E: info@northcity4.com | T: (03) 9380 6647

Northcity4 Needs You!

Northcity4 is on the hunt for some new board members.

applications due November 30

We are looking for people to join us to help shape the future of Melbourne’s contemporary jewellery community.

Northcity4 is a large shared jewellery and object studio and gallery and is also an exciting hub for Melbourne’s contemporary jewellery community. Northcity4 is community-minded, friendly, generous, inclusive, sustainability-focussed, inspiring, and lots of fun!

Board members are involved in maintenance and running of the studios as well as devising, planning and executing the creative projects, workshops and social events that define Northcity4.

We are looking for community minded people who have a passion for contemporary jewellery. You could be a maker or a non-maker, an established artist or a recent graduate, but you must have a desire to contribute to what contemporary jewellery in Melbourne could be.

About Northcity4

  • Northcity4 is centrally located in Brunswick, Melbourne.
  • The studio space is bright, and open plan with an Indoor Forest creating a calming and healthy professional environment.
  • There are 14 permanent studio spaces, two benches for 6-12 month residencies and projects, and five bench spaces that can be rented on a daily basis.
  • We have a fully equipped jewellery workshop that is available to use by anyone working in the space.
  • There are two large shared jewellery benches that can accommodate 10 students in technical workshops.
  • Northcity4 operates TempContemp, a small formal gallery space in the studio, that is co-curated by a board member
  • Northcity4 has a prominent façade in a busy location that has hosted creative installations.

The Northcity4 board has worked hard to foster a community of engagement amongst the artists working at the studio and the working atmosphere is one of dedication and congeniality.

Northcity4 is a not-for-profit organisation and is governed by a board of five people. Current board members are Anna Davern, Anna Gray, Caz Guiney, Ali Limb and Andrew Phillips. It is with much sadness that we announce that Ali Limb will be resigning at the end of February 2019. Ali is a founding member of Northcity4 and she will be sorely missed. She has made the difficult and sad decision to move on due to other work commitments.

If you believe that you could contribute to and benefit from being involved with Northcity4 then please let us know by sending us a two-page application. Please email your application by November 30. New board appointments will start in February 2019.

  • On page one give us a sense of who you are and what you might have to offer the organisation
  • On page two give us an idea of what you think Northcity4 could be and what it could offer to you and Melbourne’s contemporary jewellery community.

Expectations of board members of Northcity4

  • Have an enthusiasm for contemporary jewellery and object and craft, and a commitment to the values of community
  • Advocate for Northcity4 as a community hub for contemporary jewellery and object
  • Contribute to the Governance of NC4 by working with other board members to establish and fulfil broad policies & objectives
  • Ensure legal and duty of care obligations are met
  • Actively facilitate activities that connect Northcity4 with the jewellery community and general public
  • Be willing to share networks and expertise, as appropriate
  • Maintain the community goodwill at Northcity4
  • Attend at least 4 meetings per year
  • General care, consideration and engagement with the Northcity4 tenants, including occasional studio visits
  • Assistance with Northcity4 public events


Northcity4 Christmas Bazaar 2018

Christmas market northcity4

The Northcity4 Christmas Bazaar!
Sunday 2nd December 10am – 3pm,
61 Weston St, Brunswick.

This year our Christmas Bazaar is bigger and better than ever!

All the beautiful Northcity4 artists will be selling their jewellery and objects and our invited guest artists this year are: jeweller Jana King; ceramic artists Rina Giles and Minna Graham, and weaver/basket maker Robyn Norris. See the gallery below for some images of their work.

We will be firing up the sausage sizzle, there will be the usual home baked goods and cups of tea and coffee.

This year we are also introducing a fundraising element to the bazaar in order to raise money for those affected by cancer. This year, several of our Northcity4 members have been directly affected by cancer and our fundraising efforts on the day will support them by helping with medical expenses, lost work hours, extra travel, and anything that can be done to help them recover.

So on the day please consider buying and wearing a campaign badge, or invest in a surprise from our fundraiser lucky dip. Also keep an eye out for jewellery sales that go towards fundraising efforts. And if you arrive around 1pm you can witness the spectacle of Anna Davern, Anna Gray and Ali Limb’s son Louis having their heads shaved to raise money to support friends and family members.



Studio Space Availability from December 2018

We are looking for 1 new artist to join the Northcity4 crew.

