Hotting up back home

I hope you’re happy, Melbourne. You are being absolutely blasted with jewellery and related metalsmithing exhibitions right at the minute (and heat, so I’ve been hearing…) I’m not going to go into all of them, Karen Thompson over at Melbourne Jeweller takes care of that monthy so there is no need, but I will say that there is still time to get to the Monash MADA – Monash Art Design Architecture – end of year exhibition at the Caulfield Campus, as it closes on the 30th of November.

And speaking of both Monash and current exhibitions, I would like to wish a warm congratulations to Marian Hosking for her recent success, picking up the 2012 Cicely & Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award for her remarkable work Clearing. Thankfully this exhibition, being held at the NGV Australia, doesn’t close until the 21st of July next year so I may get a chance to see it!

Marian Hosking, Clearing, 2012. Mixed media. Image used with permission of the artist.

One more show that I just missed seeing while recently in Melbourne – because it hadn’t quite opened yet – is Melt at Hand Held Gallery in the city. I cannot heap high enough praise on the irrepressible Jill Hermans or the inconceivable Chloe McColl, so I will say it simply, just go and see it! Hand Held is at Suite 18 Paramount Arcade, 108 Bourke St, Melbourne. Open Tuesday – Saturday, 12-5pm.

New Deadline with Very Close due date

Just had this one brought to my attention. Here’s the listing, with a few extra details from their site:

Ketel One – The Modern Craft Project. In concert with Wallpaper* magazine, a bunch of exhibition opportunities as well as the chance to win $100,000. (Or 30,000 GBP to you…) Entries online for people 25 years or older, and due November 30th.

For artists in Australia, Brazil, Germany, United Kingdom and United States.

*** Can anyone in the USA get this site to work? At this stage it looks like (despite the bumf on the website) it’s only 4 countries, not 5. Hmmm ***

Aaaand we’re back

Melissa Cameron Point Line Plane Pendant XII, 2012. Stainless steel, vitreous enamel, 925 silver. Photo © Melissa Cameron.

The keen observer to this blog will any have noted my rather laissez faire attitude posting over the last couple of weeks. Turbo and I were back at “home” in Perth and Melbourne (Perth for family and wedding business, Melbourne for, well, Melbourne!) for a couple of weeks. There was jewellery involved – mostly for the bride, which did also include a little something blue that I completely forgot to photograph. While minimal so as not to interfere, the sterling bracelet did sport a number of stainless quatrefoils – enamelled blue of course.

While in Aus, and just before, I was able to replenish stocks of my works in Bilk gallery in Canberra as well as in artisan (m)art in Brisbane. For Artisan it has been a loooong time between drinks, which is completely my fault, but I hope those of you in Queensland can forgive me. These are all pieces from the new La Geometrie series (such as the piece above, currently at (m)art), which were first exhibited in Sydney at Studio 20/17 at the beginning of the year. Of course they still have a great range of works too in this and the previous The Sieve series. Speaking of The Sieve, Sterling at Gaffa, also in Sydney has a few silk-and-steel/titanium limited edition pieces also from this collection.

As for Melbourne, I’m sorry to announce that I am no longer stocked at e.g.etal gallery, but I hope to find a new space there soon. In the mean time I am taking commissions directly, of which the first is a very exciting opportunity I have been given for a ring and bracelet. More on that project very soon!

Bridge 12

Melissa Cameron, Flexoplast – After Elizabeth Turrell, 2012. Recycled painted mild steel, plastic beads (in the container when purchased), mild steel, stainless steel. Photo © Melissa Cameron.

As I have perhaps alluded to earlier, the Bridge 12 exhibition opened a couple of weeks ago at the Society for Contemporary Craft (SCC) in Pittsburgh. But what is it?

The Bridge are a series of exhibitions that showcase the works of three artists, by presenting three one-person exhibits simultaneously. They have been happening at the SCC for some time, so don’t let the coincidence of the Bridge 12 show happening in 2012 confuse you – the exhibition has run, biennially, eleven times before this year.

