hubcap attachment rings, laminated figures of Jeff Thompson, an unidentified
umpire and Denis Lillee cut from the pages of ‘The Wisden Illustrated History
of Cricket’ published 1988, aluminum and potbelly black paint.
my experience, look at the world differently. It’s in our nature to think that
almost everything ‘could be’ a piece of jewellery. Perhaps that bit of roadside
detritus, already heavy with history, ‘could be’ a ready-made neckpiece. Pace
Men is a nod to the
work of luminary Dutch jeweller Gijs Bakker, and combines the jeweller’s
ready-made with a jocular love of Australia’s summer religion; Cricket. PS - jewellery, beer and cricket. happiness.
This is some work made for a recent traveling exhibition, 'Once More, With Love' for more info on this exhibition/project head along to the website. Pretty much the short of the long of it is, that 21 artist were sent a bag of questionable jewellery (that was donated by the public) and challenged to remake/remodel/recycle these bits into new pieces. This project has its foundation in the idea and education of ethical and sustainable jewellery/making.
Why were you drawn to participate in Once More, With Love?
I'm often quite selective with my choice of materials, so I was excited by the challenge of being given something to work with that I hadn't chosen myself. It appears, in hindsight that it is much harder to form a connection with materials that have been bestowed to you rather that materials that have gone though your own vigorous selection process. This has most certainly been a challenge.
What was the most interesting/weirdest thing in your mystery bag?
There was some pretty awful stuff in my mystery bag, pieces of childlike trashy plastic buttons (a sun, a love heart and a frog), a diamante heart clasp, plastic bangles, beads, beads, beads! My first thought was to make something out of the packaging that this bag of beads, beads, beads came in, but thought, no, that’s silly. I struggled to make something, anything that would sit right with how I make, and what I wanted to say. It seems in the end that my initial gut reaction was just the ticket.
Zoe Brand - 2012 Craft Samples
used regular post satchel
paper bag from Waltons with a receipt for cards/wrap totaling
$1.84 purchased on 30/05/1983, laminate, glue, drawing pins.
On the 30th May 1983, I was twelve months and 7 days away from being born. On this day my grandmother was purchasing cards/wrap for the grand total of $1.84. In 1981 the infamous Alan Bond had purchased Waltons Ltd, a department store chain that had over 60 stores throughout Australia. By 1983 Waltons had become a financial disaster, losing $199 million, in 1987 Waltons was no more.
My latest column for the New Zealand based jewellery newsletter 'Overview'. If you are not already on their mailing list, please drop them an e-mail and ask to be added (email@example.com).
Brandlandia does Beijing
Right now I am sitting on a roof top garden under an
almost perfect blue sky (give or take some hazardous pollution) sipping on a
local brew in a city with a population roughly that of Australia.I’ve been in Beijing for a week and
I’ve walked along the Great Wall, spun on the dance floor of an underground Russian
nightclub, devoured some wonderful food, and changed a few diapers.I’ve come to this amazing city to meet
my super fresh five-week-old niece, Mia.
Coming from my new home, in the quite suburbs of
Canberra, I expected the chaos, what I did not expect is the calm this city
seems to exude. Sure there are the noises of bells, horns and jackhammers, but
they quickly meld into the background. The cars, bikes, buses and people seem
to dance, never stopping, just flowing and weaving around one another in an
The weather is turning and Autumn is announcing its
arrival, the clothes that I have brought with me seem no longer appropriate, it
feels strange to be buying warmer clothes, as I know when I arrive home the
weather will be moving in the opposite direction. However the days are
pleasant, and the shopping is thrilling!
When I travel I only wear one piece of jewellery: a
pendant of Mary on a long blacked silver chain. I have no religious tendencies
and I do not take the iconography of ‘Mary’ on this pendant to for its literal
sense. This piece made by contemporary jeweller and good mate Lisa Furno, is
from a series she made a few years ago called ‘Madonna’. It is one of a cast of
a cast of a cast of the gold pendant of Mary that her grandmother wore. By
casting the cast Furno, not only moves literally away from the sharpness and
detail of the original pendant, but also blurs its initial meaning, allowing new
ideas, emotions and memories to be instilled in it by its new wearer. Lisa is
one sassy, fearless, fun, relentless, surprising, cheeky, challenging, joyous
and brave little lady. When I travel, I wear this pendant as a talisman and use
it as a ‘WWLD (what would Lisa do)’ in situations that often arise in unknown
countries. As I move though my twenties I notice myself becoming quite
suppositious, which of course I find rather ridiculous, but irrationality runs
in my blood. My ‘Mary’ or rather my ‘Lisa’ is the voice inside egging me on,
‘as if you’re NOT
going to toboggan down the Great Wall of China’ but also cautioning me not to
ride my bike home though the Beijing traffic after too many turns on the dance
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of being asked to open an exhibition for two of my most favorite jewellers, Melinda Young and Lauren Simeoni! There is Unnatural Tendencies as well as a show that Mel and Lauren have curated, Unnatural Acts which also has a bucket load of great jewellers in it! Get along to Craft to see not only these super shows but also two other most excellent exhibitions.
