the webbiverse has my number

I woke to the regular Saturday Klimt02 email newsletter in my inbox, like most good jewellists. This edition is a doozy though, and made me think for a second that I’m being watched…

Lets go down in order then:
I purchased a catalogue from a jewellery book fair (from Charon Kransen Arts at the 2008 JMGA conference) specifically for Gésine Hackenberg‘s work, which I then even attempted to copy as I loved it so (with little success mind you).

I spoke on the connections of architecture and jewellery at this year’s JMGA conference, during which I used an image of Fritz Maierhofer‘s work to illustrate jewellers who work with architectural materials, and who also make sculpture. (And for which I wrote to him for permission to have it published, which he kindly gave me – he takes his own photos!)

OK, this one is more than tenuous – but I love Marc Monzo‘s ring. If I was ever going to wear a solitaire…

Finally (apologies to Tore Svensson, who’d I have probably had to include with the last two, except I’ve only just heard of him) I wrote about Manon van Kouswijk and Benjamin Lignel in my MFA thesis (and in Lignel’s case, on the work featured for the newsletter) as the contemporary context for my work. They are possibly the two jewellery artists in the world who I know most about, or at least, the two who I have most  studied and analysed in an in-depth fashion.

Waddya know, in my world, it’s all about me…

being crafty

David Byrne – yeah, him of Talking Heads fame, amongst other things – has weighed into the craft-art debate in his latest journal post. He has an interesting perspective, relating the debate to music, of course, and photography.

Now to spoil the very end of the post; his suggestion is to go renaissance and apprentice yourself to a master. It’s an interesting idea, especially in light of something I read on Marcus Westbury’s blog recently, Are volunteers in the arts exploited? The connection being that if you were to apprentice yourself to the person you really wanted to learn from, would you expect payment? I have been applying for funding to do just that – learn from a master- and I have not once thought that any fruits of my learning would be of such value as to attract monetary compensation from the teacher. To put it another way, I am seeking an unpaid apprenticeship.

All this is hot on the heels of a email I received yesterday, seeking advice on how to become a jeweller. Going by the questions put to me, to those with little knowledge of ‘art jewellery’, it would seem that an apprenticeship is the gold-standard learning model. (The ‘traditional’ poorly paid apprenticeship, that is – hello to my sister the furniture manufacturer!)

So we have agreement, as those outside art-jewellery think David Byrne is correct. To the apprenticeship! So why are there no artist-jeweller’s offering traditional/paid apprenticeships? Is it because of Marcus’s call to arms, which is essentially; why be exploited, when you can exploit yourself? Or does it come to another arm of his argument – there’s not enough money, not to pay you, anyway.


I’m taking it slow today – and not just because it’s a public holiday in Melbourne. I’ve done something to my right arm. Yes, I am right handed.

It was rather unexpected and silly, though of late I seem to have been especially injury-prone. But it’s made worse by an old war wound… Well, not from a real war. I have a neck injury that stems from a car-accident, but as  a result I have a raft of exercises that I have to keep up with in order to work.

From my time as a designer (where I use to regularly sit on a fit-ball in the office – that went out when the neck injury came in) I know what I am supposed to do to keep a good workstation for drafting. And it can be roughly applied to the jewellers bench. Do I exhibit textbook best practice, in hours spent at the bench/computer, and indeed, in my setup? No, not always.

Jewellers are ripe candidates for repetitive strain injury, and come to think of it, industrial accidents, yet discussion focuses more on the latter than the former (which is not to say that there should be less discussion about the obviously dangerous aspects of the job). I’m not the only jeweller I know who carries an injury, and I know people employ varying measures to help keep them in working order.

If we are looking for the textbook best-practitioner in the field of body-friendliness, then Catherine Truman is probably the one.  Apart from her jewellery activities, she is also a Feldenkrais practitioner. Having done some Feldenkrais I can say that it promotes a bodily awareness and mindfulness that I think everyone should be taught in childhood. It takes in everything from the most appropriate way to get out of bed to posture when walking, and I can definitely see the benefits it could have to someone doing something as involved as jewellering.

As for me, I have what I learned from another Feldenkrais practitioner (long ago) and exercises prescribed by a sports physiologist, who is also an injury specialist. I have semi-regular remedial massages, for the neck, and I ride an exercise bike for cardio (aiming for five nights a week, though I admit I average 3-4).

Yet at the moment it would seem that all of this is insufficient.

