Archive for October, 2011
This past weekend saw my step-brother and his fiance get married. The wedding was held at Pelican Waters Golf Club. The weather was absolutely perfect for the day, which was great considering the previous day was overcast and raining!
It was a great afternoon with my sister, Lizzy Cox, doing the service.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, we were unable to stay for too long at the reception as we both had work on the following day and left at 10pm (if we stayed too much longer my alcohol would have been cut off for sure!(according to Alex)).
We did however, make the most of the time we had at the reception and enjoyed catching up with a side of the family that we don’t get to see nearly enough!
Cara was absolutely beautiful in her wedding dress and I don’t think I have ever seen Josh so well dressed!
I did have to make a speech on the night and make a toast to my mother and step-father. I kept it short and sweet as they asked. It always surprises me at how long some people can chatter on for however, and some of the speeches were a tad too long! But it’s not like you can bring out the hook and drag people off stage – as much as you may want to! They just might not see the humour in that!
I wish both Josh and Cara the very best in their marriage and hope they have a fantastic time on their honeymoon! Luck buggers!
Things have been pretty tough lately. It seems that all the planets are at the furtherest point of alignment as they could possibly get. People are feeling the pinch in every possible aspect of their lives. We feel we are over worked and under paid, we feel that the government is taxing us more than ever before. Rates, gas, electricity are going up and up, even water is getting more expensive. One of the basic needs for our body.
Attitudes have changed. There has almost been a collective mental shift where a majority are using Scrooge as their role model. Not only with finances as some may think, but attitudes. It seems that all of a sudden, everyone has decided to stop being charitable to each other, polite and courteous. In everyday conversation people seem like they can no longer help anyone else, do anything else but what is for themselves and are becoming thriftier than ever before.
A number of events such as flood, the GFC, a tax on Carbon ( better known as a wealth distribution tax), strikes for better pay ( even though you are being paid better than your competitors), are all adding pressure on the collective psyche that the world is going to shit. We see on television day in day out what is happening in our country, what is happening in America and Europe, how bad the economy is as well as stories on the floods in Brisbane and Thailand and we all start believing the world is going to collapse, implode, catch fire and we’ll all die!
But we are going to die rich- because we can spend our money in the afterlife! Mind you, we won’t have anyone at our funeral because we’ve become so mean spirited in the process of trying to learn how to survive with less.
I look at people who have less, who really have less and think how rich they are. They don’t have the pressures we place upon ourselves to have the latest and greatest. The only pressure they have is to survive and they have better means to do this. They have a better attitude towards their own development and making a better life for themselves. They are resourceful.
We, coming from a place of privilege look at the potential of losing everything when a butterfly flaps it’s wings in Brazil, and freak out. We don’t adapt. We’ve had too long a time where it’s been so good that we think it is owed to us that the good times should continue. That the money from the golden steam should continually be poured into our cup, even though the steam has run dry, or at the most is at a trickle.
Going backwards seems almost impossible to us once we have had the privilege of having.
I come from a position in life where I have never really had a lot. I, like most people, have worked hard for what I have. If I was to lose what I have, I would be upset and possibly angry, but I would not give in. I’d start anew. And even though I don’t have a lot and times are tough, I still can give. I give money to charity, I am courteous and respectful to others and have generosity of spirit. I have to adapt to the times like everyone else.
I follow the Buddhist philosophy that karma plays a role in our lives and we need to maintain a healthy attitude to every aspect of our lives and everyone in our lives. I know it’s tough right now but I also know that one day it will be bloody fantastic and you know what, my attitude won’t change. I will still be realistic about where I came from, understand that there are still going to be people out there who are less fortunate than me and that I, in my small way can help them out. because who knows when the shit will hit the fan again and I may need to call on the resourceful skills once again!
A couple of months ago I received an email from Diana Schwerin who I had met through my time as a student resident, and then associate member, of the Museum of Brisbane. Diana was an avid supporter of the annual MOB Studio Sale and is an extensive collector of gems and jewellery. A real supporter of the art jewellery industry.
Diana advised me that she misses the MOB jewellers and was wondering if I would be interested in creating some individualised stack rings for her!
So we arranged to meet and for me to have a look at the small selection of gems she was thinking of using for the stack rings.
