Monday, 13 January 2014

Enamelling: Enrolments are open

My enamelling short course at NMIT starts up again soon, so if you're thinking you'd like to learn more about glass on metal, enrolments are now open! Classes are from 6-9pm on Monday nights, starting the first week of February. For more informaiton, visit the NMIT jewellery website or call NMIT jewellery department on 9269 8980.

You can enrol online or by calling NMIT short courses on 9269 8615.

Enamelling is a versatile, exciting way to add colour to metal. This program will enable participants to develop skills relating to a range of jewellery enamelling techniques.

This class is open to all skill levels. No prior jewellery or enamelling experience is needed; however basic jewellery skills such as sawing, filing and soldering will be valuable. Students with more jewellery experience will have the opportunity to incorporate more advanced metalworking skills into their enamelled designs.  

The class includes a series of self-paced projects. You may finish two, three or more projects during the nine weeks, depending on your pace, your previous experience, and the level of complexity of your work. Projects are designed to be worked through in order, from introductory to more advanced projects. Project topics include: 

Introduction to Enamelling: Enamelled Pendant
Learn to apply enamel, wet packing/sifting, counter enamelling, firing times & temperatures.

Cloisonné Pendant or Brooch
Create a pendant or brooch using the cloisonné technique of separating different colours of enamel with fine silver wires attached to a sheet of metal.

Enamelling over Textures: Basse Taille Earrings
Create an enamelled pair of earrings with textured metal. 

Sgraffito Pendant
Create a pendant using the sgraffito technique, by scratching into a layer of enamel to reveal another colour below.

Patterns on Enamel: Stencilled / Stamped Patterns on Enamelled Buttons
Create enamelled buttons using a range of stencilling and stamping techniques. Students may use found stencils or stamps, or make their own.

Graphite Drawing on an Enamelled Ring
Create a ring with a design illustrated in graphite on enamel.

Miniatures: Watercolour Enamel Panel or Miniature Book
Create a miniature image on metal using watercolour enamels. Enamelled pieces can be turned into a panel that can be framed or a miniature book.  

Champlevé Earrings or Pendant
Create a pair of earrings or a pendant using the champlevé technique, enamelling into recesses created in sheet metal.

Press Formed Enamelled Pendant or Brooch
Explore enamelling on a three-dimensional object using press-forming. This technique can be combined with previously learned techniques for more advanced students.

Plique-a-jour earrings
Use enamel to fill recesses cut into metal without a backing sheet, to create earrings with translucent colours.

Ways of setting and framing enamelled pieces will also be discussed.

At the end of this course participants will be able to:
  • Safely use the jewellery kiln to fire enamel onto metal surfaces.
  • Understand the correct techniques in handling enamelling materials.
  • Apply the O.H.&S. requirements for the use of the facilities and the enamelling materials.
  • Apply a range of enamelling techniques to metal.

Friday, 6 December 2013

New work at Fivefold

New work at Fivefold for the holiday season.

Fivefold also has extended opening hours this December. They will be open Wednesday - Sunday, and open late on Fridays. Check out Fivefold's Facebook page for more details. 

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Good as Gold: RMIT Gold & Silversmithing Graduate Exhibition 2013

Good as Gold, the 2013 RMIT Gold & Silversmithing graduate exhibition, is now open at FortyFive Downstairs. Congratulations to this year's graduates! 

The exhibition runs until 14 December. 

RMIT MFA Graduate Exhibition 2013

Get in quick to see this year's RMIT MFA graduate exhibition! The exhibition features the work of graduating MFA students from all visual arts disciplines, and is on at RMIT Building 49, Level 3, at 67 Franklin St, Melbourne, until tomorrow, 6 December.

The exhibition invite in the image above shows the exhibition closing on 4 December, but my understanding is that the show will run until the 6th, as indicated on the website and a printed version of the invite I have in front of me. My apologies if this is incorrect!

New work at Arbor this Christmas

New earrings at Arbor for the festive season!

Arbor will be open every day this month, until Christmas Eve. Stop by and have a look!

If you can't make it to the gallery in Brunswick, check out my work in Arbor's online shop

Thursday, 28 November 2013

New Collections at Studio 20/17

A new enamelled neckpiece travelling to Studio 20/17 for New Collections, the annual Christmas showcase.

New Collections runs from 3 December until Christmas Eve. 

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Current Tendencies

Current Tendencies, the annual Moreland Summer Show, opens tonight from 6-8pm. Come along to see what artists living or working in Moreland have been up to this year. I will have a new and unusual piece in the show, informed by my experience developing connections with a new place, as a migrant to Moreland (and Australia).

The exhibition runs until 14 December at the Counihan Gallery in Brunswick.

Monday, 4 November 2013

33 Carat

33 Carat, the 2013 NMIT graduate jewellery exhibition, opens this Wednesday at Red Gallery in Fitzroy North.

Come along to see what this year's talented graduates of the Advanced Diploma of Jewellery have been up to, from 6 - 23 November.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Enamelling in the Evenings

Ever wanted to learn more about enamelling? 

