Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Rings for Two

Just finished! Two lovely faceted 18 karat yellow gold wedding rings... just in time for our wedding. Mine has an indented facet on the top to fit around my engagement ring. Both have a matte finish on the outside, to match the engagement ring, and a polished comfort-fit interior. Not long now until the Big Day!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and a happy holiday break to everyone!

Thanks for reading, looking, and commenting with me this year. I'll have a few more upcoming posts over the holidays, since I will be taking a big break later in January...

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Danner Rotunde

A display including works by Hermann Junger, Georg Dobler, Sally Marsland, Karl Fritsch, Ruudt Peters, Mari Funaki and others

During my trip to Munich in March of this year, I had the chance to visit the magnificent Danner Rotunde jewellery collection in the Pinakothek der Moderne (Museum of Modern Art). What a treat! It's an encyclopedia of contemporary jewellery, tucked safely away in the sub-basement of the museum. The fascinating International Design Museum Munich is housed in the basement on the way to the Danner Rotunde, and because of Schmuck week an interesting jewellery and design exhibition entitled Treasure Hunt was also on display.

When you finally reach the sub-basement, a glittering world of jewellery awaits in cabinets and behind floor-to-ceiling windows set into the walls. Curated by Karl Fritsch, the collection showcases the work of over 100 prominent contemporary jewellers from around the globe. I was excited to see in person the work of many jewellers I've only seen in books and catalogues before.

Map of the exhibition room

The exhibition display is central to the experience: with the guidance of a hand-drawn "map" of each display case showing numbered sketches of each work, you can navigate your way to information about the artist and their work.

 Rings in wood by Manuel Vilhela

Chains by Paolo Maurizio, Laura Deakin, Lisa Walker, Therese Hilbert and others

Neckpieces by Daniel Kruger

 Painted polycarbonate bracelets by Svenja John

A characteristically large neckpiece by Dorothea Pruhl

Sugar-fired enameled iron rings by Bettina Dittlman

The Danner Rotunde website currently displays a notice that the Danner Rotunde is closed at present due to "construction work that has become necessary at short notice". Hopefully it will reopen in time for Schmuck 2012.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Love Lace at the Powerhouse Museum

While I was in Sydney recently I had the chance to visit the Powerhouse Museum's Love Lace exhibition, an excellent show featuring 130 works incorporating or inspired by lace by 134 artists from 20 countries.

There are two rooms of contemporary jewellery pieces including intricate wirework by Michaela Bruton, a colourful Elizabethan-inspired wire and silicon brooch by Stephen Gallagher, porcelain-dipped crocheted lace-fungi by Katherine Wheeler, and many more.

The diversity of the works is surprising and refreshing, propelling a traditional craft technique into a contemporary context of critical inquiry. Works span across disciplines, ranging from sculpture, jewellery and craft to fashion and textiles, through to video, installation and public art.

A number of prizes were awarded in conjunction with the exhibition. The overall winner was a crocheted steel and copper wire automotive engine entitled Detroit's Shadow, by Anne Mondro. Her crocheting technique has resulted in a ghostly transparency with a flaccidity reminiscent of Claes Oldenberg's soft sculptures.

The Powerhouse Museum has been collecting lace for over a century and over 300 pieces belonging to the permanent collection are accessible through its Lace Study Centre.

Love Lace runs until April 2012, so if you're planning to be in Sydney over the holidays or early next year, have a look! If you can't make it, the works, interviews and documentary videos can be viewed on the Powerhouse website.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Keep it Local this Christmas with Arbor Jewels and Sparta Place

Arbor Jewels is hosting a Keep it Local Christmas event in collaboration with the other shops in Sparta Place, Brunswick on Friday 2 December from 5-8pm.

Enjoy a complimentary glass of sparkling and support local makers and small business this Christmas season. Hosting shops will be offering 10% off purchases on the night, including Arbor Jewels, OK OK, Melody Nelson, Ruby Patootie, Corrin's Hair Lounge, Love & Lust and Jet Nail Bar.

Sparta Place is located just off Sydney Road between Victoria & Blyth Streets, Brunswick.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Fresh! 2011

Fresh!, Craft Victoria's annual exhibition of outstanding work by graduating students, opens this Thursday 1 December from 6-8pm at Craft Victoria. This year twelve makers have been selected from the graduate exhibitions of over 35 Victorian university and TAFE craft programs including gold and silversmithing, ceramics, glass, fashion, textiles, industrial and furniture design, and visual arts.

Fresh! exhibitors include Allona Goren and Wendy Korol, graduating from the RMIT gold and silversmithing program. Congratulations to this year's Fresh! artists!

The exhibtion will run until 23 December. 

Sunday, 27 November 2011

RMIT MFA Graduate Exhibition

The RMIT Master of Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition opens this Wednesday 30 November from 5:30-7:30pm at Gossard Project Space, RMIT Building 49, 67 Franklin Street Melbourne.

Graduating gold and silversmithing MFA students are Claire O'Halloran, Mary Hackett and Leah Teschendorff. Congratulations to all the graduates!

