Place and Adornment – A history of contemporary jewellery in Australia and New Zealand Saturday, Nov 8 2014 

This well researched and much anticipated book is now available to everyone interested in the subject, across the divide from both directions. I’ve altered the cover of the book shot to show that the magic is out-of-the-box.

Barbara’s email to Kevin has been copied into this post, below. Published by Bateman ISBN – 978 1 869 53 820 0

Hi Kevin, Wow! really.” “I have been dipping in and out of this book – it would be curious to map a trail of my exploration…I started at the beginning of course, no that’s not quite true, of course I started by looking up my name in the index to hastily read the section on myself – an act which in itself reveals the enormity of your project from the outset – i.e. the number of artist egos you must have had to negotiate to gather all this material together. That fact alone is extraordinary and I/we all thank you for it. Anyway after finding my own story succinctly told and enjoying the subsequent wave of warm inclusion, I went to the pages on Ray Norman, my friend and mentor. I have had so many conversations with Ray and so often thought, ‘I must write this down’, so I loved reading about his early years couched within your overview of the context within which he was working. Here was both a revelation and a re-iteration of the familiar – I felt gratitude again for details recorded. Praise the archivist.” “But also I began to get a sense of this quality of dispassionate overview; the placing, recording and grouping, the timeline and the larger cultural themes. Its like having a key to unlock the story of one’s own category…the fascination of looking through the other end of the telescope.” “So then I focussed on the Australian segments and thought , mmm maybe I’ll read the NZ parts later… but quite quickly (good plan to have each section flow back and forth across the ditch seamlessly) I got hooked into the whole. So…I am hooked and enjoying the ride tremendously – and wanted to let you know sooner rather than wait until I get to the end.” “I hope you are both receiving mountains of praise for what we know to be a considerable amount of labour. More in due course,” “Cheers and love from Barbara”

Kevin adds that he has started another blog to post all the material taken from texts prepared but not included in the final published work + updates - http://placeandadornment.tumblr.com

 

The job bag simply says – “Ring for Holly” Tuesday, Oct 28 2014 

Josh is the fourth person in the Ryan clan to entrust us to design and produce a commission – with this, his very special engagement ring to his fiancé Holly. He used his friendship with one of our favourite Diamond merchants and supplied his own gem. He scoured the web and the CBD and came up with the classic Tiffany solitaire setting that rings all the bells but he was more captivated by Barbara’s heavier and more sculptured big-up version, handmade in Platinum. Here it is photographed on her hand moments after she said ‘yes’ and sent to us via a text from her beau. Another two studio shots here and here.

The job bag specs: © Bh Commission Josh Ryan – Engagement ring for Holly. Hand fabricated solitaire style ring has round brilliant cut diamond 1.01 ct as supplied set in curved four claw setting fitted to narrow half round band tapering towards gem. Size M. Platinum.

 

We can finally talk about and show you our ‘benefactor’s medal’ and presentation box commissioned by the QAG|GOMA Foundation Sunday, Oct 19 2014 

From a brief in March 2014 to the design, development, production and delivery of the first five units last Thursday for Friday’s Foundation event – a wonderful journey and delightful partnering with the Queensland Art Gallery. The presentation package was designed and realised in vector art by the studio and was then effectively produced in Queensland red cedar and perspex, inhouse at the Gallery while we worked with our fabricators (Gold Coast & Sydney & Brisbane) and finished the medals and ribbons in the studio. There were many photographs taken at hand over and an article will appear in the Foundation’s magazine in the near future, here is my shot of Barbara taken on the iPhone in the water pavilion.

Here is the ‘local trail’ antique & retro list for September 2014 for the Northern Rivers area of NSW Wednesday, Oct 1 2014 

Ross and Eve Heath who are at Bangalow put this together – (click for high-res .pdf download) and people we talked to all thank them for their services rendered. Their shop is huge, well stocked and priced for Sydneysiders on holidays.

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.

This is a shot showing the clock and the studio garden.

Terry Thomas was once the system administrator for 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.

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.

Strange to open the studio mid year for a sale, we learnt lots – a quick report Sunday, Aug 17 2014 

The once a year studio sale, end November each year for commission clients is a favourite. We have participated with the GOMA design mart since their inception and they now run twice a year. I posted to our blog and also sent out an email to our  list, 244 saw it the first day – eight good sales, four briefed commissions and countless people back afterwards incl people with repairs and a gem sold. So many people were reminded to visit as three customers remarked they have anniversaries coming up – spring is sprung!

Great interest with the new in-line necklet and one of Barbara’s ‘essential items’ – a hand made, solid gold hinged sleeper set. We are making up two pair and enhancers for one set. Here is a quick scan I prepared to show you Barbara’s own:

You all might be interested to see the recycled gates created by Bob Dylan Friday, Aug 15 2014 

Dylan’s welded iron objects were shown late last year in London at Halycon and this review is from Barbara’s ‘metalsmith’ magazine which we were delighted to read. We have already installed a repaired metal strapped gate in Tunbridge, Tasmania and I have been collecting any scrap iron from the township since 2006.

My last big horde was from the ‘tunbridge wells inn’ – the town’s first dwelling which was once a blacksmith’s workshop. The previous owner Jack gave me all the scrap iron he found when cleaning up the property to put it on the market. We had always thought of recycling these pieces of the town for our own gates once we reside there proper. 

 

Articulated earrings designed by a client and using her own Briolettes Wednesday, Jun 18 2014 

Our friend and client in Sydney does gemmology in her spare time and sources excellent material and dreams up designs that Barbara and her bring into the world. These earrings were devised using her own christmas tree decorations as a starter. 9ct palladium white gold and Aquamarine briolettes.

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