Archive for the ‘Architecture and Design – Art Deco to Mid-Century’ Category

Hidden innocently enough on the main street of Gloucester is a neat little cafe called Roadies. It’s immediately obvious that the owners are bike nuts, with a couple of gorgeous oldies serving as decor alongside the tables. Not to mention the vintage signs and other prints on the walls.

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The other thing that caught my eye was the beautiful art deco ceiling work. Often ceiling plaster has a much older style like Victorian, with deco being particularly rare. The central piece with the lights would have been a good metre long!

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The food is pretty good too, nothing fancy just good quality burgers and chips. All in all well worth checking out for lunch or dinner if you’re in the area.

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If you’re ever in Newcastle and looking to kill some time, I reccomend checking out the ocean baths. It’s particularly beautiful at sunset, with the afternoon light hitting the water and starters blocks. The pools were opened in 1922, and have a really classic art deco style to them.

Here’s some pics from the last time we were in town.

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What’s the best way to celebrate the Australia Day long weekend? I reckon you’d be hard pressed to beat heading down the coast in a bunch of old cars with some good mates. So that’s exactly what we did!

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What’s a decent roadtrip in old cars without some mechanical dramas. The ’38 Ford lost it’s brakes, and the culprit turned out to be a dodgey seamed brakeline installed by the previous owner. With a little research we managed to find Dapto Brake and Clutch. They were awesome and pieced together a new line on the spot – thanks guys! We popped the new line in (well my mate did while we hung around talking crap and making jokes at his expense), and we were on our way again.

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We were making good time, however as we were getting close to our destination, we ran into some decent rain.

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And finally we’re there. Our destination was the caravan park at Bendalong where we had a row of cabins together. It was pretty idyllic with kangaroos hopping around, possums, and walking distance to the nearby beach.

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This pic was taken from our front balcony!

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And another kangaroo hanging out behind our cabin.

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On the Sunday we headed up the road to Sussex Inlet for their local Australia Day fair and a little show and shine. For a little local show, there was a really cool variety of cars.

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While we were in the area we kept a lookout for cool mid-century holiday houses, and found this pearler. How sweet is that roofline?

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On the way home we stopped in at Gerringong, and grabbed some lunch overlooking Seven Mile Beach. All in all it was a great weekend away with mates, and I cant wait to do it all again next year.

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With Christmas coming up, here’s some great swag to fill up your loved one’s stockings.

Cars, surfing and sport – doesn’t get much more Aussie than that! An awesome triple DVD pack from ABC stores and great value at $34.99. Check it out here.

Jess Eisner is absolutely killing the Aussie pin up scene with her edgy modern take on the classic pin up. Her awesome work is in the Street Machine Hot Rod magazine, but why not hang her calendar up and enjoy a new lovely lady every month, all for $25.00. Check it out here.

The boys of Sydney’s Porteno and Bodega restaurants are also killing their field as well. The good news for those not living in Sin City is you can get a copy of their cookbook and enjoy their recipes in your own home. Don’t let the subtle cover fool you, it’s chock-a-block full of amazing photography and recipes. For a sneak peak check out this article here, or buy it for $59.99 by clicking here.


Love mid-century modern? This unique book looks at Australian MCM gardens with over 330 images in glorious full colour. All that for $39.99. Check it out here.

Fuel magazine is great ‘little magazine’ which punches well above it’s weight with fantastic photography and great variety in it’s subject matter. Four issues delivered to your door for just $60.00. Check it out here.

Know a budding artist? Check out these great pinstriping and lettering kits from Kustom Lane Gallery in Melbourne. There’s a range of kits available, the cheapest being 3 colours and a pinstriping brush at $65, through to 5 colours with brushes for pinstriping, scroll work and lettering. Click here to check it out.
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Looking for some Christmas cards, but can’t find anything that grabs your fancy? Check out these great designs from artist Greg Bakes. For info on how to buy a set, hop over to his etsy store by clicking here.