I'll be teaching an enamelling evening course starting next term at NMIT, and enrolments are now open. This is a new course, which will run for nine weeks on Monday evenings from 6-9pm. Classes start Monday 14 October and run until 9 December. Fees for the course are $445 (incl. $40 GST). To enroll, or for more information, contact 9269 8615 or 9269 8620 or email 

The class is open to all skill levels. No prior jewellrey or enamelling experience is needed; however basic jewellery skills such as sawing, filing and soldering will be valuable. Students with more jewellery experience will have the opportunity to incorporate more advanced metalworking skills into their enamelled designs.  

The class will be run as a series of self-paced projects. You may finish one, two, or three projects during the nine weeks, depending on your pace, your previous experience, and the level of complexity of your work. This class will be run again in term 1 of 2014, so if you want to continue working your way through additional projects, you can always come back! 

Projects are designed to be worked through in order, from introductory to more advanced projects. Project topics include: 

Friday, 6 September 2013

Contemporary Wearables '13

Contemporary Wearables '13, Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery's 13th biennial award exhibition of contemporary jewellery, opens next Saturday 14 September. Artists from all over Australia and New Zealand will be represented, including one of my landscape brooches.

The exhibition runs from 14 September - 27 October, with an opening reception and awards ceremony Saturday 14 September from 2pm.

Friday, 23 August 2013


Palletable by the Urban Bush Carpenters opens Thursday 29 August at The Substation, Newport, with an opening reception from 6-8pm.

"The Community Access Gallery will be transformed into an exhibition hub for sharing DIY ideas on how to re-use pallets. They're the grease of the global trade. Around the world there are billions. Find them outside a store near you, truck terminals, ports, construction sites, retail outlets, manufacturing plants, and abandoned plots or along train lines. In pallets, as in life: you never know what you're going to get. Some will come apart like lego, others will crack and split or refuse to budge. People have used them to make planter boxes, raised gardens, compost bins, benches, beds, tables, shelves, paths, eskys, ladders, sheds, houses, saunas, boats and arks."

Workshops open to the public will be held on Sunday 1 September and Sunday 6 October. For bookings contact

The exhibition runs until 6 October. 

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Building Jewellery Benches with the Urban Bush Carpenters

This weekend's Urban Bush Carpenters workshop Building Jewellery Benches was a lovely day of community woodworking. On a beautiful sunny Saturday, we got together to build two work benches that were taken home by two participants: one a traditional jeweller's bench with a sturdy top, a cutout and a sweeps tray, and the other a work bench with an unusually shaped bench top, perfect to fit into a corner, which will be used for jewellery tools including a bench-top rolling mill. 

 Attaching legs to a corner-shaped bench top.

In the Urban Bush Carpenters tradition, the benches were made entirely from found, recycled wood, including a found keyboard tray from an old office desk used as a sweeps tray for the jeweller's bench. We even pulled apart a pallet to use pallet boards as cross beams to support the bench legs. 

 Countersinking screws to attach supports to a bench top. The legs will be bolted to these supports. 

Everyone got to have a go at using a hand saw to cut boards to length, an electric drill and screwdriver to pre-drill screw holes and screw pieces together, and a crowbar and mallet to pull apart pallet boards. 

The group building the traditional jeweller's bench drilled holes to bolt the legs on, but left the legs separate to be attached later, after working out that with the legs attached, the bench wouldn't fit into the car! 

Drilling bolt holes for the legs of the jeweller's bench. In the background: cutting pallet boards for support pieces. 

The bench tops and wood for the legs was all found as rubbish around town before the workshop. The two bench tops are quite sturdy, but the corner-shaped top introduced new challenges since the legs had to be attached in a different configuration. The team worked together to figure out the best way to attach the legs and the supports. In the end they decided to cut a slot into each of two pallet boards for the supports, and fit them together in an X. This cross piece was slotted in between the legs (below).

The jewellers building this bench were experts at making this solution work, having just done a similar assignment fitting together two 1mm thick copper sheets in an X for a project at NMIT!

The finished work bench

If you missed the workshop but are interested in building a bench, help yourself to the basic instructions below. Of course you'll have to do a bit of problem solving and changing of measurements to suit your found materials, so I've given relative, rather than absolute, measurements. ("Cut the support piece to the length of the bench top..." instead of an exact measurement.) There's a suggestion here for attaching a keyboard tray to use as a sliding sweeps tray, too. 

Happy building! If you build a bench of your own (or have already built one), send me a photo! I'd love to share your ideas here. 

The next Urban Bush Carpenters workshop at CERES is Saturday 21 September. But before that, we have an exhibition coming up at The Substation in Newport. Opening night will be Thursday 29 August, and there will be a public workshop on Sunday 1 September. More details about that coming soon!