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 😉 )


Monday – Gun Day

Monday is the day Melissa searches for the guns that killed the first 60 people in the United States in 2017.

Another Monday, another chance for the Department of Homeland Security staff to enjoy my ‘colourful’ internet search history. (Thanks to for reminding us that all legal US immigrants are now denied the protection of the First Amendment – you know, the one about free speech.)

But lets get this protest back on track, eh?

Emory Sharod Lewis was shot at around 1am on January 1st, 2017. He was found outside Andrew’s Discount Market. Two weeks later a 19 year old suspect, Branden Prioleau, was arrested. At this stage I can’t find conviction information, so I assume he is awaiting trial. Charleston City Paper reports that Lewis was shot with a .40 caliber round. Regular readers will not be surprised to find out that the .40 caliber is a round for a semiautomatic pistol. Turns out the .40 was developed by Smith and Wesson in 1990 to go into a pistol as the FBI wanted to phase out revolvers as they were too slow to reload but wanted to keep a minimum ammunition size (= payload) to stop the intended recipient.

The .40 caliber was developed by Smith and Wesson, and as it turns out that we’re up to the S&W M&P in our sequence of alternating pistols, so allocating the Default Pistol 2 to this crime is apt.

Default Pistol 2 – S&W M&P

Luz Rosado was shot around 3:45am in Hartford, Connecticut by her friend Ulises Robles, with a “black handgun”, according to the Hartford Courant. I can’t find any details of the Robles conviction, but he was arrested after a police officer, who happened to witness the argument that preceded the shooting, chased him on foot. As for the weapon, the Ruger SR1911 (Default Pistol 1) I originally drew (true fact, I inserted in my Autocad file as a reference raster image) was a black model.

Ruger SR1911 – Default Pistol 1

This next one hurts.

Regina Hernandez, 5, was shot and killed by 34-year-old Fidel Rodriguez-Canchola after he began firing shots into the ground outside to celebrate the New Year when the girl came out and walked into the line of fire. The weapon, a .22 caliber revolver, was retrieved on the other side of a fence at the location while the suspect made his way on foot. Once found, he was charged with, “Criminally negligent homicide, a class A misdemeanor.” according to the The News Courier.

He pled guilty to that crime in February, for which he faces a maximum of 1 year in jail. Once arrested for the shooting there was trouble establishing his credentials. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were called in and it was established that Rodriguez-Canchola is an illegal immigrant, and thus was ineligible to hold a fire-arm legally. He was then arrested for the federal crime of illegal possession of a firearm with a maximum 10 year/$250,000 penalty. (Reporting from WAFF 48, an Alabama-based NBC affiliate.) He was due to be sentenced on the federal charge, to which he also pled guilty, on October 12th, but I have found no more information about the outcome.

Ruger Single Six .22 revolver

This is gun #15. I’m a quarter of the way there.

One month residency opportunity

Residency opportunity: iAir 2018: Montana State University International Artist in residence

I know, the publicity department here gave up a while back, but I promised a friend. Plus this one looks so good I’m finding it hard to resist applying multiple times under pseudonyms and never telling a soul. Gabbing about it here is just insurance against my own worst nature. You’re (kinda) welcome.

Application fee $35 US, due March 10th.


Some highlights:

iAIR 2018: Montana State University School of Art International Artist in Residence


To foster an environment of international artistic exchange while providing a rich working experience for the artist to practice and grow.  The School of Art strives to cultivate a dialogue between the national and international art community and the community of Bozeman, Montana.  The iAIR program at the School of Art is supported in part by the Beulah Glaze Waller Endowment.

Residency Details:

Residency Dates: Monday, October 1, 2018 – Monday, November 5, 2018

Exhibition Venue: Helen E. Copeland Gallery, 213 Haynes Hall, Bozeman, MT 59718

Exhibition Dates: Install will be Saturday and Sunday, October 27th and 28th

The incoming flight will be scheduled for arrival in Bozeman on Monday October 1, 2018; departure flight will be scheduled on Monday, November 5, 2018.

MSU School of Art provides:

Roundtrip airfare to Bozeman, pick-up and drop-off at the airport, housing/utilities, office space, materials assistance (up to $250.00 USD), program administration, and a general stipend of $1000.00 USD ($900.00 upon arrival and $100.00 as room deposit will be given to the iAIR upon completion of the residency.)

Plate Glass – Seattle opening!

Afternoon tea at Fancy? Don’t mind if I do! Come for the plates, stay for the tea!

