We repaired the Honeywill’s ‘hausgeister’ recently and this is the installation update photograph, just received Thursday, Apr 17 2014 


This unit is from our sold out, first show at Artisan where we showed ‘Tinsmith: An Ordinary Romance” in 2010. Regarding these small spirit guards that we have been asked to make on numerous occasions, the key as we understand it, is to place a mirror within the small architectural device. Spirits, we are told are such curious fellows and can’t resist a small interesting shelter but when one of them sees himself reflected in the mirror, he is sure to behold an ugly terrifying image and quickly goes elsewhere – thus rendering the abode safe and sound. Russian and German folklore is full of such stories that stray into the supernatural but we don’t believe in ghosts, do we?

29 days in Tasmania and returned home safe and sound to a greening Brisbane Thursday, Mar 21 2013 

A break from the studio is indeed a holiday but all we do is work at our other project – the restoration of our Tunbridge shop and residence. We did a three day jaunt to Strahan via Queenstown and home north through Zeehan and Waratah where we continued our tinsmith research. Barbara and I found her Great Grandfather’s grave in the old cemetery outside the town where the Mount Bischoff tin mine was active in the 19th century. We secured ore samples, the bicentennial book on the region’s history and talked to many folk who were interested to chat tin . . .

Found two luscious early and now rare – pontypool japanned (tinned iron ware trays) for the collection.

Barbara’s second one-person show opened on the 15th March in Hobart’s Handmark Gallery to a swollen crowd who turned out to hear her well chosen words on her Tasmanian Landscape and Craig Judd’s twist on the European view of the place as witnessed by the early Hobart surveyor – J. E. Calder, as he opened the painting component of the show (as part of the 10 days on the Island festival). Many of our friends travelled to Hobart from Launceston, Ross and Oatlands to boost our Hobart friends and commissioners. Our show is selling well, Allanah managed a nice article in the Hobart Mercury on the morning of the show also.

The rest of the time we worked on the shop and in the garden while the painters prepped and painted the front and back awnings and the attached building. Kim and mal E did the carpentry repairs, a few shots below. We achieved much in a small time and managed visits to Clarendon with Warwick Oakman, Ros Palmer, cousins Sandra and Tommy, Graham Mulligan, Miles Davis-Kielar, Ray and Pat, Allan and Linda Cooper, dealers Joan at Sandy Bay, Carl at New Town and Tim at Campbell Town, Allan and Sandy Davis, Graham and Ann Hesse, Lyn and Rob Robson, the lovely Emma and Ray, our accountants from Brisbane Mary and Robert Edwards, our pal Annie the wwoofer, Joy and Kim, Joy and Kevin, Norman and Claire Pearce and the Tunbridge brigade. Huge thanks to Babe and ‘clock man’ Paul Jones for the loan of the diesel ute for the entire month. We missed seeing Marg and Steve Jones, Robert and Michael at Longford, Dot and Mike Evans and only managed a chat with George Burrows on the dog’nbone. Travelled and gained ‘velocity’ points with Virgin with ronE in the baggage hold. Back to 7 screaming commissions and 32 job bags on the shelf – wouldn’t be dead for quids!

I’ve posted ten big Tassie panorama shots on my Tumbr site  . . . here

We managed to visit the fourth venue showing our Artisan touring ‘tinsmith’ show – Toowoomba’s Cobb and Co Museum Friday, Nov 30 2012 

Further two pics here and here. The show is now bumped-out and on its way to Gladstone in north Queensland.

Tinsmith Touring Exhibition – opened at venue three yesterday down at Redland Bay Monday, Jun 25 2012 

Almost 100 guests turned out to hear Liz Shaw’s opening address at Contemporary Wearables/Tinsmith opening on Sunday June 24, 2012. Emma Bain welcomed Councillors, artists, visitors, gallery guides and team members. Dr Deborah Porch, Ian Were, Dr Gael Phillips, Liz Shaw’s partner Nick and one other younger maker we know Shanna Muston were in attendance with numerous well dressed folk enjoying the drinks and ambience down on the bay. A great companion exhibition for us actually, shows great planning and many wonderful jewellery and objects into the bargain, through July for a month – worth a go-see.

