treasure trove

There are a number of fantastic jewellery/object shows on at the moment and we recommend seeing them all in one hit, make a day of it. Do a circuit starting in Brunswick Street walking up to Crossley Place and then heading down to Russell Place.  We always wish Studio Ingot put on more exhibitions, they have such a fantastic stable of makers. We are looking forward to seeing our reflection in the ever so shiny vessels of Wayne Guest.

Kiko Gianocca wins the Mari Funaki Award 2014
Mari Funaki Gallery hosts a truly international Award show this month which acts as an ultra sophisticated survey show of what is happening in the world of contemporary jewellery. It's a formidable world, full or rigorous ideas that challenge us and get us talking - you may need a coffee break at this point in the tour!

Nicholas Bastin creates small worlds at Pieces of Eight

One of our favourite makers Nicholas Bastin has set up a mini museum of small scale works that are both intricate and mysterious. Combining precious and non precious materials with saturated colours and alien like shapes, it's a quirky show that sits perfectly at Pieces of Eight. When was the last time you popped in to these amazing spaces? We highly recommend a refresher for a shot in the arm of inspiration. RAMONA



Yes people it is that time of year again: RADIOTHON! The ladies of HML have been heading into the studio now for 6 (nearly 7) years to keep y'all informed as to the craft goings on about town. We've been so lucky to have the opportunity to share shows, markets, shops, objects, people with you and we're always excited when people say 'we heard you on the radio'! Without a community radio station like RRR we wouldn't have an on air avenue to broadcast all the ace goings on about town. So this morning we are heading in to celebrate at around 10am, we hope you listen in and of course SUBSCRIBE - to The Grapevine of course!

This is us at last years Radiothon... yep we have Great Heads For Radio!  BECK AND RAMONA


Open Studios of the Weekend


This weekend is the Annual Open Day of Australian Ceramics and it is a real treat to peak behind the curtain and into the ovens of some of the best makers around town. Our local is definitely the very talented Valerie Restarick at North Carlton ceramics who  has collaborated with Nectar Efkarpidis to create some super cool adobe house shapes. Others we'll be popping into see are:

Our friends at Slow Clay are open Sunday in Collingwood

Cone 11 at the lovely Abbotsford Convent

Amazing Jill Symes opens her Sandringham Studio
These events are all part of Craft Cubed Festival which is rocking on statewide. Luckily the Ceramics Open Day is a nationwide event so you can check in here to see who is flinging their wide doors open to you. Lovely weekend for a drive we think! RAMONA



grid lines

The ladies of HML have been fans of Bin Dixon Ward since we saw her work in the 2012 Fresh exhibition at Craft. There was something both industrial and playful about her work so we were really excited to see  new work in her current solo show.

'Urban' is the first word to describe the work. The use of the grid, the repeat pattern of the city, but in an entirely unmexpected way. Streets, buildings, windows, signs, layering, density, arcitectural plans, land allotments. This is the language of the urban environment and this work fixes itself 'squarely' (see what I did there) in the centre.

Probe a little deeper beyond those initial responses and that is in the work really comes alive. By using 3D drawing and printing as a tool the work has a futuristic quality. It's as if it has has just appeared on the holodeck of the starship enterprise, the adornment on a particularly intelligent and sharply dressed alien life form perhaps.

The colours too, citrus intense and seemingly glowing from the inside out, have a synthetic super future flavour. This is not the dirty gritty grey streets that we currently inhabit, but an imaginary super city full of colour and light.

The series of rings in their own stand are particularly impressive. Despite their conceptual bent they are completely wearable pieces that tempt as much as Willy Wonka's Everlasting Gobstopper. The installation of the show, in the small third gallery space at Craft, is clean and considered, one of the best uses of the space in recent years.

Grids by Bin Dixon Ward
Craft until August 31
as part of The Craft Cubed Festival



How Can We Not be Ourselves and Rumble in the Jumble?

Well we said we were going and so we went. Two big events on the July craft calendar were up for grabs this weekend and we made the most of them... 

Friday night saw the most lovely Gemma Jones' showcase her new paintings and some fine enamel wall banners and jewels by her collaborating cohort Victoria Mason light up Outré Gallery with their fineness. What a great night, what great company and what smashing artworks!

I have to say I'm a complete sucker for mod styling, pop painting and book page prints, especially when they're executed with such a deft hand and quick wit. Gemma manages to merge plentiful and playful subtext together with giddy sense fan-girl fun, wide eyed naiveté with knowing nods and winks. Like a perfect old school pop record her work manages to blend heartbreak and back beats with a soaring chorus that we can all join in. Top Job Gemma.

Victoria Mason has been perfecting her enamel objects with increasingly convincing outcomes for a while now, and just when we think she's hit her peak she wows us all over again. Such are these pieces, the photo of which does no justice to their appeal (I blame the Sailor Jerry's). Incredibly appealing and skill-fully executed we want to see them all over our walls and maybe even our bodies - why not a breastplate sized pendant? Works were selling fast - we hope there are still some left come payday! The exhibition is on until August 8 at one of our favourite shops (see what I did there) Outré Gallery.

Saturday morning we were up early (but not so bright) to head to the cottage studio for the much anticipated Rumble in the Jumble Sale. While we left the lining up for others with earlier bedtimes and better morning dispositions we did still get in relatively early. 

To say that we were a little overwhelmed might well be the understatement of the year. Confronted by a wall of fabric of which the photo above is just a tiny sample, I kind of stopped breathing and went into a kind of ecstatic but mind numbingly confused state that ended with me walking out without actually managing to select any fabric to take home with me. D'OH!!!

But along with the booty came the opportunity to catch up with some of Melbourne's finest craftspeople Madeline Sargent, Lichen Kemp of Sunday Morning Designs, Anna Davern, Sandra Eterovic were all out in force picking up bargains, and we also found our folk fable favourite in the house, AND even got to meet the one and only Kaz Cooke - I was too star struck to tell her that she pretty much saved me from my first experience with child birth and rearing... but Ramona, completely unfazed as usual in her own amazing way managed a chat and confirms that she's tops. We're pretty sure everyone we know made it in over the weekend. And yet apparently there is still stuff left... hmmm payweek next week, maybe I should email Pene about that pile of afghans I saw! BECK