Wednesday, June 4, 2014

ODE TO ERNST HAECKEL





Hello dear reader, I hope this blog post finds you well. It seems as though my blog has been on the back burner for a while. Thought I should remedy the situation and share something with you. I have been busy settling in to life here in Adelaide and getting some work done. 

I had some fun making these pieces for the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize. I have always loved Ernst Haeckel's drawings and thought I might have a go at making some small scale sculptures based on his work. Each piece has been hammered, cut, raised and constructed by hand from flat copper sheet, the surface was then treated to give it a patina. I have just found out that I am a finalist in the Sculpture and Objects category, which is fabulous! So, look out for my pieces in July at the South Australian Museum. 

Until next time, take care dear reader...


Saturday, March 15, 2014

TAKING TIME TO SETTLE IN


Hello dear reader, I hope this finds you well. I am slowly settling in to my new life here in Adelaide. I have set up my workbench at the Jam Factory and have been playing around with making models to visualise my ideas in a three dimensional format. Will spend some time experimenting with the types of materials I would like to use and document some of this process here and on my facebook and instagram pages in the future. 

In the meantime I thought I'd share with you some images from a day out I had at the Art Gallery of South Australia. Dark Heart, the title of the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art exhibition curated by Gallery Director Nick Mitzevich showcases some of Australia's better known contemporary artists "...delving into the darkness, to those places we seldom see...". 

I met this lovely woman on the bus the other day who is a member of the art gallery and an advocate for contemporary art (she would have to be in her eighties). She was praising the Director and his decisions over the last couple of years. When I took a stroll through the permanent collections I noticed many contemporary works side by side with historical pieces. I really like this juxtaposition and the idea of not separating genres and periods of art, in a way it forces those who are purely interested in traditional art to be exposed to something contemporary and vice versa. Perhaps this was something the new director implemented? 

Anyway, the images below are from one of my favourite artists, Ah Xian, a Chinese-Australian artist who has used the human figure in his work for many years. The text below was included in the exhibition.

"These eight bronze busts reference traditional Chinese appreciation of the alchemic qualities of minerals considered to transcend the material. They are inexorably linked to the spiritual and divine realms, while also alluding to the mining boom that has brought his two countries of residence into close association."

If you are in Adelaide or are thinking about making your way here definitely check out this exhibition and come and check out the Jam Factory while you are at it. 

Until next time dear reader, take care of you and yours. 




















Monday, February 17, 2014

Thursday, December 26, 2013

THANKS AND SOME NEWS




Well hello dear reader, it has been some time since I wrote anything on my little blog, so I thought I should remedy that situation and slam a few words down. Life has been exhausting for me of late, lots of working and not a lot of resting, but it's all been very worthwhile. Now that I have some time to breathe a little, I thought I would send out a big thank you to all that have supported me this year. If you have bought a piece of my jewellery, attended one of my classes or just made me a cuppa this year, I want to tell you that your support means the world to me. You all have made a difference in my life, you make it all worthwhile and I am very grateful for your generosity. 

So, I guess you are wondering why I have popped a video about The Jam Factory on my blog, well that's part of my news. I have been accepted into the associate program in the metals studio! I will be relocating to Adelaide and get to spend the next two years doing what I love. I am planning on working on larger scale objects and vessels and am so excited to get the chance to be in this unique environment!

So, dear reader wish me luck. I will post more next year about what I get up to and you can check out my instagram and facebook pages as well, to see what's going down in Adelaide town. 

Happy New Year all! I hope that the new year treats you well and you achieve all that you wish for yourself. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

POP-UP JEWELLERY SHOP




I certainly have been busy over the last little while. Plenty of things on the boil, but I guess as the saying goes 'when it rains - it pours'. I am taking part in a pop-up show and tell shop at the Art Gallery of Ballarat (the Annexe - back of the gallery) next weekend. If you happen to be in the rat next weekend I would love to see you. There will be a few makers showing their wares and doing a few demos over the weekend. 

Some of the pieces are things I have been making for years and I have created some new things as well. You can see what I will have on offer at my instagram and facebook pages. I have big plans next year to start making different kinds of things, my goal is to start to make larger scale vessels and objects, which excites me immensely. So stay tuned to see what I get up to in the new year. 

