return blog + patty cakes

Melissa apologises for not being quicker on inputting photos, and makes up for it with cake!

Yesterday I broke a rule of the internet. Don’t point people in the direction of a site that it still under construction. For those of you good folks who visited the Return blog yesterday and saw one little picture of the gallery when you were expecting shots of artists works, I am sorry. Today (should you care to venture forth once again…) you will find ten whole glorious colour images of our works!

Next week the Return show closes. In honour of the end of our 3 week run (and to keep me occupied in the morning before I arrive) there will be a morning tea on Thursday the 29th from 11am, for which I will bake patty-cakes! (We’ll not be calling them cup-cakes, even if my grandmother was born in Canada and did insist on baking them and labeling them so…) Here’s a sample of one I prepared earlier!

You might have to bring your cup of tea/coffee with you however… Did I mention free cake?

…return

Melissa finally puts up images of works from the Return show. *applause*!

finally! some images of the actual works from the …return show. I haven’t meant to keep you all in suspense, but it’s been fairly busy here in the gallery, so photography of artists’ work has been sporadic. This is just a taster of my works, so for the many pieces by other artists,  (all of them gorgeous, of course!) point your browser at the Return blog.

round the grounds

Melissa shares her recent scrapes with the fourth estate.

a quick wrap up of what was found on the intertubes and beyond promoting the Return show

The West Australian had us in their weekend magazine 7 Days last weekend, with image, and yesterday in the Arts Review section (a very minor mention for us, but a glowing review of other shows). We also made in into the Sunday Times STM magazine (similar to 7 Days from The West) and there’s been a spot on Scoop Online for a few weeks now.

We also made it into the Echo community newspaper (I’m yet to see this to be honest, but I’ve been told by several people it’s out there) which covers the hills where I grew up. A writer called just to check that I was the correct Melissa Cameron – I’m not entirely sure how they knew where I lived, but they did.

All this (not including any paid gallery listings organised by Gallery Central) from putting out a single press release, two weeks before the show opened. Seems well worth the effort.

enamel workshop

Melissa Cameron meets Elizabeth Turrell.

Images of samples created during the Elizabeth Turrell workshop, conducted at Manifesto Glass in West Perth, April 13, 14 and 15, 2010.

Top image – enamel samples day 1 and 2. Bottom image – final day

During the workshop we were learned to use Tompsons Wet Process enamel, with the main difference in application between this and regular jewellery enamel is that you can paint it directly onto the metal surface, much like a clay slip. In fact, the mainly white above was half clay, half dissolved enamel solution. This once fired becomes a very matte surface, on which you can draw with graphite pencil, as I did in that piece, after which I fired over it a thin layer of transparent enamel, and then fired a transparent layer, painted over the star/flower shape, with the glass granules embedded into it. These were applied while the enamel was still wet.

Elizabeth had on display many different sands and oxides, which were laid directly onto a layer of pre-fired enamel  and re-fired. Not all would stick, (especially if you piled it on) but a thin layer would be attached to the metal after re-firing.  As you can tell I had the most fun with the black, red, white and transparent enamels, with the use of glass grit for texture. This I brought with me, as it’s the media I use in my sandblaster.

She also showed us stamping and transfers, the former using the liquid of the stamp-pad as a glue to hold a thin layer of sprinkled jewellery enamel or oxide (or sandblast media) to be quickly fired afterward. A felt tip pen can be used to the same effect (that’s how I got lines of white and clear grit onto the bottom right sample.) The transfers (top left sample on bottom image; dots on the LHS) were applied pretty much in the same way as a fake tattoo, but the burning out process of the plastic transfer medium was a little more complicated. You can’t afford to let it burn out too quick, as going up in smoke would shift the carefully-placed image.

It was an incredible workshop; each artist involved produced amazing and different works. Everyone was so happy to be there and keen to be experimenting; all the while testing the process, and their skills. Being involved with someone who is such a master of her medium – in the actual mechanics of the material as well as its historical and present-day applications in both the jewelelry and industrial worlds, was truly inspirational. To be honest I’m not impressed with my works, as I feel now that I should have pushed myself harder. Yet having said that, I know that what I did I will actually use in my own studio, so from that perspective my samples are all very successful. And it got me to draw in my work, which is something that I only ever do in a very mediated fashion. It’s nice to see some hand drawings, though it may not happen again for a while.

As I left yesterday I realised that I was actually sad that it was over.

enamelling workshop

Melissa photographs enamel works; indoors, in bad light conditions. You sure you still wanna click?

this is a pretty rough and ready snapshot of these works – I’ll have to take images outside while I’m still without my usual light setup.

I’m not a fan of these copper works; they just didn’t do what I wanted them to. And the red, grey and black pallette is more my style.

curtains

Melissa recounting the fun and shenanigans at the last day of the JMGA conference in Perth.

Today was the final day of the JMGA conference in Perth. It was a bit of a mixed bag, and I missed parts with gallery commitments and the odd coughing fit. I did stick around between breaks more, which meant that I got to know a few more people. And got more feedback on my paper, all of which was extremely lovely.

Surprise stand-out of the day for me was Dr Ric Spencer and his paper Interpersonal Politics (a subversive sunset). I don’t think I would be able to do justice to his work to try and explain the arc he took, but when I spoke with him at morning tea he admitted that before he spoke he was unsure as to if our crowd would follow him on his journey. He was pleased to find that we all did, and going by the questions and chat afterward, everyone enjoyed the ride.

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.

seeking…

Melissa has talked a lot today, and still won’t shut up…

lost; one voice. went wandering late this afternoon, and was last seen hovering around the CIT complex in Perth. If found, please tell it to go home, its owner is anxious for its safe return. Preferably by 2:15pm WST tomorrow… The opening was  massive night, we can hardly hope to count the numbers. Sales were good, and the popularity of our venue was such that we had to boot out about 30 people at closing.

My sincerest thanks to my co-conspirators, who surprised me with a gift at the end of the night, and to Justine for her excellent work on plinths (including some stellar project management). And Bruce, who kept his hand on the tiller all night, ensuring safe passage for all, especially me. No, go to bed, the lot of you! We start again at 9am sharp!

PS – If in WA, check out the Seven Days magazine in the paper, p6. The best publicity is free!

… space

Melissa populates a space with plinths. Feels compelled to blog about how clever this is.

This is an image taken today of the Showcase Gallery, at the CIT, Northbridge. (WA, y’all) Next door is an even larger gallery being used for the massive Graduate Metal XII show, that was also in the process of being mounted today. When I say also, the plinths finished and the wall boards prepped is as far as I got today in our space. This is the calm before the storm. Tomorrow, it pours jewels!