We all await the new refurbishment at e’cco bistro, Philip tells me he hasn’t strayed too far from my original logo Tuesday, Sep 23 2014 

The old logo (above) and location has worked a treat, so much so that it is now almost 20 years since I introduced Philip Johnson to Robert Riddel and their relationship – like the restaurant has endured so well. We are in for the VIP re-launch, their invite (below) launches the new logo and this new phase in Brisbane dining pleasure! Bookings via the web.

The before and the after shots are always telling (telling me I shouldn’t try to do the impossible) Tuesday, Sep 23 2014 

French mercury gilded bronze and brass c1790–1820 is the last period of perfection. The case work is still robustly made with their steel and brass ties and nuts still substantial. The problem being two fold – removing the dirt and chemical residue remaining after time and abuse + finding all the bad repairs made over time to keep the case together.

The dial and bezel is in bad shape while the movement is totally rusted together. Dr Sal Rahman knows he has a particular divine clock and wants to spare no expense to have it restored, its the long period waiting that is the hardest.

Terry Thomas once managed the Gympie Gold Mine, say no more . . . Friday, Sep 19 2014 

He commissioned Barbara to design and fabricate a table top to hold his captivating crystal specimen – patinated copper sheet.

Sometimes, conservation-wise less is more Wednesday, Sep 17 2014 

With this centenary of WW1 many public orientated organisations are presenting mementoes of service. A group of nurses from the Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital – (Museum of Nurses History) . . . called the studio seeking assistance with objects in their care. This wonderful steel chatelaine has an intimate story but also shows surface breakdown due to rust and the previous storage environment. We suggested minimal intervention, first a scalpel was used to cut away the surface growth and burnish away the rust then brass brushing, cleaning with gum turpentine + olive oil and hand rubbing to bring up the patination. To be collected today and into their display tomorrow . . .

 

The studio remains intrigued by nature’s small jewellers Tuesday, Sep 16 2014 

Barbara has created pierced ‘lace’ work in wax and developed many versions of this technique for over 20 years now. We are also working on larger sculptural elements for a series of suspended works following this ‘lace’ theme called “new nature” but we remain in awe of this particular caterpillar’s edible art, recently found on Tumblr.

He bought her a large round brilliant cut diamond but she loved the idea of a square princess cut Tuesday, Sep 16 2014 

So Barbara designed and made her wedding ring over 20 years ago with a rather special setting, it showed the round diamond off in a square setting with Barbara’s usual abundant use of metal. A deep stone requiring a high cushioned setting – well we have been commissioned to cut away the stone, use the metal and create a new tapered offset ring and do a new gem encrusted band to accompany the new ring. Everything that went through the first ceremony stays intact for whatever the future throws up . . . we loved this sentiment and the brief from this long standing Melbourne client.

 

I’m impressed, Barbara has bought two large A2 prints and Max has given me copies of his two books Monday, Sep 15 2014 

I spent the morning with Max amongst his orchids and ferns at Kangaroo Point, Brisbane. Then into his folders of illustrator and photoshop files and his earlier workbooks, diaries and hand drawings. His web site has two books for sale that most of my contacts will simply want to have at home to adorn their library’s garden section; ‘the enchanted orchid’ and ‘striptease – It’s all done with flowers’. Both are beautifully post produced and printed on quality stocks, both are trimmed to 250mm H x 210mm W.

With ‘the enchanted orchid’ Max has designed, photographed and written this picture book that cleverly covers his chosen category. 144 pages drawn on to a folded laminated cover, first published in Sydney in 1999. Max has now done a second imprint co-published with Vanity House and his Cooroy Gardens entity in 2003 with a small number remaining from a very respectable second run. It sells for A$40.00 + postage of A$15.00

His ‘striptease – It’s all done with flowers’ was co-published later in 2005 with Vanity House and Cooroy Gardens also and is really a peek-aboo at his own marvellous story and talents with some generous take-aways for those interested in illustration, those with a handle on the Latin names for the floral species and those just looking for a great gift and read. It sells for A$25.00 + postage of A$15.00

 Again, Max is selling his remaining copies on-line so get in touch better still post him a cheque today <Max Fulcher 101/193 Main Street Kangaroo Point QLD 4169 Australia> and don’t forget to add your postal address. Repost this to your own blogs also.

