Sending clients on the other side of the continent, gem options is not an easy task Monday, May 30 2011 

Four different scans of two gem options – gem stones in the collection: A superb ‘Asscher cut” Sapphire and a pair of Tear Drop cut Tanzanites. In real life the Sapphire is actually more paler while the subtlety of the bi-colour Tanzanites are not as evident in the pics.

The stones were laid on the scanner and scanned at 600 dpi, there’s something like 16 bands of light swept over the goods during the image preparation. Photoshop adjustments of brightness/contrast, a replace colour to set the ground to pure white. Next selective colour adjustments and a save as – to a smaller .jpg file at 300 dpi and 500 pixels wide. Uploaded to the server for easy access and downloading by the client . . . but for me the reproduction is only just acceptable, then on the client side we have issues of screen gamma and settings at their end. Still, sending bits is a lot more effective that sending atoms via couriers or Australia Post – and so much cheaper!

Everyone waits their turn for a commission it seems, a special bespoke ring for our accountant and his wife Monday, May 30 2011 

I’m able to tag this with ‘objects with text’, would have been so much easier to just engrave the initials into the top of the pinky ring. The brief set up some interesting design limitations which expanded into playing with the central gem setting options and then pushing the typography to be part of the gem set. Mary handed Barbara a Georgian-styled little finger ring she liked but wanted to feel the weight, the presence of a thing that would become more a part of her.


With pure gold now floating at around AUD1,405.08 an ounce today, these hand made 18ct gold makes from 2006 are a great buy Thursday, May 19 2011 

Recently returned from our retailer in California, we have (these two only) in the studio at the old make price. Earrings Chandelier © Bh Beryl Briolettes 10=15.52ct Textured House 18ct Yellow Gold Yellow Posts.

Earrings Chandelier © Bh Pink Tourmaline Briolettes 6=13.3 ct Textured House 18ct Palladium White Gold Posts.
Link to the AUD site for those interested – sit a while and see how volatile the market is.

Earring sleepers with add-ons, Barbara Heath’s own pair Thursday, May 19 2011 

Currently emailing with two clients, one in Sydney and one in Melbourne. Both multi commissioners who are interested in earring solutions for everyday but with accessories that are able to be ‘cranked-up” for after hours. Here’s Barbara’s own pair of 18ct Yellow Gold hand made hinged sleepers with Trillion cut Pink Sapphires and her Oxidised Silver Lace balls.

Two wombats in the mail this week, one on Thursday and then another on Friday Saturday, May 14 2011 

The image below was shot by Barbara on her recent Tasmanian, overland track – 7 day wilderness walk with Suzanne her sister. (we lost all the pics in the camera, we sent the card to be dredged and I processed 143 shots today). Here is the larger .pdf pic – 2.13Mb.



Two more combo stacked track images are here – 12 . . .

The Diprotodon Metatarsil from Clifton, S.E. Qld was sent up by a mystery sender for the studio collection, (thanks to who-ever)!

We are doing the first of three ‘creative couples’ talks this Sunday at the QAG at 1:30pm Wednesday, May 11 2011 

Here’s the link to the public programs web:

We are in great company with our pal, Amelia Gundelach who will introduce us and ask the probing questions. The following month it will be Michael and Alison’s turn and then the month after that we will come to hear Ingrid and Adrian get grilled – all in the name of ‘art, love & life’ – Ethel Carrick and E Phillips Fox’s romance, the artists’ shared influences and passions created a partnership that blossomed in their lifetime. See ‘creative couples’ at the base of the link above for times and future dates.

Feature on our Tunbridge house in the Hobart Mercury’s Weekend Magazine May 7, 2011 Monday, May 9 2011 

Barbara stayed down an extra day on her recent trip to co-ordinate a house visit with the two Mercury staffers who created the article. Set up by Handmark Gallery to support our recent ‘Launch into Tasmania’, this is the continuation of the press and media coverage achieved for the jewellery show. Running to 5 pages – wow! We were up installing our show in Noosa last Friday when Tim Martain called to alert us to the publication, we kept it up our sleeve to see who called. Warwick noticed it in the shop at coffee time
and promptly secured two issues and has posted them up to us. Lil texted us the photos snapped and texted up from her friends, (and our clients) Emma & Ray who are living in Hobart now. Joe Leary telephoned after scanning these pages and emailed them up to us. David Kernke from Shene called to chat about ‘who said what’ and finally we talked to our project managers, Allan & Linda Cooper about the excellent coverage. I’ll post the text in its entirety when I manage to OCR the article as the Mercury only goes digital with the news headlines.

