Sunday, November 21, 2010

Catch me up.

So I guess apologies are in order, It seems it has been a little while between beers, sorry, posts.

Perhaps you might be interested in what's been going on.

A few great exhibitions:
Marked by Sonya Scott.

Some great publicity:

'Sterling by Gaffa' in Vogue Living - Nov/Dec 2010 - Page 66

'Sterling by Gaffa' in SMH - Essential section- Thursday 21st October.

Something random I did:

Guess thats all for now, hope you kids are all well and good, and make sure you check below for some more great guest posts.


- Z

Guest Blog (Karen Thompson aka Melbourne Jeweller)

I wish I could devote more time to making! I am working on a small group for Studio 20/17 'Un-Wrapped' week-long exhibition (just before Christmas). I've been experimenting with making frames, which I'll powdercoat and over which I'll wrap narrow woven panels of paper/silver. It's a small progression from previous work, and I like the focus a themed group exhibition provides. They're only in the development stage at this point, so I need to move them along quickly.
The most recent addition to my collection is a Katherine Bowman parti-colour sapphire and white gold 'celebration' ring. I've only had it for a few weeks and I am as excited as a giddy child about it - it's beautiful! It has a weight that is so pleasing to feel; and from the first day I put it on it felt like it belonged.
I also always wear a more linear diamond and white gold I commissioned from my teacher at the Goldsmiths School in Brisbane about a decade ago (it's #17 in my collection stories on my blog).

I've been reading non-fiction books about science recently ... sounds duller than it is actually! I've read 'Unweaving the Rainbow' in which I fell in love with the phrase about stars: "The sky was full of ghosts". And the diary of Sir Joseph Banks on the Endeavour; I'm not very far into it, but a few days ago he described a "lunar rainbow" which has inspired me. I find my imagination catches on to such turns of phrase to make lovely images in my mind.
For the near future, I'm excited about visiting graduate exhibitions and 'Returning to the Jewel is a return from exile' at Tarrawarra (with Robert Baines, Karl Fritsch, Gerd Rothmann).
And of course I enjoy blog-surfing, especially jewellery-related blogs: I have a long list of regularly visited blogs, and I like also looking for new ones.


A Huge THANK YOU to Karen from the very successful and amazing jewellery blog 'Melbourne Jeweller'. If you don't already know about this blog, where on earth have you been?!! Get on over there and check back there often, Karen is totally dedicated to her blog, unlike me of late. sorry.

Guest Blog (Michele Morcos)



Making -

I’m in the middle of many little projects at the moment. And I seem to be in the middle of many different studio areas too! After finishing a six -month studio residency at The Primrose Studios where I had a beautiful big studio to play in, I now seem to be struggling with settling back into my tiny studio at home! {M1 +M2} I call my home studio The Cobwebs + Laundry studio and I think the name should give you an indication of what the space is like!

It is cozy though…and I’m thinking/ reworking/ and playing with the sketches I did over the weekend, as part of a 2-day drawing workshop with the National Art School. {M3} Upstairs at my desk, I have an embroidery to complete for a commission. It is from a series called The Inquisitive Little Owl that I did for an exhibition at Gaffa called Le Fil. It’s lovely when a series of works take on a life of its own… and you get asked to do a commission, when a person is still thinking of a piece that they saw many moons ago! That’s always a treat! {M4}



Wearing –

For me colour is one of most important things!

To play with, to be creative with, to think in and dream about!

So I guess everything I wear tells a colour story of sorts and my jewellery plays a big part in that. Most of the jewellery that I have collected over the years, while working at places like Quadrivium and Object has been about fun, texture, and colour. Lovely artists like Anna Davern, Birgit Holdinghausen, Amy Jenkins, Stephanie Milne, Dani M, Sim Luttin + Leslie Matthews.

But one artist and friend that has featured heavily in my daily rotation of pieces is the lovely Mel Young, especially with her stack rings! {W1} I have about eight and counting… Every day I have at least one or more rings on my right hand, and they change every day. I also love to wear one of her thread neckpieces that I have in a beautiful red coral! That piece comes out for special occasions! {W2}

However I did make a sneaky purchase a few weeks ago at Gaffa’s gallery shop Sterling, where I bought a sewn neckpiece Phoebe Miller which I cant seem to stop wearing!!

