sawing continues solo

I’m still live-streaming from the studio Monday – Friday, 9am-ish till 5pmish, minus lunch time. This was to be the first full week of our current routine, in which my colleague Susannah Kings-Lynne joins in the action on Mondays and Fridays for 5 hours per day.*

But even before we could begin our uninterrupted week the routine was broken, due to our cautiousness over the new COVID-19 lockdown put in place in Perth last night at 6pm. We’ll reassess before Friday, but today it’s just gonna be me grinding away at the sheets of steel.

For a preview, here’s last Friday morning’s stream. If you skip in about 1hr and 25 mins you can see our inaugural 10:30am race, where I challenged Susannah to see who could get through a set length of sawing first ūüėČ

Friday 29.1.21, morning session

Hit the live-stream through this link if you want to see the latest. (Having posted this I’m now running late so look for me after 9:30am WST today..!)

* I started the project midweek and I’ve had some time away from the bench with summer holidays, ergo no complete Mon-Fri as yet.

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Live stream playlist

Hey Jan Smith! This one is for you.

Playlist for the 13.1.2021

So far today there’s been Miz Cracker – She’s a Woman!! and some You’re Wrong About – which I’m about to go finish. See you here in about 3 mins ūüėČ

(BTW: If I’ve included an apple podcasts link above it’s only because the content makers haven’t got a stand-alone web page about the show – they’re all on many networks.)

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Do you like to watch?

before – the source of the steel for this project

If your answer to the above question is yes, come join me in my studio for the next six or so months. In this link (click on the Live Stream link – if it’s there, I’m in the studio) you can see live footage of me as I work on hand sawing a piece from a few 3m x 82cm sheets of custom orb steel.

I am now live-streaming on weekdays from my studio, as I work on my largest work to date, thanks to my partner and wildly overqualified technical assistant Bruce Cooper (previously credited here as TurboNerd), and my funding partner, the Department of Local Government, Sports and Cultural Industries in Western Australia. The finished work is destined for exhibition at the John Curtin Gallery at Curtin University as a part of IOTA21: the first Indian Ocean Craft Triennial, opening September 2021.

So if you’re tired of all the usual options:
a/ you have no need of boiled water
b/ your grass is in hibernation
c/ you can’t possibly bear witness to any more paint drying‚Ķ
come take a peek into my studio. And if you’re not in the mood now, don’t worry, this one will take some time (that’s kinda the point) so feel free to check in later.

Solsticefest 2020

stratton star, 2009. vintage powder compact, stainless, 925 silver

Hi! How are you doing?

We’re getting pretty deep into Solsticefest 2020 over here. I hope you’re keeping calm, cool, warm and light where you are.

This is just a note to say that we’re here, we made it, and that is worth celebrating, so I hope you will, in the ways that you can right now.

Expect a big (as in both long and large) project starting here very soon, with a significant online component.

I’ll be inviting you all into my studio, to contemplate time with me.

Until then, stay safe, and seek and hold the joy.

xx m

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Perth holiday party

melissa cameron, plated powder case triptych II – brooch, 2011.

Fellow Perthlings,

You’re invited to join me in my studio to toast the holiday season this Friday or Saturday afternoon. Get in touch for the details.

DM on insta or email jewellery @ the above web address ūüėČ

xx m

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Bilk. Tomorrow (or today if you’re sneaky!)

image courtesy Bilk Gallery

10 days ago I wrote about the upcoming Full Circle show at the *New Bilk* just outside Canberra. I mentioned that it would have a simultaneous online and in-person opening on the 21st of November.

Well, if you sneak over to the Bilk website right now you can cop a look at all the works destined to be officially “opened” tomorrow. And if that weren’t enough, if you take a shine to a work you can go buy it in the shop, too!

OK, on closer inspection that first link does say that pieces will be available to purchase online from 12 noon (I’m assuming Canberra time) tomorrow, so maybe don’t take my word as gospel….

But please, one way or the other, see the show. There’s such a beautiful and diverse richness to this collection, and once again I’m proud to be amongst such a talented and thoughtful group of makers.