UPDATE: 12-5-2011 Annie sent us up the magazine also, it arrived in the post today, thanks!

UPDATE: 13-5-2011 Warwick’s x2 parcels arrived the same day as rescued images from Barbara’s Overland Track walk, thanks to Chris Escott and Warwick Oakman.


Project built with love - They bought it on a whim. Now it's a long-
distance renovation and it doesn't matter how long it takes.
BRISBANE jeweller Barbara Heath admitted there was not an ounce of logic involved in her decision to buy and renovate a historic sandstone property in Tasmania's Midlands.
She said it was a motivation that came straight from the heart.
"My sister and I did the Freycinet Friendly Beaches walk about six years ago and my husband, Mal, stayed with a friend of his and picked us up after the walk," she said.
"He was so excited, saying there were so many nice places here. A friend of ours in Campbell Town said we should go and have a look at this place in Tunbridge and he set it all up for us".
"As soon as I saw it I knew I loved it." But, of course, love can be blind.
"There were all these birds flying around and it looked so beautiful- later on we realised they were starlings that were nesting in the roof."
That was 2005.
Heath and her husband, graphic designer Malcolm Enright, are still living in Brisbane where they work from a home studio. But they have spent about four months of every year at their property at Tunbridge, restoring and renovating it in bite-sized pieces each time they visit. 'They plan to eventually move in full time, converting the old stables out back into their now studio.
The former Tunbridge general store, built in the 1850s, is still a long way from fully restored but it is habitable. Heath and Enright love visiting the town so much that they are happy to potter away on their pet project for as long as it takes.
"I just love the light here, it's wonderful, and such a beautiful landscape - we sort of drop in as outsiders and see it in that abstract way," Heath said.
"I'd say it's an inspiring landscape for me, visually, I just enjoy the light and the hills and the sky here in the Midlands, it's got these cloud patterns that are so dramatic and unfamiliar to us.
"And that extreme contrast to Brisbane, which is so lush and green and vegetation everywhere, and this is completely different."
The general store ceased operating in 2O00 but the building, with its long front verandah, still bears the markings of its former trade such as chewing gum and cigarette ads on the windows and faded lettering above the awning. In times past it would have been a busy trading post for trappers selling possum pelts and bushmen buying supplies of tea and flour, as well as catering to the travellers who stopped for a rest at the halfway point between Launceston and Hobart.
One of the front rooms - which is now a sitting room furnished in period style - once served as a waiting room for patients visiting the doctor during his occasional visits to the country town.
The last couple to operate the general store still live next door and Heath said they had been a rich source of knowledge about the building's history.
"I think the locals might have been hoping for a buyer to open a shop and keep that tradition going but people tend to go to Oatlands or Campbell Town now so I don't know if it would have been a sustainable business," Heath said.
"But we're certainly very conscious that we've bought a building that a lot of the town has an emotional investment in still.
"We've had so much information from the locals about the history of the place just within living memory.
"It was built by a fellow named Solomon who built a number of stone buildings around the 1850s, commercial properties that he then leased or sold.
"The Rothwell family owned it for quite a while and sometimes relatives of the old families will knock on the door and tell us about their ancestors when they had something to do with the shop."
And occasionally the oral history can be a little surprising. "One of the guys who used to live here, he told us he was born in that room up there. And I had my first root up there as well'."
The main room, once the storefront, it mostly empty now, with the richly coloured sandstone walls exposed and freshly repointed.
Heath said it might one day make a nice gallery to show the work produced in their studio but for now she, simply enjoys sitting in the uncluttered space and enjoying the light and the view.
The floorboards are original, complete with square-headed convict-made nails and tin patches covering knotholes in the wood.
Heath & Enright have wallpapered the kitchen with old newspaper they found under the old lino, dating back to the 1940s.
"It's fascinating to look back at the stories from that wartime period and even the ads are fun to read," Heath said.
It is the discovery of the mundane little things that have proven to be the most fascinating during the renovation process, such as two old-fashioned pegs found under the floorboards.
"They were handmade by a local tinker named Ma Brown, the local kids were a bit scared of her but people still remember her," Heath said.
"She had a horse and cart and used to make pegs from the willows beside the Blackman River and bits of tin scavenged from various places."
Nobody is more aware of the immense significance attached to small, ordinary items than Heath, who has had her own jewellery practice in Brisbane for 30 years.
"I do a lot of commission work. I like the collaborative aspect of that,: she said.
"A lot of artists have problems doing commissions because they think their voice is going to be diluted but I really enjoy the process. I often find I'm doing new work like that.
"And very often people will bring something they have inherited or pieces that are really sentimentally loaded and you have to capture that. Often what they want is something that can express those stories.
"Jewellery is something that has that link with generations past and handing it down to the future."
As a teenager in Melbourne, she could not wait to get out of school and making jewellery seemed to fit her needs for a vacation.
"I used to spend a lot of time with Dad in his workshop and I've always liked manual skills and making things," she said.
"I thought about architecture but I wasn't committed to long study so I got an apprenticeship with a traditional Hungarian diamond jeweller called Laszlo Puzsar in Little Collins Street when I was 17 and took it from there."
Heath now exhibits her work at Hobart's Handmark Gallery and hopes to build a local practice and network of contacts before eventually moving to Tasmania full time.
"At the moment, we live and work from our home studio in Brisbane and we have a very busy practice, so the time that we come here is an escape from that," she said.
"We spend two months here every summer and then a couple more trips throughout the year, we work on the building but we're also taking a break. We love just exploring Tassie and we have made some great friends.
"It might just be for our retirement, we want to take a step back from that and my mother came from Tasmania so I have family here too.
"My cousin said 'TUNBRIDGE'- what were you thinking? but we can connect with Hobart and Launceston, we have friend in both cities, the travelling doesn't seem like much to us. It would take you an hour to drive from one end of Brisbane to the other."
They still have a lot of work to do, most notably removing a more modern staircase from a back room and replacing it with a traditional Georgian-style staircase in its original location in the main shop front room.
"The new staircase has spoiled that room and it's spoiled the roofline at the back where they had to change it to fit," Heath said.
They have already left their own mark on the place by tracing and painting their own shadows onto the garden shed out back to immortalise their efforts taming the overgrown yard.
And when they create their new studio in the old stables, they are considering a tribute to Tunbridge's horse racing history.
"There was a famous pacer born here called Golden Alley, he was a national winner, so calling the studio Golden Alley could be nice," Heath said.
Saturday Magazine - The mercury, May 2 2011

