Orrefors vase

“Sommerso” vase

Gray and clear glass, designed by Nils Landberg

An iconic series of mid 20th century Swedish glass. Nils Landberg (1907-91) designed his “Dusk” series in 1956 for the Orrefors glass company of Sweden. This series featured a smoky grey interior cased in an incredibly thick clear layer.

Height 6″ (15cm) Width 2″ (5cm), Height 9 1/4″ (23.5cm) Width 3 1/4″ (8.5cm), Height 6″ (15cm) Width 2″ (5cm), Height 7″ (18 cm) Width 3″ (8cm), Height 8 1/4″ (21cm) Width 3 1/8″ (10cm), Height 10″ (25.5cm) Width 4″ (10cm).

Orrefors bowl

Corona bowl

The heavy crystal circular ‘Corona’ bowl, designed by Lars Hellsten, comprising eight striking wedge shaped panels and a flat base; etched mark of Orrefors and numerals underside, with paper label.

Year of introduction 1978.

Height: 6cm Diameter: 18.5cm

Janet Gray

Large blue on white ramekin with crab, fish and starfish painting.




Janet Gray Studio at South Yarra was established by John Knight and Isabel Grose.

John Arthur Barnard Knight (1910-1993) was born in Warracknabeal, Victoria. He studied art at the School of Applied Art at the Melbourne Technical School (now RMIT University), and production methods at the Hoffmann and Maribyrnong Potteries, and also worked in the studio of Napier Waller from 1932-33. After graduating, he joined the staff, teaching pottery, modelling and drawing. In 1939, he took charge of the Pottery Department. In 1940 he married Isabel Grose, one of his students, and they established the Janet Gray Studio at South Yarra. He served in the RAF from 1942-1945, then continued to expand the Janet Gray Studio and to re-organise the teaching of pottery at the school, establishing courses for the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme, and upgrading classes to certificate and diploma courses in 1949 and 1950. He is best known as an educator, continuing to teach at RMIT until 1975.

A ramekin is a small single serve heatproof serving bowl used in the preparation or serving of various food dishes, designed to be put into hot ovens and to withstand high temperatures. They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface. Ramekins are now used for serving a variety of sweet and savoury foods, both entrée and desert.

They are also an attractive addition to the table for serving nuts,dips and other snacks.

Big Balloons

The stunning vocals of Lauren Lucille and Nick Di Gregorio on guitar feature in Big Balloons.

David Dower & Matt Fisher create original, vibrant music with piano, percussion, strings and vocals.

Their music is rhythmic, sensitive, engaging, accessible, and fun. Their new album, “The Frog, the Fish, and the Whale”, recorded at Porcupine Studios in London, is available now. Physical copy follow PayPal link:

Digital copy available from CD Baby or iTunes

David Dower (piano) and Matt Fisher (percussion)


Steiglitz Primary School is one the earliest state schools in Victoria. Designed by renowned surveyor and architect Henry Robert Bastow, who oversaw an unprecedented school building program after the passing of the Education Act (1872). This legislation proclaimed that education should be free, secular and compulsory for all children. 615 schools were built within five years.

Steiglitz is a place replete with stories. It is a rare place where the history of the gold rush can be interpreted through architectural remains, remnants of an early urban fabric and the mullock heaps that have been progressively reclaimed by nature. It presents a fascinating reminder of the many questions of heritage and place that constantly surround us.

Steiglitz is significant for many reasons. It is one of the first places where both alluvial and reef gold mining occurred in the central Victorian gold rush. Quartz mining brought investment, technology, colonial government, commerce and civic infrastructure.

The first substantial gold rush to Steiglitz was in 1856 and the town’s population peaked at around 2,000 people with the school’s attendance booming along with the town throughout the 1880s. State School Number 1487 was opened in 1874 at New Chum, a defunct settlement near Steiglitz. The school was relocated in 1880 to its present site just outside Steiglitz and renamed as the Steiglitz Primary School.

The 20th century brought changes in mining practices and the decline of Steiglitz, with many buildings disappearing. Bushland has reclaimed the surrounds, further cutting off the school from the remnants of the town. This isolation and the ongoing deterioration of the building has made the former Steiglitz Primary School a fascinating case study in heritage conservation dilemmas.