It is purple + blue +maroon+ red and I love it!


Viewing –

A LOT! I seem to go in phases of seeing exhibitions, reading books and collecting art publications. And at the moment I’m doing all of the above! I just finished reading Haruki Murakami’s amazing book Kafka on the Shore’, which blew my away! I’ve now borrowed another one his books from my local library called Sputnik Sweetheart. I love going to the library and wandering the aisles when I have a free moment. I guess its alittle nostalgic, but it’s also about not having to take ownership of every single object in your life… I love borrowing, swapping, exchanging, bartering, + recycling.

But in saying that I have bought some lovely books lately! {V1} A massive Frank Auerbach hardcopy hardcore art book I’ve lusted over for many a year since my art school days over 10 years ago! I was so so happy when it arrived in the mailbox after finding it on Amazon! I also found a lovely new publication on Frida Kahlo, which looks at her sketch diaries. They were so textural, raw and colourful + inspiring, giving a true insight into her creative process and intuitive mind. She dealt with a crippling amount of set backs due to illness and continued to express it all through her art, which is something I try to do through my life.

And finally… for my birfday I bought myself a sneaky present, which was Shaun Tans new book of sketches, called The Bird King. He is such an amazing drawer/illustrator from Australia.

And as for seeing… bloody hell…too many great shows at the moment!

Primavera at the MCA, a great solo exhibition of a mate of mine - Kath Fries- who showed at The Japan Foundation this month, The Secrets + Stories exhibition at Object Gallery, Gaffa’s never-ending schedule of great exhibitions such as Say your Piece,{V2} which was a brooch exhibition curated by Jessica Page. And then there are all the great Art+ About events which have just begun around the city with many crafting sessions taking place which will be fun!

I have to admit the Sydney Biennale was a brilliant arts event this year, especially the exhibition out at Cockatoo Island! I loved seeing it all…

But most days you will find me at my computer writing my blog – tinytrappings – or in the studio thinking, dreaming, drawing + painting!…

So even though I’m gazing at a few shows at the moment, I’m mostly found in a tiny spot, listening some of my favourite music ( at the moment it’s a mix of Ezel, QTip, Dwele, Janelle Monae, Recloose + plenty of jazz) while I type or draw away…


I must thank the amazingly kind and supremely lovely Michele Morcos. You might again notice that this is a little late on getting to you guys. It's been stupidly crazy in the world of brand.

Also Michele has just launched her online shop, Tiny Trappings now you can snap up her beautiful artwork, christmas is coming!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Maker-Wearer-Viewer- Caz Guiney (Guest Blog)

Brooch 1-salvaged plastic from Harmers Haven beach

Brooch 2-salvaged plastic from Harmers Haven beach

Brooch 3-salvaged plastic from Harmers Haven beach

Making - from the bench…not quite…but from the beach! The following 3 brooches were made whilst away over the school holidays in a magnificent place called Harmers Haven. Although I have a history of hesitating making from recycled remnants (only because I am never able to decide what to do with them), I was drawn to collecting mostly red pieces of plastic from the beach. As I was collecting a very clear image was forming in my mind as to how they would go together……nothing original here but I enjoyed the spontaneity. Superglue from Wonthaggi supermarket, brooch pins from the bead shop and voila! They will remain down at Harmers Haven as the owner has quite a social life down there and I thought she might like to wear them on rotation to her lunch and dinner dates.

Wearing – Cass Partington earrings, sterling silver, oxidised fans. I received these from Cass for my 40th and have worn them almost every day since then…..guess how long that has been!

Viewing – yesterday I went to a lecture at NGV Australia titled “With Mari” obviously referring to the late Mari Funaki. This was given by Otto Kunzli. It was actually more like a eulogy, quite an intimate, personal account of Otto’s journey with Mari. The slides accompanying his ‘conversation’ were mixed; some of Mari’s jewellery and sculpture, some of Otto’s work and many images of Mari very relaxed…even in swimwear (with a resort pant of course). Although I didn’t know Mari well I couldn’t help but imagine her squirming at the thought of these personal images being shown at a ‘ticket only’ event at the National Gallery of Australia. It did seem rather odd.