I’ve decided I need to spend more time on breaks, doing stretches, and that I have to continue to work on my posture. I will also try to cut down on hours in front of the computer. This means I will need to do more in less time. Hopefully because of these changes I will be working smarter, and ultimately, be a jewellist for longer.

save galerie ra?

save galerie ra

Now I saw this on a blog I read last week, and I would have thought there would be more on the web about it, but since I’ve seen nothing, I figured maybe the person who reads this blog (hello you! how’ve you been?) might also have heard something?

The short story is that Galerie Ra in Amsterdam is being forced to move, but cannot find new premises. I’m not going to say that I doubt the original post just because it says ‘Gallery Ra’ and I’ve not heard anything else about it (me, of all people, not in the loop! – please note tongue just about piercing cheek on that one), as the link with the petition document to send to Liesbeth den Besten seems pretty authentic. And the Galerie Ra calendar only has exhibitions scheduled until this month, seemingly nothing is happening after Manon van Kouswijk closes on the 19th.

And on that, having done a bit of research on van Kouswijk for my MFA thesis, I would really love to see her new work. Oh well, maybe next year.

more of you know who…

I have some new work in e.g.etal. It is much of the the work from the Return show – like the Random Strung Planes above, just without the hand-cut pieces (they are awaiting another engagement). To coincide with the new works appearing in-store, I have been interviewed by the lovely Stephanie, and photographed too. I now appear on their blog.

It was my first time being interviewed, (I’ve spent hours on the other side of the digital recorder, and the transcribing bit really hurts) but I think it went ok. I do look like a dork in the sandblaster photo, but hey, if that’s the worst of it…

on the intertubes

Hiya! So, it’s been ages since I mentioned the conference in Perth, eh? Three whole posts have passed; it’s been over a week since the last one went up. In internet time that’s practically years between mentions. Did you enjoy the holiday?

Today my paper Examining the connections between architecture and jewellery from the JMGA conference was published in the Craft Australia online library. I put up links to the images I used in my delivery a while back, but at least half of them appear with it, in its online incarnation. Once again my thanks go to all the artists who gave me permission to use the images of their works, including the ones who were not published.

Also on the Craft Australia site, a review of the conference by Christel van der Laan. Christel is an amazing jeweller, and her new works, which were on display in the JMGA Members exhibition in Perth (see the final image on the RHS of her review), are incredible.

discussion – part b

So, Part A: make jewellery. Part B: discuss.

You’re a jeweller, or an interested bystander, and you want to see some interesting jewellery. Your significant other/drinking buddies/family/friends/acquaintances will obediently accompany you to shows and galleries, but they’re not as ‘into’ the work as you are. You lack discussion time, a sounding board, a sympathetic ear to your obsession(s).

Solution! Come on down to Studio Ingot, Shop 2, 234, Brunswick St, Fitzroy, on Saturday the 8th of May, around 2pm. Meet other jewellers. Chat about stuff that matters. To jewellers. See Michelle Kelly‘s new work. Have a cup of tea. Go home refreshed and rewarded.

Tell your buddies!

Examining links with architecture – image set

I promised at the end of my paper at the JMGA conference that I would have my image bibliography online. It’s taken me a couple of weeks (which is quite slow; I’m genuinely sorry about my tardiness) but they are as follows. If you weren’t at the conference, take a look at the people you haven’t heard of, I think all of these works are genuinely interesting, and not just in the context of the paper.

For reference, the paper was entitled ‘Examining connections between architecture and jewellery in the last 100 years: Using associations outside the profession to inform a vision of the future jeweller’

Image sources; listed in order of presentation.

Francios-Desire Froment-Meurice, Paris ca 1845/50
Brooch: Gold, Silver, Enamel, Pearl | “A female half figure with a dog on her lap in a Neo-Gothic alcove”
Fritz Falk, Schmuck Jewellery 1840-1940: Highlights Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim, Arnoldsche, 2004, (p 22)

Vicki Ambery-Smith
Guggenheim Brooch, 2004 | V & A Spiral, 2004 | Untitled Ring

Martin Papcun
Object 2007, 85 x 90 x 45, Aluminium
Object: Buildings 2007 Aluminium, gold plated 4,5 x 6 x 3 cm
(From the Czech Republic)

Erik Kuiper
Ravary Series: Taus II | Weltinnenraum Series  Formalhaut | Scutum I (from the Netherlands)

Donna Verveka
Necklace: Sofitto, Venezia – Sterling Silver, 18 carat gold, metallic cord, 2007 | Bracelet: Gothic Arcade – Sterling Silver, Aquamarine, 2007 | Ring: Colosseum – Sterling silver, 18 carat gold, 2004

Ben Neubauer:
Spire ring, 18 karat palladium white gold | Isolated Hemispheres Necklace, 2001, sterling and 18 karat gold | Rectangular pin, sterling and 18 karat gold | Roman arch ring, 18 karat gold

Vikki Kassioras
Concrete and Silver rings 2002. Photo: Terence Bogue.