Located on public land, the building is at risk from bushfire, vandalism and ongoing decay. Its isolation means it is rarely seen or interacted with. But while doing nothing will likely result in the building’s erasure, the question of what can or should be done is complex. It displays tensions in local planning policies, within the Burra Charter (2013) and in the politics of public land management.

Since the closure of the school in 1960, the site has had a variety of uses, which ceased come the 2000s. From the 1990s, there has been a succession of plans for the school site and building. Many elements of these plans that related to the building including recommended maintenance works have never been implemented. It appears that government funding to implement conservation plans was often not available, while community groups lacked the resources or authority to carry out maintenance works themselves.

In 2013, Back to Steiglitz, a local community group, commissioned a plan that recommended relocating the school to a site within the Steiglitz township as the only viable means to ensure its conservation. This is in light of Article 9 of the Burra Charter’s reference to relocation being “generally unacceptable unless this is the sole practical means of ensuring its survival” given the physical location of a heritage place forms part of its cultural significance. And yet, the regrowth of bushland and the increasing isolation of the school site from the rest of the Steiglitz township raise questions as to the role geography plays in the cultural significance of the school site. It might be argued that moving the school into the old Steiglitz township not only better protects the building, but makes it more visible and accessible and re-establishes the school building’s link to the township. In other words, changing the geographic context may preserve or even reintroduce a social context formed in the school’s links with the Steiglitz township.

Even if moving the building is acknowledged as a suitable solution, the same questions of resourcing, responsibility and political will that have affected the building’s upkeep still arise. Heritage buildings, like other planning objects and issues, are subject to the inertia of governance systems and politics. But the slow process of deterioration of built fabric means resourcing requirements for maintenance will continue to increase over time if indeed the building survives.

The gradual decline of the school in its current location raises further questions. Is this decline through neglect a form of demolition, which is discouraged under the Burra Charter and the relevant municipal planning scheme, which identifies the school site as of heritage significance? In a planning sense, neglect of a heritage place does not require a planning permit and yet works to maintain or demolish a building protected under the Heritage Overlay are likely to require permits. However, the end results of neglect and demolition may end up being essentially the same.

Planning policy affecting the school site encourages “restoration, adaptation and reconstruction of heritage places in a manner that does not detract from the cultural significance of the place or area”. Such work has proven impossible in the school’s current location. Could it be that sympathetic restoration, adaptation or even reconstruction of the school on a vacant site in the Steiglitz town centre might allow for the preservation of this significant piece of cultural heritage?

The old Steiglitz Primary School raises an array of heritage questions that reverberate far beyond the township of Steiglitz. These questions of heritage and context cut to how we define and assess cultural significance and the types of maintenance or conservation approaches that might be acceptable in complex situations.

Source: Steiglitz State School: A Cultural Heritage Dilemma by Fiona Gray PhD Architect and Research Fellow. Published on July 20, 2016 in History News, Issue No 325, July 2016, Royal Historical Society of Victoria

The spelling of the name of this place follows the pronunciation of the family name von Stieglitz, early pastoralists in the district.


Sgraffito (in Italian “to scratch”) is a decorating pottery technique produced by applying layers of color or colors (underglazes or colored slips) to leather hard pottery and then scratching off parts of the layer(s) to create contrasting images, patterns and texture and reveal the clay color underneath. The layer(s) of color can be underglazes or colored slips. Below is an example of one technique and what can be achieved.


source: Pottery decorating with Sgraffito step-by-step tutorial | Process, tools and materials

Tom Sanders

Lidded red earthenware jar

Made in 1962 by Tom Sanders, the sombre rounded form and teal colouring is enlivened by Miro like sgraffito drawings. The handles suggest a function perhaps lost in the mists of time.

It is a substantial piece, 30 cm high and shows in its imagination and wit the influence of his friend David Boyd, whom he regarded as pioneering some of the best pottery made in Australia.

His long association with the Boyd family began in the mid-forties at the newly-set-up Arthur Merric Boyd (AMB) Pottery in Murrumbeena. Later, he was one of a number of Melbournians who turned up at the Boarding House in Neutral Bay, Sydney, where David Boyd was staying, and where Guy Boyd had set up a pottery in the backyard. While studying sculpture at the East Sydney Technical College, Sanders worked for a time with Guy as a decorator before joining David and his new wife Hermia in Paddington to help with their ‘Hermia’ ware.

