drawing is oooo-ver!

Melissa talks camera, and lights, aaaand action!

So today it’s back to… photography. There will be studio time later today, (HOORAY!) but for the moment, I’m working on shooting straight.

I have a Leica D-Lux 4 which takes a pretty good shot. I know very little about cameras, but I have several friends with Leica’s, (and one with the cheaper but identical Panasonic Lumix LX3, you know who you are!) and generally, they rave about them. I try not to, but hey, here I am now…

Having said that, I’ve had this Leica with and without a lighting setup. I have to say, the lights are probably more important than the camera. I didn’t realise back in Perth (given the unmatchable access to powerful natural light year-round) how important lighting is, so I struggled in Melbourne for a while with my previous (but still not too bad) camera.

Now I have the camera, and the modest light setup, and I can shoot this;

and turn it into this!

(hopefully there’s detectable improvement)

on the intertubes

Melissa Online! Now more Online!

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.

out of Perth and back to earth

Melissa gets down and dirty… earthy… sandy…? Anyway, she’s back in Melbourne.

An explanation of my title: I’m now back in Melbourne, and am going back (all of 2.5 weeks) to what I learned in Perth at the workshop presented by Elizabeth Turrell, which was, in essence, about how to apply sand to metal.

So, what’s to know about earth then? Well, very kindly, Inari put her hand up to make an order to Thompson Enamel in the US on behalf of a few fellow Victorians. She is currently studying at RMIT and keen to keep using this process in her works for examination, so was quick off the mark with her order, which I have been told arrived yesterday. (Yup, a Sunday…)

For my order I went over to Thompson’s website where I downloaded their comprehensive catalogue (on the main page) and set about trying to find the enamels we had used during the workshop. In the end I ordered (in 8oz dry powdered form) from the section – Liquid Form Enamel, Water Base, Base Coats:
BC-1070 Medium fusing white
BC-969A Low fusing clear transparent
BC-303L Medium fusing clear transparent (not used in the workshop, I just added this one to be a completist)
and in the Liquid Form Enamel Colors:
533 White
930 Chinese Red
772 Black

Being in the possession of a sand blaster (too many posts to note sorry, do a search if you’re interested) I will be testing these enamels (once I have mixed them with water and got them paint-brush ready) on mild steel and stainless steel (why sandblast? Elizabeth suggests blasting the surface to help the enamel stick). And with any luck on some recycled pre-enameled metals as well. One of our group has already approached her local white goods retailer and been given a bounty of fridge doors to attack/beautify.

Now all I need is a kiln. Coincidentally, TurboNerd sent me a link to this little sucker yesterday. It’s maybe a little small (dimensionally and in possible heat output) for my current needs, and definitely lacking in a thermometer, but it’s perfect for my current price range…

For the moment I think I’ll attempt flame-enameling instead.

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.

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.