Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Northcity4 blog and launch

We have been very busy at Northcity4.

You can check out what we are up to on our blog

Remember, our launch is this Friday, March 2, 6-8pm

We have excellent door prizes:

- 2 tickets to Eddie Palmieri, donated by Straightup
- a beautiful necklace made by one of my favourite jewellers and people, Anna Clynes

Also, I have made 2 limited edition hand painted prints which are for sale on the night

Caz Guiney has made a limited edition of badges, and Ali Limb has also made a limited series of special necklaces.

We are hoping to raise money to set up the school.

As green air is important to us, we are hoping to also raise money to buy plants for the building, so we have a plant pledge! 

And on top of all that, NC4 is being opened by Marcus Westbury, a man held in great esteem by all of us.

AND we have Natalia Milosz-Piekarska speaking on her recent experiences overseas and the impact that has had on her work.

AND there will be top notch wine from one of my favourite wineries - Mount Langi Ghiran

food from The Brunswick Foodstore, five minutes up the road from NC4

and DJ BS will be spinning some tunes

and I am sure there is more! will let you know


61 Weston Street Brunswick 3056


The hallway


Monday, February 27, 2012

Art and life

I saw this image on Catherine Willis's blog, perhaps my favourite blog.
Folio from a Khamsa (Quintet) by Nizami 1548 Safavid period
Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper H: 31.1 W: 19.7 cm Shiraz, Iran

From Catherine Willis's blog, this image came from yama- bato
and it was here I read this:

Art is a journey into the most unknown thing of all - oneself. Nobody knows his own frontiers… I don’t think I’d ever want to take a road if I knew where it led.

Louis Kahan

Different journeys made in front of a computer. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012


It has been a very busy time lately.
Apologies for very slow replies with correspondence.
I am hoping that things will return to normal soon.
I am not sure what normal is. I am looking forward to finding out

Possibilities ring with champagne diamonds

18ct white gold Possibilities ring set with champagne diamonds

Thursday, February 23, 2012

'To Hold' ring with green sapphire

18ct yellow gold 'To Hold' ring set with natural green sapphire

I think that this is a beautiful stone.

This ring was delivered to e.g.etal this week.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Limited edition prints for Northcity4


On March 2 we,(Anna Davern, Ali Limb, Caz Guiney and Romani Benjamin) are launching Northcity4.
This is a momentous occasion for us as we have been working on this project for more than a year.
So far everything we have done with the set up for Northcity4 has been self funded.
So, even though the night is about celebrating the space and what Northcity4 is, we are also hoping to raise funds for Northcity4.
We need to raise money for many things, such as plumbing, tools, equipment, in fact most things needed for the space!
I have made 2 limited edition prints which will be on sale on March 2.
Ali Limb has made a beautiful series of small pendants and Caz Guiney has produced an excellent series of badges.

Here are some pictures of the start of my process for making the prints.
I will post images of the finished prints soon and you can read more about the launch and our fundraising efforts at our blog at Northcity4.

It took me a while to find the images for what I wanted to do for this series of linocuts.
I have been exploring the motif of 'boxes' for a while and continued this with this print series.

I also have been exploring how different cultures manifest their belief systems in textile work.
I have been greatly influenced by early English embroideries, most especially from the 15th Century depicting scenes of the garden of Eden. 
So these 2 themes are explored in the 2 prints that I have made for Northcity4.
I will explain further in another post.

warning the next picture is not nice!
my poor old hands have not had a break for many months now, and are not looking the best, which is why I do not photograph rings on my hands.
After cutting out these linocuts, I lost the sensation in the tips of 2 fingers on my right hand!
Ay ca-rumba! I thought for 5 mins I was having a stroke as they kept tingling, but then realised it was from holding the tools for long periods of time. They are back to normal now.

The limited edition hand coloured prints will be available for sale on March 2, from 6-8pm at the Northcity4 launch.
read more about our activities at www.northcity4.com

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Image from here

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tenancy at Northcity4

Applications now open

Studio space
Northcity4 offers a limited number of long term studio tenancies for contemporary jewellers and small object makers. If you are interested in joining a vibrant community of makers who care about the earth and working in a healthy professional environment visit our website to find out more about us, and the tenancy application process.