Nicolette Absil – Krinkled Peony Saucer, 2017

You are cordially invited to join me and Sally, staunch patron of the arts here in Seattle (and not to mention gallery owner), for afternoon tea tomorrow from 2pm. Come sip and munch delectable treats surrounded by beautiful art, in the freshly landscaped garden of delights that is Fancy, at 1914 2nd Ave, Seattle.

With exquisite treasures on show (such as the work by Nicolette Absil, pictured above and Steffi Götze, below) there will be something to surprise and impress even the most winter-weary residents of the Emerald City.

Do come!

Steffi Götze – Raum. 2017

For those who simply can’t tomorrow, the exhibition closes March 10th.

Monday – Gun Day

Mondays is when I look up the guns that killed the first 60 people in 2017. All these people died on Jan 1st, 2017.

Bushmaster XM15-E2S with bayonet affixed

Y’all hoped that was it for today, huh? But I owe you an AR-15, with a bayonet, from our last ‘episode‘.  I was not aware of the difference between a carbine, a mid-size and a rifle, but now I have learned. It has to do with the size of the gas system that allows the propulsion from the firing of the weapon to be recycled to expel the spent jacket and chamber a new cartridge. Simple, yeah? Anyway, as it happens, the AR-15 that I drew from my Gun series of works appears to be a carbine.

And now the image that was the basis of that work has been ‘modded’ to include a bayonet. I found an image that had a similarly-sized carbine with bayonet affixed and I’ve made my own Frankenstein’s monster of a gun/bayonet combo, because, well, I wanted the continuity, despite what might be perceived by purists as an inaccuracy.

I’m an artist. I’ll draw what I want to.

See you next time for another drawing of a gun, or several. I’m going to have to speed this up, I’ve got a lot more of these to get through.

Hammer time

My work for the Artist Trust Auction, coming up later in February.

Point Line Plane brooch iv, 2013

You can touch this. If you go to the Artist Trust auction (Saturday, February 24, 2018 at the Fisher Pavilion, Seattle Center) you could even win it! The menu is up and the artist works already online look good. Just sayin…

And on now:

I am very pleased to have my work Ruchnoy Protivotankovy Granatomyot (or RPG) in this exhibition, which, as the exhibition media tells it, “drew over 1,000 submissions from 8 countries around the world. Juror Perry A. Price selected 70 works for exhibition at the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center including works from 27 states in varying media including metal, wood, plastic, ceramic, fiber, glass, and mixed media.”

31st annual Materials: Hard + Soft International Contemporary Craft Competition & Exhibition
Meadows Gallery, Patterson-Appleton Arts Center
Opening Reception | Friday, February 2, 6 – 8 PM (Artist Awards at 7 PM)
February 3 – May 5, 2018

Recognized as one of the premier craft exhibitions in the country, Materials: Hard + Soft began in 1987 and was originally initiated by area artist Georgia Leach Gough. Now in its 31st year, the exhibition opens to international artists as we celebrate the evolving field of contemporary craft and the remarkable creativity and innovation of artists who push the boundaries of their chosen media.

Yep, pleased as punch!

Plate Glass – in Seattle

Plate Glass on tour – a show I curated of enamelists who each worked on a plate at my request. See it in Seattle soon.

The Plate Glass exhibition opens next Saturday in Seattle. The opening celebration is on February 10th, from 2-5pm. Our full dates are from February 8 – March 10 at Fancy, 1914 2nd Ave, Seattle.

I may have promised somewhere to speak around 3pm, but I really don’t intend to. I’ll just be chatting all afternoon. Please come say hi!

Nicolette Absil, Alicia Jane Boswell, Susan Buchanan, Kat Cole, Katie Collins, Danielle Embry, Laura Eyles, Annie Gobel, Steffi Götze, Aurelie Guillaume, Naoko Inuzuka, Kaori Juzu, Rachel Kedinger & Eleanor Anderson, Inari Kiuru, Mio Kuhnen, Zachery Lechtenberg, Camilla Luihn, Sharon Massey, Lindy McSwan, Marissa Saneholtz, Samantha Skelton, Demitra Thomloudis, Claire Townsend, Jen Townsend, Hsiao Ai Wang, Kate Wischusen and Aurelia Yeomans.

We have seven new works (yup, that’s over one quarter of the show) that did not appear at the last outing at Arrowmont, because Seattle is Special. Or, maybe it’s because our artists are so amazing that we sold a quarter of the show in its first iteration. Take your pick 😉

Enamel me

Seeking enamel news – please!

