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This course is also run by Dutch designer Herman Hermsen, and involves the design and execution of an exhibition of student work – small-scale series production available for sale. Part of the theory behind this exhibition is that during times of economic instability, buyers are less likely to invest in expensive, one-off artworks, while simultaneously being skeptical of mass-produced goods from large-scale manufacturers.

For the maker, this opens up a niche – handmade pieces from independent designers at a reasonable price point are now more desirable to the market.

The exhibition has 9 student participants, mostly final-year or masters students (which makes me more than amateur…) who are each developing their own marketable range of products – wearables, accessories or decor pieces.

So how can we make a coherent exhibition out of this broad range of work? It seems that the contemporary jewellery scene is the only place where it is commonplace to exhibit production pieces. Of course, the dichotomy of exhibiting jewellery is that it almost negates the function of the pieces themselves — what is a piece of jewellery if it is behind glass, without a body, a wearer, a life? It becomes and empty object, the dialogue of the piece is changed, overlooked.

To me, these pieces need to communicate something about their context. For me, there is a constant struggle to justify my making production pieces in a world that is already flooded with products. Empty objects, only given purpose by the consumer, to be returned to emptiness once the next-gen designs appear.

The concept of inbuilt obsolescence in products keeps me awake at night. Perhaps this is why a can empathise with the works of makers like Karen Ryan, Marc Monzo and Denise Reytan.

In order to deal with these anxieties, I find myself drawn to forgotten objects as a basis for my work. Jewellery, being a highly personal and communicative medium, seems an apt place for re-contextualising these ‘lost’ objects. At the same time as making production pieces, I want to subvert the concept of mass-production itself. But how?

For the last 3 years or so, I’ve been working on an ongoing production series of ‘Teacup rings’. These rings are constructed from the handles of second-hand melamine teacups which were in production in Australia between the 1950s-1970s. During this time, melamine was a fashionable material for kitchenalia, picnic ware and crockery. I buy the cups from op-shops, garage sales and estate sales. Each wearable piece is hand-carved and unique. The shapes in the pieces reference the original lines of the products from which they are derived, as well as the natural movements of my tools when I carve. If you are interested, the pieces are available from Workshop Bilk.

I’ve decided I will keep working along this theme, using vintage plastics from abandoned mass-produced objects. Aesthetically, I like the concept of referencing the original forms. I have begun a few experiments, but more on that soon.

I’m also in charge of the graphic design/marketing team for this exhibition, this means there’ll be logo/identity design, packaging, promotional material, website and installation work to follow, too. 

Sarah_Illenberger4 Sarah_Illenberger3 Sarah_Illenberger5

Sarah_Illenberger2  Sarah_Illenberger1

I ❤ you, Sarah Illenberger. You could be Michel Gondry’s younger, cooler sister.

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Anyone who loves knitting, crochet, tapestry, bargello, cross-stitch or 8-bit graphics will likely be as enraptured as I am in these traditional Latvian mittens.

These 4,500 pairs of mittens were made for the NATO summit held in 2006 – each pair hand-knitted, and decorated with traditional and regional symbols and patterns. Even the colour scheme holds symbolic significance — not to mention being incredibly unique and beautiful.

Segue to: Colour lovers

Seriously, one of the best websites out of the web 2.0 revolution. Users can make, share and hijack one another’s colours,  schemes and patterns. The inbuilt colour-scheming software is — gasp! dare I say? — better than adobe’s highly intuitive colour interface. On top of creating colour schemes in HEX, RGB, CYMK or HSB values, you can download colours in a number of user-friendly formats. It will even calculate the perfect colour combination according to set colour principles (complementary, analogous, triadic and split-complementary). Another fab feature is that you can upload an image, and the software will pixelate it so you can pick out the most appealling scheme from the image.

Need I go on?

i vote for art is an online boutique where artists and designers can sell their works interantionally. It works in a similar format to Etsy, and has a cute feature which allows the general public to vote on favourite works by the click of a button.

It’s a very sweet concept, but I kind of wish it wasn’t limited to 2D works – artists may sell original paintings, and limited or open edition prints – but I suppose drawing the line around 3D works is more complicated, and risks treading on the toes of etsy…

Nonetheless, its always wonderful to see fledgling galleries offering this kind of publicity to independent artists. 🙂

 

    

Kareem Rizk is a Melbourne artist/graphismo who makes gorgeous collage and mixed media works, as well as graphic design and some gorgeous photography.

I love the textural, analogue-meets-digital aesthetic of his collage pieces, which translate beautifully online. I’ve had a penchant for that kind of digital lo-fi style since discovering {ths} (Thomas Schostok) and Misprinted Type (Eduardo Recife).

Because we all need inspiration sometimes.

Vintage wallpapers and vinyls from the 1960s & 1970s

And another treat for designers:

Free downloadable woodgrain textures.

If I had skills like this, I wouldn’t do anything else, just wallow in my own self-satisfaction.

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