Project space
Within the NC4 studio space there are 4 short term workbenches with lockable drawers. This provides a great opportunity for makers/artists working on a specific project such as a grant outcome; postgraduate study, recent graduates, mentorship, internship or artist in residence (interstate or international) for a maximum of six months.

Access space
At NC4 we also offer access space for jewellers and small object makers looking to rent space on a half day, daily and weekly basis for up to one month at a time.

If any of these options look like they might be right for you contact NC4 at www.northcity4.com or email Romani at romani@northcity4.com



Thursday, February 9, 2012

Objects and things


Beauty touches us, it speaks to us on an emotional level. We are attracted to beauty... Being sensitive to beauty awakens in us emotions that are important. Someone who never engages in the contemplation and understanding of beauty is missing an area of human perception and emotion. But maybe most important, what is moving about beauty is that it is a strong means of communication.

 Atelier Areti

from you have been here sometime

This is a very good interview as well

Image from here

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Northcity4 is on Facebook

Northcity4 has a facebook page

We have just set it up.
Why don't you pop over and check it out and Like us while you are there!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Northcity4 website

The Northcity4 website is live!

We (Romani Benjamin, Anna Davern, Caz Guiney and Ali Limb) are very proud of this.

many thanks to Shelli Whitehurst at Code Name Max

as well as the talented Andrew Phillips

and Anna Davern for all their hard work in making our website a reality

Please visit our new site and while you are there feel free to subscribe to our mailing list

Monday, February 6, 2012


(her reaction to me saying: "from now on there will be no more smackos before bedtime " on account of her old lady digestive habits)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

New work by Anna Davern

Anna Davern has a new exhibition opening in Sydney this coming week.

It is at Studio 20/17 and runs from 7 - 25 February 2012.

If I was in Sydney this is where I would be. 

Gold and Steel are materials that are intrinsically tied to stories of our culture and how we define ourselves. Our cultural myths abound with references to gold and steel: Our egalitarian heritage that can be tied back to the Gold Rush and it’s opportunities for all, and the steel of Ned Kelly’s armour which represents our distrust of authority. The landscape from which these materials originate, is a defining element of our identity, from the iron-oxide red of the centre to the golden sands of its edges.

Anna has long been interested in the concept of Australian identity and the role jewellery has to play in the expression of this identity. Recent investigations into the role of landscape in the definition of our identity have taken her work off the body and onto the wall. With this new work, Anna plans to use of the materials of gold and steel to put the landscape onto the body.

from Studio 20/17

I have been lucky enough to see this work in progress.
This is a quiet and powerful body of work.
Quiet, because the colours are subdued and considered. There are no extraneous details to take away from the subject matter and the materials. Both are left to speak for themselves.

Anna will be in Sydney for the opening and the artist talk. Details can be found here 

all images by Anna Davern

The Davernator better get back to Melbourne tout sweet, as Northcity4 needs her.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


 Lucky, Signet and Wonky Wedder rings

The Sydney Morning Herald recently published an article on secret details in jewellery.
I was interviewed for this article along with Cinnamon Lee, David Parker and Gianna Rosa. This was very special for me as I had made Gianna's engagement ring and she is very special. and so is e.g.etal.
You can read the article here

and here is the section on my work from the article:

Jewellery, by its nature, is decorative - but it can also be something more. Katherine Bowman, who made Rosa's engagement ring, is one of a number of contemporary jewellers who hide secrets in their designs. From subtle engraving to precious but invisible stones, Bowman says these details hint at a symbolic, rather than monetary, value.
''Jewellery often involves a lot of personal stories,'' she says. ''There is a private relationship between the wearer and the piece. You might wear a piece because someone you love gave it to you. Or you might wear it because you bought it to mark a significant event.''

Bowman's rings often have stones set underneath the band. There is something intimate, she says, about a ruby snuggled, unseen, against the skin. ''I'm creating something which is not just about having an expensive ring; it's about the concept of preciousness and human connection.''
For Bowman, the subtle details are emblematic of her philosophies and working methods. Early in her career, she chose to avoid mass production and mechanised techniques. The hidden stones and engravings are a personal touch. Like the uneven surfaces and organic shapes of her work, they show each piece is unique.

from SMH

 Random and Thin Random rings

all these images of my work were taken by e.g.etal