Applications due November 30, 2018
10 sq mt space $422.24 per month (incl.GST) plus one month bond
Come and work in our well established contemporary jewellery studio in Brunswick. Join our great community of dedicated makers in an open plan warehouse with a fully equipped shared workshop and an indoor forest providing clean air and beautiful surrounds. 1 x 10 sq mt space $384 pcm+GST plus one month bond. Follow this link for more information and to apply.





Northcity4 Artist Market 2016

On Sunday 26th November the studios at Northcity4 will be transformed into an amazing Christmas Bazaar featuring, not only the talented artists of Northcity4, but also some special invited guests, chosen from our amazing community of local professional crafts people. This will be a great opportunity to purchase some of Melbourne’s best contemporary jewellery, ceramics, and textiles direct from the artists.

You will also be able to visit and admire our beautiful Indoor Forest, created by artist Inari Kiuru. And there will be the usual sausage sizzle and delicious cold and hot beverages.

The 2017 Northcity4 Christmas Bazaar will take place on Sunday 26th November. Doors are open from 10am – 3pm. 61 Weston St, Brunswick

The Northcity4 Christmas Bazaar will feature works by:

Northcity4 Artists:
Flavia Barar (Atelier Nomada), Georgie Brooks, Pam Camille, Juan CastroLaila Marie Costa, Amanda Croatto, Anna Davern, Mehrnoosh Ganji, Emma Grace, Anna Gray, Annelies HofmeyrJin Ah JoCass Partington,

with special guests:

Irina Giles, Minna Graham, Beck Jobson, Jana KingYoko Ozawa



Northcity4 Artist Market 2016



Come along to Northcity4’s annual Christmas ARTIST MARKET

Doors are open from 11am – 4pm with the launch of the Indoor Forest at 2pm.

Our Christmas Sale for 2016 features the works of NC4 studio and project space tenants – this is an opportunity to purchase some of Melbourne’s best contemporary jewellery direct from the arists. This year NC4 have extended the sale to invite local ceramic, textile, glass and floral artists – supporting the atmosphere of the Indoor Forest Launch at 2pm on the day.

The Artist Market will feature works by:

Northcity4 Artists:
Anna DavernNicky Hepburn, Elizabeth KennedyVicki MasonJin Ah JoGeorgie Brooks, Anna Gray, Cass PartingtonEmma GraceLaila Marie Costa, Kathy O’Neill, Pam Camille.

with NC4 special guests:
Amanda Dziedzic (glass) and The Handsome Bloom (flowers), Irina Giles (ceramics), Kirsten Perry (ceramics), Plant B.(plants), Debbie Pryor (ceramics) and Caitlin She (textiles).





Indoor Forest Update – October 2016



It’s a new season of light and everything in nature has burst into growth, including the The Indoor Forest! 

Our large forest containers are now ready and in place, designed by Inari and beautifully constructed during August by carpenter Ilmo Pylkkanen of Kohde Design. We used dark-stained quality plywood, and the wheeled boxes can also double as exhibition tables and generous storage spaces. The best of all? There’s a garden seat for two amongst the foliage, perhaps for sharing a beverage while contemplating life …

The main ceiling structures for the cascading green wall went up one sunny (and very early) morning when Ben and Rohan of Benno’s Renno’s rolled their sleeves up and climbed up the ladder without fear. Now we’ve got steel! Inari has also already placed some “test plants” into the boxes to get a glimpse of how they’ll look with green mass and texture. Many of the plants you see in the images below have been grown at NC4 in the past three years, and will end up at our feature succulent shelf in the school when replaced by larger plants in the forest installation. And then there are lush, lush plans for the hanging components and the floating island.

So stay tuned and follow the growth via Instagram @the_indoor_forest_project, as well as in the next NC4 newsletters before the Big Launch in late November!

And as always, if you love plants and would like to get involved in the project, please contact Inari at ikiuru@iinet.net.au

Spring sun and green regards,

Inari & the NC4 team

Look, no hands! Ben measures twice ...

Look, no hands! Ben measures twice …

Ilmo wheels in the garden seat container while Ali makes sure the route is clear

Ilmo wheels in the garden seat container while Ali makes sure the route is clear

Attaching the grids for hanging plants to the old ceiling beams in a safe and stable way took a fair bit of problem solving and imagination. Here some timber is paint-matched to blend in with the rusted steel. Good choice, Ben!