Sunday Mail article published today, Bribie Island ‘tinsmith’ touring show reviewed Sunday, Apr 8 2012 

Our memory was jogged earlier on when a text dropped in from John Potter – see page 49 of today’s Sunday Mail. Yes, while we were away in Tasmania recently, Carly Hennessy and I texted Barbara’s responses to Carly’s questions as she prepped her review of the Bribie Island leg of the touring tinsmith show. Barbara sadly had to decline the invite to open the show due to our holiday bookings. Download the larger .jpg - here. The flyer invite is – here.

Picking up the pieces at New Town Park Saturday, Apr 7 2012 

Conservation work over a glass of French wine with Warwick, Barbara, Bradley, Steven and Malcolm at Hobart’s g g – style headquarters (georgian/gothic) . . . wider shot approved for publication.

The ‘tinsmith – an ordinary romance’ touring show opened last Friday night at the Pine Rivers Heritage Museum to a great crowd Monday, Feb 13 2012 

Dr Gael Phillips (pathologist, historian, artist, collector), mal E and Barbara Heath (curators it says in the catalogue) in front of one of the display devices designed by the Artisan team.

Tony Clarke who teaches manual arts and runs the CAD team at St Joseph’s Nudgee College, shown here with Barbara after he told us what every group of the Gillespie templates would make just from viewing their flat form. The lively crowd enjoyed the well-informed opening remarks by the local Councillor Bob Millar, the Council’s network coordinator, Joan Kelly and Barbara’s short talk. The touring catalogue is a hard bound 34 page offset coloured piece of romance and was provided by a grant from the Gordon Darling Foundation and the entire touring exhibition was funded through Arts Queensland (State Government) and the Australia Council, the Commonwealth Government’s arts funding and advisory body. Touring dates have been supplied in a previous post – click here.

Exhibition Assistants: Zoe Wolfe & Miriam Carter. Publication & Tour Manager: Simone Jones. Catalogue Design: VoltDesign. Contributing Writers: Barbara Heath & Miriam Carter. Photography: Rod Bucholtz. Copy Editor: Evie Franzidis. Foreword: Liana Heath, CEO of Artisan. Exhibition Curators: Barbara Heath & Malcolm Enright. All the owners and lenders are acknowledged. ISBN:978-0-9871226-1-2

The first ‘touring’ Tinsmith show’s invite for everyone – take notice of the dates and address Tuesday, Jan 24 2012 

Some readers will join the dots, my NAWCC Clock Chapter 104 held a watch and clock display at Pine Rivers a while back and we are now venturing out there again for the touring Tinsmith show in Feb 2012. Barbara’s artist talk is on the 10th at 6:00pm for 6:30pm. The hard cover catalogue is being printed in Hong Kong at the moment, will be interesting to see it as we have not been shown any proofs – the show is really out of our hands now. We have great faith in the touring body and Artisan and warmly invite all of you to venture a little north for the show. The Pine Rivers Heritage Museum is a great venue and holds the Roy Copper Clock Collection as well as a terrific static folk art and object show from the local catchment.

Updated text – ‘tinware’ explained from Barbara Heath Wednesday, Jan 4 2012 

An additional piece of text describing the ‘tinware’ history and how it applies to the show for the foreword:

Pure tin is an expensive and soft metal and it is not used alone, however its non-rusting qualities make it an invaluable coating. Early tinplate consisted of sheet iron coated with tin and then run through rollers, it was produced in factories in Great Britain using a process little changed from the 14th century. Britain enjoyed a monopoly on this manufacture until the late 1800′s and their tinplate was packed and shipped around the world, it was a malleable metal easily worked with the simple tools of the early tinsmiths.