 

My first boss came to morning tea in the studio last Thursday Saturday, Sep 13 2014 

In my holidays after my first year at art school, I spent six weeks at McWhirters in the Myer advertising department run by Max Fulcher. It might as well have been Madison Avenue because that tight little ship had most of the creative energy in Brisbane under the firm tutelage of Max and his team. I say tutelage because I actively learnt every job involved in the communication business, hands-on there in the next two years (1966 and 1967). I can still rattle off the names of the people working there who made such an impression on me – lots who years later I was pitching against for business in my own right. Max ran and trained the most creative enterprising division of Myer in the day, we were always being pushed by the Queensland chairman Harold Fielding to knock off the Melbourne team run by Wally O’Donohue. Not only did we achieve better advertising, better results for the group in Brisbane – Max delivered costs at a quarter of the price.

The world needs to know about this man from Yeronga’s meteoric rise to international retail success. Here in his own words to me, he explained his early grooming under Sir Kenneth Myer: ‘I introduced myself to Macy’s San Francisco where I met and began a working association with Duane McHolick who later came to Australia and set David Jones on a new promotional path “There is only one David Jones”. Studied with Mashall Fields (Chicago), The Broadway Stores (Los Angeles), Bonwitt Teller, Bloomingdales, Macy’s (New York). Myer supplied personal assistant and office in the New York Herald building. Introduced by Clyde Bedell (advertising guru who Myer sponsored to Australian in conjunction with Melbourne Herald around 1961) to Sek Seklemian (Retail Reporting Bureau – Retail Advertising Week) and wife and stayed in adjacent apartment  to them at the Barbizon Plaza 58th Street. Seklemian offered to sponsor me as his personal assistant (young Australians had good all-round training in advertising) if I decided to return to New York but loyalty to Myer prevailed. Holidayed in Nassau (Bahamas), returned to Macy’s (San Francisco) and was appointed Director Myer (Qld) upon return, June 1964.’

My own career couldn’t have started at a better time or a better place. Max’s sister Gem ran Camera Craft for Harry Poulsen at the time and she too was an active stimulus to my evolving fashion sense, Gem passed away recently and Max gave me this pic of her (left) and their friend Pat.

Like me, Max is an early adopter and his story of early digital times in Sydney is amazing – he started doing his own orchid illustrations after overcoming the vagaries of the Quark environment. Max lent me his catalogue of his first 108 personal illustrations, he has completed 111 to date. These are all layered vector elements created in Illustrator but more complex than that – he holds every shape he has ever created in folders at the same resolution so he can import and copy and place into new creations. He has a gallery relationship in Sydney but all our Australian Garden History Society friends should get in touch direct. My many interior design and architect friends should work with Max to enhance their hospitals and hotels with his exquisitely rendered digitally produced prints. Go direct here . . . A larger print of #11 that I like also. <max@maxfulcher.com> 0428198012

Another carnelian intaglio ‘portrait’ seal – Jean-Jacques Rousseau Thursday, Sep 4 2014 

Sourced from Warwick Oakman Antiques in Battery Point, Hobart, this portrait seal of the great “citizen” philosopher whose writing influenced the French Revolution. I managed some text sleuthing and on the Gutenburg.org site where I found this very charming story recounting his early childhood, in Rousseau’s own words:

‘Every night, after supper, we read some part of a small collection of romances which had been my mother’s. My father’s design was only to improve me in reading, and he thought these entertaining works were calculated to give me a fondness for it; but we soon found ourselves so interested in the adventures they contained, that we alternately read whole nights together, and could not bear to give over until at the conclusion of a volume. Sometimes, in a morning, on hearing the swallows at our window, my father, quite ashamed of this weakness, would cry, “Come, come, let us go to bed; I am more a child than thou art.’

This piece is a welcome addition to our wonderful studio collection of seals, carved soft stones and writing paraphernalia.

Some links for those interested to delve further – gutenburg.comthe Stanford sitethe Wikipedia site.

More on our recent Tasmanian 10 day jaunt Tuesday, Sep 2 2014 

Overnight at the New Town Palace – Hobart shops – Burning off the summer garden’s waste – Reinstated the Georgian internal staircasePolished kitchen floor – Mr & Mrs Kissafish for lunch – Evandale relies drop in – Clockman, Warren & Babe – Unfruitful trip to Longford – Campbel Town shops – Two Profs from over the road drop in – Sunset on the river – Tracker gone – Rodney & Joey Kevin Joy Wishes Paul and Peter Simon – Quite a few perfect shots away – Gardening – Trip to the tip – Cracker drive to the airport in the MG ZT – and below the Peel-away project:

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