A section of one more photo from the apple and pear isle Wednesday, Jun 30 2010 

We promise ourselves one wilderness walk as part of every working visit to Tasmania, here’s a section of a wider shot taken at Huonville on our way to the Tahune forest to do the ‘air-walk’. Shots here – 1234 . On the return trip we stumbled on a vast array of collectables at Franklin, well worth the visit.

Winter 2010 shots of our mural on the Tunbridge garden shed Tuesday, Jun 29 2010 

Down to clean up after the plasterers, all the upstairs rooms completely renovated – the ceilings all cleaned out below the roof and plaster stabilised. Every surface of old lath and fat sand repaired with multiple coats and the final soft plaster. Now we wait for six months for the material to set before the final sand and paint.

The shed next door (shown) has had panels replaced and the winter pruning of fruit trees completed all mostly below zero this season. Wider shot here.

Tara passed away this morning while we were on our flight back from Tasmania Monday, Jun 21 2010 

Tara was with Juan and the vet in the end, she had out-lived every other pet that Barbara had ever had, she survived for 16.5 dog years or 115 human years – a sterling life, a grand companion and believe me she is sorely missed by everyone here. Tara was buried behind Barbara’s studio meeting place between the property and the easement where she so loved to wander.

Overwhelming response from our friends and studio visitors, the comments panel just grows – here are  five Tasmanian shots taken in her old age – 12345.

An email from a New Zealand customer to be – “Help Barbara, I love your symbol bracelets and would like to talk about getting one made for me, but I can’t find anywhere on the blog to write a request for commissions – or maybe this is it? Kind regards, Liz. Wednesday, Jun 9 2010 

Yes Liz, you made your request in the comments section which bounces back to the web authors. An email response with a further pic, a plan to make another 9ct yellow gold textured link, a quote, a confirmation, a job bag and we are ready to dispatch tomorrow to Liz Huckerby in Wellington, New Zealand. Another internet commission, yeah!

An email from out-of-the-blue – “someone stole my ring and what’s more that’s all they took from the house after they broke in”! Wednesday, Jun 9 2010 

Mim Lowe is now living in Melbourne – first, I had to go back to the master commission list where every year, every jewellery and sculpture commission is documented. Found in the 1990 list, then to the lock-up to find the actual commission brief sheet.

Reworked an estimate to remake from the original recipe, I couldn’t help though – I read through the lovely list of people from that year 1990, a couple lost, one passed away and so many folks have re-commissioned multiple times. History, we love it.

Wonderful 40th anniversary necklace commissioned with Rubies and hand made, star wire chain in 18ct yellow gold © Barbara Heath Sunday, Jun 6 2010 

Another new development in the Leaf Wrap theme created especially for the Macaulay family’s (ruby) wedding celebration. Firey central oval 1=1.06ct Burmese Ruby surrounded by round 3=0.23ct Burmese Rubies. Pendant with pierced leaf design, chenier type rub over settings with small textured leaf claws and open work back plate, made to be removable. Hand made star wire chain and Barbara’s own spiral clasp in 18ct yellow gold complete this elegant gift.

Two more Signature Barbara Heath Bib Necklets just finished Friday, Jun 4 2010 

Number 3: Signature Bib Necklet © Bh 2010 Hand forged 925 Silver Collar and Bar & Ring Clasp Notched Link Black Enamel Hammered Oval Disc Botswana Agate – awaiting consignment to St Margaret’s MAYO Festival, 21–23 October 2010.

Number 4: Signature Bib Necklet © Bh 2010 Hand forged 925 Silver Collar and Bar & Ring Clasp Notched Link White Enamel Hammered Oval Disc Tri-colour Jade – awaiting consignment to the Brisbane Grammar School Art Show, Friday 13 August 2010 and running that weekend.

Well I say awaiting consignment, but Barbara knocked off the Number 1 Hand forged Necklace for herself and the Number 2 was snapped up by a visiting commission client . . . I get them to make two at a time but these are hot!

Our own make-dos and whimsies, uploaded for the American designer – Andrew Baseman Wednesday, Jun 2 2010 

As part of our continued ‘colonial tinsmith’ research, I found a delightful blog full of a designer’s collection of ‘inventive repairs’. It seems folk of that era did one of two things; they destroyed anything cracked or broken or carried out inventive repair of same. At ‘Woodbury’ in the southern midlands of Tasmania, friends have been reconstructing a c.1824 house and outbuildings of historic significance. It seems that everything chipped, cracked or outright broken was dumped in a ditch not far from the kitchen. Linda Cooper has retrieved thousands of shards, some pieces almost fully complete from this crockery burial mound. It seems in this household, the orders were to destroy anything not up to scratch. While in our c.1843 shop and residence, 11 kms north we find the exact opposite; every item there has been repaired rather than replaced.

This jug remains useable despite multiple breaks, made new with the tinkers magic of scored and folded tin sheet and solder.

This plate is part of the remnant group from a service originally owned by an early Brisbane pastoralist – A. H. Wittingham. As a teenager I worked on the weekends for the antique dealer Harcourt Howard of Clayfield who had a shop in the old Albion telephone exchange. He would make a trip to “Mayfield”, on Windermere Road, Hamilton every second saturday and enter by the left hand side of the laundry. There, at the end of the long scrubbed pine table would be the goods on offer and a purse. Mrs Wittingham (and her maid) had by this time outlived her husband by nearly 30 years. He left the house to the Melbourne Grammar school upon his wife’s decease but made no arrangements for the ladies survival in the interim. Each fortnight the phone call would come from the maid, Harcourt would arrive by taxi the following morning early, let himself onto the property and always leave the same amount in the purse – he never set eyes on the ladies. He was never able to negotiate the price on the goods, from my memory, it was the early 1960’s he left 22/- (enough for a large side of brisket, butter bread jam for the ladies to live on). He would arrive back at the shop where I had opened up and stacked the ‘leg-openers’ outside and had the billy on the boil. Some times he would come back with absolute crap, sometimes there would be a painting by Stark, once a Landseer, a Chromo or a Baxter print, on many occasions just a simple bobbin. I remember the day that one piece of blue & white  had appeared and sparked his attention, further pieces would be left out but just one at a time . . . 17 in all. The only piece with a mark was the last to appear, the base of a large oval butter dish stamped in two rows of long capitals – CHAMBERLAINS WORCESTER – c.1847.