Carlier Makigawa
Bangle: Silver and Monel, 2005 (Hybrid Series) | Ring, 925 silver, Monel, 2003 | Hybrid Series, pins and bangle. Monel, 925 silver, enamel, (coral)

Simon Cottrell
Brooch: Faceted tubes tagged lumber, Monel, stainless steel, 2006, 9 x 6 x 4 cm| Brooch: Silver blob faceted tubes, Monel, 925 silver, 2005, 7.5 x 6 x 4 cm | Object: Awkward, Monel, 2005, 15 x 15 x 13 cm

Amanda Levete Architects
Corian Showroom from Milan. This won the Interiors and Fit-out prize at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona, in 2009. Taken from article by Rose Etherington.

Fritz Maierhofer
(L-R top) Ring – Corian 2005 | Rings – Corian, Gold, 2003 | Brooch – Corian, Silver, Acrylic, Magnets 2005,
(L-R bottom) Brooch – Corian, Silver Magnets, 2005 | Brooch – Corian, Silver Magnets, 2006
From Klimt02:

David Watkins
Pendant Neckpiece, Dyed Acrylic, Gold, 1974 (The only work to be executed from the programming experiment) From: ‘David Watkins: Artist in Jewellery’, Chadour-Sampson, B. Arnoldsche, Stuttgart, 2008, p9

David Watkins
Necklace: Flat Square 1977, Gold, acrylic, 220 x 220 x 100 mm | Bracelet: Wave 1986, Colorcore, Ø 150 mm Klimt02

David Watkins
Pin: Gardens of Arqua Petrarca 2004, stainless steel approx. 11.0 cm (Ø)

Ted Noten
Pig bracelet (From the seriers; Coming Soon) Sintered nylon, 2008 | Haunted by 36 Women 2009 – Nylon necklace, gold and (titanium?) rings.

Giampaolo Babetto
Brooch: 750 white gold, acrylic, 2001 | Brooch Gold 750, pigment, 1992

Helfried Kodré
Brooch: Untitled 2008, Silver, amazonite, 12 x 10.5 cm | Ring: Untitled 2008, Silver, turquoise, rhodonite 3.5 x 1.7 x 4 cm

Peter Skubic
Untitled Brooch: Steel, pink lacquer, gold leaf, 2004 | Untitled Ring (no details)
Klimt02 +

Frank Gehry
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain, 1997

Four Architect Designed Jewels: Commissioned by Cleto Munari
Peter Eisenman – Ring: gold, black onyx , lapis lazuli, turquoise (p23)
Richard Meier – Ring: gold, black onyx, sapphires, white onyx (p55)
Robert Venturi– Collar: gold, white onyx, black onyx, lapis lazuli, turquoise, red agate, green agate (p109)
Arato Isozaki – Ring: gold, lapis lazuli, red onyx, turquoise (p42)
Barbara Radice, (Gioilli di Architetti) Jewellery by Architects, Electa 1987

Josef Hoffman
Three brooches with sketch
Silver, partly gilt, semi-precious and precious stones, coral,
Weiner Werkstatte Jewelry, Staggs et al, Hatje Cantz, 2008

Frank Gehry
Torque Necklace, Sterling Silver | Fish Necklace, Sterling Silver, Rubber Cord | Torque Bangle, Sterling Silver | 7-Fish necklace in sterling silver, onyx, nephrite green jade, acacia wood, and pernambuco wood

Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher with Swarovski
Catwalk piece, 2008
(Hadid and Schumacher have collaborated also on lighting design)

Zaha Hadid Architects
Renderings of the proposed Regium Waterfront Development, Reggio, Calabria, Italy. Announced in 2009

Zaha Hadid Architects
Burnham Pavillion Chicago, 2009. Image copyright Michelle Lilvin.

Mitsue Slattery
Leaf Brooch, Fine Silver. Image: Matthew Brown

Wendy Ramshaw
Garden Gate: Fellows Garden,  St John’s College, Oxford, 1993. Mild steel and gold leaf
Images: Bob Cramp
Columbus Screen – Canary Wharf, London. Mild steel, acrylic, stainless steel, glass, industrial paint, aluminium and gold leaf. 1999/2000. 15m x 2m x 6.5cm. Images: Jim Ebdon –

Wendy Ramshaw
Brooch: Metro 1, 18 carat gold, 2008? Photography: Graham Pym
Pipe Dreams: Set of 7 rings | Sterling Silver, blue and purple enamel. Nickel Alloy Stand

MakerBot Industries
Cupcake CNC


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.