As it was explained to me by Kate Lydon, the curator, these are;

“one-person exhibitions that focus on contemporary artists’ ideas and their materials and follow the artists’ individual creative journeys as expressed through a body of their work. Artists who have been featured in the biennial Bridge Exhibition Series over the past 22 years include Tom Loeser and Stephen Whittlesey (wood), Dana Zamecnikova (glass), Mariko Kusumoto, Lisa Gralnick, Arthur Hash and Bruce Metcalf (small metals), Lia Cook and John Garrett (fiber), Robert Briscoe and Sergei Isupov (clay) and Kiff Slemmons (found materials) among many others.”

As in every year, the artists are from different fields. This year features myself along with Kevin Snipes, a ceramicist and textile artist Betty Vera. (An in-depth interview with Vera also features on the SCC blog.)

At this stage, having not yet seen the show (I missed the opening owing to other commitments taking me to Australia) all I can tell you about is what I have sent to go on display. A selection of my recycled object pieces, jewellery and altered objects that were made from 2009 right up until just a few weeks ago in 2012 are the main focus of my section of the exhibition. Separate to this there is a collection of supporting materials arranged together in a large, room-dividing case, whose inclusion is intended to go some way towards explaining my working process.

The ‘process explanation’ materials are there to illustrate how the works on the main exhibition floor came into being. Just over twenty objects are collected in this area, each of them purchased (or occasionally gifted to me) second-hand, over the last few years, with the intent that it would be used as the material for a new artwork. Not to put too fine a point on it, each piece was acquired because of how I envisioned it would behave once sliced up.

These objects were sometimes bought with a purpose in mind, but more often they were not. (The ones that were bought for a particular project have generally succumbed already.) Often they were the ones that stood out as having a lot of potential despite my mission to acquire a quite different piece. And because I tend to travel a bit, I have become fascinated by the availability of different pieces, (or ‘materials’ as I see them) in different places, so I now collect them along the way. In all cases the pieces now on display are objects that I haven’t quite got to yet. They are waiting for the right moment for me to study them some more, draw them a pattern and to begin their decon/recon/struction.

The second section of the support materials in the display case came about so I could illustrate the patterns that I draw for every work that I make. I have produced a 3′ x 8′ – 91 x 244 cm drawing, a sort of wallpaper, if you will, which contains almost every plan for every work (and a few that never made it out of the computer, or alternately, off the bench) that I have made since 2008. I produce all of my drawings using AutoCad, amassing them on a single virtual page so that I can pan across them and borrow forms from, or check dimensions of all my past works as I create new patterns. Thus the wallpaper is a print-out of my virtual brain. A brain dump! But arranged thoughtfully, of course. Using these many small elements the wallpaper has been planned as a larger pattern, and when multiplied it forms a repeat pattern to be wall-papered across the back of my ‘source case’ (an 8′ x 8′ x 4′ glass-fronted piece of joinery) several times over.

Also as a part of the exhibition each artist has a modest four-page catalogue with images and essay to accompany their works. The essay on my work, ‘Building on Ornamental History’ was written by Marilyn Zapf, formerly the Editor-in-Chief of the respected Unmaking Things blog. It is accompanied by several photos of the works and an abbreviated CV. I’ll hopefully be able to publish the full document up here soon.

What else is there left to say? I hope that if you are in Pittsburgh between now and March 30th 2013 that you will get to the Society for Contemporary Craft gallery at 2100 Smallman St post haste and let me know what you think of the show!

And for while you’re there I have created a jewellery related Drop-In activity as well as made available several sheets of my drawings for you and perhaps your friends/children to colour in.  And don’t forget that I’m teaching a class there in March! There will be more info on all of these projects here soon.


Turbo and I have been back in Perth for a wedding. I made this piece of cheese for the bride to sport at the hens party. I describe it as part Sex in the City, part rapper bling.

Deadlines November 2012

Upcoming opportunities to exhibit, learn or perhaps even teach, from all over the place (but mostly in Australia and the USA.)

Sienna Gallery: State of The Union. Share 5 of your latest pieces with Sienna GalleryNEW Deadline November 9th.

Indiana University Program for International Visiting Artist-in-Residence (PIVA): International artists are paid to teach for a term at Indiana University Bloomington. Entries open September 1st and close November 15th.

