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Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Places and Pieces




Excitingly I have recently signed on a new commission initiated by Regional Arts Victoria in partnership with Craft Victoria called Places and Pieces.

Places and Pieces is a unique partnership between arts, education and emerging communities in Bendigo and Castlemaine. It aims to inspire artistic excellence in secondary school students through the making of jewellery and body adornment items using non-precious found materials.


For those of you who are curiously wondering how I got involved as I am not a jeweller - the brief also seeks new works to be created that that reflect their place in a geographic, cultural and personal sense. Which of course all my practice is about relationship to place.


My favourite bit is that new works are sought that are made from found materials, natural materials and reclaimed materials.


So to get myself into the mood for this project I have been doing a little bit of research, collecting images and links. Mostly thanks to the online commitment of Craft Victoria and the Melbourne based curator and writer Kevin Murray. Each of the artists I have drawn out elements that will start creating the scaffolding to build 5 weeks of workshops around for Year 11 students.


Taken directly from Kevin Murray's current curated show on in Perth Can jewellery function as an instrument of change? Includes the work of Melbourne jeweller Vicki Mason. This is her work depicted below:



"Her brooches are modelled on the wattle, rose and oregano plants, beautifully rendered in powder-coated silver and coiled ribbon. These plants are common features of suburban gardens in Australia, but Mason argues that they represent a common bounty, which she links to the elusive prospect of Australia becoming a republic".( Text taken from here by Kevin Murray)

Elements I will draw from her work include:
- form inspired by nature
- making contained within a structure - in this case a black edging
- texture
- bright colour use


Above is work by Julie Blyfield
"The natural materials chosen have the potential to be reduced to a jingoistic ‘green and gold’. However, in
Blyfield’s hands, the subtle and limited colour palette of olive green, black, orange and blue/greys with occasional highlights of gold, reveals a much more sophisticated appreciation of our national flora." (text by Bin Dixon Ward)

Elements I will draw from her work include:
- form inspired by nature
- the
monochromatic use of colour

From Little Fish Studios

Goodness I really like the combination of fabric, stitch (of course) and twigs/sticks - just lovely and very exciting

David Neale



I also like these words to describe his work: "Through the considered play of opposites such as flat vs deep, austere vs ostentatious, rough vs refined, previous vs poor, shiny vs
sfumato, gravel vs gold and some vs none."

Thoughts from Kate Rhodes essay - Forest or the Bush What Jewellers tell us about Nature
Patricia Anderson Book Contemporary Jewellery: The Australian Experience 1977–1987 for its historical overview of jewellery and she writes:

Fifty thousand years ago hunting man wore the teeth and claws of animals to transfer their ferocity and strength to himself. By the time agricultural and urban communities were established throughout the Near East and around the Mediterranean, there was the belief that the … natural world could be controlled … by votive gifts of jewellery to the gods and the adornment of temple statues.1

Still looking at Anderson's historical text, in Australia during the 1970s and '80s saw jewellers who had predominately trained in art schools, rather than workshops, once again look at the natural world as a close source of inspiration. They produced specifically Australian works in an abstract mode. These designers used handmade paper, grass, bleached tree roots, feathers, stone and palm fronds, as well as gold and silver and other metals, to reproduce the Australian landscape, and often the Australian bush more specifically, in its textures, colours and forms.


And just for me here are some other late night thinking ideas

- collecting discarded metal (no plastic on the front) badges and drilling holes and then threading embroidery thread through/grasses etc - inspired by a logo for a really great cause I spotted on the front of my husbands
soccer magazines that are taking over our home - never thought they would be any much use other than collecting dust!


- t-shirt inspired jewellery - bead making, foundation for sewing on beads etc
Links to
tutorials here
t-shirt bangles
t-shirt necklace
recycled jewellery tutorial links



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