Friday, May 28, 2010

JamFactory Volunteers Week Celebrations

On Thursday May 20, we celebrated and recognised the support and efforts of our volunteers throughout the year.

The Metal Design Studio held a ‘Make a Silver Ring’ workshop from 1-5pm and a Thank you Ceremony followed, where volunteers were presented with Certificates of Appreciation over drinks and nibbles.

We would like to thank our volunteers for your continued support of JamFactory and time provided in the Volunteer Program.

The Volunteer Program has been established to support the activities of JamFactory, in particular the Gallery. It provides an opportunity for interested people to interact with artists and expose them to professional crafts practice. Volunteer activities include Gallery Invigilation which is an important ‘front of house’ position, providing the first point of contact for visitors to JamFactory.

If you would like further information in becoming a JamFactory Volunteer please contact Kara Growden 

8410 0727

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Liz Williamson: Textiles Opening

Liz Williamson: Textiles was officially opened on Friday 21st May at 6pm by Guest Speaker Kay Lawrence. The exhibition is part of Object Gallery’s Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft series which celebrates Australia’s most outstanding and influential senior crafts practitioners.The exhibition runs until 20 June 2010.

Liz Williamson: Textiles is supported by Object’s National Exhibitions strategy funded by the Australian Government program supporting touring exhibitions by providing funding assistance for the development and touring of Australian cultural material across Australia.

Monday, May 24, 2010

1st Year Ceramic Associate James Edwards talks to Jam Packed about the 2010 Clay Energy Conference

This is the eighth in these series of clay events held in Gulgong home to Australian Preeminent ceramist Janet Mansfield. Is this your first trip to Gulgong? If so what were you expecting? 
Yes this was my first Gulgong outing, the 2010 Clay Energy Conference. I just missed the last one in 2007, so I had plenty of expectations, but also knew from talking to others who had been in 2007 what the conference was about. There were plenty of 'artstars' of the Australian and international Ceramics world, and the whole event is really an excuse for every one of all levels to mingle, network and have some fun. That was pretty much exactly what happened. 

What were some of the highlights of the conference – particular key notes etc. and why? 
Highlights of the conference were more outside of the lectures for me. I sat with our Clay Adelaide exhibition most of the conference, and what I'm considering highlights from this are the moments and conversations with artists from all levels talking about our work, and theirs. I had some great informal chats with some influential people in regards to my practice, which was awesome! 

The one artist talk I got to that I did enjoy a lot was Ken Yonetani talking about his work. His work is so highly textural, evocative of the ocean floor in his formations of coral, shells, and mussels made from clay, and then his more abstract pieces, that I couldn't help the immediate attraction to the works. 

Which exhibitions did you like and why?  
There were so many exhibitions, from purpose built gallery spaces to vacant shops full of work, to a neatly placed display in the main streets shop windows. So much work was attractive; to pick a favourite would be impossible...especially when our Clay Adelaide exhibition was totally the best!!!

Interesting exhibitions though, included the Matchbox Competition, where all and sundry could enter a ceramic based work, as long as it could fit inside a matchbox. On the Saturday night of the conference, all the matchbooks (about 400?) were lined up on a pool table in the Prince of Wales Hotel, and it was really interesting to see how innovative and creative entrants had been. 

Another was the '340 grams' - The Australian Ceramic Association Members Exhibition, where members could exhibit anything as long as it weighed 340 grams in total. 
I feel these exhibitions were so attractive to me because of the scope of creativity they offered, and a few inspiring ideas came from some of the exhibits! 

Did you get involved in the wood firings, if so can you tell us about it?
I didn't get involved in a wood firing as there weren't any being run. We did do a massive Raku workshop though as Raku is a much faster firing process than wood, and that meant the conference was actually long enough to go from start to finish in the whole process of making, drying and firing, while still allowing people to take their finished pieces away. 

We did however fire a few wood ovens, a tri-pot Tandoori wood oven, and various other wood-heating ovens that created some decadent food on the last day at Janet Mansfield's property. 

Adelaide Ceramist had a show as part of Clay Energy Can you tell us who was part for this exhibition and where it was held? 
Our Clay Adelaide exhibition was held in the front upstairs room in a beautiful Victorian style shop fronted house, now officially to be the Headquarters and home of Mansfield Press, at the end of the main streets shopping section. The show opened in conjunction with 4 others in the same building, including National Art School, Woodfire Show, 10 artists from South Australia, Ceramic Study Group, NZceramics, and Royston Harpur - Paintings. 

