Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thank you for a great year!

This is a quick entry to say thank you for all of your support this year. We had a very successful Radical Jewelry Makeover in Brisbane, Australia because the project received support from you! Jewelry donors and jewelry makers gifted us their stuff and their skills. There would be no RJM if donors and makers weren't as generous as they are. Thank you for all of your support, determination and creativity! Here are just a few examples of work from the project.

Earrings - Amy Cochrane
Brooch - Sue Preston
Necklace - Shanna Muston

Now, with January first right around the corner, Radical Jewelry Makeover is gearing up for its 2011 event, which will take place in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Santa Fe Community College and the Institute of American Indian Arts will be hosting the making while the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian will host the exhibition of finished works. If you are a jeweler in the Santa Fe area or if you have old jewelry that you would like to give, please feel free to get in touch by emailing us at

For those of you that haven't seen our 12 minute film about Radical Jewelry Makeover, you can check it out here or purchase the DVD for $15.00 through the Ethical Metalsmiths website.

Thanks again for all of your support and consider joining us in Santa Fe, Oct. 2011.
Have a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Even the koalas were talking about RJM!

Okay, so the koalas weren't discussing Radical Jewellery Makeover - Brisbane, Australia, but many people were.

The impressive attendance at the opening exhibition was a great reward for all of the hard work invested by the jewellers and the organizers of the project. Artisan was full of festive, celebratory energy and the staff at the register managed the flood of sales beautifully. Artisan has estimated that over 550 people saw the exhibition and that 42 Madeover pieces are being worn by individuals today. Artisan’s curator, Kirsten Fitzparick had this to say about Radical Jewellery Makeover, “It was a fantastic project which really engaged the community in a way we had not been able to do before at Artisan, and the outcome was some truly unique work and a very successful exhibition.”

We would like to thank everyone that participated in the the many parts of the project for their commitment to the idea that jewellery can and should be made responsibly. The three primary groups participating in the Makeover had something special to offer. The jewellery donors offered a transparent supply of raw material. The jewelers were challenged to re-consider the ways that they had typically been sourcing their materials, how they design and how to digest a steady flow of information about mining issues while trying to make something someone would want to wear. The jewelers also generously gifted us with their skills and creative vision, they made the jewellery after all. Individuals who purchased Madeover pieces have made a commitment to both wear and share the story behind the piece when given the opportunity. Thank you all for your support of Radical Jewellery Makeover.

Jewellery created during the project will be exhibited online on the NEW Ethical Metalsmiths website. Due for publication soon! Jewellery that was not sold at Artisan is available through the QCA Jewellery and Small Objects program.

RJM-Brisbane, Australia created a new opportunity to address controversial metal and gemstone sourcing issues. Queensland College of Art's Jewellery and Small Objects program is receiving a small, but significant grant for student research to explore responsible jewellery projects. This winter Elizabeth Shaw, Convenor Jewellery and Small Objects at QCA, and Ethical Metalsmiths with determine guidelines for the grant and then begin inviting student proposals. This is the first time that Ethical Metalsmiths is specifically encouraged the host of a Makeover to continue the work after the project ended. We are looking forward to working with Elizabeth and her students in 2011.

We would like to take this opportunity to list the names of all the individuals who gave their skills, creativity and finished jewellery to the project as well as names of a few noteable volunteers.


Vashti-Sita Bardsley - QCA student

Ann Chadwick - Jeweller / QCA Technician

Amy Cochrane - QCA student

Dan Cox - Jeweller

Leander D’Ambrosia - QCA student

Renata Fojtikova - QCA student

Kylie Gartside - QCA student

Kathleen Hunt - QCA student

Alicia Lane - QCA student

Catherine Large - Jeweller / QCA Faculty

Bibi Locke - QCA student

Andrew Lowrie - QCA student

Shanna Muston - QCA student

Clare Poppi - QCA student

Sue Preston - QCA student

Elizabeth Shaw - Jeweller / QCA Convenor Jewellery and Small Objects

Karah Sinden - QCA student

Katie Stormoth - QCA student

Joan Teo - Jeweller

Kim Thomson - Jeweller

Louisa Thurecht - QCA student

Susie Woodhouse - Jeweller / Faculty

Alex Forrest - Volunteer discount voucher designer

Jacky Owens - Logistics volunteer

Brett - Photographer (Dear Brett, you helped us document the project and we don’t even know your last name! Please contact us rjm_at_ ethicalmetalsmiths_dot_org )