Viewing the exhibition of her sculpture was particularly moving following Otto’s talk. Although familiar with Mari’s work I find it continuously refreshing because there is nothing else quite like it out there in either the jewellery or sculpture world that I am aware of.

Just as arresting was the exhibition next door ‘Presence’ a John Davis retrospective. John Davis was the sculpture lecturer at VCA when my partner studied there in the late 80’s so I was very keen to check it out. It was so great……..I could have stayed there for hours only I had to get home for dinner and kid business. I urge everyone to see it.

Typically whilst at the NGV I ventured into the bookshop, dug deep and bought a couple of books; John Davis-Presence catalogue and Martin Parr ‘Object’. Martin Parr is a photographer with a passion for collecting and this book is documentation of some of his collections. His photography really appeals to me and his collecting helps me justify my endless passion for collecting…as he says ‘I have a very strong collecting gene’.


I've been a bit busy of late and didn't get a chance to post this as soon as it came in. So when Caz writes 'yesterday', what she really means is 'oh about a week ago'. Thanks so much Caz (visit her blog here) and those brooches are totally rocking!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Maker-Wearer-Viewer- Beatrice Chew (Guest Blog)

Badges for Unlimited: Designing for the Asia Pacific. Image courtesy of

Making - A thousand badges for adorning plain delegate bags and volunteer tee shirts.
Today marks the start of the conference I have been working tirelessly towards for the past 5 months or so. The ideals behind this event were to connect great thinking minds with appropriate contexts, to provide betterment in standard of life in the South East Asia. All too serious I know, which is why it was appropriate to have a little fun with the last objects I made for them, badges! We don't need another tee shirt stamped with logos.

I collect bird brooches to remind me of my ideals and my obsession with the notion of flight. Complete with golden highlights and a partial fingerprint, this wood pigeon is a must wear this days, since the day I saved it from a sad rainy day in Ponsonby on my recent trip to Auckland. Looking forward to my next piece to add to this collection.

We craft this city. Image courtesy of

Object Gallery launched 'We craft this city' last saturday, with all day crafting sessions led by Ebony Bizys, Craft Cartel and Knitty Gritty and Loopy. And though I missed much of it, what little time I had sharing and watching people pick up new skills never seemed dull at any moment. It was a blessing to be indoors as it was raining and impossible to be outside like at Hyde Park for Art park on the previous weekend. Working with/at Object has been the best thing that has happened to me this year, with people watching coming a close second.


Thank you Miss Chew. You are one rocking lady!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Maker - Wearer - Viewer - Naomi Stewart (Guest Blog Post)


Naomi Stewart, cry-santhemum neckpieces, 2010, sterling silver

The latest thing to come off my bench was a pair of small sterling silver earrings made on commission (my first “real” commission!). Over the last few months I have been working on a range of delicate hand-carved and cast sterling silver pieces, and the earrings were to accompany a blackened silver necklace I had made previously.


Favorite earrings: Unknown maker, ceramic, sterling silver

Today I am wearing a pair of earrings borrowed from my darling older sister. They are fairly simple oval drops: white ceramic (I think), with beautiful red detailing that is reminiscent of Japanese kimono fabric. I adore these earrings, and am not sure whether my sister will ever get them back!


Kitty Kantilla, Untitled, 2001, natural earth pigments on canvas, 96 x 86cm
(photo courtesy of Sotheby’s catalogue, Sydney 2003)

Since April I have been working (unexpectedly) in an environment surrounded by contemporary Indigenous Australian art. I can happily acknowledge that I was completely ignorant of the deeply moving works in painting, sculpture and prints that are emerging (and have been emerging for a long time) from the remote Aboriginal communities of Australia. I am grateful for the opportunity I was given to learn about the art and to hear the stories of the artists behind the works - both have been a source of inspiration that I am only just beginning to appreciate.


Thanks Naomi, and good luck with your show 'Cast Off' which opens next week.

