From halted beginnings at the GSA we are almost at the end. Myself and the other six Artists in Residence are holding our end of residency exhibition- which opens tomorrow! It is at Welcome Home which is situated in the CCA (Centre for Conteporary Art) building on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow. You can see us in the April 2019 Designers Maker of the Month section. The show will also be travelling to Melbourne to be a part of the Craft Victoria exhibition schedule in September in the Member’s Vitrine Gallery. It will feature in the Radiant Pavilion Contemporary Jewellery and Object Biennial as well which is very exciting!
My work experienced a few twists and turns before I settled on the pieces I have made for this show. I was honoured to be given access to some sandstone from the fire-damaged Mackintosh building to use. I immediately began exploring ways to take readings from the stone without damaging the dressed face of the stones I had. There is a beautiful ripple effect that is transferred to the metal from the stone. I tested out some copper and then some sterling silver. I also created some silicone moulds of the stone for future reference and tested out some porcelain pieces.
Holding pieces of the stone, researching more about ‘The Mack’ building and learning about sandstone prompted me to work more directly with the stone. This meant some of the stone needed to be broken down. I did this in a few ways… I took one of the big pieces down to the Scottish Lapidary and Mineral Club to get sliced. They were so great to chat with and it is such an amazing club. From the slices, I was able to further process the stone with a proper stone chisel into small pieces. But I also have a bigger piece that I have left as a nice large slice for a neckpiece.
This is just an initial post to show you my material. I will update further with more of my process, experiments and my final and proposed future pieces soon. If you are in Glasgow, come along to our opening tomorrow- 4pm to 7pm at 350 Sauchiehall St!
I have been in a whirlwind lately! Since September I have taken up a position as Artist in Residence with the Jewellery and Silversmithing department at the Glasgow School of Art. This has meant packing up and renting out our house in Australia, moving to Scotland and setting up here. We had a little bit of a delay in getting into the studios at GSA as the Reid building sits right alongside the Mackintosh building that was once again devastated in a fire earlier this year.
I have a bench and access to all of the jewellery and silversmithing equipment and I am slowly getting organised and finding where I can set up for making glass. I am dearly missing my studio and my glass machines that I couldn’t bring with me, like my glass crusher, kiln and lapidary wheel. I have set up my lampworking torch and have just started to get going on making beads and some small test pieces for an idea that is brewing. I am curious to see what will unfold this year with my work and how I might go without the equipment I am used to. I have to admit to this being a little frustrating as I have been exploring ways of working with recycled glass and pâte de verre that has been producing some great results. It seems that this might have to go on hold for a little while.
I have been out seeing some of the gorgeous Scottish wilds while I have had the chance. This has been invigorating, calming and inspiring all in perfect measure. From standing stones and burial cairns, to rock carvings and hillfort ruins, incredible views, grand castles and little white cottages in the valley as well as lots and lots of walking, I have been reminded with force why I love it here. A few pics from out and about…in a random assortment of some kind of order.
Recently I was lucky enough to take part in an amazing Artist residency in Canada. It was a botanical research arts residency with Ayatana and was held in Québec, Canada. Getting together with a small group of artists who all share a passion for plants, gardens and all things botanical was so great. We all got to geek out over the shape of leaves and walk through beautiful forests without being hurried! Led by the fabulous Alyssa Ellis, we visited some special places and got to meet incredible people who are extremely knowledgeable about their passions. Whether it was lichen identification and preservation of plant specimens, tree detective work, DNA sampling, seed saving, herbal medicine and wild foraging, moss gardens and energy botany through to bio-dynamic vineyards, native species gardens, poison plants and botanical illustration, each day was filled with visits relating to plantlife. More about these experts can be found here.
Not only did we forge a great circle of friendship that will most definitely carry through in each of our lives, we were nurtured and fed so well that we all felt very blessed to be a part of such a great experience.
It has been a long time since I have updated you on here and we are just about at the shortest day of the year. Nearly halfway! I have been busy with my honours year and having great fun with it. I have been exploring with pâte de verre with recycled glass. I attended a week long class at Blue Dog Glass with Alicia Lomné in April. Let me say, that if you ever have the opportunity to go and do a class with this lady- DO it! She is such a great teacher and she has a wealth of knowledge about glass and pâte de verre.