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Recently Penrith Regional Gallery hosted the opening night of their Holiday and Memory exhibition. The coolest part? Our EK is featured in the exhibition, alongside names like Reg Mombasa, Max Dupain and Ken Done!

Here’s the blurb from the Gallery: “Holiday + Memory explores the annual holiday experience of mid 20th century Australia. It is concerned with places ventured to, and experiences had and found along the way”. It continues “Herein, we are taken on a journey under big blue skies and night skies, with cars and caravans on winding roads and highways with oversized pineapples and cries from the backseat of ‘are we there yet’.  It is a land of campgrounds, barbeques and backyard pools, of romantic sunsets and eerie shadows, of riotous colour on the harbour, bush retreats, the brilliant white heat of the beach at noon, flies and mozzies, sand dunes, grass and gnarled trees, being tossed in the surf, burnt to a crisp, sticking to vinyl car seats and dripping icecream. It is a place we all share each long hot Australian summer”.

The exhibition features photography, artwork, and artefacts. An awesome feature is the old Lewers cottage is transformed into a holiday home, complete with mid-century kitchen and loungeroom. The Gallery actually features some beautiful mid-century buildings and gardens, so it’s a pretty cool place to check out. The food at the café is awesome too.

The opening night featured a talk by famous artist Ken Done, who was captivating and hilarious – I can’t believe he’s 74! Our EK is only there till early next week, but it’ll be replaced next week with a vintage caravan in it’s place. The exhibition runs all summer, so if you’re interested check out the Gallery’s website for more info.

Here’s some pics to give you an idea of what’s on show.

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It’s pretty cool to see a rough around the edges old car in a formal gallery setting. People loved seeing it too.


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The old cottage includes a mid-century inspired loungeroom and kitchen. The cool part is most of it will be auctioned off at the end of the exhibition! I’ll keep you posted.

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This fantastic modernistic painting is an original from Margo Lewers.

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The kitchen set up is pretty cool too.

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Some great vintage travel posters on display.

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And finally, Ken Done with our EK!

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A wedding ring is something that you’re gonna wear for the rest of your life. With that in mind, something straight from a catalogue was never going to cut it for me. Hell, in all the searching I did, I couldn’t find anything that came close to being ‘the one’. Luckily for me, a good friend put me onto Mat from ‘Mr Geale’s Glorious Revivals’.

Mat has extensive experience in restoring silverware, as well as repairing jewellery and hand making jewellery from scratch. After checking out his work and hearing that he was also a fan of art deco, I just had to meet with him and discuss my ideas. After coming up with a rough design and agreeing on a ballpark price, it was time to get the ball rolling.

I’d already given Mat the basic brief for the shape, so the next step was looking at the art deco styling for the shoulders of the ring. He supplied me with this range of ideas. Overall I liked the top right one most, so we moved ahead with that.

I was inspired by engraved signet rings, and I wanted the ring top to feature the tree we were getting married under. Mat suggested he could do something cool with some 100 year old buffalo horn he had. Yep, he just happened to have some century old buffalo horn in his workshop. The super dark colour is similar to onyx, but it has some subtle grain to it like timber. The first stage was hand carving the tree in metal.




The buffalo horn was boiled for an hour or so to make it nice and supple. It was then placed into a tiny press that Mat had made specifically, kind of like a chain breaker for a bike chain. The result was this great impression in the horn surface. This was then cut down to size and polished ready to go into the ring.


The ring body itself was then hand carved from a wax blank. Mat worked from the design we’d agreed on, but tweaked it a little as he transferred it to 3D.





From there I was able to trial fit the ring and see how I was happy with it. Given I don’t wear any jewellery, it was a good chance to make sure I was happy with things before committing to precious metal. Once I gave it the greenlight, it was then cast in a lost wax casting process in white gold. The finishing touches were polishing it, mounting the buffalo horn, and adding some antiquing to the details. I’m stoked with how the ring came out. Mat was easy to work with and really got the art deco style I was angling for. I’d highly recommend checking him out for custom jewellery, repairs or polishing work. Check him out over at http://mrgeale.com/



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