Anna Davern, The Duke of Devonshire, 2015

As the local representative of the Melbourne Jewellery Massive, I’m making a rare trip out of the studio tomorrow (July 27th) to talk up my buddy Anna Davern‘s work at the opening of the exhibition Funny Business: Making Mischief, at Facèré gallery here in Sea-town.

As usual there’s an artist talk before the opening on level four of the building (get details from the gallery on the ground floor on your way past,) at which I’m going to say a few words on behalf of Anna’s works – which really are rich and interesting enough to do all the talking themselves. So there’ll be some classic Davernator works on screen accompanied by my sketchy musings from 4pm, where more importantly you’ll get to meet a couple of the actual artists –  Kristin Lora and Tom Hill – followed by the usual bubbles and cheese back down in the gallery space. Come along to make your acquaintance with some beautiful works by a well respected Australian artist, and of course all the other local heroes, at Seattle’s premier art jewelry gallery.

See you there!


Blogging on blogging, and making on making

I’m just going to leave these here. They have inspired some thinking and some quite gung-ho shouts of “Author!” and “Hear, hear!” around these parts in the last set of twenty-four. Back soon with real other content.

Writers and artists — your personal pain is not a blow for justice
By Helen Razer on Daily Review. 30 May, 2016

Why blog?
By Conrad H Roth on Varieties of Unreligious Experience. 14 January, 2006

5 true facts!

Metalsmith Spring 2016 - featuring Hanna Hedman's glorious works
Metalsmith Spring 2016 – featuring Hanna Hedman’s glorious works

Here’s a few facts you might not know about Metalsmith – the industry publication that started for and is partially funded by the SNAG membership:

  1. You can buy digital copies online for only $5.99 (USD) and can buy it singly at news stands or news agencies.
  2. A year-long digital subscription of 5 mags is $31 (USD, or approx $43 AUD, or 28 or £21!)
  3. It features some of the best writing on jewellery in print anywhere, with regular contributions from such luminaries as Liesbeth den Besten, Andrea DiNoto and Bella Neyman. And it’s the only place where you’ll find special contributions by artists and collectors like Susie Ganch and Helen Williams Drutt English (and that’s just in Vol 35 No 5!)
  4. Metalsmith Extra has all the online content you can’t get in a print publication but expect from an online-only source, like videos by and about the artists and artisans featured in the magazine. They’re listed by issue, with folks in the newest edition featured at the top.
  5. The current issue, which features profiles on Mirjam Hiller, Vivian Beer and obviously Hanna Hedman, and a LOOK section written by Jillian Moore, is in my opinion THE BEST issue EVER produced by editor Suzanne Ramljak and her crack team of writers.*

So as my mate Molly likes to say – do yourselves a favour, yeah?

*I’m not just saying that because I’m on the editorial advisory committee, nor because even the editor described it as the “Women in Metal” issue, and you know I’m all about women and metal. Turns out it’s a bloody solid read 😉

rose turk—o


Rose Turko is a new jewellery gallery being opened in Richmond, VA (in the USA for all you Melbournians who now think I’ve sold out…) by long-time local Kathy Emerson.

I am now represented by this new space, and have the added pleasure of being in the inaugural exhibition, Angles: architecturally inspired jewelry, which has been curated by well known Richmond jewel-arts instigator, Maggie Smith. (Nope, not that one, but I do call her Dame Mags in my head most of the time.) She is also the creator of the gorgeously funny #ThisIsABrooch site, “because kids don’t know“!

Anyway, as you can see the Angles show is populated by the great (them) and the good (me!), and I’m very happy to be amongst them all, especially in the architecture/jewelry context. Finally! If you’re in the area, please check out the opening on Thursday night from 6-10pm, and say ‘hi’ to The Dame from me 😉

Interview on Klimt02

Hey! Now here’s a thing.. With all the One Design shenanigans (yes indeedy – opening this Friday from 6:30pm at Contemporary Metal in Osborne Park – do check it out!) I completely forgot to mention this: I was recently interviewed by Sanna Svedestedt for Klimt02. She published a lovely article about our chat, and with her she brought Jonas Carboo who took a wonderful array of pictures of our encounter.

Here’s a couple more images by Jonas that they shared with me, not included in Sanna’s post.

Image of Melissa Cameron, 2014 Image of Melissa Cameron, 2014

See how I can relate everything back to One Design this week? You must be so jealous of these mad skillz… OK, so just to assuage my guilt on becoming such a stuck needle on the record, the piece in the top image is actually a work in progress for the Heat Exchange exhibition. More pics of pieces like that to come. (In the mean time, since I’m on the subject, Ramon’s new works up on that blog are looking pretty fab…)


Recently Bin Dixon-Ward had a solo exhibition, Grids, at Craft in Melbourne. I’m a fan of her works, and so was pleasantly surprised to see her talking about her works and showing off their movement in this clip.

