…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.

making

Melissa make a piece of jewellery! A brooch, in fact. She is very impressed with her efforts.

Finally some output from the new studio. Following the Helen Britton guide to brooch-backs, I’ve given this baby a double pin. For my work it’s a pretty heavy piece, so it needed it. It’s 86mm in diameter at the points.

The colouring was fun; I didn’t expect my gas-only torch to be up for the job, but I guess that’s the difference between a dedicated source of compressed gas and a multi-torch setup. I hadn’t planned a colour scheme before-hand and found that getting consistent colours was really easy, so I went up the steel-heating-spectrum and then had a play when I reached the end.

As for the texture, I tried sandblasting with the glass beads first. While they gave a lovely finish, they didn’t get rid of all the soldering muck and discolouration, so I had to go back to a heavier grit to clean up the joins. I stuck with the aluminium oxide it for the whole piece in the end, but I might try a two step process next time, since the more shiny finish did look appealing to me.

BUDA

Last year I had three pieces exhibited in the BUDA Contemporary Australian Silver + Metalwork exhibition at Buda, Castlemaine. The little pieces have been touring ever since (they were chosen by the judges to travel in the smaller touring exhibition that followed) and have been to Shepparton, The Arts Centre Melbourne, Geelong and just last week saw the opening of the show in the Mornington Peninsula. The show continues until the 8th of March.

still learning

Melissa is setting up a studio. She is learning how to do this, as she goes.

There are no pictures this week, as I’ve been gathering information, making drawings and planning. This gives me very little to show for a days work, but like when reading a book, sometimes all you have is what you learned. I find this infuriating, because I like to track my progress, and this means judging how successful a day has been by the volume of my output, be it drawn, made or written.

I have organised a fair amount this week. I have a space (almost) and a plan of the gallery for an upcoming show, which I drew to scale (I’m not in favour of not working to scale, nor plans made in Word) in order to work on the exhibition design. I’ve found a place to have a work bench made, in Mentone. I’ve spent time on forums looking for ideas and recommendations (it’s been all online since Monday, when going out into the world netted several outlets closed for holidays) and spent an age looking at my options for flexi drives, which left me completely confused. (Luckily, I remembered a friend who could help steer me through the mire.)

Along this convoluted journey, (that’s another thing that bugs me, getting side-tracked from my main goal for the day, despite the diversions being ultimately useful! Maybe…) I learned about the benefits of  citric acid pickle, from looking at other people’s studios. Actually, that brings me to another point.

I learn best by example; by seeing other people in action. Ben’s descriptions of his studio, coupled with the photos, I found to be really instructive. With luck, following other sidetracks will turn out to be equally informative.

announcing…

Melissa announces…

vertical AC logo smlToday 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!

well travelled

Meliss’s work is going on a holiday. Melissa is not. Yet.

Staggered 8 point star
Staggered 8 point star

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.

Conference Call

Melissa and her mates to invade Perth for the JMGA conference in April 2010!

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!)

It’s going to be a beauty!

EMBARGO

Melissa gets served fresh embargo for the first time in her life. Surprisingly, it doesn’t taste that bad…

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!”

Til Monday, y’all!