Tuesday, 1 October 2013


Making earrings for my production range tonight. A friend said they look like little woodpeckers sitting in a row on my bench...

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Fruitopian Dreams

A new collection of fun jewels for spring. Launching in the Curio Cabinet at Gaffa Gallery's store, sterling on Thursday 3 October.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Social media and the blogger

I finally succumbed to a Facebook page for my jewellery. If you would like to 'like' it that would be very nice. I called it Melinda Young Contemporary Jewellery. I also post (extremely) regularly on Instagram and enjoy the creative community there very much, I have meet some truly lovely people via this image sharing forum and find it inspiring, amusing and a great way to share visual thoughts and my work. I'm unnaturaljeweller if you fancy looking me up.
It is difficult though to maintain all these things, hence blog posts have become increasingly sporadic this year as I try to juggle the busy, busy business of business and life. Making jewellery, teaching, being someone's Mum and partner. In many ways all this technology at our fingertips enabling us to share what we do personally and with immediacy makes life for makers more exciting, yet at the same time when is it all too much? I'm trying now to decide what to do about my website - it's lovely but it's out of date. I know I need one, but how much and what do I need?
I know I'm not the only one asking thes questions and I wonder what you do?

Sequin Fever

I have been making a very sparkly range for Pieces of Eight in Melbourne over the past year with sequins ahoy! Here are some moody grey pieces from the Confetti Collection:

Basket fever

This year I learned how to make baskets. My guru is my dear friend Michele. You can find her and all the amazing things she does at www.tinytrappings.com
Here are a few of my efforts...

Sunday, 24 March 2013

the world is a pearl...

the world is a pearl... exhibition comes down tomorrow and it has been a truly lovely experience. I am quite delighted and a little overwhelmed by the generous response to it. A big thank you to Bridget and Mel at Studio 20/17 for the opportunity and their ongoing support for my practice and our community. Thanks also go to my partner, family and friends for putting up with me, Zoe Brand for wise words and frank appraisal during the confusing moments of making and to Amber McCulloch who has again written a marvellous essay to accompany the work.

Below is Amber's essay and some images of other works in the exhibition.

We hear of happy accidents, and alchemy and magic. Of wonders appearing from the unlikeliest of places, beauty amid chaos, ‘diamonds in the rough’. And there’s evidence enough in nature to support that very notion. Take, for example, a pearl, with its otherworldly lustre, couched in mucus, hidden by shell.  
Its miracle appearance notwithstanding, a pearl’s creation is absolutely prosaic. For what is a pearl, but the casual result of self-protection? That is, an oyster’s reflex to encase a piece of foreign grit with lacquer-like nacre, layer upon layer, till its surface is the characteristic milky white we’ve come to associate with the ocean’s most precious jewel.  
So too, the works comprising Melinda Young’s the world is a pearl are born of process and purpose, and are similarly striking in their beauty.  A determination to ‘locally source’ materials for this collection and the recycler’s urge to minimise waste saw Young embark on a personal challenge: to create an exhibition collection using only what remains in the studio, or can be found within several block’s radius of it.   

What results is a series of obsessively fashioned multiples, which take in a world of mediums – from Pears soap to frankincense, Play Doh lids to Christmas bells. Each material tells a story, alluding to key points in Young’s practice. But more than this, the materials have been given new life, painstakingly lifted from their fate as ‘scrap’ through repetitive actions (such as in the case of her hand-rolled copper beads). 
In Young’s world, the studio is an oyster – the hermetic place in which ‘pearls’ are made. The maker herself describes this process as ‘introspective’, as indeed the practice of sorting, categorising and repurposing objects from one’s past must be. It’s a meditative process, too, with its own rhythm and pace, echoing those of day-to-day life.  
The world is a pearl is, ultimately, a celebration in objects of the maker’s creative life.  Each work brings with it a memory, traces of a thought, a feeling, or an action. In this way, Young’s latest exhibition is her most personal yet. 

Thursday, 7 March 2013

the world is a pearl...

It's installed and I am happy. Here's a sneak peek. Hope you can come along and see it or join me for a celebratory drink on Saturday 9 March from 4-6pm at Studio 20/17. 2 Danks St Waterloo. Artist talk at 3.30pm prior to drinks.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The Year of the Snake

I am excited to have work in The National's current exhibition The Year of the Snake in Christchurch alongside some of my favourite jewellers.
Here's one of my works in the exhibition:
Stay tuned for more exciting news about a forthcoming exhibition at The National in a few months time...