Thank you all for your hard work and support! Please let us know what you have been working on since Radical Jewellery Makeover blew through QCA.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The day before the exhibition!

Greetings from Brisbane, Australia!

We have been having a great time here at Queensland College of Art Griffith University and our first international Makeover and fifth edition overall is progressing well. We are fotunate to be working with a well informed and skilled group of students and professionals and can't wait to share what they have created.

Today at 3:00 PM all making comes to a close and then we will photograph and price the work. Tomorrow the stunning finished work will be installed for exhibition at Artisan. The opening is from 6-8 PM and the work will remain on exhibition until August 28th.

We are also really excited by recent press:

Mining the community's jewellery box

Check out the the photos, story and pod casts!

Looking forward to reporting more later!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Christina and Susie

Friday, May 21, 2010

Radical Jewellery Makeover is headed to Australia!

Ethical Metalsmiths is taking Radical Jewellery Makeover further than it ever has before!

“We are really looking forward to hosting a Radical Jewellery Makeover at Queensland College of Art,” says Elizabeth Shaw, Convenor Jewellery and Small Objects. “Ethical Metalsmiths has designed a project that we are excited to share with our students and the community. RJM compliments our teachings about social and environmental responsibility in jewellery.”

Radical Jewellery Makeover project directors Susie Ganch and Christina Miller are honored by the opportunity to share their progressive, collaborative project with the Queensland community. While they are in Australia they will be participating in two symposia as well as leading one of their full-fledged RJM projects.

There is a lot of information in this entry including the down-loadable jewellery donation form!

Here is the event line-up:

Queensland College of Art - Symposium: Sat. July 24th, 2010. Click here to access the call for papers.

Radical Jewellery Makeover week-long making event: Fri. July 23 - Thurs. July 29.

Exhibition of Makeover work: Artisan Gallery: Opening Fri. July 30 from 6-8 PM (exhibition runs from July 30 - Aug. 28, 2010).

RMIT Seminar: Fri. Aug. 9, 2010. Click here to access the call for papers.

For more information:

About the QCA Symposium contact: Elizabeth Shaw at

About the exhibition and sale of Makeover work contact: Shannon McCaskill at (07) 3215 0800

About the RMIT Seminar contact: Mark Edgegoose at

If you are interested in DONATING your old, unwanted jewellery:

Queensland College of Art Griffith University students and participating local jewelers will transform your donations into exciting new jewellery using responsible jewelry techniques and processes.

All work will be available for sale from July 30 – August 28, 2010 at Artisan Gallery, located at 381 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. Proceeds will benefit collaborative student research scholarships dedicated to responsible studio practices at Queensland College of Art Griffith University and United States based Ethical Metalsmiths.

Jewellery donations can be made at the following locations:

  • Artisan Gallery, Lvl 2, 381 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley, hours 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday, phone: (07) 3215 0800 (contact person: Shannon McCaskill)
  • Jewellery and Small Objects, 226 Grey Street, South Bank, please ring first (07) 3735 3153, or by mailing your donation to: Elizabeth Shaw, Convenor Jewelleryand Small Objects, Fine Art, Queensland College of Art Griffith University, PO Box 3370 South Brisbane 4101.

Please note that donations must be accompanied by a donation form available at each donation drop off location or for download here! Remember to keep the bottom portion for your records. Donations are only tax deductible if you have your jewellery officially appraised. LAST DAY TO DONATE IS WED. July 21st

Radical Jewellery Makeover - Brisbane, AU Donation Form