CAST OFF: contemporary jewellery exhibition

22 contemporary jewellers from Australia 
and New Zealand explore traditional and 
non-traditional casting techniques
in this exhibition of recent work. 
7 - 19 October 2010  
Keeper Gallery @ gaffa

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Maker-Wearer-Viewer- Katherine Bowman (Guest Blog)

Making - I have just finished a body of work for an exhibition that I had with jeweller Vikki Kassioras, and that took up a lot of my time. The work that I made for this show were paintings, all on paper. I am now back at the bench and am concentrating on my production jewellery range. When I say production, it is really very small runs of 'one off' series of work.

Wearing- I wear jewellery everyday, mostly rotating a number of pieces that I love. I don't feel quite 'right' if I am not wearing at least one of the pieces that I have taken a picture of. At the moment my favourite earrings are hoops made by Anna Clynes. If I am not wearing these I wear these gold studs I made about 5 years ago. I always wear a ring, the one pictured is my favourite, I made it to celebrate my 40th birthday last year. Turquoise is my favourite stone, this necklace I brought from a Tibetan shop in Melbourne 20 years ago.The bracelet is made up of agate beads.

Viewing- I read a lot, and look at pictures a lot. The older I get I seem to look more than read, and I tend to read and look at a number of things at once. If I am reading a novel, I do that properly and read it from start to finish. I think that that is why I love reading poetry, as I can pick it up and read randomly. At the moment this is my stack of books that I am reading and looking at. Poetry by Federico Garcia Lorca, Anne Carson and Mary Oliver. A novel by Andrew McGahan, Wonders Of A Godless World. The Miracle Of Mindfulness, by Thich Nhat Hanh I am re reading. And looking at Etcetera by Sibella Court and Medieval Jewellery by Marian Campbell (which I am reading/looking)

I look at my dog Milly a lot. I think that she is the cutest dog that I have ever seen. She has recently had a big operation on her back leg, so I am sort of obsessively look at her going, I think the operation worked/ I think that she is limping etc. I also listen to a lot of music. My favourites at the moment are Coles Corner and Truelove's Gutter, by Richard Hawley, Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle by Bill Callahan and anything by the Ethiopiques.


Thanks so much Katherine, what a tops post. To see more of what Katherine likes to look at visit her blog.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Maker-Wearer-Viewer-Erin Keys (Guest Blog)

Sadly, or perhaps, excitedly (I can’t tell which YET) my bench looks like this (See image of naked bench), in preparation for the fantastic jeweller/ vessel maker Jane Bowring. I have boxed everything and I am saying farewell *sniff
* to my friends and invaluable mentors at Gray Street Workshop, Adelaide and I am moving to Sydney. I have just finished a wedding ring for the talented glass artist Amanda Dziedzic. Two rings that fit together (but not as controlled as Nina Koppel for Georg Jensen’s Fusion Ring) were hand carved out of wax and cast in 9ct white gold. Five sparkling champagne diamonds and ten smoky quartz stones were pressure set asymmetrically all over … so pretty and I especially like the hidden underneath and at the side stones; something just for Amanda. She and I worked together on this through many discussions over coffee and wine, respectively, and equal amounts of viewing throughout the carving process. I think she was more scared than me, as the wedding band has an inherent value embedded that I wont ever fully understand, unless I get married. It is such a sacred object that can contain so much for the bride and groom to be. I love it. Nerves et al.

Currently, I am in the process of designing something big, something beautiful and something totally haute couture for an exhibition next year.

Perhaps like many jewellers, I don’t wear much jewellery. I own many pieces acquired throughout the years, either given by friends or bought. I have worn the same rings (11 rolled silver, gold and stainless steel rings) on my right hand finger since 2001. Given to me by a dear friend, Amy Jenkin, they are as much a part of me as my tattoos and the scars on my skin. Over the years they have modified my finger shape and carry with them various attachments, emotions and stories too. I love them very much. I have been wearing the same brooch practically everyday since April, it was given to me by jeweller Mark Vaarwerk. It is cast in Silver, initially shrunk from a foam disc (I think cut from a vegetable box) and, once cast, painted with red pencil. I love it and enjoy the compliments that come with owning it. A few months ago I lost my patience with my earrings always falling out of my ear lobes that were 12-14mm holes. Within a week, I could not get the plugs back in and a few weeks later they were smaller still, so, I let them shrink and allowed the excitement for “proper” ladies earrings to ensue. Recently I have been wearing black electric cable earrings given to me at my birthday by my vivacious friend and Melbourne based jeweller, Regina Middleton (who I met for the first time at the JMGA conference and have become great friends and Jedi jewellers). The earrings, while very modern because of the material used, have a 1950s aesthetic; which makes me feel totally flash

I am welcoming all other offerings of earrings now that I can wear them after 12 years of 2 big holes!