Attaching the grids for hanging plants to the old ceiling beams in a safe and stable way took a fair bit of problem solving and imagination. Here some timber is paint-matched to blend in with the rusted steel. Good choice, Ben!

Attention to detail is cutting just the right angles: carperter and truffle farmer Rohan finetunes

Attention to detail is cutting just the right angles: carperter and truffle farmer Rohan finetunes

The Indoor Forest is getting ready for construction

Indoor Forest Northcity4

The building plans and costing are well on their way

In the cold, dark months of winter most plants are resting, but the preparations for the construction of our Indoor Forest are red, hot and happening! The early vision of plants on wheels has developed into detailed plans and drawings of a three part installation, flowing through the entire Northcity4: There’ll be a hanging green island at the (soon to be renovated) kitchen/studio area entrance; a long shelf of succulents at the historical brick wall of the school, and the heart of the project, a large “forest” of different species of plants, rising up in between these spaces.

Along with the priorities of easy maintenance, strong and sustainable materials and maximum air-purifying qualities, our design brief for the works reads “light, airy, lush, contemporary and wild”. Fingers crossed!

The main construction task, for flexibility as well as visual appeal, will be creating the containers to house large pot plants within the main installation. We’re currently chatting with several makers about different possibilities while establishing a solution which fits our interiors and budget the best. At the same time we’re acquiring clientships with reliable wholesale nurseries and beginning to think about the number and variety of greenery to add to our lovingly homegrown samples. Rubber plants, sansevierias, monsteras and many others are on the list.

Would you like to get involved or find out more? Are you a handy person with skills and workshop facilities, and interested in the building side of this project? If so, get in touch with Inari, and keep following our progress in Instagram @the_indoor_forest_project and @Northcity4. Looking forward to showing you some photos as things develop into the construction phase!

Glimpses of dreams – sketches, system considerations and digital renderings for the installation © Inari Kiuru 2016




B_Kitchen view

B_rubber watering demo

B_school view main wall


Vicki Mason Artist Talk: Studio Residency in Barcelona

Monday 21st March, 6-8pm
Northcity4 – 61 Weston St, Brunswick
entry by gold coin donation – bookings essential


_ blank homepage slide show vicki mason 2016

Northcity4 has invited artist Vicki Mason to discuss her recent residency at the Australia Council for the Arts Barcelona Studio. Vicki will speak about the research she undertook during the residency, as well as touching on the process of applying for funding.

Accumulating primary research material and building jewellery networks were key focal points of the Australia Council for the Arts Barcelona studio residency I recently undertook from October to December in 2015. My recent concerns regarding water use within the garden context has led to me researching water wise plants. With Australian and Spanish climates being comparable, investigating dry climate plants at the Barcelona botanic gardens (and other gardens/parks in Spain) enabled me to build a knowledge base of material that will inform my work into the future. I also developed new networks within the vibrant jewellery community, gave lectures and was able to exhibit my work while there.

Vicki Mason has been wearing jewellery since she was two and making it since she was 6 or 7. Born in New Zealand she lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. Mason completed her undergraduate studies in New Zealand and her Masters degree (Research) in Australia at ANU. She teaches, makes production and exhibition work and likes to write. She has works in both public and private collections and has received a variety of awards and prizes. Vicki is on the board of management of the World Crafts Council – Australia.

Vicki Mason

Pink Corona Cluster – Vicki Mason

Vicki Mason

Park Guell – Barcelona

Vicki Mason

Alhambra – Granada – Spain

Vicki Mason

A courtyard garden Vicki found during her wandering

Vicki Mason

Botanic Gardens – Barcelona

Vicki Mason

Park in Barcelona

Vicki Mason

Xavier from Saller Perill exhibition wears Vicki’s work


Window to a Distant Landscape

Installation by Lindy McSwan
February 6 – March 31, 2016
Northcity4 Façade (24hr viewing)

As part of the Sustainable Living Festival 2016, Lindy McSwan has created a striking installation for the façade of Northcity4 using reclaimed materials and indigenous climbing plants.

Lindy McSwan Window to a Distant Landscape Sustainable Living Festival

Materials under construction in Lindy’s studio

Time spent in the landscape of the Victorian High Country severely affected by the February 2009 bushfires has been the subject of Lindy’s work over the last few years. Even long after the fires, hectare after hectare of native forest remained devastated. Incalculable numbers of dead trees stand in the landscape. While tragic, a quiet and haunting beauty remains.


