Posted on August 15th, 2014
The first person I’d like to give a little shout out to is Sean O’Connell. If you know me personally, you’re sighing right now and saying ‘of course!’ Yes, of course, how could I not be inspired by this man?! Sean-O is simply amazing. Whatever he does is pure, genuine and honest, whether that be baking chocolate cakes, making smoke rings, prototyping, testing, perfecting or blowing my hair back it is always done in a style in which has me wanting to better myself both as a designer, maker and a person. Sean-O is responsible for infecting me with love of Miyazaki films, introducing me to Haroun and the Sea of Stories and encouraging me to design from my concept first to obtain the purest expression and then to worry about learning how to make it. I’ve been in many pickles designing and making that way let me tell you, but my most satisfying and best work comes when I listen to that advice and break down the walls of my own expectations. So if you haven’t had the pleasure of enjoying a coffee with this man, go boil the jug, make a cuppa and check out his work here.
Ohhhhh La De Da. A long time ago, back in the old days of Gaffa, I met a beautiful girl whose name I wanted to remember to pronounce correctly. Don’t ask me how this makes sense out of my head and on paper, but said beautiful girl is Alida Cappelletta. Al-llee-da-la-de-da?! Ahem, I’m not sure, but it made perfect sense at the time and I’ve never forgotten her name! And how could I?…Alida embodies the perfect balance of being an excellent jewellery designer, maker and teacher, with being an exceptional fashionista, laugh-er and friend. Ohhhh how I miss sharing a studio with this little lady and her five-toe wonder shoes! Alida inspires me because she is fearless, 100% genuine and just so goddam beautiful inside and out! And her work is a perfect expression of all that she is personally. I have laughed full and long belly laughs with her & cried over broken, burnt and busted work, but more importantly I have admired and respected Alida for her all round goodness. I’m both a better person and designer for her guidance and presence in my world. And so ends my blog tour! Thanks for reading, I hope you ‘met’ someone new in the jewellers above that you haven’t before. It has been super fun writing this post, so I’m going to revisit spotlighting and interviewing the people/places/things that have me geeking out or striving to better myself in some way over the next few months. Look out for some new posts soon! I got half way through my interview process with a lovely lady last year as I began my transition from Australia to the USA…I think I’ll re-start there, sans knocking on her door with a gift of muffins that could cause her a cardiac arrest (accidentially killing your would be interviewee is so not cool!)!! Look out!
I’m reallyyyyyy gluing this time, not just singing a bad bad 80′s song infected with laughter from ma lady Janini Panini! Walnut is my new favourite material, and right now I’m in the wood-shop learning to make a chopping board. It is perfect timing because I’m also designing some new cutlery to put into production and sampling condiment containers to go with. You could say it is action all stations because it totally is!
I stumbled across this interesting read by Liesbeth den Besten on AJF recently…how refreshingly honest! If you’re a contemporary jeweller or interested in contemporary jewellery this essay does raise some very valid points worthy of further discussion. Among many other aired truths I throughly enjoyed this:
”I would like to make a plea for less coherence, for more distortion, for more confusion and more discussion, for less finished objects exhibited in wonderful places and for more open ended works, for less gallery-imitating presentations and more happenings and events in the streets, subway stations, the fair, and shopping malls, and for more efforts to have jewelry on the right spot—on human beings.”
…And I whole heartedly agree.
Yep, it’s all about dirty hands and tools that could chop your fingers off. I realise that doesn’t at all sound like fun, but it so is to me because I’m back getting dirty again in a metal workshop! (Fingers intact!) I’ve been hanging out at Makerhaus in Seattle recently, and this week I managed to get myself into a class to refresh some old skills and learn some new ones. I’ve been MIG welding, learning how to use the milling machine and playing on my all time favourite tool – the lathe. While I’m not making anything particularly fancy just yet, I am sampling condiment containers and making some sweet little hacks for my home studio.
…Well, not rrrreeeeealllllyyyyy. But the sayings you feverishly avoid as an Australian in Australia amuse you endlessly when you’re in a country that has NNNnnooo idea of what you’re banging on about. Although I’m not actually cooking in the real sense of the word, I did just get a propane and oxygen tank in my new studio, so I will be ‘cooking-up’ all the new work I’ve been designing over the coming weeks. Keep checking back in, I’m working on a completely new body of work that I can’t wait to get on fingers and in lobes!
I’m totally digging on today’s studio song…
I fell in love with a succulent. And I don’t know it’s name. But I love it.