In general, I have been experiencing a general funk in my practice, and so have enjoyed sitting by the beach and nurturing my headspace, by the unbeatable coastlines within South Australia. Riding my bike and clearing the oft laden brain with cold air and long rides or perusing the SA Museum and looking at the indigenous jewellery and artefacts. My practice has led me to work at the computer a lot lately (whence funk
) because I have been entering exhibitions and applying for an arts residency. After all the writing and refining of my own language and ideas, I am trying to look further in to the content of my work, what it means, how it can evolve/ grow change remain open, and I am trying to strip it back or rather, hone it to nothing but honest and present making. By critically looking at what I do, and what I say/ write is actually very difficult. Further looking in to script, text, and language in general; in particular communication I feel like I am discovering new areas of investigating. Curiously, I feel like my discoveries are like the Möbius strip, with endless paths to explore.

I am in the process of having my website built (Coming Soon) by artist Richard Byers

Unrelated, in the direct sense, to jewellery, I am reading a book about Sun Ra, the unorthodox jazz musician, Space Is The Place: The Lives And Times Of Sun Ra.

Sun Ra developed a complex persona of "cosmic" philosophies and lyrical poetry that made him a pioneer of afrofuturism as he preached awareness and peace. In some ways I relate to the man that locates himself in outer space, beyond both the geographical limits of ones country and the ideological limits of one’s social/ political climate. The concept that SPACE IS THE PLACE is one worth embracing!

As I procrastinate, I feed steadily on the overflowing wealth of anomalies in the webosphere, I read blogs, some of worth, but most are radically rude and ridiculous time wasters to humour me. A few worth mentioning are: I wait eagerly for the next instalments by Briohny Doyle and I wish that I could write as well as her; she makes me whimper with linguistic envy. Another enviable blogger is Vasili Kaliman's Art Patrol images of the best contemporary art exhibitions in commercial galleries, a life looking at art (for real) that to me seems unreal. While I do not know him, I read David Neale’s blog mainly, because he has an equally met obsession with bicycles. However, I appreciate how he presents the world through his collection of images and brief, but often humorous narrative. I appreciate his, apparent, honesty in offering the reader artefacts from his experiences and day-to-day observations.

We have just come to the end of SALA in Adelaide where there were a lot of exhibitions to view. Some notable were Abstract Nature at Samstag, Guest curator Margot Osborne, presents work by twenty notable Australian artists. In her essay ‘The nature of things: thoughts on organic abstraction, beauty and immanence’, Osborne writes, “Many works are suffused with a discernable sense of place. They reflect the artists' deep responses not merely to the natural world in general but to those specific places in the Australian environment that are, for them, imbued with beauty, meaning and spiritual sustenance”. The work in this show is mature and with strongly executed visions that involve the manipulation of found natural materials and intuitive responses to the natural world. I saw Fiona Lowry and & Justine Varga’s exhibition at Hugo Michell Gallery I love Lowry’s titles as much as the work itself, they seem to be as much a part of the final piece as the colours she chooses to use. The delicate and seductive quality of the airbrushed landscape is inviting, yet the luring quality leaves me with a feeling of paranoia, as though I ought not trust what I see. Her imagery contains a dark and melancholy perspective. The canvas’ tease your perception and play with the idea of space, leaving a somewhat sensational feeling after seeing her work.

After months of not really making, I feel that a cyclonic metal dust storm is on its way. Something has to happen! With spring slowly showing signs of blowing a cold winter away, and the pollen, petals and scent of new beginnings replacing it. I am expecting a shift in the way I work and the usual tools I use in my approach to thinking and making. Exciting times ahead.


Thanks Erin for a totally rocking Blog post. Looking forward to having beers with you in old Sydney town.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Jewels!