Found on the Craft website. Thanks Craft!

And for more writing about jewellery…

A friend of mine in Seattle, the inimitable Aran Galligan (who I mentioned before when her show opened just down the road from me at Seattle Pacific University), has an online wedding ring store, Aide Memoire Jewelry. I recently answered a few question about Aussie weddings for her blog, and it was published today. She’s added some beautiful photos, including one of some of the most pretty mini-meat-pies I’ve ever seen!

(PS, as you’ll see from the post, I’m clearly not an authority on Australian weddings, so you can blame me for any inaccuracies 😉 )

Writing about jewellery

Writing about music is like dancing about architecture

Martin Mull, and about a million others.

You’ve noticed that writing about jewellery is a big thing right at the minute? Yeah, I’ve been seeing it too. There’s the posts that are being cooperatively published by the AJF and Klimt02 websites on criticism (we’re up to post #4 by Garth Clark, which has links back to the other 3) and then there’s a few awards and competitions that are trying to get writers writing and submitting jewellery analysis and criticism. I’m going to mention them first because one is possibly self-serving and the other is really interesting.

The first on is the annual 2 Danks Street Award for Contemporary Art Criticism. Thanks to a heads up in the Studio 20/17 newsletter, I’m now aware that my collection of works currently on display in the gallery, One Design, is an eligible exhibition to write about for the award. So if you’re an aspiring critical writer in Sydney, you’ve got a couple of days to go see my show and write about it to submit it to the award by the 15th of October. And let me be plain, I’m happy to answer any questions, and approve use of/furnish you with images for you to use alongside your essay.

Secondly, Sienna Gallery have just announced that alongside their biannual emerging artist award (you get a show in the gallery – for goodness sakes apply, American residents!) they will also be sponsoring an emerging writer platform award. This is a chance for an emerging writer to write about the emerging artist show, and be published, with editorial help provided.

This is all good. And a little hopeful. Possibly towards being overly optimistic.

I want people to write about jewellery, and I want jewellery artists to write about jewellery. But I also want the writing to be good. And when people are not practiced at it, when they have not been trained as writers, or have even chosen a profession because they know that they will be able to avoid structuring sentences for perhaps even months at a time, then the ramp-up to reasonable communication, let alone useful criticism, is going to require the endurance of a Tour de France type of  ascent, rather than the gentle up and over of mounting a kerb (or curb) in an SUV. So while I’m all for the idea of getting more writers, I’m also a realist. One who recognises that the writing needs criticism, just as much as the work being written about.

(And before y’all come after me with your burning soldering picks – I know I’ve written some bland dross on here on occasion, but I set up this blog as a practice forum. One of the two main reasons I’m here is to try to get my writing in tune for the kind of scrutiny I should reasonably expect as a working artist. [The other being to share my experiences with my colleagues, so that we all might learn from what I do right and what I do wrong.])

I’m keen for a renaissance of critical writing for art jewellery, as much for the development of individual works of jewellery as the raised standard of critical thought it will encourage, and also for the improvements in writing that it will undoubtedly foster.


What I’m reading:

Deutsche Kunst – Catalogue on artist Moritz Götze (also works in large scale enamel)
Gender and Jewelry: A Feminist Analysis  – Rebecca Ross Russell
Mies – Detlef Mertins
On Jewellery: A Compendium of international contemporary art jewellery – Liesbeth den Besten (Yes, still – I’m just about done, but when you underline, write down and research something on just about every page, it’s slow going!)
Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World Mark Miodownik

On Order:

A History of Contemporary Jewellery in Australia & New Zealand – Damian Skinner and Kevin Murray


The AJF Blog and a feed of their Articles

Unmaking Things –

Unmaking Things is an online creative platform, edited and run by History of Design students at the Victoria and Albert Museum / Royal College of Art. It is a space in which questions can be raised, work can be published, and reflected on critically. Whilst the site is operated in connection with the MA course, we encourage connections between all those engaged in the field of design history, and so we welcome a diverse range of submissions – whether from students, practitioners, or professionals.

Joyaviva: Bolivia and Chile

News just in from curator extraordinaire, Kevin Murray:

Joyaviva is now on its home stretch. On 29 July it will be presented in La Paz, Bolivia. This was the site of a workshop, and although there are no local artists in the exhibition there was much interest in the theme.

On 7 August, it will open at Centro Cultural Las Condes, followed by a seminar at Universidad de Chile on 8 August. It will be there until 31 August.

And the invitation to the Chile exhibition features work by Alice Whish

invitacion joyeria

If you’re not familiar with the Joyaviva exhibition, or the collaborative C3 works that Jill Hermans and I created for this show, check out some links around here and the Joyaviva website and Facebook page.