Thursday, July 31, 2014

I'm over chopping firewood

Every year we say we are going to get organize on the subject of firewood. But as soon as the cold comes in all plans go to the chilly wind and it becomes a day to day effort. The romance of splitting timber and making sure the corduroy snakes are up against the door wears off in your first year very quickly.

Let me tell you it's a mission that is relentless and we are up and down constantly keeping a vigilance on the fire. Decisions of will we light one fire or two in the front cottage. To gee that fire works well tonight or we need to pump up that fire to I'm fucking freezing and a waterbottle between my legs.

From understanding what is  good wood to burn to what will take 10 packets of firelighters to kick off. Which let me tell you is no fun when the kindling and firewood is saturated from a weeks worth of rain. We end up cooking them up on top of the combustion fire to dry them out before we put them into the fire. But understanding the right type of  firewood doesn't help split the timber in preparation for the season of fire.

Instead of cicadas in the air we hear chainsaws going around the surrounding properties.

Once in our 10 year time here I have split a whole load of firewood, it was really hard work and took me all afternoon to do it, I felt organized and satisfied, to just go to our wood box at night and have a selection of dry timber. But because it was all split it felt like a lolly shop and I think we went through more timber that time. Oh to be this disciplined with each timber load, but I'd rather do other things to be honest. I really really want a magic elf to come and do it for us and totally understand why they had so many kids in the past to keep the fires going. The cottages we live in they had 9 children and four fires to keep going.

My uncle growing up on his farm at the back of Canberra was given an axe at the age of five, this was normal (no soften playgrounds here) and it was a great pride to him and his brother to be given this responsibility with never hurting themselves either. They both constantly chopped firewood for the home as kids, that was part of their chores. One day they saw this object in the sky and didn't know what it was and they hid their axes under the wood pile in fear they would be taken by this strange object, it was the very first time they saw a plane fly over and their priority was the axes. They knew at a very young age how important that wood pile was to their family.

So with all this explained I can't tell you how we are so so very pleased we put underfloor heating in our printmaking studio, you can imagine how much we love this. After googling up what they do in Canada for insulation, Bill did the same, friends thought it was over doing it, but we wrapped the studio in a big warm cardigan under the slab, sides and over the roof. 

Oh my goodness it's bliss on our mental psyche and productivity and down the future we will put in a  better combustion stove in our lounge room something with a force fan I think.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Hill End Open Studio Day!

An event not to be missed.

It's Sunday 5th October long weekend 2014,  we're giving you plenty of time to organize your friends and family, pack the suitcase and come along.

The artists of Hill End will open their studio doors and that includes us at HILL END PRESS
where you can see how we print on our vintage presses all our beautiful letterpress stationery, twirl our paint brushes and antiquarian photography.

 Contact us at for more details

just thought I'd get your wanderlust juices going.


                                                       National Parks and Wildlife Service
                                                      Office of Environment and Heritage

 Bathurst Regional Art Gallery