This was made for me by my good matey Likkle Girl it is made from an apron that my grandmother had made. I don't actually have it yet, monday is delivery day, needless to say I'm pretty bloody excited. Follow the link to see more images and details. I do love my crafty pals.

Maker-Wearer-Viewer-Melissa Cameron (Guest Blog)

Melissa Cameron The Maker - I'm working on some pieces to enter into Schmuck this year, which are being made out of this tin. I don't have progress shots at the moment, but so far both sides have been cut into patterns and are separated into in two neat piles (with the remainder of the tin on top) on the side of my desk in my studio. Once I've had a play with all the bits I'll make my final decision on what they will all become. At this stage I know it's four jewellery works-in-waiting.

Front and Back images of a sandblasted recycled cigarette tin - probably gilding metal.

Melissa Cameron The Wearer - I have on my engagement rings (pictured) and wedding band all by Perth jeweller Gillian Rainer. I also always wear a ring that I had made for my 21st birthday, which includes diamonds from my great-grandmother that were passed down through my nan to my mum when I was born. Finally, I also am wearing a pendant that I made as part of my MFA research, which I gave, at the time, the lofty title of Black Planar Cross. When I displayed it in my examination exhibition it was strung differently, with an extra link, and on white thread. After making a few more pieces in a similar format, I realised that it didn't need to be so complex, so I restrung it and have been wearing it ever since. (And that's why it looks so... well, careworn.)

Engagement rings, Gillian Rainer, 2005. 18 carat white gold, rose gold and yellow gold, diamonds.

BlackPlanarCross - pendant, Melissa Cameron, 2009 (5cm x 5cm x .5cm). Blackened + sandblasted mild steel, silk thread.

Melissa Cameron The Viewer - The last show I saw just happened to be jewellery! How about that? It was Bad Beasts Do Not Harm Me featuring Natalia Milosz-Piekarskaand Karla Way at Craft Victoria, which was last Thursday. I'm planning on heading out this afternoon to see Helen Dilkes's works in a show titledRe-visions: new art from old at RMIT's First Site Gallery which opened yesterday. Helen is a current MA student in RMIT's gold and silversmithing department. A brief glance at my bedside table tells me I'm reading Martin Kemp's Leonardo da Vinci: the marvellous works of nature and man, but since I spend my mornings on the computer, you're more likely to find me enthusing about a blog I read recently than anything else. So here's a few I got through this morning. Letters of Note - Shaun Usher posts a new letter that he thinks should have a wider audience, every weekday. Amy Tavern - a jeweller and educator based in America. Ponoko Blog - A geeky blog for laser-cutting and other digital technologies enthusiasts. Today what caught my eye was an article on United Nudeshoes. [While I don't generally wear heels, I do have two pairs of UN's Möbius shoes. I loved the first pair dearly, so I got a second to wear when I got married ;) And yes, they are based on the Möbius Strip.] Ordinai Observations - Inari Kiuru's blog, (a jeweller and graphic artist based in Melbourne) with beautiful images and her poetic musings. Mary Hackett - Another jeweller currently doing her MA at RMIT.and of course Melbourne Jeweller - Karen Thompson's blog about all things jewellery

Thanks Melissa for the great post. If you would like to know more about Melissa Cameron head to her blog.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

FUNdraising Auction.

14th September: Design Centre (Enmore, Sydney) Jewellery + Object Design Fundraising Auction
Bank Hotel, 324 King Street Newtown, 6:30pm (bidding commences at 7:30)

The Jewellery and Object Design Department, Design Centre Enmore is hosting its 5th annual Fundraising Auction. The Auction is an enormously successful event that showcases a range of contemporary jewellery and design by renowned Australian makers (such as Ragnar Hansen, Catherine Harrington, Anna Davern + many more!) This initiative helps to raise funds towards the Jewellery and Object Design Department’s annual end of year student exhibition that launches our emerging designers. Our fundraising auctions have become highly anticipated and are a wonderful opportunity for bidders to secure one-off, handmade designer wearables by leading contemporary designers.

The Image on the invite is the piece I donated. Zoe Brand, 'She Was Looking at Life Through the Mists of a Hangover', Grolsch Beer rubber stoppers, stainless steel.