Big Up ring commissioned by Mara George has just departed the studio Saturday, Mar 27 2010 

Mara’s own high cabochon onyx merged with Barbara’s ‘big-up’ © Bh chenier extension works well here with the gem set across the finger. Lovely customer – lovely solution – lovely repeat business.

Commissioned Ring for ‘The Texas Lady’ arrives in Perth today. Wednesday, Mar 24 2010 

Deborah has commissioned serious pieces from a select few jewellers around the world who are happy to walk the plank with her. Barbara and Deborah are kindred spirits when it comes down to dealing with sentimental elements, recycling loaded gems from previous pieces and generally going against the fashion current. This ring recalls Barbara’s own “fox ring” with its chunky pavé setting, but here with pink sapphires around the shoulder. Barbara’s own Georgian enameled button is replaced with a carved Kookaburra, set with Deborah’s own (sentimental) rose cut diamond from an earlier commissioned ring. All made a-new through the Jeweller to the Lost commission process and further more, Deborah flew all the way to Brisbane to spend a day in the studio – virtually every gem tray opened and examined. Make sheets and patterns spread over the meeting area, cups of coffee, lunch and plans for  more pieces evolved during the session. We also have to admit that Deborah had researched and read every single blog post since the very first viewersite entry, I spent the time on this archive finding the images for the girls to view design elements and jewellery outcomes from Barbara’s long career. What a fun business to be in!

Nice sunny day in Tunbridge today Friday, Mar 19 2010 

We can’t wait to see how they tagged the shed, Leesa and crew dropped by today and sent this pic via their phone.

Deadline today for advanced marketing material on the up-coming Barbara Heath show at Artisan November 2010 Monday, Mar 15 2010 

The Artisan marketing machine is into full swing, they have this year’s program to lock down and advanced media to co-ordinate with Australian fashion and Design journals . . . so Barbara is being asked for copy, images and texts that speak to her project even though the research is all we have so far. Below I’ll post the texts and working title just received:

Title – Tinsmith: an ordinary romance.
An exhibition of new sculptural work by Barbara Heath – Jeweller to the Lost that pays homage to the Tinsmith trade.
‘If necessity begets invention, so ordinary details may often display a surprising narrative’.
Research for the exhibition investigates 19th Century Queensland Tinsmiths work produced for the building trade; functional and decorative design adapted to the conditions of this environment, that now form part of our design vernacular.
Even a brief survey of the trades required for the new colony of Queensland indicates a substantial number of tinsmiths were well established by 1874.  Colonial tinsmiths worked tin plate with simple tools to produce basic household wares from pots and pans to tubs and buckets. Initially they followed the pioneers; supplying the needs of the miners, farmers and settlers as they journeyed to ever more remote areas. As towns and populations grew the tinsmith diversified and we find advertisements for roof guttering, ridge capping, spouting, baths and fittings of every description. Overlooked and undervalued, remnant work of the early Queensland tinsmiths, once so common, is now hard to find. By the late 1880’s even the evocative name of their trade began to fade as tin plate gave way to galvanised iron.
summary 14/03/10

Here is a link to our most recent sculpture powerpoint – if anything the new work will follow on from the small sculptural maquettes we last produced for the Ipswich Art Gallery in 2008.

Finally some recent © Bh jewellery images to view Saturday, Mar 13 2010 

recent as in a response today to a request for Bracelet information. Here’s a powerpoint – with some Bracelets back to the year dot.

Thats the most recent five of the 15 showcased . . .

The Our (6) chooks are on the march Friday, Mar 12 2010 

The growth after the rain in Jan & Feb has been a real surprise, we have taken out the very large loquat tree over the old garden on the block next door – so its back to being a winter garden. Annie in Avoca says we should only water the garden with our own tank water, she has found that the chlorine kills the lovely bug world down there in the humus! Our 6 bantum hens returned to their new yard tonight after nearly 3 months boarding with Sue & John at Auchenflower.

See if I can keep the Tunbridge reporting down to only two more mentions – work on the garden (1) Sunday, Mar 7 2010 