So here is a little photo collection of what I have been up to. I have been writing a LOT for my honours work, so forgive me that I haven’t written much here.
I have been enjoying the variety that this Summer has brought with the weather. Some wonderful sunny days as well as rain and sitting by the fire. I have shared some pics from a little trip to NZ in January and some explorations on the beach at Birdlings Flat in Canterbury. Shark egg casings, seaweed, rocks, little fish and that sunset.
Yes, I have completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts with Distinction and have a certificate to prove it. I was also very proud to have received the Frank Klepner Memorial Award for Series Work which also means that some of my work has found it’s way into the W.E. McMillan Collection at RMIT. This is a great honour and I am so pleased to be in a collection that also houses the work of some pivotal Australian Jewellers such as Robert Baines, Susan Cohn, and of course my workshop fave Katherine Hubble who also was admitted to the collection with her Wolf Weinreich Award. (She was also accepted for Craft Victoria’s Fresh! Exhibition this year too! Grand Applause for your hard work Kate xx)
2017 – on with my Honours year to explore my own practice a little more with the help of a lot of research, soul searching, an exegesis and some hopefully interesting work.
At the conclusion of three years study I am now about to graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Art. These are some of the works I will present for my graduation show which opens on Wednesday the 23rd of November at RMIT, Melbourne. I am very excited to have completed my BA and I have learned a great deal about myself and my work over these years. Returning to study has been an amazing journey that has enlivened and stimulated me and I am so thankful for the support that I get from a very patient Partner while I have been studying.
I am pleased with the final outcomes of my work for 2016 and proud of what I have achieved for the last three years…now on to Honours year for 2017!
Here is another one that I have not shown on here but this was actually one of my favourite works of this year. Based on a project as part of my course work this brooch was made in response to a piece of text chosen by me. I decided to work with the poem, Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost.
NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY Robert Frost Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.
It is made with Sterling Silver, clay rock*, 24K gold leaf and stainless steel pin. I gently faceted the soft rock and left a natural edge to keep the shape. The gold leaf is gilded onto the back only and is designed to rub away when worn, as might the entire brooch. This captures the notions of change and paradox that is so strong within the poem. To wear it is to alter it; but it is made to be worn…but that will destroy it.
*this clay rock is a soft chalky type that is all about my place here in Kinglake amongst the red clay dirt that makes up the subsoil. These clay rocks come in this yellow ochre colour and a red ochre colour too. It is the sort that you can draw on concrete with- perhaps you did when you were a child?
I forgot to add this! Part of my coursework for Uni at the start of this last semester included a project to sort of test out ideas that we might want to further develop. I really enjoyed making this and it came together in a sort of round about way. It really is about me, my memories and as you can see, my love of horses. I didn’t pursue this line of making for my graduation work, however I did keep horses as a central theme.
Included in this brooch are many different materials; an enameled centre piece that serves as a memento of my first pony, Mathford Blue Velvet and is backed with shoe leather from an old Blundstone boot; the frosted black beads are akin to a Victorian Memento Mori and reminiscent of the black spots on my little Palouse pony; a faceted quartz that I cut myself and some moonstone that symbolises my travel and work with horses overseas; a swap card which is the same as one of the ones I remember having as a child- I had lots of swap cards, mostly horses and a few dogs and cats! ; in the ceramic dish is a written history of my life with horses in brief done with a silverpoint method and coated in nanotechnology spray-on glass; and the pin fittings on the back have a hint of scroll-work such as the leatherwork detailing you might see on a saddle.
I have been super busy, as always at this time of year, but especially so as I am graduating from my BA of Fine Art soon! Very exciting! I don’t think I am quite done yet though and I am planning to carry on with Honours next year.
Here is a sneak peek at some of the things I am working on for my final pieces. A little change to the usual work I make, but I am so in love with the process and I am so happy to incorporate my love of horses into my work for this little collection. These are some of the brooches I am making and I am still in process. There will be more. And some pendants. And possibly some earrings! Plus I am coiling some larger pieces for vessels that are a little bit divine.
When I was outside photographing these, with our handy overcast day for the perfect light, a curious little onlooker came over to see what I was doing.
For those who are curious, ‘More Majorum’ is the motto of the 8th Light Horse regiment, of which my Great Grand Father belonged and means, ‘Of Our Ancestors’.