Lindy McSwan Window to a Distant Landscape Sustainable Living Festival

Lindy McSwan, Vessel studies 2014, cotton rag, watercolour, gouache, graphite. photo: Jeremy Dillon

The panorama of burnt dead trees standing like towering matchsticks is austere and ghostly. A strong sculptural aesthetic manifests. As a mass and individually, shimmering silvery tree trunks contrast with large expanses of pure black charcoal. A strong sense of endless distance and space is evident. Ridge?lines of mountains fading into the horizon appear as unreachable layered silhouettes.

Lindy McSwan Window to a Distant Landscape Sustainable Living Festival

Blue Rag Range – Victorian High Country looking towards Mt Hotham, Nov 2011

In creating this window and gate installation for NC4 Lindy is working on a larger sculptural scale for the first time.

“This installation will be an extension of my expression of the landscape, previously explored using the vessel as my canvas”.

Lindy McSwan Window to a Distant Landscape Sustainable Living Festival

Sticks Lindy collected from the Victorian High Country and her local area

Lindy put a call out towards the end of 2015 to collect recycled materials from friends, family, hair salons and the local community. Silver, grey, black and white materials that she collected have been manipulated, painted and transformed to create an artwork, which references the severity of the landscape that has moved her.

Indigenous plants were chosen to suggest regrowth and hope for the future of this extraordinary landscape.

Lindy McSwan Window to a Distant Landscape Sustainable Living Festival

Clematis Aristata (old man’s beard), Clematis Microphylla (small leafed clematis), Pandorea Pandorana (Wonga vine), Parsonsia Brownii (twining silk pod)

Lindy chose a selection of native climbing plants to include in the installation.

She has generously offered to gift these plants to the Northcity4 Indoor Forest Project at the end of the installation. Thanks Lindy!

Lindy McSwan Window to a Distant Landscape Sustainable Living Festival

Assembling the gate installation with a bit of help…

Lindy McSwan Window to a Distant Landscape Sustainable Living Festival

Lindy installing her work

Lindy McSwan Window to a Distant Landscape Sustainable Living Festival

A subtle view from inside NC4

Thank you to The Sustainable Living Festival for your support and commitment to a better future.

Sustainable Living Festival logo


Launching the Indoor Forest Project: a green, permanent installation for cleaner studio air at Northcity4

12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 … finally, Go!


A year ago, Northcity4’s initiative Indoor Forest, a vision to build a permanent, green, air-purifying installation of vessels, plants and watering systems in our work space, won a grant of $10,000 in the Bank of Melbourne Local Project Competition. After some careful planning and research during the past twelve months, Northcity4 and project leader and studio artist Inari Kiuru, are excited to officially launch the project.

The practical phase of the program began this week by the first of two air quality analyses at the NC4 studios, conducted by our generous supporter Bell Laboratories. Two meters detecting possible fumes and pollutants were set up at the studio for the day, while Bell Labs Director Wayne Anderson also took airborne particle measurements beside our jewellers benches while they sawed, sanded and worked with fire.

Did you know that indoor air pollution is 2-10 times higher than the outdoors or that indoor plants reduce symptoms such as headaches, sore eyes, loss of concentration and feelings of depression? Indoor air is high in CO2 with harmful pollutants emitted from indoor plastic or synthetic furniture, furnishings and equipment like computers, copiers and solvents.

source: Professor Margaret Burchett and Dr Fraser Torpy, University of Sydney

In order to give the laboratory some initial clues on what chemicals to look for, we had supplied them with all the MSDSs (material safety data sheets) of our main working chemicals such as fluxes, solders and polishing compounds. Interestingly, the analysis will also detect possible emissions from the building materials and furnishings, as well as investigate the effect of the traffic-dense street outside on our indoor air.

We’re looking forward with interest to receiving the results in a couple of weeks. Later next year, to find out the exact effect a large number of indoor plants will have in improving our air quality, a second, comparative measurement under similar conditions (weather, number of artists working and the work flow of the day) will be undertaken after the installation is complete.


