Category Archives: Clarence Valley

The Eye of Moebius…


This sculpture was originally prepared for the Lower Clarence Arts and Crafts Association (LCACA) annual 8×8 Exhibition.  The theme of the show was ‘In my minds eye’.  The exhibition required that all pieces be on an 8×8 (20cm by 20cm) canvas, supplied by the LCACA.   I didn’t care for the base, so after the show, this piece was retrofitted with a new base…



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.

Lots of Boxes… and some vases


At the end of October, the Clarence Valley Jacaranda trees burst into bloom – and it’s time for the annual Grafton Jacaranda Festival.

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The Lower Clarence Valley based Northern Rivers Woodworkers Association hold their annual show and presentations in conjunction with the Jacaranda Festival.  The show is in part the completion for awards, and partly market, where club members can offer goods for sale.  This year, there were 24 stall holders, offering over 1700 items for sale, with a total value in excess of $70,000.

I entered three of the competition classes, and put together a display table.  As usual, completing goods for display at the Jacaranda festival tends to be a last minute affair.  This year, we made a bunch of small dovetailed boxes, and we put some of Su’s glass flowers on top.  This was not an original idea – we stole the idea from Deb Dunmkerton, a glass worker colleague of Su’s.  And we called them ‘Deborah Boxes’.

We also had a couple of small turned vases in various woods – these also got some glass flowers, a selection of small turned dishes, and some gum leaf shaped bookmark / letter openers.  And to fill the display, I added a couple of items that were Not for Sale – a small side table,  a chair and some turned plates.

This was my first time at the Jacaranda Festival show.  Happy with the display!

And we sold one of the boxes on the opening night!

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Does this mean I’m an artist?


The Lower Clarence Valley Art and Crafts Association run the ‘8 x 8’ show each year.  The event is open to all, with a $10.00 entry which includes a 200mm (8 inches) square canvas (hence the 8 x 8 moniker).  Entrants can offer the pieces for sale, or mark them NFS, provided sale price is less than $250.  This year the theme was ‘Messages’.

As a good citizen, I supported the show and put in an entry.  Machined up out of scraps and off-cuts – including a that piece of dark red Jarrah that came from the first BBQ that Su and I ever owned.

I titled the work ‘Message Sticks’ – obvious – but I did think about calling it ‘Fake News’.

So the piece sold.  $85.  Fancy that!  Someone liked it that much!  I’m flattered and amused.

But I don’t think it makes me an artist – or a professional…

A big wet!

RAinfall Mar-17

The month of March has been and gone, but not without a sting in the tail…  I wrote before about the amount of rain this month – but the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Debbie brought heavy rain to the eastern coast of Queensland and NSW.  We received another 217mm of rain over the last two days of the month.  Our total rainfall for March was 692mm – That’s 28″ in old speak.  More than Melbourne or Adelaide or Perth get in an average year.

Cyclone Debbie was a bitch – Debbie did Queensland good and proper.  It was a very large system – and it crossed the coast as a slow moving Cat 3 (if I recall correctly).  Innisfail, Proserpine, Ayr, the Whitsundays were all hammered with extensive damage to properties and crops.  West Australia gets more cyclones, and in general, more intense cyclones.  But WA is sparsely populated, and most housing has been built to post 1970 wind codes.  (After Cyclone Althea (Townsville, 1971) and Cyclone Tracey (Darwin 1974), research into cyclone damage to housing resulted in a new building code for cyclonic regions).  The older centres in Queensland and NSW have a lot of pre 1970s houses.  Also, because cyclones are less common, folks are more complacent about cyclone and cyclone preparation.  So big cyclones, like Yasi in 2011 and Debbie cause a lot of damage.

While Debbie brought us 200mm of rain, further north falls were significantly higher.  South of Brisbane, falls of over 700mm were recorded.  An awful lot of rain fell in the Tweed and Richnond/Wilson catchments.  Muwillamba was flooded.  The CBD of Lismore went underwater (again) – The Wilson River rose by almost 12m.  At Coraki, where the Richmond and Wilson Rivers join, the rivers rose by 8m.  The Pacific Highway was cut in several locations – initially up in the Tweed Valley, but as the flood waters move down stream, the Highway is cut again at Woodburn and New Italy.

On a personal level, the damage is indirect only.  Su has her work at Art Aspects Gallery in Lismore.  There the water was over 1.5m above floor level.  But fortunately, and with the benefit of past experience, the artworks in the gallery were moved out before the flood.  Another local glass artist – Alan Usher – was able to move his heavy equipment out of his studio in time – including his massive glass-working lathe – the water was over 2m deep in his studio.  The newly renovated Coldstream Gallery at Ulmarra had planned a big gallery opening – although they weren’t flooded, family and artists were cut off by the flood waters.

But spare a thought for the folks who now have to deal with mud and silt in their homes, sodden carpets and plasterboard, and swollen and ruined kitchen cabinets, as the pile the sodden furniture and destroyed personal possessions.  And all those who have lost their artwork.