I'll keep making jewellery until the silly season is behind us. So, if you want to own or give to a loved one something that is made by hand with lots of love this Christmas come and visit the makers at the Show and Tell Pop-up Shop at the Art Gallery of Ballarat next weekend. 

Look forward to seeing you there dear reader. 


Sunday, October 27, 2013

ANSEL ADAMS - AN EMBRACE



Ansel Adams. Poplars, Cemetery near Mount Diablo, 
California. 1960. 

Image via my pinterest page 'my favourite photohraphers


This wonderful photograph looks like an embrace, I imagine that these trees may have been planted by a person who lost their lover, a memento of their endearing love for one another. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

WE NEED MORE TOMMY FRANKLINS




I love this guy, a free spirit, making people happy. We need more Tommy Franklins in this world of ours. We are all so concerned with what people think of us! Who cares! As long as you are not being offensive I think you should dance in the streets if that makes you feel good about you! Bravo Tommy Franklin, thanks for being you. 

NEW THINGS THAT SHINE




I recently made these rings using, silver, gold, sapphires and tourmalines. I set the stones myself, it is something that I have taught myself over the years. I was given a quick lowdown on how to gypsy (or flush) set by a fabulous stone setter one day. This guy could set stones with his eyes shut and his hands tied behind his back, maybe not the hands tied bit but you get where I am going with this, he is so skilled at what he does, a rockin' stone setter. He told me it's as easy as pie, just drill a hole, then burr it out to fit the stone in and rub the metal around the stone to hold it into place. Easy, peesy lemon squeezy...well not really. It looks easy when someone shows you and then when you have a go, well it kind of goes wrong in every way. I stuck with it though and am glad to say that I can do gypsy setting if I want to. 

I hope that your day has been or is turning out to be fine dear reader, till next time.  

P.S. I am running a ring making workshop on Saturday 21st September at The Art Gallery of Ballarat. I will teach you how to measure, cut, solder and finish your very own silver ring. I will also show you how to make your ring truly unique with a variety of finishes. If you are interested check out more info at my workshops page on my website

Friday, August 2, 2013

GRATITUDE - TANIA LUNA





It was a balmy 9 degrees celsius in The Rat today and I decided to do some tinkering in my studio which is currently located in the shed. To say it was a tad cold is a understatement, but you know what I had the best day (I even did a little happy dance when I made something I am really pleased with). Lately my resolve has been tested and I have been finding it difficult to focus on "the good stuff". Last night I thought I might watch a TED Talk, cause they always seem to inspire me and I picked this one (above). This was exactly what I needed to watch. Thank you Tania Luna, you and your family are pretty amazing human beings. You gave me the nudge I needed to get back on track. 

Today, I felt like a millionaire! I am grateful for having the time to make something, listen to some tunes and feel fine. So dear reader, I hope you can find something that makes you feel like a millionaire today. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

SCIENTIFIC ILLUSTRATIONS WORKSHOP 2






Ryan's great creations above




Tam's brooch above



Ava's coloured repeat bird wing brooch above




Sophie's squid brooch above



A combination of Rachel and Chelsea's work above

Maddie's feather brooch below




Another workshop at the Art Gallery of Ballarat, using the 'The Art of Science' exhibition as a starting point. The exhibition is on until the 21st July, go check it out if you are near the 'Rat', it's a must see! 


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

SCIENTIFIC ILLUSTRATIONS WORKSHOP






Today I ran a workshop at the Art Gallery of Ballarat. We spent some time checking out the current exhibition 'The Art of Science - Scientific Illustrations from Museum Victoria' and used certain aspects of the drawings in the exhibition to create wearable pieces. Drawings were painted with watercolours, cut, laminated and reconfigured to create brooches, neckpieces and earrings. 

A big thanks to Mia P, Ella M, Sojeong, Sophie, Ella J, Jasmine, Emily, Jilly, Zoe, Olivia, Mia, Anna and Montanah for taking part today. Lots of great pieces were made! 