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NAIDOC Film Fest

I’m a bit late in the run to be sharing this, but after doing the Reconciliation Film Festival earlier this year I’ve been once again enjoying the Fan Force TV format to watch the NAIDOC Film Festival.

Like the earlier lockdown-proof film festival, all films have a question-and-answer sessions after each screening with community members involved in the making of that film. Everyone who speaks brings such insight to the film, be it a documentary or scripted piece, which obviously enhances the understanding of the contexts and content, especially useful for these films as they don’t get a tonne of other media hype.

There’s still a few films to go and some re-screenings are planned so if you have the time and the cash (far cheaper than the movies for a subscription that can play for the whole family) I really recommend it. There are a lot of First Nations films on the platform in general that you can see at any time, so if you haven’t managed to catch In My Blood It Runs or The Australian Dream as yet, that’s a place to see them, too.

For my international friends, NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee, and NAIDOC week has a long history here in the place now known as Australia, located on the unceded sovereign lands of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the Traditional Custodians of the lands, waters and seas where I live and work.

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CRACK!

India de Beaufort – Crack

Crack by India de Beaufort is my new jam.

While it’s not ovah-over (heeeey Georgia), and the crazy spinning of the current guy is veering ever steadily out of the boundaries of credulity, (but just within those previously outlined by the craven despotism that has marked his tenure for it to not surprise ANYONE) there has to be a moment, however tiny, of grace.

To celebrate the win.

There’s been so many, so, so many losses. We gotta celebrate when we can.

Crack is 2 mins and 33 seconds of pure celebration. Warning – it’s addictive..!

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Full Circle – Bilk Gallery

melissa cameron circle pin, square pin, 2020. steel, vitreous enamel

Bilk Gallery has completed a Full Circle. The gallery space is once again connected to a workshop in a beautiful rural setting 10 minutes out of Canberra.
Our first exhibition will showcase new pieces from; Brenda Ridgewell, Carlier Makigawa, Chris Bahng, Cinnamon Lee, Claire McArdle, Daniel DiCaprio, Helen Aitken-Kuhnen, Johannes Kuhnen, Julie Blyfield, Kath Inglis, Larah Nott, Linda Hughes, Marian Hosking, Melissa Cameron, Mio Kuhnen, Nick Bastin, Sean O’Connell, Taweesak Molsawat and Vicki Mason. 
Please join us for the opening weekend on the 21 and 22 November 2020 11.00 am to 5.00 pm.
Following the opening weekend the gallery hours will be Friday & Saturday 11.00 am to 5.00 pm or by appointment until the 20 December 2020.
Purchases made during this exhibition can be taken home on the day. The exhibition will be made available online and pieces can be purchased through the website for those who cannot make it to our new space.
This will be a masked event, with disposable masks and hand sanitiser available at the gallery (and social distancing). The new space has a beautiful garden area and weather pending, there will be seating and tables outside.  We ask while it might be a rural property, please do not bring your dogs as we have dogs of our own.
Please RSVP via gallery@bilk.com.au as in these uncertain times it will make it easier for us make this a safe social distancing event. 
We looking forward to seeing you and connecting once again.
Mio, Helen and Johannes

Opening weekend Saturday 21 & Sunday 22 November 2020 11.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Gallery hours: Friday & Saturday 11.00 am to 5.00 pm, or by appointment until the 20 December.

Bilk Gallery – 403 Captians Flat Road Carwoola – (02) 6232 9411

Directions: 403 Captains Flat Road Carwoola Р4 km from the roundabout. Prepare to turn left after the second 90 km sign. There is an electric gate with a big B for Bilk. Press the button to open the gate and follow the directions at the top of the driveway for gallery.

Bilk Gallery

I’ve stayed at the farm as I prepared for the opening of my two exhibitions at the ‘old’ Bilk. As you might expect it’s a beautiful mix of rural views outside (with frequent kangaroo visitors) and incredible hand-made design inside. If you have the chance I implore you to go see the show and catch up with Mio, Helen and Johannes.

safe travels.

