Clarence River Women in Art

Yesterday was the opening of the ‘Clarence Valley Women in Art’ Exhibition – and Su’s work is included…

Yesterday afternoon, the ‘Clarence River Women in Art Exhibition kicked off at the Yamba Museum. The exhibition features 60 artists who live and work in the Clarence River valley. The show is the result of a lot of hard work and organisation by Debra Novak, aided and abetted by Bob and Marea Buist. The exhibition runs from 12-December, […]

via Clarence River Women in Art — Su Bishop Glass Art


Jack’s Box

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Jack Masen was born and bred around Grevillia, a small town north of Kyogle on the upper reaches of the Richmond River.  Jack went most of his working life in sawmills, looking after the machinery.

Jack lived next door when we moved on to our block – he was getting on, and his health wasn’t good, but he liked a yarn.  I enjoyed Jack.  Jack lived there with his wife Veeva, son Shane and his partner Shelley, and Shelley’s granddaughter Jenaya.

Earlier this year, Jack passed away.  Shane and Shelley were looking for a box for Jack’s ashes.  Jack was a timber man, so I made him a box with local timbers –  Redgum, with Red Cedar and Jacaranda on the top panel, lined with Silky Oak (grevillia robusta) and Camphor Laurel floor.  I also used two small inlays of the ornamental Grevillia Yamba Sunshine – these came from a large branch that fell across our boundary fence, outside of Jack’s window.

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Vale Jack Masen.

Damien Wright – On Country…

Wright Studios | Damien Wright

Brief Desk

Damien Wright is a Melbourne based furniture designer and maker.  (Click here to view his website…)  He was the subject of an Australian Wood Review profile, in which he discussed the relationship between ‘country’ and his work.  I get the feeling that he uses the term ‘country’ more the way that aboriginals will talk about their country, rather than the ultra-patriot loonies from the far right, because he is more interested in the relation ship between land and location and his work.  He takes issue with the reliance on European timbers for Australian furniture.

Damien’s work isn’t easily pigeon-holed – it could be described as Ultra-modern, because of the use of clean crisp lines to make functional and beautiful furniture.  But some of his pieces show case beautiful and unusual Australian timbers with rich veneers featuring unusual timbers – most un-modern…

He is a solo studio woodworker, largely self taught, with a practice that avoids depending on galleries and retail outlets for his work, or teaching to add to the income stream – instead he chooses to focus on commissions to support his practice.  Check him out on his website here…



Bitter sweet…

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Moebius Strip – curved form carved Camphor Laurel

When you make a piece, and you are quite happy with it…  I know I could have done better, and I’d like to try a few different options…  But none the less happy.

So for the past six months or so, this piece has been in the home, where it was part of our life.

I entered this into the Northern Rivers Woodworkers Association’s annual Jacaranda show – and shared first prize in the class with a Roy Ellery and Terry Hulm – hard to get better than that.  But today, someone bought the piece – bitter sweet, because now its gone…  And we will miss it.

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Moebius Strip – curved form


Recognition and belonging…


Banksia Table and Moebius Strip Curved Form

After we moved to the Clarence Valley, we spent a little time settling in, then I got in touch with the local woodworkers group, the Northern Rivers Woodworkers Association.  After a few meetings – formal and informal – with club members, we gradually got to know a few of the guys.  The membership of the NRWA is drawn from a failry large catchment, from Iluka and Yamba to Coffs Harbour, to Nymboida and back up towards Dorrigo.  The Woodies’ formal meetings are held every second month, and smaller local informal ‘morning tea’ meetings are held in the alternate months.

The informal meetings are a lot of fun – we generally meet in someone’s shed, and a vital part of the session is the ‘show and tell’.  The guys bring along some item of interest, or a piece they are working on, maybe even something they tried and failed…  The conversation flows, lots of stories, banter, a few lies and exchange of information.  Questions – especially ‘how did you…’ or ‘why did you…’ questions are encouraged.  It doesn’t take too long before a person can start to feel as if he belongs in the company.

As noted in the previous post, the NRWA’s big event of the year is the Jacaranda Festival Exhibition and show.  This year I entered the competition and I also had a table display of items for sale.  The competition covers a number of categories – Best Item of Furniture, Best Turned Item, Best Small Item – also the Novice Class competition.  The Novice class is open to any member who has never previously won in any other class.  Members support the Novice class, but the peak of recognition is for a member to get out of the Novice Class.

The opening night of the show – the Friday ‘Wine and Cheese Night’ – is also the awards presentation night.  Last night was the opening night.

I am now proud to say that I am no longer eligible for Novice Class. I was a joint winner in a three way tie for the Free Expression class.  That sort of recognition is absolutely priceless.  It can’t be bought.  And its especially flattering to be compared equally with the other joint winners – woodworkers and artists both.  And for good measure, I scored a second place award for my Banksia Table.

Happy with that!