Profile picture of Melissa Cameron

I combine my training in architecture and jewellery in my artistic output to create spatially dynamic objects for wear and display, by employing architectural principles to explore pattern, structure and space in small works. Through the manipulation of the materials of jewellery, and by dismantling familiar objects related to the body and the home, I interrogate the intimate space of jewellery and architectural space, where the body is located.

I have two streams of practice, working with recycled objects, and with the un-bordered plane. Working with objects gives me borders and pattern references from the very outset, so making these are like collaborating with an object. Working with the plane is about designing borderless-ly, across uninhibited Cartesian space. Having no barriers to pattern translation and mutation, the opposite to the confines of using an extant object, allows me to work with different yet sympathetic ideas, using continuous pattern arrangements that are able to spread far beyond what I am able to cut with my own saw frame.

These two sides to my practice feed into one other, with my creative development fuelled by the constraints that arise when dealing with tightly confined or alternately completely undefined planes.

Melissa is an Australian-born artist jeweller who lives and works in Seattle, Washington in the USA. She holds a Masters of Fine Art in jewellery and metalsmithing from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and Bachelor of Art with honours in interior architecture from Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia. Her works are in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia (Canberra), the Cheongju City Collection (South Korea) and the Arts Centre Melbourne (Australia), and her pieces have featured in the publications Jewel Book, Art Jewellery Today 3 and Lark Books’ 500 Silver Jewelry Designs.

Melissa is a current member of the Metalsmith Editorial Advisory Committee.

Education and Qualifications

  • 2009 Master of Fine Arts: Jewellery and Metals, Monash University, Victoria, Australia
  • 2006 Postgraduate Diploma of Jewellery Production, Curtin University, Western Australia
  • 2001 Bachelor of Arts (Interior Architecture) with honours, Curtin University, Western Australia

Public Collections

  • 2013 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
  • 2011 Cheongju City Collection, Cheongju, Korea
  • 2011 The Arts Centre, Melbourne, Australia
  • 2009 Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, Australia

Awards + Grants

  • Artist Trust Fellowship, 2014. Seattle, USA
  • Australian Artists Grant – co grantee, National Association for the Visual Arts, 2013
  • Seattle Metals Guild Emerging Artist Award, 2013. Seattle, WA, USA
  • Gold Prize, Cheonju International Craft Competition 2011, Cheongju, Korea
  • Finalist, BKV Prize for Young Applied Artists 2011, Bavarian Crafts Council, Munich
  • Melbourne Arts Centre Prize, Buda Silver Exhibition, Castlemaine, 2011
  • Australia Council for the Arts, Visual Arts Board grant for a residency at the UWE Bristol 2011
  • Australia Council for the Arts, ArtStart Grant awarded December 2009
  • Special mention, Lucca Preziosa Young Contemporary Jewellery Award 2009
  • Monash University Travel Grant, for study at the Monash Prato Campus, Italy, 2008

Solo Exhibitions

  • Melissa Cameron, Gallery CAJ, Kyoto, Japan, 2012
  • In Geometry I Trust, Studio 20/17, Waterloo, Australia, 2012
  • Iteration, Metalab Gallery, Sydney, Australia, 2009

Two and Three Person Exhibitions

  • Bridge 12: Melissa Cameron, Kevin Snipes and Betty Vera, Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Measuring the Space Between. Collaboration with visual artist Chloe Vallance. Hand Held Gallery, Melbourne, VIC and Studio 20/17, Waterloo, NSW, Australia. 2010-2011

Group Exhibitions

  • Earthly Delights: Metalsmiths Inspired by Nature, Lillstreet Art Center Gallery, Chicago, IL
  • On/Off, juror Susie Ganch. Soo Visual Arts Center, Minneapolis, MN
  • Radical Jewelry Makeover, curator Susie Ganch. Visual Art Center of Richmond, VA
  • Digital Hand, curator Kathleen Browne. School of Art Galleries, Kent State University, OH
  • Refined VIII, curator Cindi Strauss. Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House, Nacogdoches TX

Exhibitions Curated

  • Coming up from the south – online exhibition on Crafthaus, 2012.
  • Heat Exchange: Cross continental survey of enamel touring exhibition (co-curator with Elizabeth Turrell and Beate Gegenwart), Shemer Art Centre and Museum, Phoenix, Arizona, 2012 and touring to Germany.
  • Steal This: Part B exhibition. One-night-only lane way exhibition, Hosier La, Melbourne, November 16 2010.
  • Return: Five artisans return to their training-ground. (Curated to coincide with the 2010 JMGA conference) Showcase Gallery, Central Institute of Technology, Perth, Western Australia, 2010.


  • Enamel Research studio at the Centre for Fine Print Research, University of the West Of England, under Elizabeth Turrell. March 2011.


Bibliography – jewellery + interior architecture

  • Reflections on Skill: SNAG conference 2013, AJF Website Insight Series/SNAG Toronto Ed. Ben Lignel, July 28, 2013.
  • Giving Digital Fab a Hand, Ponoko Blog, ed. Kristen Turner. September 8, 2010.
  • ‘Armadale House’, ‘Eastern View Beach House’, ‘Elsternwick House’, ‘Owen Rodrigues House’, ‘Toorak House’ in: Designed Life: Houses. Editors: Cheng, K and Yabuka, N. 2005, Page One Publishing (POP), Singapore.
  • ‘The Deanery’, Hip Entertaining: Bars and Restaurants, Cheng + Yabuka (Ed.) 2005, POP, Singapore ‘Ikasu Man’, Style Shopping: Shops and Showrooms, Cheng + Yabuka (Ed.) 2005, POP, Singapore.

Where to Buy

Work is not available for sale through the SNAG website. Please contact the artist directly to inquire about making a purchase.