Ted Talk

An architect who thinks more like a jewellist…

Here’s a Ted talk in which the words “precious”, “jewellery”, “beads”, “intricate”, “texture” and “seeds” are all used. Sounds like jewellery, yes? Nope…

In this piece, Thomas Heatherwick of Heatherwick Studio is talking about various art, architectural and engineering projects. Turns out that one project he displayed in the talk even used a jewellery technique to inform the design of a 15 tonne installation.

From Heatherwick Studio’s description:

“Following extensive experimentation, pouring molten metal into water was found to create extraordinary and complex forms in a fraction of a second. No two experiments produced the same result. Over four hundred of these were produced before a five centimetre piece was created and selected as it was felt it would work well with the building and is the basis of the final thirty metre project.”


Thanks to Peter Johns over at Butterpaper for the heads up.


Melissa drawls about scrawls.

I’m a bit of a fan of calligraphy, as in, the writing thereof. I have owned a few cartridge calligraphy pens in my time, and have been known to fashion my own reed pens, from the clump of reeds that popped up uninvited in my parents otherwise well-manicured front garden.

I saw this blog post on Handwritten Newspapers a while back, and finally got around to watching the attached videos (gotta love a long weekend)  this weekend. The documentary on the calligraphic newspaper in Chennai is an interesting one, which I think I could appreciate more if I could actually read it. Funnily enough, upon heading to the main page I found that Steve Jobs is in the latest post on that blog, waxing lyrical about calligraphy (that part is about 10 minutes in) and the influence that the study thereof had on the fonts within the Apple Mac.

I remember reading an article in a craft magazine some years ago now about calligraphy, and thinking that it is a great medium. Yet I found that some of the images alongside the article really bored me. I find it hard to get behind calligraphy, or typography, for its own sake. Maybe that’s because it’s a medium best linked to a message.

All New!

Confetti or sequins… You be the judge

Painstakingly drilled, individually numbered, hand sawn, adhesive confetti. Or sequins. There’s two holes in them after all. You read it right folks, this numbered edition goes up to about 50 – these are barely the half of it. Yours for the bargain price of diving through my dustbin (look out for the busted saw-blades and sandblaster tailings freshly swept from the floor…)

Buda 2011

Melissa went to Buda in Castlemaine, and came home with a prize!

The Raven + The Fishes (The Cavian Set) 2011. Recycled 800 silver, stainless steel cable, 925 silver chain.

Yesterday I was amongst a bunch of intrepid jewellers, metalsmiths and enthusiasts who got up early on a Sunday and trekked out to Castlemaine to see the opening of the Buda exhibition.

Turns out it was worth the trip. I won The Art Centre award (for a design in predominantly silver inspired by or interpreting any branch of Australian Performing Arts) with the series above – The Cavian Set, consisting of The Fishes and The Raven (two parts). The pieces were inspired by the work of Nick Cave, particularly two songs of Nick Cave – Breathless and O’Malleys Bar.

And the awards rolled on:
Leviny Commemorative award: Meghan O’Rourke for her work Peacock Series
Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society Award: Maureen Faye-Chauhan with two brooches from the Augmen series, and an honourable mention to Jill Hermans for her three Shibu-Ichi Brooches
PJ Williams Award: Nadeem Sahabun, a Design Centre Enmore graduate for Teapot series
Gold + Silversmiths Guild of Australia Award: Annie Broadway, recent NMIT graduate for Adytum and Apogee
e.g.etal Design and Development Award: Danae Natsis from the Design Centre Enmore for Time is Life

Many thanks to the team at Buda, especially Lauretta Zilles and and Pat Grumont for their outstanding organisation of the whole competition, and of course to the judges, and a special thanks to The Arts Centre for their involvement.



Devotion Auction

The auctioned works have all found loving new homes. Awww.

Mana and Yuri, organisers of the auction that took place last Saturday night have just released their tally.

“We have raised $10,417 and we have donated the total proceed to Australian red cross Japan and pacific disaster 2011.”

More details of this on the website.

Myself and TurboNerd went along, and had a really lovely  night. Got to catch up with a few friendly faces and enjoy the banter between the auctioneer and the crowd. Didn’t win the raffle, but did enjoy a couple of beverages. It was great room too – going to have to pop in to Manchester Press for a coffee sometime.

how many jewellers…

Melissa is flapping her digits in the wind, to show she’s not surprised…

It’s ok, I don’t actually know any how many jewellers jokes. I found the following tidbit in a post/article by Marcus Westbury about an upcoming philanthropy review in Australia.

“From 2004 to 2007 (the last period for which detailed data is available) there was a 117 per cent rise in people working professionally in photography, 93 per cent in drawing, 93 per cent in computer-based art, 76 per cent in painting, 96 per cent in textiles and 113 per cent in other craft and an astonishing 204 per cent in jewellery.”


Put your hand up if you’re not surprised. *Melissa waves hand in air*


**Edit: Melbourne Jeweller has posted on this previously, and has a lot of updates and comments which are worth a read too.


Melissa sketches

I have a sketchbook, or 7… I don’t draw my work in them, though I do draw patterns. Generally radial ones. Less precise than my ‘work’ ones (hey, I’m no computer), and more spiky. Too spiky for jewellery.  Of course I write in my sketchbooks too. Generally to-do lists. A couple of weeks ago I drew myself a weekly planner. Funny how with that extra bit of time invested, in actually drawing a nice weekly plan, I have been sticking to it –  though maybe I finally hit on a rhythm that makes sense to me.

Anyway, sketchbooks. I really do have 4 or  5 on the go. I bought a beautiful one in Venice earlier this year, which has lovely paper, so I’m using it a lot. At I’m least carting it around a lot. I always have a small sketch pad/unlined notebook in my handbag too – the current one is from my last trip to Florence, in ’08. My previous most beautiful sketchbook (probably why it’s still unfinished), is one I was given by Jin Ah, which has lots of things pasted in it. Then there’s the ordinary-looking suede one with cheap paper. I usually go through thin paper quickly since I’m not at all precious about what I put in or tear out. Lots of shopping lists with the odd book notation.

I have a lovely detachable leather covered sketchbook, also given by a friend, Jennifer. I’ve had to refill that one (I used it more as a competition appointment book, it got stuffed to the gills with alternate photos of the same works, and deadlines), and when I did, I fit two smaller books in it, one lined for work stuff and one unlined, for creative stuff. Invariably I’m in the wrong one when I’m writing/drawing. The unlined is plain cartridge. A bit boring. Probably why it’s predominantly filled with lecture notes. So, what’s that? Six?

Last year I carried around an A5 Archers Watercolour Pad for a while. Until I got too precious about the drawings I had completed, but wasn’t prepared to tear them from the block. This was unusual for me, since I often draw on the backs of coasters in pubs and leave them there.

Anyway, there are plenty of sketchbooks online to look at. This was a fave of a few years ago. And I used to have a print-out of a page from a book that was all done in biro by different artists which was scanned and put online. I can no longer find the print, nor the website.

I also recently bought (thanks to the massive Borders sale) the 1000 Journals Project Book. I saw the doco a while back. Cool project. There are plenty of imitators out now, offering a similar system with a guaranteed exhibition at the end (for a fee, of course.) The book is strange, as a sketchbook. It’s a collection of pages from several of the 1000 journals, so there’s no continuous voice, and often 4 pages (much shrunk) to a side.

The appealing thing about seeing other people’s sketchbooks is that they’re of a style. And their finished. The potential of the book has been realised. Wonder if I’ll ever finish one…