Archive for August, 2011

From the Bench!

I finished this ring today. An experimental piece that I am quite pleased with and I will be doing more of!

What do you think????

I think I will be making a blue one next – but the plan will be to do more in Blue Red and Black!

I may just go crazy and see what other colours I can do!




Emerald Teaching with Flying Arts!

On the 17th I flew out to Emerald to host a workshop on Acrylic and Aluminium Pendant making.

I arrived at 6:30pm and called a cab to come and collect me from the airport as there were none waiting at the airport itself. The taxi tok about 20 minutes to turn up and promptly took me to the Midlander Motor Inn in the centre of town. After checking in I had to get something to eat and do some shopping for lunches and breakfast the following day. Luckily there was a Woolworths just across the road which meant that I could get everything I needed with plenty of time!

When I got back to the motor inn I flicked through the Austar channels to find and movie. Anyone who has ever travelled with me knows that this is usually the only time I get to sit down and watch a movie in the full length without any distraction! So why not fall into the usual holiday pattern – although this was not to be a holiday, I was not teaching at night which made all the difference!

The following day I turned up at Emerald State High School early to meet up with the organiser and see where I was teaching. Plus, I wanted to get there early before the students turned up as I was looking a little like a pack horse with all the equipment in my back-pack and some extra bags.

The workshop was meant to have 15 students in it for each of the two days I was running it, however a lot of the students who wanted to be apart of the workshop had not paid their materials levy and therefore could not participate. The year 12 students were also no longer apart of the workshop as they would have missed out on too many lessons. Those who did participate consisted of 5 year 10 girls and 2 year 11 girls, as well as one of the art teachers.

I had taken with me an example of what we would be making and passed this around the class. I always find this point interesting when teaching adults, and frankly young kids usually give the same reaction. They either look at you daunted by the task or enthusiasm. I think I saw some enthusiasm from most of the students, although there were some definite signs of fear!

Once I gave my demonstrations on what to design, cut out and how to go about the construction of the pendants, they were off! It was interesting to see how they tackled the challenge. There are always those who get right into it and others who give up too easily and think that it is all too hard. As much as you have to guide these people you also have to tell them that they have not even really tried yet and that they need to pretty much “suck it up”.

Before I knew it there was a competition happening amongst the students and the teacher as to who was breaking the least blades and who could get the pendant done with the least whinging! This really did include the teacher, and once they all got into the swing of things they were off and enjoying themselves.

It was getting towards the end of the day and everyone was pretty much finished their pendants when I was asked what they would be doing tomorrow. Um, what! I was under the impression that I would have another group for the following day, not the same. Quick thinking is all apart of the job really, so I decided that rather than getting them to make the same thing again that they could try their hands at making a layered ring using the left over materials.

Those who had freaked out initially tended to freak out again, but the two year 11 students seemed more eager than ever to get onto the task!

The following day the tally started again, this time with another teacher who had had some jewellery making experience through the J&SO department at QCA. Telling everyone that she had this experience was probably the point where she jinxed herself as I think in the end she broke that most blades out of everyone! (no names!)

the challenge of the ring is a lot more complicated that the pendant and I usually teach this course over the period of two days, but these girls were demons with the saw frame and whipped through the pieces like there was no tomorrow! A couple of the students even managed to make 2 rings! Granted that we did not have the polishing equipment with us to do the finishes I usually do, but they still managed to make some excellent pieces. The results of which are listed below!






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Why does it hurt so much! ?

Will someone tell me why the first day back from a week off hurts so much?

I am super excited but I am tired and a little BLAH!

That may not make much sense to some but I am sure we have all been there!!

It’s not even 4:30pm yet and I am feeling a little tired and ready for a nap!!! The only problem there is that I have to go back and teach tonight also!! AHHHHH!!!!

Maybe a cup of tea will help me…..That and the Scotch Finger !!! Yum!!!!

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To Do or Not To Do…….. That is the Question

I’m thinking about going back to University to study honours.

I am pretty certain that it is fairly likely to do it and after my meeting with Elizabeth Shaw from QCA today, it seems like a good idea. She didn’t laugh at least when I told her about what I was thinking of looking into.

She was able to give me a few pointers into where to look and what I might find some information and who to look for that may suit as a supervisor.

I feel that I am ready to go back and do further study and I kind of like the idea of doing research into a particular area that I like for a period of time. It would certainly inform my practice and get my art happening again, whilst building up further techniques.

It is time to do further research and find out the possible artists and support team that I will have at my disposal.



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First Instyle Update

This year’s trade fair at the Royal Melbourne Exhibition Building has been much better than last year. Although we have been given a bit of an odd position, we have still been able to make connections with many retailers from Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria, as well as have orders placed.
Many of the retailers have given great feedback to me on the product and I hope, with a little bit of work when I get home, I will be able to cement these people into a deal.

Some of the others First Instyle stall holders have voiced their concerns regarding traffic and location of our stalls in conjunction with Life Instyle, complaining that they have not done as well as they did in Sydney. My response to them is they have no idea how hard last year was and how demoralizing it was to present things you had given blood sweat and tears over only to not secure one person!

My gut response to them is “suck it up”. It’s about time and effort. If you put in the time and effort you will reap the rewards from your hard work. It may not happen today or tomorrow but if you keep at it, it will happen.
I’m not trying to make it big straight away. I want to test the retail market as much as they want to test me. Baby steps!
That way, I’ll be better prepared for the big time – and not a flash in the pan!

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First Instyle Melbourne


We are loving the fact that we have to eat out of the teacups for breakfast. There are no bowls!!!
I see it as a metaphor. Be creative!

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The big day is tomorrow!

The day that I fly down to Melbourne to set up the stand for Life Instyle Melbourne 2011!

I have all the displays done and ready to go. I have all the folders ready also and just need to transfer some items across to the USB stick for printing when I get to Melbourne and I will be ready for the onslaught on Thursday morning!

I’m actually pretty excited about presenting this new work to the retailers and I hope that someone sees the value in what I am doing and takes it and runs!!!

This year, retailers will see a much smaller presentation that will be simpler and less cluttered, making it easier for them to see the designs.

There are also less designs as I have just gone with 6 different earrings and 3 different neck pieces, but in 4 different finishes, making ordering simpler.

There is one set price for each piece and if they order from the show they are going to get a 15% discount no matter how many they order – but hopefully they order more than less!!!

So everything is getting packed as we type and it will all be ready to go by this afternoon with the final pack of some smaller pieces and clothes by tomorrow morning!!


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