The exhibition runs until 8 December.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Christmas Showcase at Studio 20/17

Studio 20/17's Christmas Showcase begins next Tuesday 29 November in the newly expanded gallery space at the 2 Danks Street arts complex in Waterloo, Sydney. The exhibition features work from 28 Australian contemporary jewellers just in time for the giving season. An opening celebration will be held Saturday 3 December from 4-6pm.

New Bounce! earrings, neckpieces, rings and brooches will be featured in the show. 

The exhibition runs until 24 December, but sold work will be sent home with the buyer in time for Christmas, so get in quick to see the full show! More information about the show and images are on the Studio 20/17 website.

Top image from exhibition invitation: Michelle Taylor ring series

Monday, 21 November 2011

It was like a fever

The RMIT graduate exhibition, It was like a fever, opens this Wednesday at No Vacancy Gallery at QV, 34-40 Jane Bell Lane, Melbourne from 6-9pm. Congratulations to the graduates! The exhibition runs until 4 December.

Friday, 18 November 2011

New Work at Studio 20/17

New work for the silly season at Studio 20/17 in the 2 Danks Street art complex in Sydney's Waterloo. Studio 20/17 is gearing up for its annual Christmas Showcase, which will open 29 November and run until Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011


Auteur, NMIT's graduate exhibition, opens tomorrow night at the Northcote Town Hall, 189 High Street, Northcote from 6-8pm. Congratulations to the graduating students on two years of hard work! The exhibition runs until 27 November.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Work Hardened

It's student and graduate exhibition time!

Work Hardened, the exhibition of RMIT first and second year gold and silversmithing student work, opens tonight from 6-8pm at Spill Art Space at Boscia Galleries, Level 4, 175 Flinders Lane. The exhibition runs until 26 November.

Monday, 7 November 2011

The Carrot Box

My Bounce! rings have been featured on The Carrot Box's blog about plastic and other non-metal rings.

Lots of other interesting rings in many colourful materials on her blog!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

New Work at Arbor Jewels

New work for the Christmas season now at Arbor Jewels, in Sydney Road, Brunswick. Handmade sterling silver chains with bouncy ball beads and gemstones, and colourful new Bounce! earrings and rings. And as always, there are lots of other lovely jewels at Arbor!

Friday, 4 November 2011

David Bielander and Vicki Mason

 I finally made it to see the David Bielander exhibition at Gallery Funaki yesterday, and it is, as advertised, a Ripsnorter! There is a two and a half meter long python neckpiece, a pearl necklace with ears that can be reassembled into a three-dimensional pig's head, and a necklace of sausages carved from the wood of a carefully selected chair - all of which are made with a (purportedly unintentional) humour and a (certainly intentional) technical mastery. I had to get a copy of the catalogue, which is in essence a printed version of the artist's talk at RMIT on 28 October.

Tomorrow is the exhibition's last day - see it before it goes!

I also attended the opening of e.g. etal's last exhibition for the year last night. The gallery is awash with colour emanating from Vicki Mason's Botanical Fictions, a collection of powder-coated brass and sterling silver floral brooches, neckpieces and rings featuring the tightly coiled PVC and fiber centres that have defined the artist's previous work. The colour combinations and stylisation of these bouquets and sprays ensure the botanical forms do read like fictions, becoming stranger and more exciting than the real thing. The exhibition runs until 15 November.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Saving Craft Australia... A Letter

As I mentioned previously, Craft Australia has been defunded by the Australia Council and will no longer operate beyond the end of 2011, unless their appeal for interim funding is granted. I have written a letter expressing my support for Craft Australia and sent it to the Australia Council's Visual Arts Board, Minister for the Arts and Shadow Minister for the Arts , as suggested by the Save Craft Australia initiative. Each of these contact details are given on their blog.

The content of my letter is below; please feel free to borrow liberally from it if you would like to support Craft Australia by sending your own letter.

To Whom it May Concern:

I am writing to express my support for Craft Australia, recently defunded by the Australia Council for the Arts, and its request for interim funding to continue organisational operations.  As an Australian craft artist and tertiary craft educator, I believe strongly that Craft Australia is an invaluable resource to the craft and design sector.

Through its website, e-newsletters and blog Craft Australia provides craft artists, students, educators and stakeholders with:
  •  a portal for the dissemination of craft and design research excellence, including the online journal craft + design enquiry
  • an international forum for discussion about current issues in contemporary craft and design, including a recent focus on issues of sustainability
  • national advocacy for Australian craft and design, ensuring that the craft and design sector has a voice on national decision making organisations such the Australian Design Alliance (AdA), ArtsPeak, the National Visual Arts Craft Network (NVACN) and the Council for Humanities Arts and Social Sciences, (CHASS)
  •  a vital resource for up-to-date, industry-specific news and information about the craft and design sector
  • an ongoing historical and contemporary record of Australian craft through the digital Image Bank
  • a central hub uniting diverse areas of craft and design nationwide
Craft Australia is a unique and essential organisation supporting and promoting the vibrant Australian craft sector. There is no other national body advocating for craft and design in Australia.

I strongly encourage you to support Craft Australia’s request for interim funding as well as long-term funding solutions to ensure the ongoing viability of Craft Australia. 

Kind Regards,

Mel Miller
Craft Artist and Educator