Happy Mother’s Day 2011 – Lil’s two Mums Sunday, May 8 2011 

These two shots turned up in a double folder marked – “Keep for Lil” in the three tiered filing cabinet that is never opened these days. Shot on the left is from 1981, Grevillea Road Ashgrove house with Lil and Janis, Shot two is from LaTrobe Terrace, Paddington 1988 of Lil and Barb when we all did Lil’s Easter bunny drive. We all did Mother’s Day last weekend as Lil & Luke are away at a wedding this weekend, the pic taken on the iPhone was lousy + Luke’s parents are now in their new place of abode – Launceston, Tasmania so we missed out on Marg & Steve in the shot anyway . . . so these two will have to do guys! Additional early shots – 12345678 with – 9 10 a little older.

Looking down the Rain Chain, Juan-Luis’ iPhone pic Saturday, May 7 2011 

Rain chains are a beautiful and functional alternative to traditional downspouts.  Guiding rain water visibly down chains or cups from the roof to the ground, a rain chain transforms a plain gutter downspout into a beautiful water feature.

From the soft tinkling of individual droplets to the soothing rush of white water, they are a treat to listen to.

The Japanese have used rain chains, known as kusari doi, for hundreds of years. If you travel to Japan you’ll see elaborate rain chain designs on Buddhist temples and in many traditional gardens. They are evident on most traditional architecture, both in built-up city scapes and in the country side.

The © Barbara Heath copper chain is hand made from a series of square cups linked one beneath the other. Each cup is formed in the traditional tinsmith’s manner; the flat copper sheet is cut and folded to shape then secured with a folded and hammered seam. Copper is a perfect material for exterior use and over time will develop a unique patina. The technique recalls 19C skills, when so many everyday items around the home were effectively made by hand with simple tools.

New House Geisters + Hanging Crowns and the ‘grounded’ range of reticulated, handforged jewellery opens at the Julie Carrington Sculpture Gallery, Noosa Junction this coming Monday at 7:00pm Saturday, May 7 2011 

I guess this could be ‘tinsmith – 2’, the second makes in copper and tin sheet with some tinning + mirrors © Bh 2011. Readers who have followed our work for ages will know about these ‘spirit guards’ as we have made them as site specific commissions for architects and their clients. Mounted at an entrance or specific vantage point – you know, the bad spirit is floating along and decides to enter your house through the front door, then they see their own image and are immediately scared away, instantly leaving the premises, say no more!

H 125mm x W 180mm x D 75mm

H 155mm x W 155mm x D 120mm

H 80mm x W 140mm x D 75mm

H 115mm x W 115mm x D 45mm

H 80mm x W 80mm x D 70mm

H 95mm x W 50mm x D 40mm – all images to same scale.