let’s hear it for the nannas

Meet Melissa’s nan, Wenda. One of the finest there ever was. And Chloe’s, one of the best there is.

A couple of grand old dames:

Wenda, brooch 2010. Melissa Cameron + Chloe Vallance. Coloured Pencil on recycled bamboo bowl, 925 silver and stainless steel.
Wenda, brooch (reverse) 2010. Melissa Cameron + Chloe Vallance. Coloured Pencil on recycled bamboo bowl, 925 silver and stainless steel.

My nan. No one played the walking-sticks as a violin quite like her. Especially when dressed in her bathers, a towel, and her dreadful straw sun hat. It was her swimming hat. You’d never have guessed that she had worked in a hat shop for over thirty years, every time she put on that little number… It does rather give her the halo of a religious icon though. Or even that of a Wandjina. I kinda like that.

(as yet untitled Nanna) 2010. Melissa Cameron + Chloe Vallance. Coloured Pencil on recycled bamboo bowl, silk thread

Chloe’s nan. See Wend? That’s how nans are supposed to behave…

what is she building – a preview

Melissa has been building a while now… Now she’s finally going to do a reveal!

what is she building?

Deep Slip. Wall brooch 2010. Melissa Cameron + Chloe Vallance. Patinated copper and coloured pencil.

An object work. Uncommon in my practice, but not unheard of. I should put up some pics of where this all really began. The Artist and I met long, long ago, when we were were making art in Italy. I was making object works, virtually unheard of for me, at the time…

fancy a biscuit?

Melissa shares more images of works for “Measuring…”. The back of this one looks biscuit-like. Pity it’s actually a coaster…

** not an actual biscuit. An actual coaster though, sandblasted.

Manny: Of course you can’t taste anything. You smoke eighty bajillion cigarettes a day. What’s that you’re eating?
Bernand: It’s some sort of delicious biscuit.
Manny: It’s a coaster…

For finished works come see the show.

open season

Melissa shows off her new favourite piece. And tells us where it went to.

In keeping with the theme of November, several of my pieces have featured in another opening, this time at Test Tube Objects in Perth. The opening party on Wednesday night (just gone) included several new works and featured my favourite of the moment – the little number below.

Champagne Floating 8 Point Star. Sandblasted titanium, stainless steel cable, blackened 925 silver snake chain. Melissa Cameron 2010.

Perth jewellery royalty, Katherine Kalaf, has been involved behind the scenes of Test Tube’s recent foray into the sale of jewellery. I, for one, am very happy to know that there is a new space celebrating Australian jewellers in Perth, as since the closure of Katherine’s gallery in Cottesloe and the recent shut-down (pending relocation) of Form’s retail space has left two rather gaping holes in the Perth jewellery scene.

So my thanks go to Philia Kailis, of Test Tube, for taking a punt on putting some contemporary artist jewellery in her store. It’s a wonderful thing.

drum roll please

Melissa requests a drum roll for some Big News.

Exciting news!!
I’ve been awarded an Australia Council Visual Arts Board grant to undertake a residency with Elizabeth Turrell at the University of the West of England in March of next year! I’m going to spend all of March in Bristol working with liquid enamel, at the Centre for Fine Print Research, with the inspirational Elizabeth!

As you can tell by my (typical) overuse of exclamation marks, I’m excited!!

I was at Elizabeth’s second workshop, held after the JMGA conference in Perth this year, where she taught the fundamentals of liquid enameling to a very enthusiastic bunch of jewellers, including the amazing Inari Kiuru who has gone on to use her knowledge spectacularly. I waxed lyrical about the course and her at the time and I have been attempting ever since to find a way to get to work with her again. And finally, success!!

I cannot wait.

what is she building?

Melissa shares some works in progress. See them in them in the flesh @ the show ‘Measuring the space between’.

A colouring setup. The blue container contains household ammonia and the piece – which is raised on a small clear container to ensure even coverage of the patina – was sprayed with a salt water solution before it was carefully inserted into the bag. The glass container at the end is just to keep the bag from touching the object.

And what is the object? It started like this…

It has been altered since then, and the colouring started. Within a few minutes it was already changing hue, and looked like this;