Corporeal Body, 2017

Oh no, Freudian slip – email me!

(I’m just repeating myself to the German speakers…)

The Enamelist Society (TES) would like to know what’s going on in the wider world of enamel, and somehow Anne Havel has roped me in to write a little something for their newsletter. That’s where you come in, with the whole email-me shenanigans.

If you in an upcoming enamel exhibition, or have enamel works in an upcoming show that you don’t think I’m familiar with; if you have you seen a cool collection that you’d like to share with the greater world of enamelists; or if you are leading a workshop, or doing a residency, or are in the know about some enamel event that needs more media coverage, then…

Drop me an email!

Include details, dates, images (with artist and photographer captions at the very least) and other relevant info, and I’ll personally add your secret spices to the gumbo that is the TES newsletter. And I’ll email you back, though probably not until within a week of the next first-of-the-month deadline.

enamel (at) melissacameron (dot) net

☝ add the @ and the . and lose the spaces. obviously.

Monday – gun day

Another Monday with more guns, more people dead. Researching a new work, online.

There’s been a bit more time for research today, and  have been trying to get to stop at a point with a new gun introduced into the chain (beyond my alternating default pistols), but we’ll see if I make it that far.

First up, 31 year old Gregory Clark was killed by a “handgun” at 1:52am on January 1, 2017. A person named Charles Hundley (47) was arrested over the incident, which occurred at a New Year’s Eve house party. I could find nothing beyond handgun, so this shooting will be attributed to Default Pistol 1.

Ruger SR1911 – Default Pistol 1

Kyle Androsky, 21, was shot and killed outside Third Base Bar in Superior, Wisconsin. His brother, David (27), was also shot in the chest but survived. A man has been taken into custody with having a firearm whilst on probation, but was not charged with the murder. With no information about this gun, aside from the bullets being found, this one is going to Default Pistol 2.

Default Pistol 2 – S&W M&P

Jeffrey Gooden (60) was killed just before 1pm when attempting to break up an argument over a girl, identified as his daughter, not wearing shoes while outdoors. The matter escalated quickly with gunfire exchanged. He and a fellow resident of Riverview Park Apartments were shot. The other victim drove herself to hospital and was expected to make a full recovery, one of his daughter administer CPR, but he was pronounced dead at St John Medical Center. I found no gun details, while the police were making pleas for two men involved to hand themselves in for questioning. Default Pistol 1, again.

Ruger SR1911 – Default Pistol 1

Here’s one that I’m just not sure should be on the list, but since the gun Violence Archive deems it so, I’m going to stick with it.

Twenty year old Juan Legarda Jr. was killed in Rapid City, South Dakota. A 26-year old man, Joseph David Rich, was charged with first degree manslaughter, for using a bayonet, attached to a firearm, to stab Legarda, and two others. The others, Trevor Chief Bear and Bradley Randall, resulted in an additional two charges of aggravated assault which were combined with outstanding warrants. Rich received a 10 year jail sentence after pleading guilty to 2nd degree manslaughter.

The bayonet is a tried and tested weapon, but is gradually falling out of favour owing to the fact that its original purpose was in infantry attacks, but it has become “a weapon of last resort” since World War II. From my research it seems they really are mostly a weapon for the military, though classic versions are traded by military enthusiasts. I’m going to use a drawing of the M9, which affixes to the ever-popular M-16 rifle. Given the M-16 is a version of the AR-15 by Armalite, made for the US armed forces, and I just happen to already have a drawing of another version of this weapon, the Bushmaster XM15-E2S, I’m going to reuse that image and affix to it the bayonet. Next week…

It’s been a long day of staring at weapons already.

This week’s openings

More exhibitions open around the USA this weekend.

‘Checking the Cost of Gun Violence’ by Harriete Estel Berman.

Imagine Peace Now continues it’s journey this weekend, opening on Saturday (or tomorrow evening if you’re among the artists or invited guests) January 20 – March 16 at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd. You can see my gun work, Resilience, there, but if you’re closer to the Metal Museum then perhaps you’d like to go see HEAT  at the Enamelist Society’s Alchemy 4 exhibition.


The opening reception for Alchemy4 at the Metal Museum will be Sunday, January 21, from 3PM-5PM. There will be a gallery talk given by the Director of Collections and Exhibitions, Grace Stewart, beginning at 4PM. The show goes from January 21 – April 29, 2018.