Sanders returned to Melbourne in 1949. An advertisement in the Argus shows that, by the end of that year, he was selling ceramic wares through Georges Department Store under the name ‘Dorian Sands’.

The Argus (Melbourne), Saturday 10 December 1949, page 5
The Argus (Melbourne), Saturday 10 December 1949, page 5

He worked at the Hoffmann pottery in East Brunswick, with John Barnard Knight in South Yarra. and with Arthur Boyd and John Perceval at the AMB pottery, before setting up his own studio with his first wife Elizabeth in Eltham in 1954.

Eltham at that time was a popular retreat for artists, with a European-style colony at Montsalvat and Clifton Pugh’s Dunmoochin at nearby Cottles Bridge. Heide, home of the art patrons Sunday and John Reed, was just across the river at Bulleen. The Sanders pottery operated in a very similar way to the AMB Pottery, producing a range of commercial wares, with visiting potters, painters and friends, including Arthur and Guy Boyd, helping with the decoration. Barry Humphries opened an exhibition at Eltham and teased him about making a living from ashtrays.

One of six murals he made in 1968 for the Southland Shopping Centre in Cheltenham, Melbourne.

Source: Known potter #44: Tom Sanders

MVMT watch

Jake (left) and Kramer (right) launched a wildly successful crowdfunding campaign, that offered a new way to shop for stylish watches.

MVMT was the first watch company built on a direct-to-consumer model. This means they are able to offer the same quality watches for a fraction of the price of their competitors.

MVMT was the first watch company built on a direct-to-consumer model. This means they are able to offer the same quality watches for a fraction of the price of their competitors.

By cutting out the costly wholesale process, traditional retail markup, and old school advertising budgets the savings get passed on to you.

Source: MVMT


Prototype of the female

This 10 cm dish is an early ceramic work of Tom Sanders (1924-2008).

Émile Zola published his novel Nana in 1880.

Flaubert wrote Zola an effusive letter praising the novel in detail. In summation he wrote: “Nana tourne au mythe, sans cesser d’être réelle”. (Nana turns into myth, without ceasing to be real.)

Nana opens in 1867, the year of the World Fair, when Paris, thronged by a cosmopolitan elite, was a perfect target for Zola’s scathing denunciation of hypocrisy and fin-de-siècle moral corruption.

The fate of Nana, the Helen of Troy of the Second Empire, is now rendered in stylish English.

Prompted by his theories of heredity and environment, Zola set out to show Nana, “the golden fly”, rising out of the underworld to the height of Parisian society. In July 1870, outside her window the crowd is madly cheering “To Berlin! To Berlin!” to greet the start of the Franco Prussian War, which will end in defeat for France and the end of the Second Empire.

Niki de Saint Phalle called a series of her sculptures “Nanas”. She explained that her title evoked the prototype of the female: Eve! Aphrodite! Nana de Zola! Inusable! Increvable! (Eve! Aphrodite! Zola’s Nana! Everlasting! Indestructible!).

Tom Sanders

After serving in the Royal Australian Air Force as an Aircraftsman in WW2, Tom Sanders worked in Guy Boyd’s Sydney pottery as a potter and ceramic decorator. Tom moved back to Melbourne in 1949 and worked at the Hoffmann pottery in East Brunswick and with Arthur Boyd at Murrumbeena before setting up his own pottery “T & E Sanders” at Eltham.

Argus (Melbourne), Tuesday 15 November 1949, page 7
The Argus (Melbourne), Tuesday 15 November 1949, page 7


You Deserve Better

Trust yourself and build a solid connection with your team, who have all the guidance and answers!

Developing your intuition in connection with your team is how you know what to do next, when to do it, and when to let go. It will always lead you down the best and easiest path.

Many clients, who come to us are procrastinating, stuck in overwhelming and multiple fears, constantly looking for the magic “right way”.

The most effective way any expert can make a difference is by helping you develop the trust within yourself, so you can start going up instead of constantly going sideways to the next thing or person. It is a never ending search, when you look for the answers outside of yourself.

Our task is to build unwavering trust within yourself and connect you with your team, who have all the information, guidance and expertise you need to thrive and succeed easily.