I’ve just arrived back from Brisbane, having attended the JMGA conference and a master class in textile techniques with Norman Cherry. It’s still all a bit of a blur.

It was fantastic to be surrounded by people that are one way or the other immersed in this strange little industry and it was fascinating listening to the speakers. Some highlights for me included spending time with other makers such as our own Christel Van Der Laan and ex-pat Melissa Cameron (at whose insistence I’m updating my blog, point taken Ms Cameron). By the end of the weekend we were all enthused about collaborating and committing to keep in touch.

All papers showcased centred around the theme of Participation and Exchange, resulting in an extremely broad cross section of presenters covering topics as diverse as women blacksmiths in Melbourne-town (Mary Hackett) and economies of gift-giving (Tricia Flanagan). It’s going to take some time to absorb everything I heard and to look into the projects that I found the most interesting. For the makers out there a call out has been issued for Suspended in Green, the third and final in the suspended series of contemporary jewellery exhibitions in curated by Laura Bradshaw-Heap. Deadline’s looming for August. DO IT.

The masterclass was fun; nice to be learning rather than teaching for a change, and I was shown lots of interesting techniques which I’ll be passing on to my students at C.I.T.

Now I’m back in Perth, and back to class. I have a few commissions to tie up, but I’m steering clear of exhibitions in the coming months. For now I’ll be settling back into the swing of things in my home in the hills, watching the wild flowers slowly unfurl on the granite outcrops and searching for wren’s nests.