Thursday, May 24, 2012


For the last two weeks Bill and I have been at the Gold Street Studios in Trentham Victoria, one hour out of Melbourne. Oh how we love Melbourne, it's like having a quick European fix without the jet lag. Usually I just want to buy everything, especially in Brunswick Street, with all its innovative shops and the Spanish deli in Johnston street was the very best ham and capsicum roll I have ever eaten, it didn't touch the sides.
I still am hanging out for the red shoes at ESS laboratory, hopefully they will come to me sooner than later.

But back to the real reason we were down there,  the Gold Street Studios is a dream environment for photographers and printmakers. The industrious Ellie Young, whom is the core energy and enthusiast for antiquarian photography processes invited Bill down to teach for two photogravure workshops with four students per session.

We were so excited about having this experience and meeting Ellie and her husband Allan whom cooks continuously beautiful meals and muffins to sustain all at the studios. They are quite a team to be inspired by, highly organised with a very rich choice of antiquarian processes on offer at the studios.

The studios have a darkroom and easy access to all equipment, with plenty of room to move around in. It really was a special environment to work in which overlooks the beautiful garden which kept me occupied visually.

The students created two photogravure plates over a period of two and half days with very pleasing results, everyone was tickled.

Bill and I highly recommend Gold Street Studios for their professionalism and dedication to photography in Australia. All the information for workshops can be found on

Here are some highlights of our time there.

Belinda's fuschia
Marion's garden gate
Pams truck
Just love the details and colours in Pams cardigan
Ellie Young

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Books that inspired me

Last week I had the luxury of doing nothing but reading, for the first two days I felt a twinge of guilt, but soon hurdled this, the more I read and couldn't put down the divided heart by Rachel Power and The PAPER Garden Mrs Delany (Begins her life's work at 72) Molly Peacock.
To quote from The Divided Heart - Whatever have been the circumstances of their life, and however they have  dealt with the revelations and the constraints posed by motherhood, all of these artists have been willing to expose themselves in searingly honest, provocative and passionate accounts of the private struggle that exists behind their work -Rachel Power.

It is very honest and for me it alleviated the guilt that sometimes reared its head when trying to balance ones art and life, as mother and artist. It consists of interviews that Rachel conducted over a period of time with women artists from all varying media.  Excellent read for all you arty mums.

The Paper Garden is just wonderful for its sheer involvement of research into the Georgian period (1700 - 1788) of Mrs Delany. It's the true story of this woman, Mrs Delany whom created all these 985 paper mosaikes inspired by the love of botanicals and the urgency to lose oneself in creative endeavour.

 Just the sheer volume of work at this age is remarkable, where they are a direct copy of plants that were brought to her by botanists at the time such as Joseph Banks. Meticulously the shading and details are all handcut, painted coloured paper by Mrs Delany.  They are all housed in the British Museum and one day I may see them first hand.

So my gorgeous mum, whom is a great gardener and has the beautiful skill of botanical drawing and watercolours  will be receiving this for a late mothers day pressie to be inspired from.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Workshop at the NSW Bookbinders Guild

Last weekend we had a very rewarding and wonderful time at the NSW Bookbinders Guild at the Rozelle Writers Centre.

The facilities that the guild have makes for a smooth running creative space, there is a large collection of type, they have their 8 x 5 Adana and the building is situated in an historic landscape.

Hill End Press conducted a workshop where the 6 students involved created an ABC book using an 8 x 5 Adana press and the high speed No 2. All the students embraced letterpress with innovative type designs using 3 colours, collage, drawing and monoprints.

By the end of the two day workshop students came away very happy and with a signed edition of each others work which completed a full set of the ABC.

For all of us  involved it really was a special two days of productivity.

The NSW Bookbinders Guild offers terrific workshops on the many ways to professionally bind a book and all the information for workshops can be seen on