The second ring of four delivered yesterday Wednesday, Aug 26 2015 

Our client, a retired dermatologist, had already spent months of research into why all her white gold rings were setting off an allergic reaction.
Barbara and her client worked further on her finding the presence of Iridium either in the metal mix or as a component of the solder was the culprit.
Our metal suppliers complied with their own review, no Iridium present in our metal mix.

Barbara made a simple ring for our client to trial – a  road test of sorts.
We are in the process of deconstructing all her rings now and have set about redesigning them.
The studio found excess solder lapping the ring joints in her older jewellery, made by a local jewellery retailer.

The word came back after a trip abroad – no reaction to our band.
So we started the first remake of her five stone engagement ring. Created in a ‘London Bridge’ © Bh design and precision construction in the studio to seat all the diamonds in a perfect arc.
The finishing and setting required no soldering whatever.

Two down and two to go . . .

Just purchased the family albums and scrap books from two early, sophisticated Brisbane families – all intact thanks to the dealer who found them Sunday, Aug 16 2015 

I’m always torn between leaving these family photographic records intact or breaking up the contents into the folders I have of local studio photographers. I’m fortunate to have boxes of just lovely blank albums also. The scrap albums are quite fantastic also, the earliest one is the largest format and each page must be 600gsm stock, stitch bound with the most bright Victorian lithography. As I work through this hoard I’ll scan and post highlights – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8  – thanks to Michael Allen for thinking of me.

Two days of posting and selling magazines via Facebook is zooming Friday, Apr 10 2015 

I’ve got news for you, between the two world wars in the northern hemisphere boys and girls weren’t afraid of a little sun on their willies . . . so who wants these issues? Call me on 0431 464 470.

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 –


The studio remains intrigued by nature’s small jewellers Tuesday, Sep 16 2014 

Barbara has created pierced ‘lace’ work in wax and developed many versions of this technique for over 20 years now. We are also working on larger sculptural elements for a series of suspended works following this ‘lace’ theme called “new nature” but we remain in awe of this particular caterpillar’s edible art, recently found on Tumblr.

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 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.

Finished today – Commissioned © Bh Solitaire Dress Ring with a ‘renaissance table cut’ 12mm square cubic zirconia Friday, Jul 12 2013 

Barbara and Tricia have lusted together about this particular ring in the ‘cheapside horde’ – originally with a 16thC table cut diamond set with a foil back and enamelled in white and fine black brush work. Barbara’s ‘holbein knot’ or raised stitch work is evident in the design and the make. Our trusted gem cutter in Sydney; Tony Maynard sourced and cut the cubic zirconia after lengthy  discussions and tests and parcels to and fro to get it right. The final metal specification changed from 18ct Yellow Gold to Fine Silver which set particular enamelling issues which the studio overcame. Sans foil setting meant that the inside of the setting was eventually oxidised and then the stone was set. This time a perfect seat for the stone warped during the enamelling process.  All corrected now.  By way of lengthy disclosure, the job specification has been spelt out leaving only the weight of the stone 1=27.56ct

I shared this found pic with a friend and client, today was a big communications day Wednesday, Jun 19 2013 


Big viewersite.wordpress traffic in prep for this weekend, half our highest ever amount of viewers . . .


Two shots of John Waterman just before he passed away, April 2002 Sunday, Jun 16 2013 

His last 8 tracks come up on my iTunes ‘shuffle’ lots, his set of French copper saucepans are used every day. His last gift to me was a London printer’s coded contacts diary with every possible detail about sourcing, pricing and storage of metal, ink, paper and tools of the trade. He is still in our lives, daily . . . there is not a week goes by where an internet search for John collides with our viewer site

We have the table that goes with these two chairs in the Queensland Art Gallery Monday, May 6 2013 



Glenn Cooke was offered the three pieces by Sharon at Lancasters in Toowoomba ages ago, he scooped the two chairs as they had wood and more particularly tooled leather work. He declined the deeply carved table from the set which shows her family crest by marriage, that of the Robinson clan. We are so fortunate to own this piece of early Queensland cabinetry using local timbers by an important female maker.

Anna Craig / Miss Lubke  was trained as a leather worker, was born Anna Charlotte Lubke in Hanover, Prussia, grand-daughter of the Count von Hartung. George Hulber of Hamburg had revived the ancient art of leatherwork and was accorded considerable fame in Europe at the time; Miss Lubke was one of his few students. She practised her leatherwork in Hamburg, then moved to London where she won awards, including a diploma for a leather-bound book at the 1896 East London Trades, Industries and Arts Exhibition. She was employed as private secretary to Princess Beatrice of Battenberg. Anna came to Australia in 1898 as companion to the wife of the owner of the Valley of Lagoons, a station on the Upper Burdekin, North Queensland. There she met, and the following year married at Ingham, Charles Baker Craig. She spent her early married years at the Valley of Lagoons. Housework was performed by Aboriginal servants so she had time to devote to her craft. Later Mr Craig acquired a property, Craigmore, in the Toowoomba district and the family moved between the two. Mrs Craig exhibited her leather and marquetry work with the Toowoomba branch of the Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland from 1902 to 1920; in 1914 her embossed panels included Phoebus and Apollo , Diana and Mermaid . In 1920 she received silver medals for her embossed leatherwork exhibits. She also showed leatherwork at the 1907 exhibition of the Austral Association. A leather screen and an album cover were exhibited in the preliminary Brisbane Women’s Work Exhibition that year; when shown in Melbourne the screen was awarded a first and a special prize in its class. She received a Queensland Jubilee Medal for her piano stool in leather work at the 1909 Queensland National Agricultural and Industrial Association (QNAIA) Exhibition at Brisbane and prizes for embossed leather work at the Rockhampton Agricultural Society Shows in 1917, 1918, 1933-36. In 1922 the Craigs moved to Waverley Road, Taringa, Brisbane, and Anna began to exhibit regularly with the QNAIA. Between 1925 and 1936 she was awarded several prizes for her leatherwork and marquetry staining. From Glenn Cooke’s biography of her in 1995.


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