Ketel One – The Modern Craft Project. In concert with Wallpaper* magazine, a bunch of exhibition opportunities as well as the chance to win $100,000. (Not sure of what currency.) Entries online for ppl 25 years or older, and due November 30th.

Fabricated: Art Jewellery/Jewellery Art, Juried exhibition, online application. Due December 3rd.

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

Snag Exhibition In Print 2013 – Call for images of jewellery. Guest Curator Susan Cohn wants your images. One smart, one casual and one… well… your choice. Due Jan 15 2013.

SNAG 2014 Conference Presenters. Want to speak at SNAG? Due Jan 15th 2013.

Australia Council Early Career Residencies. They are what they say, and they offer up to $30K for artists and/or organisations. Due Jan 29th 2013.

La Frontera (trans. the borderlands). Exhibition about the US/Mexico border at Museo Franz Mayer, Mexico City and Velvet da Vinci gallery, San Francisco. Submission deadline Jan 30 2013.

Contemporary Australian Silver and Metalwork Award, the award/exhibition formerly known as Buda. This year it’s headed to the Bendigo Art Gallery after many years being hosted by the Buda historic home and garden in Castlemaine. Deadline Feb 1 2013.

National Humanities Award – Medal Design Competition. For artists in the USA, chaps. Deadline Feb 1st 2013.

Amberif Design Award. Polish competition to produce a ring in amber. Deadline Feb 10th, 2013

Haystack’s Open Studio Residency. Open to anyone who can get themselves there. Deadline March 1 2013.

Building Jewelry from Found Objects. I’m teaching a class in Pittsburgh at the SCC (I know, I know, how sneaky…) on the 2nd and 3rd of March, 2013.

Design Sans Frontières: Metal Artists In Collaboration. Two designers, one vision. One major clause – one of your pair must be a member of the Metal Arts Guild of Canada. Due March 15th 2013.

Artist Blacksmith Association of North America – first ever convention. Lumpkin and Columbus, Georgia. March 15-17 2013.


**disclaimer – please check all dates for veracity, and watch out for time zone shenanigans**

You’re invited!

The Bridge 12 exhibition opens this week at the Society for Contemporary Craft (SCC) in Pittsburgh. From their website:

Bridge 12 Opening Reception

Friday, November 9, 5:30-8pm

Solo exhibitions by nationally acclaimed artists Melissa Cameron (small metals), Kevin Snipes (ceramics) and Betty Vera (tapestry) join art practices outside the boundaries of contemporary craft with traditional craft media.

Showcasing three solo exhibitions, Bridge 12 will feature the saw-pierced recycled objects of Australian metal smith, Melissa Cameron; Jacquard tapestries by New York textile artist, Betty Vera; and ceramic vessels patterned with quirky, figurative drawings by Kevin Snipes. These concurrent exhibitions reflect the high level of craftsmanship being produced by contemporary artists in the U.S. and abroad today.  The series opens with a free public reception on Friday, November 9 from 5:30—8 pm, and continues through March 30, 2012.

The Society for Contemporary Craft is located at 2100 Smallman St, Pittsburgh, PA, USA (tel 412.261.7003) and they are open from 10 am – 5pm, Monday to Saturday.


Hurrah! Some news on the 2013 JMGA (Jewellers and Metalsmiths Guild of Australia) conference, Participation + Exchange, being held in Brisbane in July.

Amongst the few details available at the moment are, most importantly, the dates. Block out the 12th -14th of July, and two weeks (I’m presuming either side) for related exhibitions and masterclasses. Also of note, there will be a call for papers coming soon.

The Graduate Metal part of the site is also up and running, so if you’ve graduated from a metals program in Australia or New Zealand since the 2010 Perth conference you should head over here to find out how you can participate in this exhibition.

Deadline Extension

Just to let you all know, the Sienna Gallery: State of The Union deadline has been extended owing to the after-affects of Hurricane Sandy here in the ‘States. The October Deadlines post has been updated. For those of you who are interested I’ve been getting these updates via the twitterz, from @siennnagallery

What was the actual deadline? Let me share it with you now:

Share 5 of your latest pieces with Sienna Gallery. Deadline November 9th.

And since I’m here… Happy Halloween y’all!