Our exhibition was to present the work of 10 ceramic artists from Adelaide and its surrounds, which included one plinth each dedicated to Jane Burbidge, Maria Chatzinikolaki, Susan Frost, Suzanne Gregor, Tamara Hahn, Charmain Hearder, Stephanie James-Mantton, Wayne McAra, Jane Robertson and myself. 

The exhibition was a great success, I had a lot of great feedback and critique, and we sold a few pieces and all of the 90 handmade beakers we each chipped in towards being our opening's wine vessels. 

Could you describe your work form the show – the ideas behind the work you produced and your process of making? 
Everyone wants to enjoy an environment that is their ideal space. Everyone desires to live amongst ‘stuff’ which brings good memories and makes a good ambience.

By drawing together items and objects that have a memory of past lives, stories unfold and personal memories find their way interweaving with a new element, to cannibalise the original item into something new.
With a fresh face, the objects make their way back into the world to continue their existence, creating and enhancing new memories as they go.

So my work, Parchments, is a desk lamp from a series I'm currently undertaking, involving the cannibalisation of found or op-shopped lamp stands and shades, where I have to create either the shade or stand to match the existing half. 

Parchments was created by walking past a house in my street and intercepting an elderly lady putting out a shade-less Victorian hot-cast bronze table lamp. So after a lot of deliberation and experiments, I ended up with a cylindrical translucent porcelain shade, with stencilled Fleur de Lyss on the upper face.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Jam Packed talks to Metal Design Studio Creative Director Christian Hall about the Gilles Street Primary School Project

Tell us about the project at Gilles Street 
The project is an Artist in Residency program at the school where members of the Metal Design studio (Creative Director Christian Hall and Associates Hannah Carlyle and Peta Kruger) work at the school on two main projects. The first to develop a range of artist-made toys and the second a series of workshops for staff and students based on the theme identity and exploring sculpture through the accessible medium of jewellery and the body, and growing across larger scales and sites. The aim of the residency is to provide an inclusive sculptural experience that is international in scope for students, teachers and artists.

What are the major benefits of training students as young as 11 years old about design thinking? 
Future growth - The core idea that is central to this project is that these students are active participants in the creation of their own material culture – now and in the future.

By working with young students and allowing them access to “design thinking” + the creative development of their own concepts then to see these concepts realised as professional outcomes manufactured to the highest degree of finish we aim to plant the seed for future growth in these individuals and the design sector. This project may be the spark that ignites a passion that sees one of our students go on to become an architect, artist, designer etc.

Application to other areas – Students can draw upon the problem solving skills and lateral thinking experienced in “design thinking” and find application for these skills in other area of the school’s curriculum. Design is not just about the creation of things but about developing a self defined process for thinking through problems. This process has broad application. 

Inclusivity - Design a pre-linguistic, open ended and semiotic form of expression that transcends boundaries of age, race and gender. The medium is perfectly suited to create an inclusive and playful learning environment, especially for the diverse group Gilles Street Primary School – Gilles St Primary supports a New Arrivals Program which makes up one third of the schools population. Over 40 different cultural groups are represented. Working with “toys” and 3D sculpture is the ideal vehicle to encourage enquiry, interaction and play between artists, students and teachers.

What do you hope that the students themselves will learn from or take away from the project? 

Through this program I would like to see each student develop a connection with one or all of the artists involved that they can draw upon in the future. This connection could be a direct resource for the students; a way of gaining knowledge, information and insight into contemporary practice, or an in indirect resource; the experience serving to demystify the creative process and profession.

In addition to this, by developing the students concepts to a professional manufacturing and presentation benchmark we are aiming to help students will realise their own potential for excellence beyond limits previously imagined. We want them to be excited about art, craft and design practice

What personally do you enjoy about being involved?  
Working with the school, with the staff and students forces me to re-evaluate my own creative practice and the profession generally. The students are so honest in their response to projects and work and their approach to their own making can be very surprising. Where students find challenges and opportunities in the creation of works is very different to artist working at a professional level but the process is the same. Seeing students overcome blocks and the go on to stretch and play with ideas so freely is great. It is very invigorating because it’s essentially the same as process as my own with different constraints, only I never know what the students are going to value or why. When I ask them the answers can reveal a surprisingly sophisticated grasp of the world and that makes me think that the partnership between a school and a professional arts organisation, between student and artists, can bare real fruit. I am excited about what the marriage of the students ideas and view of the world and our technical, professional and creative know how can do together! In a way this is teaching me to be allot less precious about my own approach.

