self sourcing

Melissa buys titanium, and calls it a successful day. Lazy? No, not exactly… Relaxed? Maybe…

So what am I doing with that drawing, you may well ask? It’s currently in the inbox of the laser-cutter, patiently awaiting the arrival of the metal through which it is to be sliced. The titanium was purchased earlier today and is currently racing by courier to catch up with the drawings. (And what of the stainless steel? Well, it enjoys a more relaxed existence at this stage… I can only assume that it is idling in a rack at the laser-cutters.)

Need titanium? I did. So I went to see Commodity Marketing and got myself a sheet of 1mm, and a 914mm length of 1.2mm wire. The sheet was grade 1, though I forgot to ask about the wire. But wait! There is tube! Though the smallest diameter that they hold stock of was about 20mm. (I would have liked some 1mm…) When speaking with the rep he acknowledged that many jewellers would like for him to stock more tube, but apparently we don’t order enough.

I saw that he had small-ish packets of the 1.2mm dia wire, and assume that the tube would be sold the same, say 50 or 100 per packet. It would be interesting to see how many are in a packet, and how many jewellers are interested in sourcing such titanium in Melbourne…

more of you know who…

Melissa is interviewed by Steph. A lovely time was had by all 😀

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…

outgoing

Mel’s applying herself to applying. Wanna join the fun? There’s plenty of links to go round!

First of all a community service announcement for any recent grads in Melbourne:
ArtStart info session
Tuesday 25 May 2010, 6-8pm
Old Council Chambers, Trades Hall

FREE! RSVP: Melissa Habjan, ArtStart Administration Officer,
 on 02 9215 9162 or at m dot habjan at australiacouncil dot gov dot au
2010 ArtStart Grant information
 – Closing date: 4 October 2010. 
Applications available online from 23 August 2010.

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In other news, here’s what I’m currently applying for:
a show at Object – closes June 30
a few travel grants – Noosa, British Council and the Samstag Scholarship (the last two for grads) and New Traditional Jewellery.

I made it into NTJ in ’07, so it’s not that hard, but I didn’t in ’08, so it’s not too simple either. (Maybe just getting more popular, yeah? That’s how I consoled myself…)

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.

… 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!

spotto

Melissa makes omission in plans, corrects at the bench, carries on.

So, who noticed the deliberate* mistake in the plans? Well if you did, write to me to claim your prize!

After adhering print-outs of the plans to the spoons, I cut out spoon one (as laid out pre-assembly above, with spoon two similarly arranged below it) and then drilled and began to cut into spoon two. And in the second round of saw-peircing, I noticed that the circuit that I was seperating from the main body of the spoon had no holes marked on the drawing, and therefore no holes drilled through the piece. By then it should have had both. So I got out the old texta, marked eight appropriate spots, and went back to the drill press.

*deliberate = complete, absent-minded omission

1 tsp

Melissa shows off a work in progress – a spoon she’s about to make useless, by turning it into art…

Exhibit A –  a teaspoon.

Hand Held Gallery is having a show in April called ‘one cup’. It takes 48 teaspoons to make up a cup, says Megan at the gallery (I’m sure it’s true, Megan doesn’t seem the type to make up such a fact, or any fact, in fact). I am currently working on a pair of them, and they both started out looking like this.

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.

drawing a blank

Sandwiching metal in blankers to cut out blanks – single sheet blanking for jewellers

I know, how many puns can I wedge into my posts on blanking? How long is a blank…?

When describing blankers earlier, I never mentioned how they actually operate. Once you have cut out the blanker, you have to turn it up side down and pull the middle of the blank (rather than the outer frame section) towards you, in order for there to be space to insert your metal. Using the desired metal, that has been rolled (unrolled stock is too soft and might just get stuck rather than shear cleanly, this part was missed in my previous tuition and yes, it makes a difference), you sandwich it in the opening you created in the blanker.
Once the metal is sitting snugly between the two leaves of the steel, you pop the whole thing (with inside portion of the blanker facing up) onto a press. Then squish it! The press crunches down on the metal and shears it, hopefully cleanly. We used a fly press, but in a class I did back at Curtin the hydraulic press was preferred – which is what Helen says she uses in her studio. She also rigged up a pretty good system to press with a large vice, involving two thick (3-4mm) sheets of steel and some gaffa tape.