confer-ence-ing

Resource: 14th biennial JMGA conference in Perth, WA. This is an event during which Melissa refers to both Melbourne and Perth as ‘home’ with equal conviction, and regularity.

Excellent presentations today, a really solid line-up. This morning seems so long ago already! (Though I guess it’s technically now yesterday.) Oron Catts got lots of questions and feedback (in equal parts awed, amazed and mildly disgusted) for his work growing little objects with live tissue.

Maureen Faye-Chauhan’s talk was informative and insightful – you can share a studio yet still have much to learn about someone’s work, and processes. I really appreciated the clarity of her slides – her drawings and the explanatory drawings on photos of patterns were a great expository tool, and she had great photos too. (And along with her own beautiful works was a cameo of  a couple of Melissa Cameron pieces – I knew some images were coming but was still surprised.)

I also really enjoyed Dr Eugenie Keefer-Bell’s presentation on goldsmith-artist-sculptor Albert Paley. I’m going to have to study this man, and read more of Eugenie’s work too.

I managed to find enough voice to make my presentation and answer questions, and with the calibre of the responses and the general feedback, I think I can safely judge my first paper a success! (For those interested, post pin-swap party I am once again seeking voice…)

Lastly, I will have my bibliography and image references up at my main site as promised, very soon.

discussion

Melissa today is talking about talking about jewellery. Got it?

Been doing some jewellery-exercise. A few sedate the rounds of the intertubes (there’s a public holiday in many parts of Australia today) looking at competitions that have wended their way to my inbox. Through one I found out that Damian Skinner is now writing the Art Jewelry Forum blog, for the US based AJF. And via a post by him, I landed on a documentary called Jewellery Talk made in 2006 by two Swedes, Daniela Hedman and Kajsa Lindberg. The premise is simple, and would have made for one amazing road trip. Get a bunch of formidable artist-jewellery heads on film responding to some probing questions about jewellery. At a little under 50 minutes, it does take a little time to get through, but it’s well worth wading right on in.

The whole premise reminds me a little of doing a winery tour, to the point that I’m conjuring images of James May’s latest tv series as well as the film, Sideways, from a few years back. These images are just popping into my head, as my brain rifles around the ‘ole filing system thrusting catalogue cards into the air, seeking a way to frame what I just saw.

It’s like going to see the makers and sellers of wine, on their soil, to ask them about the importance of their product. Obviously the answers vary. Makers respond on their own brand, though some seek to explain their chosen variety too. There’s talk of past vintages, cellaring and sales, and the time-line carries right on up to the current crop and how it handles, and how it might mature. Some go so far as to elucidate on what the future of their region, or even the business/craft/artform in general, may hold. It’s a very thoughtful piece, well edited, and most importantly, is underpinned by a great idea.

In the end what struck me most is how unfamiliar many interviewees seemed to be at being asked, and answering, these questions. But at the conclusion of the film I am more hopeful that these questions will continue to be asked, and answered.

pumped

Melissa’s blast cabinet might have come down in the last shower. Meteor shower, that is.

My studio buddy thinks that my blast cabinet looks like something out of Dr Who. I’d like to disagree; it has an interesting colour scheme of shiny white and matte blue, which, while delectable looking on a cupcake, would never have made it onto tv (the shiny bit would have, I’m aware, given the many lens-flare moments I remember from some of the older series.) The thing does have, however, a clumsy un-ergonomic-ness, and rather 1970’s pre-aerodynamic-design bulk. Not to mention the above hose air hose is conspicuously connected to a regulator which is acting more as a pressure gauge, since the adjustment knob does not actually turn.

OK, so she seems to have a point. Of all the blast machines I auditioned, I get one that’s part tardis

part b

Here in Melbourne we have a small group of jewellers who like to get together once monthly to chat. We usually meet up at an exhibition (jewellery related, when possible) after which we head for a beverage, to continue the discussion. Nothing complicated.

If you’re interested in joining us, Sunday the 21st of Feb will be our next gathering. We’ll be at the Wisdom of the Mountain show at the NGV international from 2pm. We’ll meet outside the main entrance. If you’re not sure what we look like, look out for me in a large blue hat (with red and white stitching). I’ll be wearing the above brooch too, for ease of identification.