I’ve been in this studio for nigh on 3 years now, at this bench. Slowly but steadily I took up the adjacent one too (it was allowed, even suggested). But on Monday it’s over, and I’ll go in and clear out. Mind you, before I go I plan to take it right to the wire and use the microtorch for 3 pieces that I’ll finish assembling at home this weekend (and yes, admitting that I do feel like the child who has just left the nest, but who comes home to do the laundry and then makes a cup of tea and a snack while waiting for the dryer to finish the sheets). Still, I will miss the place, and the people. And the industrial quality sand-blaster! While I don’t yet have a new home to go to, I’m excited (and nervous) to be moving on. It’s time.
It’s been an overly warm day. The kind of day that one does not bound out of bed with unbridled enthusiasm for working in an under-air conditioned studio. A day in which it would be imprudent to start up the kiln in said studio, set it to 840°c, wait for it to get to temperature, then stand next to it for a couple of hours feeding its fire-breathing, gaping maw with shards of sheet steel, one by one.
In attempting to heat-colour these sand-blasted pieces of stainless to a lovely light-blue hue, a blue that I have managed to acquire by torch heating on previous occasions, I overheated one piece. It didn’t melt (like you were expecting me to say at this point), it just went a dark grey. As it was the last piece to be heated for the day, that’s the way it stayed. Overheated grey.
Today is the re-launch of my website. It’s also the day that I can announce that I have been recently awarded an ArtStart Grant by the Australia Council for the Arts, “To maintain an independent studio practice focused on the creation of research based jewellery.”
The acquisition of this funding means that from now on, for the next year, you will see this notice attached to my work; ‘This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.’
A bit long for a mantra I’ll grant you, but I’m sure we can all get used to it!
This work, entitled Staggered Eight Point Star, has just been invited to participate in an exhibition. But it’s not just the work getting all of the fun; I have been invited to the opening myself, but it is considerably cheaper to send the piece on its own. So the ‘Star will have to brave the Texan wilderness without me.
The piece is destined for the US in the new year, to join in the REFINED VI: Back to Basics exhibition, as curated by Lisa Gralnick and hosted by the School of Art at Stephen F. Austin State University, Texas. The exhibition will open on the 30th of January at The Art Centre @ The Old Opera House, and closes on the 20th of March.
If you are out an about in downtown Nacogdoches at this time, please feel free to drop me a line and let me know how the opening goes.
In other news (no restrictions here, it’s already been published 😉 ), I got the nod late yesterday from the JMGA in Perth. I’ll be delivering a paper at the upcoming biennial Jewellers and Metalsmiths Group of Australia Conference, and I’m in good company. A whole lot of good company as a matter of fact; the list is bursting at the seems with local and international talent. I do have to mention my friends though – Maureen Faye-Chauhan is also delivering a paper (ignore the misspelling of her name on the website), while Jin-Ah Jo is the subject of another. I’m organising a show to coincide with the conference too, loosely based on the idea of “Return”, but more details as it gets closer. I found the last conference in Adelaide in ’08 really motivating and inspiring, so for me the standard has been set (and there is no home-town pride on the line here at all… no way!)
I was reading the Christmas edition of The Big Issue over lunch yesterday, and in doing so polished off an article about embargoes (and a lamb cutlet with salad). Specifically, the article went on to explain how now-a-days, in an age where anyone and everyone can tweet to their own beat, the old-fashioned embargo is in most instances null and void. [She said “most instances”, didn’t she? oh boy, here it comes…]
Last night on arriving home I downloaded some apparently media-sensitive news. Just before my partner – TurboNerd – managed in his excitement to broadcast the whole shebang to the Twitterverse, I read the fine print, and found out that I have been gagged. So I have news, but it’s a secret. I’m not teeeell-ing, nyah na na na nyaaaah nyah ;P
Who starts a blog with news they can’t tell? Me! I do! And you wanna know why?
Well, it sets a nice easy standard, doesn’t it?
Not to mention that it is imbued with the mystery and intrigue of an old TV series (the only one coming to mind is Batman, and you know he’ll get out of it with some tricky gismo that Alfred installed in his suit that day or by a single `kapow` – or similar – to each of the baddies). Back in the days where you could in no way find out the resolution of such cliff-hanger episodes “until you tune in next time!”