Happy all over again – a new location at 1 William Street Tuesday, Apr 16 2019 

 

NEW DIDACTIC: Barbara Heath  NSW b. 1954  Net     1998

Stainless steel chain mesh construction with stainless steel brackets

7000 mm (h) x 4500 (top) and 1000 m (base)

 Internationally recognized designer and jeweller Barbara Heath has fashioned a large-scale building jewel. Net features repeat interlocking stainless steel links that reference the themes of networking and teamwork that operate in both nature and culture.

Net also draws upon the rich history of the site as a place of human, cultural and scientific endeavour and is evocative of fish traps and nets used by Aboriginal groups who came to hunt the abundant wildlife in the Brisbane river and its swamps and creeks.

Net was originally commissioned for the Neville Bonner Building, Brisbane by the Department of Public Works. In 2017, Net was relocated to 1 William Street, Brisbane with the assistance of building owners Cbus Property. Net forms part of the cultural heritage collection owned and managed by the Queensland Government.

 

Two gallery curators visit the studio on April Fools Day Friday, Apr 12 2019 

(names and gallery with-held for now) – sharing this Email we received :

“We are working on an exhibition focussed on rituals in all their forms – We are keen to hear what works you have in development and were wondering if you would be free for a studio visit sometime in the coming month?”

Yes, we all had a super meeting and Barb and I have homework to do . . .

One early 1996 show of Barbara’s was un-earthed and one that I personally think should never be forgotten.

Back in the late 1980s on my weekly visits to see Bebe Senior at her antique shop Lock Stock & Barrel, in St Lucia, Aunty Bebe showed me a beautiful solid silver salver, likely a memento from young Clarence Chafee’s college fraternity rite, adding it was quite unsaleable given the six vulgar phrases engraved on it; Drink Blood, You Give Up?, My Game, Last Call for Bloodweiser, Got 50c?, Eat Raw Meat – with each engraved in a markedly different font. Years followed and when I took up with Barbara, on another visit to Bebe & Bob MacPherson’s they gave the salver to Barb with the wish that she ‘make it into art’. That opportunity happened when Christine Plötz offered Barbara a short duration spot (18/10/96 to 23/10/96) in her James Street gallery schedule.

Using her jewellers saw, Barbara cut around each of the engraved slogans, simultaneously defining a unique shape for each to be later formed into six silver rings. The salver remained, punched void of its offending words. I loved Barbara’s installation device using ‘Heide’s’ text from Keith Leopold’s ‘Deutsche Teenager von Heute” counterposed with a sacred Sanskrit text.  So many readings are possible – on the opening night of the show I remember boys playing with the sexual inuendo theme while gay men derived Barbara had created her own set of graduated cock rings. Two additional readings came from two reviews, one by Leonie Stanford & this by Brookes & Stockwell. We retain this work.

 

 

Received our sample presentation medal box for the QAGOMA medal Wednesday, Apr 10 2019 

 

The last five components were modelled in wax and back from casters next Tuesday Friday, Mar 29 2019 

Barbara started the week melting 18ct white gold to start the hand made star wire chain process, three days later she was hand carving the five elements to be cast and finished, some with gems to be set. We are certain that by next week’s end we will have finished this very personal replacement piece.

Pair of commissioned bracelets, hollow ware © Bh 2019 – Jeweller to the Lost studio, Brisbane Friday, Mar 29 2019 

Kate Galloway’s brief to Barbara, March 2019

 A signifier of friendship. Observation of thoughtful gestures that span decades and persist in the face of life, death, troubles, and triumphs. Recognition of the value of love without judgement, and of a deep knowledge of our friends’ true selves exposed to and shared with us over time. Simultaneously an instance and an eternity, fantasy and reality, without measure. Geometries of silver. Burnished, smooth, striated. A collaboration of diversity joined by flexible anodised stainless steel cable. Dark, sturdy, industrial strength. Through our friends we see ourselves.

Friends in-the-know update their jewellery because they are continuously improving their look Wednesday, Mar 20 2019 

It pays to be able to just swing in when in town, anytime day or evening.

 

Commissions come from everywhere, anywhere – simple conversations that friends have, in earshot Wednesday, Mar 20 2019 

Barbara and Anna swim regularly at the local pool, have early coffee and do writing exercises together.

This recycled gold and gem rejig of Vicki’s wedding ring set came about over a chance, counter exchange.

My daughter’s 40th birthday gift commissioned from all her friends Thursday, Mar 7 2019 

The call came in from Andi (Andrea McDonald), “what piece of jewellery would Lil like?” Barbara was able to steer it in the right direction . . .

“Just had a quick read of your email, lovely plans! re: jewellery

https://ambersceats.com/product/teale-earrings/#.XFFGEc8zZUc

I know Lil loves this idea.. a single gold edged shell, as a pendant. She’s mentioned it a few times. I think I could make up something similar if you all like it… I’d have to find a good shell but we do have some in the collection – just have to hunt it down. What do you think?” The rest just fell into place . . .

The studio produced an 18ct yellow gold sculptured double sided mount with jump ring and small hinged gold punched disc, a far greater upgrade to the teale-earrings originally discussed. There were more presents, Lil hosted everyone for their staycation at the Calile on James Street, last Saturday night.

Happy Birthday all over again Darling . . .

Originally commissioned in 1989, this one-off designer watch is back in the studio Thursday, Feb 14 2019 

Commission: Handmade trapezoid shape case in sterling silver with applied heat coloured titanium detail. Two part watch dial of oxidised silver with gold inlay and bone. Watch has quartz movement and fitted with rubber wristband. Designed and made by Barbara Heath for Donald Holt 1989.

BACK STORY REQUESTED:

Donald Holt commissioned this piece in 1989 or 1990 …

We were friends and he had just designed the facade and interior of my second jewellery shop at Paddington, Brisbane.

His design was madly funny and so so chic … with angled columns of patinated brass and a small shop window onto the street, so tiny it was the size of a picture frame …

which became a mini gallery for a time.

Various artists made installations there with often only a loose reference to jewellery.

Thirty years later many people still remember this window … as their introduction to my work.

This was an explosively expanding time in my design practice.

At the time I was busy developing titanium sunglasses frames for Jonathan Sceats in Sydney, a range of titanium and perspex jewellery for Covers, exhibiting internationally alongside Jenny Kee, Linda Jackson etc in the Fashion Australia book by Elina Mackay for Austrade.

But I was also busy building the framework for my commission practice.

This little one-off watch is from this era – ’80’s angularity and an eclectic materials mix – antique bone with blackened silver inlaid with gold and coloured titanium.

Barbara Heath

http://designonline.org.au/20-queensland-designers-barbara-heath/

Happy New (Chinese) Year of the pig for 2019 – studio started back last week Thursday, Feb 7 2019 

Barbara has done 5 follow-ups, 8 quotes, 3 client meetings and 3 new stock ring waxes since starting into the studio for 2019. Her first animal repair for the year turned out smashing. A recycled bog oak pig (good luck charm) in 18ct yellow gold. Thanks Shazza at Lancasters Antiques in Toowoomba for the distressed little piggy gift.

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