of sandblasting time. Did you hear that, Jill? Imagine using the blaster and not having the compressor cut in for a whole 5 minutes, as opposed to the previous setup where it was churning constantly, right next to you. And then throw in, like I did on Friday, having enough power to use the kiln and the compressor AT THE SAME TIME. Ye gods, what will they think of next?

So this week I’m gearing up for a huge week of making as I can now say that I am officially back in business. Phew, at long last!