28 November 2013

Everything old is new again

BAKELITE: One of the first plastics made from synthetic components which was used for kitchenware, jewelry, pipe stems, and children's toys in the first half of the 20th century.
This range of objects is a modern take on the wonderful old texture and is found at The Country Trader, at PDY Redfern/Waterloo Sydney on the corner of Young and Phillip Streets Redfern. 

Experienced collectors have developed ways of testing for bakelite one of which is rubbing your fingers over the piece until it is warm, then smell. 
It is unforgettable - formaldehyde or a carbolic acid. 
Familiarize yourself with this odor. Not all pieces will have the same odor intensity, but it will be there. 
Bakelite has a clunky sound. Hit two plastic pieces together, then two bakelite - check the difference. 
Feel the difference.

27 November 2013

A brush, a pot of paint and a wall_Wallism

Sometimes a simple immediate image can have more impact than a complicated over thought visual.  
A brush, a pot of paint and a wall...that combination can change the world.  
About ten days ago slices of watermelon started appearing all around the Fern. Sometimes they are big and sometimes they are tiny. They are all delicious looking.

If anyone has some great examples of Wallism, shiftazine would love to feature them.  Just send a jpg and some info on the who, where and when.  

25 November 2013

Happy JoyDay!

Well its JoyDay and hopefully you are all celebrating the thing or one of the many things that bring you JOY. 
The 25th November is a powerful day, and big things happen on it.  
I adopted my dear heart Jack on the 25th November 2000.  
My darling Maggie went to heaven on the 25th November 2010.
And now I heard that there is an international 'Prevent violence against Women' day on the 25th November. 
Celebrate JOY.  
Embrace it and became conscious of it.  It is sometimes fleeting but it always has a powerful effect.

19 November 2013

Greece Colours: No.1 The Layered

Shiftazine recently ran a short series of spreads looking at the diverse colour palette of Berlin. 
Now shiftazine turns its eyes to Greece and the colours of this archipelago (a Greek word which was the original name for the Aegean Sea). 

This wall is like a snap shot of the Greek psyche with the layering of imagery that in someway resonates with the past, present and maybe future of this land of continuity.
 From the sepia tones of photographs of ancestors to the spray can colours of the now ubiquitous graffiti, a unique palette is created.  

18 November 2013

Street Style

The street chairs of the Fern are endless and multifarious in their styles.  
Why would one need to go to a major furniture retailer or some groovy recycled funky store, when all you have to be is aware of the street shopping opportunities. 

12 November 2013

The tempo is the suitcase.

A witty and charming idea (very shiftazine actually) that must been swirling in the ether above Australia, 
and was grabbed onto by some abundantly inventive audio designers.  
They take an old suitcase, like the one that is always stuffed full of things one has forgotten about, empty it out and 
then fill it with wires and speakers and all that other stuff that allows one to have music, of the type that is a rich, full sound that curls your toes with delight.  

Never look at an old suitcase the same way again.
If you want one of these groovy speaker suitcases email MELBOURNE VINTAGE AUDIO at

The title of this article was adapted from ‘You, everything, too’ by Daniel Barenboim

10 November 2013

A suitcase full of Joy_JoyDay

Stop! Don't throw that old suitcase out!  Think about how you could shift its reason for being.  
Say for example...who would have thought to make a suitcase into a tiny pond upon which one could sail tiny metal and plastic boats that are powered by burning tiny twigs. How wonderful lateral imagination is! 

JoyDay is rapidly approaching, only a few weeks away.  
Remember to celebrate the thing or one of the things that brings you joy on the 25th November.

04 November 2013

A scope for creativity: The humble plastic colander

The humble plastic colander was the heart and soul of a Sydney Festival popup installation. 
Inventing a fantastic visual vehicle for a temporary Japanese eatery at Sydney’s Carriage Works was no strain for 
Andrew Birley with the use of bright green plastic colanders found in Sydney’s Chinatown.

This is simple kitchen aid worked effectively as a suspended installation setting the tone of the eatery as well as 
sitting comfortably within table settings functioning as a table accessory.

01 November 2013

Murals: No middle man

You need courage and imagination when you engage in producing a mural. 

Murals often trigger a strong response from the viewer and they often inspire many to think about creating one at home.  
(Few manage to realise this idea.)

mural : noun_a painting or other work of art executed directly on a wall.    
adjective [ attrib. ]_of, like, or relating to a wall a mural escarpment.
ORIGIN late Middle English : from French, fromLatin muralis, from murus ‘wall.’ The adjective was first used in mural crown ; later (mid 16th cent.) the sense [placed or executed on a wall] arose, reflected in the current noun use (dating from the early 20th cent.).