I’ve worked in many different studios, including as a student in the Gold and Silversmithing Department at Canberra School of Art.
In 1986 I set up my first studio at Gorman House Arts Centre in Canberra. I remember paying about $7 a week rent, which I found was not too difficult to manage when you’re a young emerging artist. In 1987 with the abundant energy that I had, I nominated for the Gorman House Committee of Management, I have always been keen on making a difference. The photo below was the paraphernalia that I distributed in hope of achieving success, I lost by 1 vote. As it turned out they employed me to work in the office instead. In the photo I am wearing three spectacular arm rings that I made from Perspex.
After my first solo exhibition in 1988 at Solander Gallery in Canberra I had a short break before re-establishing in my second studio back at Gorman House Arts Centre. You may have seen me at the Gorman House Arts Centre Markets where I braved the cold Canberra winters, however I still managed to keep a brave face.
In 1994, I left Canberra to return to Melbourne where I set up my studio in my lounge room in a small unit I let in Armadale. Following on I moved to Ashburton, and then down to Somers on the Mornington Peninsula. It was only when I purchased my first home at McCrae in 2013, that I have been able to re-open my studio to the public, as I did many years ago in Canberra at Gorman House Arts Centre.
I joined the Peninsula Studio Trail in 2013, and have opened my studio every year since. In my studio visitors can see an exhibition of my work and demonstrations of the techniques I use including cuttlefish casting and lamp working glass beads. As I’ve always said, I enjoy the opportunity to show people what I do, and how it is done.
My studio is always open to the public, so if you’re keen to see my work or buy directly, please click the contact button at the top of this page to arrange a time to visit.
Beautiful pendants, rings, necklaces and bracelets are available for your Valentine in my McCrae studio.
All pieces are made to the highest standard, the pendants and rings are bold statement pieces, and you can expect quality craftsmanship and unique designs. You’ll be sure to find the perfect piece for your Valentine.
I’m hosting another Open Studio over the next two weekends and you’re all welcome to visit. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy my stunning contemporary jewellery in the beautiful surrounds of my McCrae studio and garden. You may choose to witness the fiery cuttlefish casting demonstrations that will be occurring on the weekends, or do some early Christmas shopping. I’m opening my studio as part of the Peninsula Studio Trail open studio weekends.
Please feel welcome to drop in and see my recent contemporary rings and pendants that I am preparing for my next solo show, opening at Antipodes Bookshop Gallery in Sorrento on the 2 January 2016; and not forgetting my colourful lamp worked glass bead jewellery.
I will be demonstrating cuttlefish casting on Sunday afternoons, if you’re interested in attending a demonstration please send me an email and I’ll let you know what times are available.
Today was a remarkable day. As I do, after the usual shower to wash away the sleepiness, feeding the Izzy dog, not necessarily in that order, usually Izzy takes precedence, then making my way to the kitchen to make breakfast, I turned on my mobile. Ding!! Wow what’s going on. A quick glance and I notice I had a message from Etsy. I’ve got the new Etsy app on my phone which helps me manage my shop.
I noticed a familiar name and discovered that an old friend from my uni days had just made a few purchases from my shop. Wow, that’s simply great, it put a smile on my face. Many of my networks have stemmed from links back to Canberra School of Art, friends from university, working to pay the bills and family. That’s why I also use my Facebook page to promote my jewellery capturing the great network of family and friends that have been with me for as long as I can remember.
A short email that followed the purchases said and I quote “I wanted to buy everything!”. Now that’s just wonderful, the perfect customer.
I achieved another milestone today, I finished translating my shop on Etsy into French. My partner is French and although my French language skills are far from perfect, it extends my business that bit further. My sales today were all from Japan.
I watch people who wear jewellery and it pleases me when I see that they might be wearing something that is obviously handmade, but on many occasions you will find that the jewellery has been mass-produced through countries like China and Indonesia. Please continue to support small business’ like mine, and be proud to be adorned in something so beautiful and unique as you.
A friend asked for before and after photos so here they are, please excuse me for not removing the masking tape as yet. The floor had its final coat today. The sad news is that because all my equiment is in the studio, I’ve only completed half. Next step, move all the benches and equipment to the painted area and then start afresh with the sanding, undercoat, masking the skirting boards, and finally the paint, three coats.
While the paint was drying today, I finished off the path to avoid any nasty falls on tree roots as you make your way to my studio. It makes for easier navigation and appreciation of my studio. Finishing touches will include some leaf mulch and a few extra plants.
The walls are in a Natural White and the floor is a Wattyl colour called seductress.
I’m making progress on the studio. Holes have been filled, the walls sanded and cleaned. The 6 litres of natural white paint sits quietly on the floor waiting to be opened and the first coat to be applied. The studio will certainly look fantastic when it’s painted. I’ve been suffering from a bout of fatigue and will endeavor to start painting this weekend. You are all welcome to drop by with a paint brush or spare roller and chip in. Getting on my knees to apply the masking tape to the edges will no doubt be painful.
All my tools, furniture and equipment remain idle in the centre of the studio waiting for the renovations. I’ve chosen the colour for the floor too, unless of course a roll of black commercial vinyl can be found. It will warm the room with its deep Shiraz tones, it’s called Seductress.
Wow, that illusive Australian Dream I talked about back in May 2012 is just about to become a reality. I fell for the ambiance of a small house located in McCrae Victoria. It’s modest but perfect for continuing my creative endeavours as a gold and silversmith and also for enjoying all the Mornington Peninsula offers.
It’s not far from beautiful Somers on Westernport Bay that has been my home for over 12 years. Everyday I feel the heart strings nearing their breaking point; it will be difficult to leave. I have only just started packing but I have no fear (despite constant requests from friends and family seeking news of my progress ) that it will come together the closer settlement day arrives. I expect to become grumpy short tempered and easily tired despite ongoing efforts at the local gym building my strength in preparation for all the box hauling. It’s a new adventure.
My muse has been busy tapping on my shoulder, and whispering in my ear with new creative ideas and to remind me that I have unfinished creations that need revisiting. Unfortunately it is a little difficult to create right now as my studio has been packed into boxes and sits idol behind me. My artwork will take centre stage in the wonderful artist studio that features at the front of the property. It will become my sanctuary with superb views of Arthur’s Seat and Port Phillip Bay through entwined branches of local tea trees.
I look forward to welcoming you to my studio later in the year during open days where coffee and cake will be served.