Indoor Forest jewellery sustainability

Bell Labs Director Wayne Anderson sets up sodium hydroxide vials into the measuring equipment

Indoor Forest jewellery sustainability

Emma sawpiercing a plastic knitting needle. The operation was surprisingly dusty, and a heavier mask to keep particles safely out was recommended by Wayne

Nicky melts 9k gold in a crucible for pouring an ingot; particle meter gets a little warm …

Nicky melts 9k gold in a crucible for pouring an ingot; particle meter gets a little warm …

Cass concentrates on polishing rings

Cass concentrates on polishing rings

Nicky fuses delicate 18ct gold parts while Wayne reveals his family's love for jewellery

Nicky fuses delicate 18ct gold parts while Wayne reveals his family’s love for jewellery

What is the Indoor Forest and what will it look like?

The central idea of the Indoor Forest project is to create a functional, green, permanent installation inside our workspace, to naturally assist in cleaning the studio air in a measurable way, alongside the NC4 conventional extraction fans. We envision the installation fitting well into the existing Northcity4 interiorsupporting the navigation and flow of the space by allowing ease and freedom of movement between the areas of the studio, and work/teaching activities within the school. The installation will also enhance functionality by replacing separating walls/divisions with suitable greenery. The ground, walls, and ceiling beams are all possible alternative locations for the plants.  Sustainable / recycled / ethical materials, methods and sources for the plants and for the construction of vessels and other attachment systems will be used where possible.
The second principal goal of the program is to collate the research findings and practical experiences into a free, public resource on the NC4 website. We want to provide specific data to assist jewellers using similar processes and chemicals to us, as well as more general guidelines for everyone on getting started with indoor plants. As far as we know, The Indoor Forest project is unique in Australia – we’re not aware of any other non-profit organisations experimenting with indoor plants for air cleansing and sharing their experiences with the community. (If you’re out there, please get in touch and let’s chat!). Northcity4 would like to become an active leader in the field, educating and inspiring others while deepening NC4’s creative approach and sustainable understanding. We want to create new and interesting opportunities for the NC4 artists as well as interested public, and to foster fresh exchange and contacts between Northcity4 and organisations/individuals who share our ethics and can contribute to the growth of NC4. 
Trees on wheels - an early vision for an "indoor forest" at Northcity4

Trees on wheels – an early vision for an “indoor forest” at Northcity4

Some background and early steps

The idea for an indoor garden at Northcity4 sparked when Inari came across the NASA Clean Air Project based on Dr Bill Wolverton’s findings that some of the most common indoor plants can significantly improve air quality by removing frequently present airborne toxins, such as benzene and formaldehyde, by their root systems. 
As the vision for an air-cleansing installation began to take shape, in 2013/14, five of the species on the top air-cleansing plant list were planted as samples at NC4, to see how they’d succeed in our indoor environment long-term: Golden Pothos, Weeping Fig, Spider Plant, Peace Lily and Snake Plant aka Mother-in-law’s tongue (see image below). In addition, English Ivy is currently being grown from seedlings. The results are very positive as we have ample natural light and artists present all year round for consistency of care. The maintenance has been relatively easy, with moderate watering and regular fertilising. This means a larger installation consisting of similar species in our environment will most likely have longevity, and be affordable and simple to maintain for years. 
Pioneers on the field of experimental gardening inspire us to research and imagine solutions which are highly functional and have therapeutic value, as well as contemporary aesthetics. Some interesting examples include Patrick Blanc, whose Vertical Gardens started a global wave of interest in innovative greenery for urban interior spaces, Takenaka Garden Afforestation initiativeKamal Meattle  and the University of Sydney Plants and Indoor Environmental Quality Research Group. Institutions and individuals who have conducted groundbreaking research regarding houseplants and health. 
Who would've believed a Mother-in-law's tongue can improve the atmosphere at home?

Who would’ve believed a Mother-in-law’s tongue can improve the atmosphere at home?

What happens next?

Early next year, once we have the data from the first air quality report, Inari will begin further research into how many plants are needed for the volume of the building to improve air quality, followed by designing and building an infrastructure for a large, living “forest”. The final construction and planting of the Indoor Forest will happen in July to September 2016. Stay tuned for news and images of these next steps via our newsletters, as well as the Indoor Forest blog to be launched in February 2016. There you’ll find regular updates, more background information and links to current research in the field. You can also follow us in Instagram @The_Indoor_Forest_Project.
For questions and comments, please don’t hesitate to contact InariStay in touch!


Green regards,
Inari & Northcity4 team