Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Well, as if I wasn't busy enough, I've embarked on an archival project: I'm collating all the info from all my job books to establish an electronic record of all Residential, Ecclesiastic and Institutional commissions, all Restoration projects that I've completed and all autonomous artworks that I've made since I began private practice. Many have never been photographed, but at least there will be a systematic record established before I completely lose the plot and forget altogether what those projects were. It may take a while; my job numbering system is up to 2320, with a 'strike rate' of around 50%. I'm not bothering tho with all the repair jobs, of which there have been many, nor the occasional straight out glazing jobs.

Powering away on the lead bench this week and last, making diamond leadlights for Sydney University. A colleague, Wolfgang Jansen, won the tender to renew several of the large windows fronting the Quadrangle. The job entails numerous diamond leadlight panels, so Wolf has farmed out some of the work between myself and Grant Kennewell. Not especially creative but keeps the wheels turning. And one has to be surprisingly accurate in the making of diamonds: they're not as straightforward as one might think. Certainly jigs can speed up the cutting immeasurably, but the slightest innaccuracy (we're talking fractions of a millimetre) and the diamonds will move out of alignment in the leading.

When these are done it's back onto a series of decorative panels for one of Sydney's beautiful North Shore mansions and continuing with the restoration schedule. The first set of windows for St Vincent de Paul's Marian Centre in Lewisham were completed and installed last week; two painted windows for St John the Baptist Catholic Church in Maitland are underway and some re-lead work for St Joseph's Catholic Church in East Maitland is waiting.

With my other two students taking time out, I've had Clive Hillier on the light table for the past two Saturdays. Putting him through his paces with glass paint and silver stains, while he works on some restoration for Terrance Plowright. It's very encouraging when tradesmen such as Clive, who have been in the industry for quite a number of years, are prepared to take on the role of student to improve their skills in areas where they may be deficient. Like many professionals in this industry Clive is largely self taught, initially learning the craft under a chap named Karl at East Sydney Community College.