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3 things on November 3

Need some distraction for this 3rd of November? Yup, me too.

1/ It’s Melbourne Cup Day!

OK, so for those of you outside Australia who may have never heard of the Melbourne Cup, it might help to think Royal Ascot or The Kentucky Derby. If those ring no bells, here’s a quick story to illustrate the widespread cultural impact of this fairly unique phenomenon.

First up, a bit of Aus history. Thanks to racing/gambling traditionally being a male dominated pastime, in the 60’s the organisers of ‘The Cup’ decided that the hook needed to attract more of “the ladies” was a womens fashion competition. To make the competition worthwhile *wink wink* some pretty decent prizes – a new car continues to be the main hook – were in the offing. Despite competitive gendered aesthetics going off the boil in most areas of society, race day fashion competitions persist, and as such these competitions have pretty much dictated, and slowly evolved, what women, and now men, might wear to the races.

As a hook for racing it worked incredibly well; it helped make race day into a combination celebration – with a fashion parade, a food and wine festival and of course the horse races. Prior to that point, conservative cultural norms and racing etiquette fairly strictly controlled what was considered “proper” to wear to a horse race, and although Fashions on the Field has evolved the wardrobe of attendees, it still tilts towards the conservative. It’s been pretty consistently great for milliners though, because even when people stopped wearing hats for a bit there they never went out of style on race day.

That wasn’t the story, just a long preamble. Hey, we’ve got time to kill, right?

Back when I worked 9-5 as the Drafting and Design officer for Lotterywest, Melbourne Cup was a free lunch day (from memory it was relatively unusual in the public service, but then Lotterywest is a unique quango) . There would be a catered lunch for employees along with a screening of The Melbourne Cup live at 12pm, as in WA we’re 3 hours behind the state where the race is run at 3pm. Being an organisation of over 130 staff at that time, with a foyer and conference room that could fit about half of the staff in at once, we had to eat in 2 sittings. But this is The Melbourne Cup – it’s your right as an Aussie punter to see the whole damn race! To get around this, those in the second sitting were treated to a delayed screening of the race at 1pm, after the change over, and the staff who watched the race live at the first sitting were warned not to share spoilers. Just like in offices all over the nation (except in Victoria where the day is a bona fide public holiday) there were informal sweeps and prizes awarded for the best hat/outfit worn on the day.

Like many others I’ve stopped watching the “race that stops a nation” because, well, gambling and horse cruelty racing ain’t my bag, and after 7 races out of the country it was an easy habit to kick. However, getting dressed up and quality millinery are very much my thing, so I still support everyone’s right to frock, feast and a long lunch, especially today when my friends in Victoria are finally free to enjoy their first public holiday since their seemingly interminable lockdown ended.

2/ It’s Benvenuto Cellini’s birthday!

Because of course it is!

Benne, the noted goldsmith, street brawler and author is best known because he took the time to record his own life in The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini (link to Project Gutenberg download page for the book, recommended if you fancy your boastful ghostwritten tales from an actual Renaissance man.) The Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia disagree on his actual birth date but I’m going with Wikipedia. My recommendation? Read Britannica for the more cohesive and shorter essay on the bloke, and see Wikipedia for the pictures ūüėČ

3/ It’s Independence of Cuenca Day in Ecuador!

Cuenca became the third city to declare independence from Spanish colonial rule on the 3rd of November in 1820 (two years before civil war would free all of Ecuador from Spain). It joined the cities Quito and Guayaquil who had already declared their freedom from the colonisers.

The holiday on the 3rd in Cuenca also follows nationwide celebrations for the Day of the Dead in Ecuador, and is seen as the culmination of these festivities in this, the nation’s third-biggest city.

It is also noted for the art fairs that take place at this time, which attract local, national and international craftperson and artist exhibitors. There are also street parades and and fireworks in the evening, which sounds like a bang-up celebration to me! (Pun definitely intended.)

It’s a day to celebrate the city and its independence from oppressive undemocratic rule, something we can all get behind today.

¬°Viva Cuenca!

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