This week, we had a few forced days off due to unexpected building renovations in the complex. We temporarily located back to our home studios, and I took the opportunity to do some gardening and plant out a winter veggie patch (the weather was too lovely to be stuck inside). Mels made some gorgeous ‘sketch’ brooches for the exhibition that opens on Tuesday night and yesterday and today we spent the day changing the space over for the new ‘winter brooches’ exhibition opening on Tuesday night.
Yesterday, my daughter Tegan spent the day with me in the workshop instead of in her year 3 class, due to a teacher’s strike. We spent some time at the AGNSW in the morning, shared a piece of cake and browsed art books while sipping on a coffee and hot chocolate, then off to the studio to do some work and keep Mel company. Mel gave Tegan all her reject anodised aluminium pieces (see posts below) and here’s an image of the neckpiece that was made – Tig loves to use the flexi…she’s pretty good at drilling holes…. then used pliers to thread little bits of silver wire and twist the ends. She displayed the end result in the bottom drawer of our cabinets in the gallery. I’ve been proudly showing it off to anyone who’s interested!
Worked back late tonight after the space closed so that I could get stuck into my winter brooches. Soldered the findings on the back and then had fun doing the first step of painting them…but have run out of white paint!!……now they need to dry for a while before the next stage. For the opening, I thought I could freeze them in thin blocks of ice, then pin them to the wall and have them drip, drip dripping, like melting snow…..but Mel wasn’t so keen on that idea…….
Now for my exciting current project! I am learning the joys of Anodised aluminium.
My last lot of work came back from the anodisers with surface pitting, I was told it was the metal, although the previous pieces I had anodised were from the same sheet and they worked perfectly.
Supposedly there can be variations in the metal in the one sheet, this being the case my pieces have a random chance of working!
I did do some research today and found a site that recommended a bath of caustic soda and warm water to strip back an anodised surface. I tried the bath on the pitted versions. It worked great, I was hoping to clean them up and have them anodised again but the pitting is too deep in each one.
We’ve got some wonderful images coming in of the work that is going to be in the Winter Brooch exhibition. We have 11 artists all up who will be exhibiting work (including us). I can’t wait to show it all to the fascinating people who visit the Danks Street complex…..(had someone come in the other day who just totally ‘got’ my coal/beeswax and silver neckpiece – it was so great – made my day)…..the work coming in has such a wonderful array of materials, processes and concepts – woo hoo!!
Spent the day in the studio with Mel (yes, it WAS both our days off) – we were both very focussed on making work for the Hope St markets, although I kept getting distracted with the brooches that I’m making for the show. Am having fun playing and not being too precious with ‘precise technical making’ (Mel would be horrified with the amount of solder I’m using and the sloshing around that is going on). Am experimenting with ‘painting’ with the metal and being a bit free-er with the whole soldering thing…then I’m going to use paint with a few other materials mixed in…not sure how it’s going to work out – but that’s where the fun is. Mel says they should be wearable (argh) – and I suppose they should – but I’m looking at making them ‘wall brooches’, a kind of little installation.
We officially launched the space last Wednesday night, along with opening night drinks for Emma Fielden’s exhibition of beautiful work! It was a great night and Mel and I both spent the next few days justing getting over the whole thing. It wasn’t until after it was ll over that we realised how exhausted we both were……One of the things we learnt, was that our tiny space doesn’t hold alot of people at one time!
Sunday – we met Emma at the studio to setup her work (and totally reorganise the studio at the same time!!). The sun was shining – we’d forgotton what it looked like!!! Here she is putting up her gorgeous ‘Pin sketch’ works, made from buffalo horn, ebony and gold. While at my bench, my little miss Tilly, who turned 4 recently, focusses all her attention on filing on a piece of perspex.
We outsourced the separate components for our new display drawer units….. a few dramas….but they arrived on Friday. Friday night and Saturday and Saturday night, and early Sunday morning was spent painting them….. Alot of painting was needed. MANY THANKS to Nick and Luke for their tireless efforts – it was a bit of a marathon!
Here they are being installed into the studio space. We’ll be able to display alot more work now – and won’t have to tackle with so much dust on the work!