The garden next door is in fine shape, top pic shows Barb the moment we arrived, we headed straight for the fruit trees. The pic below shows the first (heritage) Worcester Permain, yes our neighbour reminded us that we picked it 1 month before we should have. Some natives replaced, the stables completely cleaned out, both blocks mowed twice, weeded and the back yard cut, well slashed by Rodney and Kevin. Numerous visits, the first to Eagle Hawk Neck, we were treated to a gathering of arts folk at Noel Frankham’s parents holiday house and orchard. Then to Hobart and Graham & Ann Hesse’s new sandstone colonial house and garden. Next we stayed the night with Ann & David Kernke at Shene and saw the works under way there. The following day we were at a TAFE course down the road to sit the theory & practical to get our Tasmanian gun license. The first lightning visit was from Michael, Andrea and baby Clare. Back home to dinner with Warwick Oakman who we really scored some great period Tasmanian pieces from this time. Lunch with Paul and Babe, the same Sunday that Bob Riddel and Pam Easton called and wanted to drop in (bugger). The following Sunday lunch with Ray & Pat and more rellies, Sandra and Tommy. Next we were off to Avoca for an evenings stay with Rob & Lynne Robson and onto the tin trail, to research the Bh-Tinsmith show then to St Helens and our first visit to Binalong Bay, a brief stay with Roz MacAllan and John Potter at their hideaway there (hey! its a rentable retreat – and I mean a treat). We managed to spend valuable time at the St Helen’s History Room, continued on to most of the exhibits on the mining tin trail at Derby.  Visits from Barbara’s rellies, Tony & Michelle & Uncle Max and Aunty Bettie. Next we did the mail run with our postman, Charlie Gregg to get to know the Oatlands/Paratta/St Peter’s Pass catchment better (he knew every peak, range and homestead’s names and occupants from the year dot). Dropped in on everyone we know in Tunbridge, some to dinner, some over coffee and more to just trade veg and eggs – we did plum sauces & jams this time in earnest. I made a trip to Hutton Park to see Andy. We went to visit Annie’s garden and to see Steve Taylor’s refurbishments at Avoca. Numerous visits to Oatlands tip and then the shops there as a few trips to Ross to Barbara’s favourite nursery and to Clive’s shop where I did elements on the furniture restorations on four pieces. The major break co-incided with Barbara’s sister and her partner’s visit and we went to Cradle Mountain, we stayed at Lemonthyme Lodge then drove further and did three different walks. The last stay was in Launceston, again at Ray & Pat’s where I managed two clock outings, one was to visit the Post Office Clock tower to see the work done by Graham Mulligan. Then Graham took me to the home of John Millwood where I was shown masterful clocks and Tasmanian furniture but introduced to John’s main passion – his Colonial Artists Collection. Ray Norman our host (and Barbara’s main mentor) was one of the commissioners of a bronze statue of Dr Russ, who originally owned the Millwood residence. Finally, the first visit we did at Stanthorpe, Queensland on the way down, we dropped in on a dealer and friend known internationally as The Iron Man – Peter Homes.

See if I can keep the Tunbridge reporting down to only two more mentions – work on the house (2) Sunday, Mar 7 2010 

Starting from bottom right – following a tip-off over dinner from master architectural sleuth & antique dealer, Warwick Oakman, we then arranged to met him at 40 Brisbane Street Hobart early the following morning and removed an 1831 internal staircase from the demolition site. With the help of expert Woodbury House restorer, Alan Cooper we will entirely dismantle it and rebuild it in reverse at Tunbridge.

Next we stripped and sanded 5 doors from upstairs, we dismantled, removed paint, repaired and meth-washed all the wide skirting boards and almost finished the architraves in situ. We have briefed a soft plasterer as well on the next stage, upstairs.

Lovely Victorian keyed safe found in Launceston and an entire hoard of steel from the oldest home in Tunbridge – the Tunbridge Wells Inn (also a blacksmiths) – a departing gift from Margaret & Jack Sonneman who are heading for southern Tasmania to build all over again.

Top pic, bottom right – Mahogany George III bedside table and an original 1700 oak, joined and dowelled gate-leg table with beautiful patina, both from Clive Hanks at the Glue Pot, Ross. Final preparation on the reeded fireplace for the upstairs drawing room and the last shot of Barb with the hot-gun doing the first stage of paint removal. Under the three coats of paint we found the original ochre wash which we will re-do maintaining both the green-blue and orange tints.

Can you see the rare Turner harvest jug in there behind the feather boa, through the window of Carl’s shop? – we did and what’s more we snapped it up for Tunbridge. Friday, Mar 5 2010 

We started a jug collection after we repaired and installed a super-wide period mantle piece over the kitchen hearth. We thought we would show them in diminishing size along the full width, this is the last and largest (and the best, so far). Carl Jackson told us that the piece came from an early Tasmanian family, passed down and entered his shop via a deceased estate. Here’s some data on this virtually mint Turner piece:

Jug, Turner

c1800, Lane End, Longton, Staffordshire, England

Stoneware, Incised mark – TURNER

Overall: 203 x 127 x 140 mm

The white, salt-glazed stoneware jug has a cane-ribbed base and a brown neck and handle terminating in acanthus leaves. It has finely detailed and raised applied decoration of a drinking man (with the same jug), smoking his clay pipe at gate-leg table, two well defined trees – the second diminishing as in further perspective and has been mounted with a silver rim and is hallmarked 1800 London.

My research on the jug is here in a 3 page .pdf (1.4Mb) – an easy download. I’ve found an almost identical jug with a severely interesting provenance. Finally, Carl’s shop is called – Archive, 170 Newtown Road at the corner of Valentine Street, New Town. His mobile is 0409 749 611 <carl@archive.net.au> Retro collectors beware – his place rocks!

An earlier shot of the jug arrangement is on Ray Norman’s – collect eleven blog here.

I had thought long and hard about what to tag the side of the garden shed with but had never made a move . . . Friday, Mar 5 2010 

We have second-hand corrugated iron sheets ready to cover the fibro sheeting one day, in the meantime as we are only at Tunbridge four times a year – I thought to give the garden some semblance of a permanent presence. It was summer, Jan 2010 (aided by daylight saving), 7:00pm and we each had a beer and were watering the silver birch grove when BANG – I looked at the shadow of myself, I turned to Barb and asked if she could quickly run into the other house and fetch a carpenter’s pencil? She quickly outlined my features and then I did hers, a mission brown tin and a brush and one beer later – we had our permanence imprinted in the garden.

Then one after one, the neighbours have dropped in with comments, suggestions and feedback. Just the shape of a person seen through the corner of the eye sets off a quick second glance – the silhouette is a powerful device don’t you think?

The shed is represented on this plan of the garden (on Barbara’s garden blog, here).

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