Seeing this process occur for the associates involved in the project is also great. The challenges they face working in the educational context and in particular with young children, are very different to those in any other area of their practice. I feel they gain a much better and more holistic understanding of their own motivations by being involved and I can see that when they have worked at the school they feel satisfied and excited by the experience.

On the whole I feel that a whole other area of what we do is valued in this project, and we feel valued by the students and staff. It’s a very enjoyable experience overall.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Metal on the Map: JamFactory Metal Design Studio

Studio Works Retail Gallery
5 May – 6 June 2010

The Brief
Metal on the Map is a project and exhibition that explores connections between contemporary jewellery practice and the built environment, between the interior and the exterior. This is a project that asks, “What kind of dialogue can exist between small things and the larger spaces that they inhabit?”

Artists at the Metal Design Studio started with some common ground, a map of Adelaide. Adelaide is a small city, one easily explored on foot; it is also the city through which each artist must travel to arrive at work every day. The map was cut into a grid, each artist received a section. The task; to explore the area and use what can be gathered as a resource in the development of new work.

Each artist has taken a different approach to this task. Some may have chosen to explore every square foot of space while others might have chosen one secluded or hidden aspect. Some may have worked from objects gathered in their area, others from photographs, drawings or even the map itself. Some have based their works on immediate experience while others have unearthed the histories, memories and fantasies imbedded in place.

Artists were asked to consider how to place their mettle (metal) on the map?

Carry On Cases
This exhibition was originally shown as part of the 2010 JMGA (Jewellers and Metalsmiths Group of Australia) Biennial Conference’s exhibition program.  The conference was held in Perth, WA over three days.

The cases used to display the artists works are a response to the need to travel and exhibit a body of work in a temporary exhibition space. The cases have been designed to collapse into the space allocated as carry-on luggage for domestic air travel and can be stowed neatly, legs and all, into an overhead locker.

The Metal Design Studio would like to acknowledge the kind assistance and expertise of the Furniture Design Studio in realising this design.

Hannah Carlyle
I explored notions of line and shadow created by rooftops in an aerial view of Adelaide. Reflecting on the architectural elements of the buildings within my area and using the Adelaide Festival Centre as a point of reference, the use of pattern, texture and colour translate the aesthetics found when looking down on our city.

Erin Keys
When I was a small child I used to go to the tip with my father and we would always bring home double the amount of what we had taken there to begin. For me, the tip was an exciting treasure trove of possibilities, once loved items now thrown in to the stinking pile of mixed memories.
Collecting items from my allocated area, these objects play host to ambiguous memories, and the process allowed the little girl in me to wander the streets, excitedly, picking up ‘rubbish’.

Sorcha Flett
In the Circle (Kooringa, the town built for the Burra Burra Copper, mine comes from an Aboriginal word Kuri-ngga which means “In the circle”.)
Ayers House Museum is the only surviving North Tce mansion and so is a prime example of colonial architecture. Reflecting a lifestyle led by Adelaide’s wealthy upper class and servant classes in 19th century South Australia. Part of the museum exhibits sewing, lace work and other handcraft created by women and servants at this time, inspiring my wirework.  Sir Henry Ayers’ made his fortune from the Burra Burra Copper Mines. This ‘Monster Mine’ secured the wealth of the colony of South Australia.

Christian Hall
From a balcony in the Adelaide College of the Arts I look across a view hidden from pedestrian traffic.  The roof tops of surrounding buildings offer up views of urban nooks and crannies.  Demarcated as service areas for buildings these unself-conscious spaces are a relief from an over-designed world and offer a fresh space for dreaming.  This work is a topographic play on these spaces.

Peta Kruger
Mapping the unmapped. Some landmarks change, appear and disappear; but it is possible to record their existence. The items found at ground level in a city illustrate brief moments in time, perhaps describing more about the people living in it than the place itself

Leonie Westbrook
Signs of wear, surfaces peeling and eroding away, revealing a glimpse of a former life. Attempts to hide the decay evident in the layer upon layer of coloured paint.
Utilising off cuts of steel tubing in this work I have interpreted the architectural applications of the material - exploiting its structural function and aesthetic properties.

Jessamy Pollock
Section 4 is the area defined by King William, Grenfell, Wakefield and Pulteney streets. I have made works reflecting the architecture found within this area. Windows, doors and decorative features have been my main source for inspiration. The works do not attempt to replicate the architecture, instead architectural features and facades have been used as points of reference to generate new ideas and designs.

Vanessa Williams
My works are inspired by the decorations and features on houses.  Some are purley decorative whilst others have a useful purpose.  I wanted to make versions of some of these elements that could be worn to decorate the bod