I originally designed 5 rings to which a decision was made to go ahead with 3 that were some of the most unique designs, as well as used materials that would fit within the budget. There is no more prevalent time than today than to stick to a budget with everything that is happening in the world, especially when 18ct gold is at an all time high!
With the mission at hand I set to work in creating these little, unique pieces that Diana would be able to interchange with her current collection. I went with texture and colour. Not only colour from the stones that Diana provided but colour in metals and finishes to the metals used.
The texture that the wax file gives when the piece has been cast into the metal can be really effective. I was careful to maintain this texture and use it to indicate motion up and around the Ruby. For the central ring I suggested combining the green sapphires with a ‘red gold’. A combination that had surprising results. I decided that a wax burr texture would work better for this piece in the attempt to create a wooded effect to the metal, without it being too literal!
The final ring with the yellow diamond was inspired by an earlier commission for a woven saxon gold ring. I also wanted to make a ring that was different from your regular stack ring. Something that only Diana would have and would be abel to show off and that would catch someone’s attention when she wore it. Not that the others will not do that but this is just that little bit extra special. Oxidising the ring works to highlight the pattern of the weaving.
Each of the rings can be worn individually, in combination with each other or in combination with Diana’s current collection of stack rings.
I enjoyed the process of making these rings and think that Diana will enjoy wearing them and showing them off – which is always a good thing in my line of work!
I am having doubts as to what I want to do next year regarding further study.
I was thinking that going into doing honours would inform my practice more and would allow me to analytically look at my work, put it into the cannon of jewellery design and concept, become more informed about my own practice and possibly advance through to looking at doing even further study in the form of a PHD one day.
In the weeks that have passed however I am finding an ever increasing doubt about what I am getting myself in for and whether I want to go down this path. This then has me ask the question “If I have doubt, do I really want to commit myself?”. I know full well that if I was to commit myself to further study that I would follow through with it, but would I enjoy it?
What I do next has to have enjoyment and if I am stressed from it then I am more hesitant in going in this direction.
Managing what I am currently doing is more than enough. Do I really need to take it that one step further and get those extra qualifications or can I be happy with where I am at for now? Is university study the way to go or can I look at further study in a tafe environment in another field entirely. Business Management perhaps. Further skills based study in my field?
These are all tempting options and I am not fully convinced that I will benefit to the same degree with an extra university qualification than I would a skills based study field or something that specifically relates to my business and using that to help my career.
This all needs further research.
What could I do at Tafe and would that be enough to get me on the path that I need to be on. Something is niggling at me for something to happen next year but what it is I am not fully convinced as yet.
The above link is for the up coming Urban Mine Project on Thursday the 20th of October.
We have been busily working away in preparation for the sales night and hope to have a good turn out.
Once again we will be selling glasses of wine and cans of soft drink and will also have cheeses and bread, but the best part of all is the wonderful jewellery that has been made by the students for the sales night.
Come and see what creative little chickens they have been!!!
I have been working hard over the last week trying to get things started on the Christmas stock for the studio in late November/early December and have finally finished cutting out a whole new series of charms that i will be able to add to. These shapes I will be selling individually and in the form of charm bracelets, earrings, cufflinks, etc etc. This is the start up range and not all of them I might add. I have plenty more that I would like to do and that I will work on towards Christmas, but this is a start.
I am also hoping to present these in a market setting and possibly at Melbourne’s trade fair next year and Sydney the year after that. These will also be going on to Labels to Love as their exclusive range. There are more animals and objects that i would like to do but I am going to start here and see what happens with them for the Christmas sale.
These will be in Sterling Silver also and are quite affordable, so they will make awesome presents for someone at Christmas!
I had class today and I was teaching the students bezel setting.
I had to provide a few stones that were a little larger than the ones some of the students had bought with them as this is the first time they are making something and therefore they should really start on a larger stone to make it that little bit easier!
Some people had bought quite large stones along and they too needed new ones as they would have used up all the designated materials.
Once that was all sorted out and we started the process most of the students got into the swing of things. There were some hiccups along the way with bezels melting and some of the bezels being far too large for the stone they were meant to fit, but mostly it all worked out well.
They have not quite finished their pieces as yet, but are certainly on the way. There is always something to trick them up – which they don’t like -but as I tell them, I am here to challenge them and not make it too simple. Usually, when they have completed the project, they are surprised at their own abilities.
That is what this job is all about, making the impossible possible!