Below is a copy of my very short speech!
Unnatural Acts Opening Speech at CRAFT 18/10/2012
Instead of opening this show with interpretive dance
as was suggested to me, I though I would borrow some wise words from
I've recently begun to contribute a regular column in the totally amazing New Zealand based jewellery newsletter 'Overview' edited by the delightful ladies behind the Jewellers Guild of Greater Sandringham. If you are not already on their mailing list, please drop them an e-mail and ask to be added, I promise you won't be disappointed (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This was my latest musing from OVERVIEW issue #8 August 2012
Right now I am in the process of packing up 8 years of life in Sydney, 5 of those in my current
abode Club Brand (infamously named after a period of Thursday nights when the living room
transformed into a dance floor until the wee hours of the morning). 5 years is a long time in your
mid-twenties to have lived in a single dwelling, and it seems I have accumulated more things than
I know how to deal with. Some of my possessions have 5 years worth of train/airplane/car/city
dust on them, however, that probably says more about my cleaning habits than anything. The first
‘things’ I have decided to deal with are my books; I need to downsize my library and keep only what
is relevant and important to me, so I guess it’s safe to say that my childhood copy of ‘How a baby
is made’ should probably hit the sidewalk collection.
Filmmaker and bibliophile John Waters famously wrote “… If you go home with somebody and
they don’t have books, don’t fuck them.” To be honest, I couldn’t agree more! Now, I must admit
my library is a modest few hundred compared to Waters supposed 8,000 plus books, but I still
whole heartily agree with his sentiment, I couldn’t live without my books and I wouldn’t knock
boots someone who could. The Internet informs me that Walters also wrote words along the lines
of ‘…there is nothing as important as an unread library’. So it is with this, that I must confess that
some of my most prized belongings, my jewellery books, have barely been given any more love
(since they came into my possession) other than a quick finger though on a rainy day.
The few jewellers I have spoken with about this very topic have sighed with relief knowing that it
wasn’t just them with a stack of books (often located bedside) waiting eternally to be read. Over a
beer I ponder why I haven’t read these books; I am I intimidated by what I might find within the
covers, will they prove that I am just as mediocre as I think I am? Will they cement the fact that there
is still SO MUCH that I don’t know or, is it simply that I just haven’t found the time and brainpower
required to fully absorb all that information? With Saturn’s return and big changes occurring in my
life, what better time than any to vow never to let the dust settle (again) on these books until I have
read each of them from cover to cover! To be fair, they are doing their job perfectly, making me
look good to prospective lovers, the very least I could do is learn a few pearls of their wisdom.
As the saying goes, ‘the movie is never as good as the book’. There is just something about the written word that allows such personal interpretation and makes it so powerfully evocative. Not surprisingly, the film Fahrenheit 451 is not as good as the dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury upon which it is based. Ironically, there is something quite apt about this. The movie presents a future where a literate populace poses a threat to the prevailing order and Firemen are employed to burn all books. Montag, the main protagonist, is one such Fireman, and his encounter with a condemned book hoarder, an old lady who would rather burn with her books than live without them, leads him to question the idea of book burning. Interestingly, the title refers to the supposed temperature at which books burn.
I have quite a penchant for text and the written word, and this is often reflected in my work. Needless to say, I thought this film was a rather appropriate choice.
I’d like to tell you a bit about myself. I’m about average height, I wear glasses, I like to skim stones and take long walks in the park. The area of the arts in which I am trained and identify with is that of Contemporary Jewellery. I also like to drink beer and cider, so if you are ever in the area and feel the need to talk Jewellery (or the state of the Australian cricket team), drop me a line and we can converse well into the night about this, that and anything else you have on you mind.
365 Brooches - Inspired by some crafty people, I have decided to create my own '365 project', essentially making a brooch a day for one year. This project will be used as a means of exploring ideas, processes and found materials that I have collected, nay hoarded over the years. I see these 'brooches' as quick 'sketches' of ideas rather than actual finished pieces, and as such they may only take a few minutes to make, but allow for the ideas in my head to become some form of a reality. They may not be pretty, they may not be practical and they may be something else entirely but they are a start, and what better place to begin than that.