Five days left for our ‘Forever Plastic’ exhibition! If you haven’t already swung by the gallery, you can always take a look at our online catalogue here – ‘Forever Plastic Online Catalogue‘.
Lucky us! The gallery now has a small collection of work by Penny Snars and Rhonda Dwyer from their ‘Artefact’ exhibition shown in the gallery earlier this year. Here are a few images….these would definately bring a smile to someone’s face this Christmas! – bk
My head is continually messed up by the making of limited edition work vs one-off exhibition pieces. I quite enjoy the repetitive element of making the same thing over and over, and then suddenly, it just does my head (and heart) in and I feel like a little factory…don’t get me wrong I still love the process of it all … I love the exploration, challenges, play and freedom that comes with exhibition and more conceptual work…and that it allows me to communicate ideas and concerns that I have… but (at this stage) it’s difficult to feed the small mouths in the nest at home with this kind of making (although it feeds my soul)…and often there isn’t the time and head space to work on ‘larger’ projects. I’ve just started some ideas of some limited production work based on the brooches I made for the ‘Winter Brooches’ exhibition, which I think will incorporate some of the joy of creating the one-off work. They still allow for some freedom and play through paint, colour and construction, although are not quite so labour intensive (allowing them to be in a price range that might actually sell)!! In the originals, the jump rings were all hand soldered but I have scaled them down and had a mould made. Below are the original one-offs….stay tuned for the limited edition versions.
and not the gems we expected to find. Mel and I spent Monday cruising the exhibition halls at Darling harbour, overwhelmed by glitz and, and……searching for something different, a new exciting tool, some great display options….something…..and here’s what we discovered……a handy hint passed on to us by an exhibitor, told to him by an ancient jeweller….if ever you need a tiny stainless steel spring (for those days when you just HAVE to make a parrot clasp – eesh)…then use part of the ‘E’ string from a guitar. Not sure what the ‘E’ string is, or whether an ‘A’ string would work as well but sounded like a potentially useful bit of info….We were also shown a really neat contemporary ring band – beautifully made (German?) with a tiny dimple in it that you press with a pen to open a hidden hinge – allowing the ring to open fully….for people with arthritis….and lastly, we found a supplier (Euromount) for sterling silver pin ends (those little bullet things)….there was a moment of weakness at Ajit, where we came away with a string of sparkly gems to play with….and then it was all over.
Mel has been working hard since she came back from her trip. She has a some beautiful new designs in the studio and we are getting more people through the space…it’s funny….sometimes it’s just so quiet and we wonder where everyone has gone and whether we will ever hear footsteps coming down the hall again (all you can hear is the sound of emery paper and rhythmic sawing)….the great thing about the space, is that during the quiet times we can make, make, make…..and chat, chat, chat……AND THEN we’ll have a day where someone will just walk in and purchase a few pieces all at once, or a complete series of work, or a wall piece…and it all seems a bit surreal….so up and down…. There just doesn’t seem to be any pattern to it….the weather doesn’t seem to make a difference that we can see, and occasionally we’ve put our little kiddy chalkboard out at the end of the corridor (kindly leant to us by one of the other gallery owners) and maybe that makes a difference, it’s hard to tell…….while travelling to work each day, there is that little sense of anticipation and excitement of what might unfold during the coming day at the studio….
BK’s off to Japan!!! Poor Mel, I wish I could pack her in my suitcase. I booked the flight today. Am looking forward to Tokyo and discovering all the art galleries and visiting Deux Poisson Gallery. Was at an artist friends place for a bbq on the weekend and Daniel Goettin was there (he currently has a wonderful show on at Connie Dietzschold Gallery)…turns out he is a big fan of Tokyo, so I have a very long scrawled list of places to see, things to eat, and trains to catch (happy for more ideas from anyone out there)……am very excited, but before that we have our BIG LAUNCH of Studio 20/17 —– lots to do!! Mel and I discovered the difference between normal glass (green tinge) and Star Fire Glass today (much clearer and more expensive)….we now have to decided which one to get to put in our drawer units that we’re having made for the gallery space (do we want all the work to have a slight green tinge? Will anyone really notice?)……….fingers crossed they’ll be ready before the Launch and Emma’s opening!
We realise we’re in a fabulous location and that there are lots of wonderfully creative artist/designer/makers out there….so we’d like to offer our space for exhibition of your gorgeous and adventurous work………we’re putting out a CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS for exhibitions of work for a few exhibitions each year (we’re still nutting out how many we can deal with…argh, the admin!!! – we want to make our own work too)!! The people that wander in and out of the Danks St Arts Complex are an interesting and fascinating bunch, either interested in the arts, artists, or involved in the arts in some other way. Whilst we realise our space is a small one, it’s a wonderful opportunity to showcase your work to this audience. So, for anyone interested , please drop us an email at studio2017(at)optusnet.com.au, and a couple of images of your work you and we’ll send you out some info….
Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the best plan to have organised a trip to the Philippines to visit the inlaws only 6 weeks after we moved into the studio but Mel’s been doing a fantastic job keeping on top of everything while I’ve been eating lots of home cooked meals at the house of Lola Flora in Sagada, Mountain Province.
We’ve celebrated her 95th Birthday, spent time with all the cousins and extended family (many had travelled from the USA to participate in the Birthday party), jogged up & down a mountain in an 8km fun run, gone for hikes, wandered around rice terraces & had a few relaxing San Miguels in a local taverna.
I’ve collected some seeds from the Bistacao plant and Grandma Flora gave me an old, broken belt that she had made from seeds. This is going to be used as material in a series of work based on my visits to the area.
Sagada is located high up in the mountains north of Bagiou (it was an 8 hour bus trip from Manila to Bagiou). After a one night stopover in Bagiou, we caught another bus up the winding, rocky, road to Sagada. The trip has shortened since 2001. When I first visited it took 7.5 hours, but with continual work on the road (paving and building of retaining walls to minimise landslides and erosion..the trip can be a bit nerve wracking) it takes about 5.5 hours…..this is to travel all of 120km!
Meanwhile…. back at the Studio, Mel is designing the invite for our next exhibition – beautiful work by Emma Fielden, which coincides with our offical launch! She’s also been getting quotes on getting some display/drawer units made (fingers crossed – they’ll be ready for the launch), and designing our studio card! I took the laptop along and sat on top of a mountain updating our mailing list…. and wrote a small article for Filings…some time after 2001, remote Sagada had a mobile phone tower installed and now has internet access (but there are no land lines at all in the town, or television)…..this I think, is both good and bad……
After being caught up in the distractions of admin around the setup of the space…things like installing a phone line (phew -that was a trial and a half), merchant facilities, bank accounts, machinery setup and location, sourcing of a fridge (to store the milk for our daily expresso coffee), creation of a press release (thank you Tara! – and also for your help with setting up this blog!), design of studio card, design of display units, contracts for exhibitions by invited artists, insurance, door signs, wall signs, lighting, fixing up the door, working out where the garbage bins are (and ladders and air con switches and, and, and!) and having our alarm system installed, we’re almost there and itching to get back to the bench to get stuck into creating some work! We’ll be updating you with photos as we go.