It is important to know that the tinplate used by earlier tinsmiths is not available today – it really is extinct. Today tinplate has been replaced by galvanised steel – zinc coated steel, a rust resistant metal with a far greater strength and lighter weight, entirely designed for the needs of the building industry. The gradual evolution of this product from around 1890 to the present day, has been in response to numerous technical innovations, the changing needs of the manufacturer and the market demand.

Interestingly the word ‘tin’ has become so much a part of our colloquial vocabulary that we use erroneously to describe many variants from the tin shed (galvanised steel), to the tin roof (corrugated steel) even an aluminium dinghy is called a (tinny). In the new objects made for the exhibition I tried to replicate some of the wonderful working qualities of that early tinplate, which is no longer available today.

We have employed copper sheet in these works as it is malleable and easily worked and as tin has a low melting temperature – a gas torch is hot enough to melt the tin which can then be spread over the surface of the copper. Included in the item inventory is a sample piece of copper which we have ‘tinned’ as well as the steel wool we used to drag the molten tin over the surface of the copper - this is just what we did. It is not what old tinsmiths would have done, they would have purchased their tinplate from Britain.

“Basic to the workshops of this period 1778–1908 were the smith’s small charcoal stove or brazier for heating the soldering irons, called coppers, as well as the divider, compass and scratch awl, all essential to striking his patterns onto the shiny tinplate, and the patterns or templates for specific tin articles. These templates were often passed down from one generation of tinsmiths to the next. Each set or nest, usually several pieces for any one form, was put on its own wire loop and hung with dozens of others along the shop’s walls.”
To Cut Piece and Solder: The Work of the Rural Pennsylvania Tinsmith 1778–1908′ Jeanette Lasansky. pp 8.

Tinsmith: An ordinary romance is about to tour regional Queensland in 2012 and 2013 Wednesday, Jan 4 2012 

The ‘touring agency’ is Craft Queensland trading as Artisan with Barbara Heath as ‘the solo artist’ and Barbara Heath and Malcolm Enright as ‘Curators’. Having dealt with the objects and research material previously, Kirsten Fitzpatrick & Simone Jones have taken the content and flown with it extremely well. The list of ‘tin’ lenders are the Gillespie family, the Hesse & Allom families with Juan-Luis Gonzalez’s pieces and those from my own Urban Archaeology collection. The most exciting benefit will be a proper touring catalogue. The detail below confirms the catalogue content, only the designer has changed due to the tight deadlines over the holiday period.

2012 and 2013 touring catalogue – Tinsmith: An ordinary Romance. Specs: · Hard cover book with dust jacket, possibly with embossing on the cover (of silhouettes from Barbara’s work potentially, designer is still exploring options) · End papers · 40 page full colour · Spot varnishing on selected pages – possibly of tin pattern silhouettes Contents: · Foreword by artisan CEO, Liana Heath · Barbara’s essay on Tinsmithing · Essay on Barbara’s works by Miriam Carter · Barbara’s CV – we are using the full one from the website, please let me know if there is anything new to be added? · Images from original publication and new photographs of Barbara’s works. We are printing in Hong Kong in order to be able to deliver a gorgeous, high level publication. Works will be photographed this week and text will be finalized by next Wednesday to allow design over Christmas. Final files will go to Hong Kong 12 January. Melanie Schafer is designing the publication and she is going to start sending through initial design concepts soon, which we’ll forward on for your thoughts. The retail price will be $9.95 during the exhibition as this is part of the funding agreement with the Gordon Darling Foundation.

So we have a slightly reduced list of research works because of venue size, insurance & logistics, otherwise the show is put together with new studio-made objects that will tour to the following venues:

Pine Rivers Heritage Museum 31 January–1 April 2012, Bribie Island Seaside Museum 5 April–3 June 2012, Redland Art Gallery 24 June–22 July 2012, Cobb & Co Museum 10 September–17 November 2012, Gladstone Regional Art Gallery 14 December–16 February 2013, Ipswich Art Gallery 2 March–28 April 2013, Stanthorpe Regional Gallery 23 May–30 June 2013, The Centre for Scenic Rim Art and Culture, Beaudesert Mid September–October 2013.

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