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Necklaces everywhere

With 8 days left until I install 'the world is a pearl...' at Studio 20/17 there is a necklace explosion on my studio pin-board!

Monday, 18 February 2013


These neckpieces are made from frankincense and pears soap for the world is a pearl... exhibition at Studio 20/17. I will tell the stories of these soon, but for now I will just say that scent and its (in)visible traces on the body have been a longstanding fascination and a big part of my research-based practice for the past 15 or so years. 

Two weeks until exhibition installation - eek! 

Monday, 11 February 2013

Some textures

It has been an introspective time at the bench recently. I haven't been getting out much, locked away as I have been inside my 'oyster shell' studio making work for 'the world is a pearl...' exhibition. So my usual habits of photographing bits and pieces have taken a bit of a back seat. I guess I have been busy thinking about and responding to images I have taken of different textures and matter rather than taking many new ones... Anyway here are the very few recent snaps...

Friday, 8 February 2013

Copper Love

As part of the new body of work for the world is pearl I have set out to re-use scrap material or untouched materials that have been in my studio for a very, very long time.

One of the things I have repeatedly returned to in my practice is roll printing. One of the very early exhibitions I was invited to participate in was called paper at Gallery 156 in 2001. For this I roll printed different types of paper onto fine silver and gave it a white patina. This developed into an ongoing series of exhibition and production work called Vestiges. In 2002 I made a series of brooches this time roll printing with fine silver and silk brocade, these were for the exhibition pinned at Gallery 156, here's a picture.

Also in 2003 I participated in a workshop with Otto Kunzli called ...life in the day of for this we were required to create a diary piece. My initial idea and experiments involved roll printing my junk mail and then rolling the thin metal sheets into beads. The idea wasn't well received, although I rather liked it, and so, ten years later I have returned... the vestiges in the world is a pearl are beads made from all the mis-rolled and scrap fine silver and 24 ct gold pieces accumulated over the past twelve years along with roll printed copper scrap.

Here is a little glimpse of some of the copper work in progress.


I usually only get to use copper in the class room when I am teaching. It has been such a treat to use in the studio!

Friday, 1 February 2013

...and some more

The work in the world is a pearl...  has been made from things I have found in my studio or (mostly) within a one block radius of home - such as the neckpiece above. Collections of objects, remnants of pieces made over the years and accumulated scrap metal, plastics etc have been transformed into jewellery.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

A teaser...

Things have been a little quiet here as I have been busy, busy in the studio working a new body of work for my upcoming solo exhibition at Studio 20/17. It is called the world is a pearl... 

The premise of the work for the show is as follows: 

the world is a pearl... continues Melinda Young’s fascination with the quirks of her immediate surroundings; the things and people that inhabit them. For this exhibition she has sifted through collections of domestic items and the materials in her studio – old ideas are revived, new jewellery has been born from the detritus of old work and discarded objects. The results are an intimate collection of works that are a meditation on the rhythms, repetitions and colours of daily life in the midst of Sydney’s urban sprawl.

More thoughts on the work and pictures to come. Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Life in your hands - Art from solastalgia

Life in your hands - Art from Solastalgia opens at object gallery in Sydney this Friday with an exhibition tour and artist talks on Saturday 17 November. Come along and see this beautiful and moving exhibition.

Divine Decadence opens next Tuesday at Pieces of Eight

Divine Decadence opens next Tuesday 20 November at Pieces of Eight. I'm beyond excited that they have chosen to use some of my work as part of the exhibition collateral!

The other images that I have seen of work in the show look amazing... I am already seriously coveting Alida Cappelletta's stunning enamelled earrings and Pennie Jagiello's work too!

Thanks also to Pieces of Eight for taking such a great image of the work!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Craft Punk Workshops at the Powerhouse Museum in December!

On Saturday December  1 and Sunday December 2 I will be teaching some Fakery Finery workshops as part of the Powerhouse Museum's latest instalment of  Craft Punk Workshops which are under the seriously sweet banner of 'small offerings'.

Come and have some festive faketastic flowery jewelling fun with me! You can book here