Mia's wing neckpiece and snake brooch above





Emily's bird head brooches above



Sojeong's birds head brooch and butterfly neckpiece



Butterfly brooch made by Montanah above



Mia's colourful wing neckpiece



Jilly's bat paw brooch above



Sophie's earrings and brooch above



Jasmine's collage brooch above




Ella's work for the day above



Curly bird tails make up Olivia's neckpiece



Zoe's brooch, earrings  & neckpiece 



Ella's owl inspired neckpiece

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

BACK TO THE FUTURE





I've been looking through some old photos and slides of things I have made in the past and I came across this one. I made these neckpieces in 2002 and called them 'Mama Squids'. I played around with the squid design a few years earlier making earrings that I still wear today. 

Looking back is something us humans do a lot of. Sometimes we can get a little stuck in the past and need a little nudge to be present. I get a little carried away with what great things I could achieve in the future and forget to be in the here and now. So what makes it so hard to just BE, dear reader. Is there going to be something better around the corner? Who really knows? 

Kids are really good at living in the moment, they play, eat and sleep and do it all again the next day. Remembering to be a kid once in a while could probably be the medicine I need at the moment. I'm working with some kids at the art gallery tomorrow, so I will learn a lesson or two. 

So dear reader, enjoy your day today, whatever it will bring.  

Monday, June 3, 2013

LADY GREYHOUND



image from here

I pinned this photo on one of my boards on Pinterest not long ago and thought it was just a funny little photo, but the other night I was watching the fabulous show American Pickers and learnt more about it. This is Lady Greyhound. In 1957 the Greyhound bus company introduced her as a bit of a mascot. She certainly rocked those jewels. She attended many openings, no red ribbons mind you, she officially opened the Greyhound terminal in Detroit by munching through a ribbon of dog biscuits. Hope she makes you smile dear reader. 

Friday, May 31, 2013

ROCKIN' MAKER - DAVID CLARKE


I've known of David Clarke and his "readymade mashups" for quite a while. I have to say that I am a fan of his work. I like his sense of humour and the way he transforms traditional silverware into playful objects with a story. I was reading an article about him the other day and read that he certainly has had his fair share of detractors (don't we all). Some-one wrote him a letter in response to his work, I thought it was worth sharing (below). The source of the letter is from David's site here

Dear Mr. Clarke,

I’ve been looking at your work for some time now and I continue
to find it both appalling and bizarre that it has been allowed
into some of the most renowned galleries and silver collections
in the world. Is this intended to be some sort of joke? All you
seem to be able to do is take the work of other, much more highly
skilled makers than yourself and then mutilate it with obscure,
unnecessary additions. What a waste of silver! As if that wasn’t
bad enough, upon closer inspection and with further research it’s
become apparent that you actually contaminate your silver using
lead? Do you even understand how wasteful this is? Silver is a
precious, pure and beautiful material as it is. It is ‘makers’
like yourself who pollute the good name of many contemporary
silversmiths coming up with interesting, functional designs as
well as beautiful sculptural pieces. I simply do not understand
how you can be making any money from what you’re doing, though
I understand that you are employed as an educator as well, and
I suspect that this is your sole source of income.

May you either stop making altogether or start making real silverware.





limo





yea-ha





up the duff





feck off





u-turn



All photographs © David Clarke 2012, All Rights Reserved
via his site here

Friday, May 24, 2013

WORD ON THE STREET - COTTLE BOARD

A Cottle Board sounds like a new kind of skateboard or something. But it has nothing to do with an Ollie or Goofy Foot in actual fact it is a craft related term.  It's not a jewellery term, it is specific to ceramics and mould making for slip casting. I have been reading a bit on slip casting and mould making lately and came across the term. 

Cottle Boards are boards that encase the master pattern that you are making a mould out of. They are generally made from plywood or similar. The thing I like about them is that they can be reused over and over again and they can be adjusted to create moulds of various sizes. 

The great website Ceramics Arts Daily created a video on how to make cottle boards which I have included below. The video gives you a better idea of what they are and what they look like. I think that these boards would be great for mould making with silicon as well when making small objects and jewellery for resin casting. 

So, there's the word on the street dear reader, I hope you have a fabulous weekend.