Monthly Archives: October 2015

Eternal Spring




‘Two girls among flowers’ – Odilon Redon




Barbara Dunshee---a-contrast-of-movement-and-structure

Barbara Dunshee jar with curly handled lid



Elusive spring :


Spring has been a little bit erratic and evasive of late, hijacked by both Winter and Summer. Just thought I would add some art to fill in the lapses.



Birds ‘n’ Spring

The poem below is by the comedian Spike Milligan, who was prone to recite it at odd moments and for no particular reason.


Spring is Sprung

Spring is sprung, the grass is ris.
I wonders where the birdies is.
They say the birds is on the wing.
Ain’t that absurd?
I always thought the wing was on the bird.

The late Spike Milligan moved from the England to an Eastern coastal town in Australia called Woy Woy, which I thought was appropriate because he was known to look at the sky and exclaim Why Why?  The Aboriginal meaning for Woy Woy is ‘deep water’. “But which Woy means deep and which Woy means water ?”, was a question Spike liked to ask.



Spring (Again)
Michael Ryan

The birds were louder this morning,
raucous, oblivious, tweeting their teensy bird-brains out.
It scared me, until I remembered it’s Spring.
How do they know it? A stupid question.
Thank you, birdies. I had forgotten how promise feels.



spring is poppin’
bunnies are hoppin,
birdies are chirpy
felines are flirty
frogs are burpy
squirrels are gnawin
the ice is thawin’
magnolia hues intoxicating
jasmine scents un-abating
smiling muscles they’re hurtin’
coz that sunshine keeps burstin’



“Come you lost Atoms to your Centre draw,
And be the Eternal Mirror that you saw:
Rays that have wander’d into Darkness wide
Return and back into your Sun subside”

The Conference of the Birds, Sufi Poems of Farid ud-Din Attar


Surreal buds flourish atop sturdy stoneware, blooming in brilliant hues - Amazon Dreams Pitcher - anthropologie

Amazon Dreams Pitcher – Carmen de Viboral, Colombia





Michael Leunig




‘Vase With Snails’ by Greg Payce





wall-pocket-vessel-by-Cathy Kiffney

Cathy Kiffney  – ceramic wall pocket




 totem sculpture by mudgoddess, etsy

Ceramic Totem – ‘The Cardinal’ – Mudgoddess, etsy




Ardmore floral decorated ceramic lidded jar

Lidded vessel with floral decoration – Ardmore




Ana Tzarev - Flower Power crimson sculpture flower

Ana Tzarev – ‘Flower Power’

75-year-old Ana Tzarev is installing a collection of sculptures of brightly coloured 15ft flowers in  seven different countries around the world. Croatian-born Tzarev claims the flowers, which when taken as a whole will become the world’s largest sculpture, and will be placed in areas where millions of people will be able to see them as they go about their daily lives.




Andrea-Gill abstract styled vase

Andrea Gill vase





‘Andromeda’ — Odilon Redon, c. 1912





Art-Deco-Vase-by-Sabino-14inches with dancing relief figures- PAUL STAMATI GALLERY

Art Deco Vase by Sabino- height 14 inches





Astrid-Riedel ceramic sculpture vessel

Astrid Riedel





‘Starlight Starbright’ painting –  Edward Maracek





Carnival Paper (paper sculptures) by Carlos Meira





‘Yellowstone Horizon 1’ , copper, enamel, silver by Harlan W Butt




Rare-vase,-signed-Loetz-Austria - gold and turquoise

Loetz vase, Austria




Carol-Gouthro ceramic pod

Carol Gouthro





Charles Catteau floral vase





French Art Deco Signed Figural Dancing Ladies Lamp with Original Flame Shade

circa 1920-1939

Mars Palm Beach, FL




Wings-of-Joy---Ginger Gilmore

‘Wings Of Joy’ – Ginger Gilmore



Edouard-Cazaux,-La-Varenne-Saint-Hilaire-50,s - large bird motif

Edouard Cazaux, La Varenne Saint Hilaire




Cypress-Cutout-Pedestal-Vase---Bonnie-Belt in green and gold

Cypress Cutout Pedestal Vase – Bonnie Belt




Boch Frères Kéramis ceramic vase by Charles Catteau




‘Spotted Venus’ – Denise Romecki



Mermaid mosaic frieze — Walter Crane

Based on designs from the palace at La Zisa in Palermo, Italy.

Leighton House, Kensington




Crystal glass vase – Eugene-Rousseau and Leveillé Ernest




Janet De Boos vase with blue birds

Janet De Boos vase




Nature vase – earthenware with glazes and enamels – Jenny Orchard

55 x 24 x 24cm

Beaver Galleries



‘Baby and Mum’ – Jenny orchard




Dragon Wall_Clock,_c._1880,_probably_made_by_Escalier_de_Cristal,_Paris,_bronze_and_enamel_-_Art_Institute_of_Chicago

Dragon Wall Clock probably made by Escalier de Cristal, Paris, bronze and enamel

Art Institute of Chicago, c. 1880




Irina-Kotova - red haired girl on a swing

Irina Kotova



Art Nouveau vase – Emile Galle

Chrysler Museum, Norfolk (photo by JE Berger)




Kasia-Polkowska-Spring In The Mountains

 ‘Spring In The Mountains’ – Kasia Polkowska




Nguyen Tuan Khanh- Eva eternal spring Painting of a nude female on a lotus lake

Nguyen Tuan Khanh-  ‘Eva Eternal Spring’


Laurie-Shaman dragonfly and fish vase

Laurie Shaman




Lorenzo Quinn




magic_hand glass--mosaic-Swan-Mosaics

‘Magic Hand’  mosaic vase – Swan- Mosaics





Jack Earl



Marissa-Motto-Ceramic garden totem

Marissa Motto





Mata Ortiz hand coiled sgraffito ola




English Moorcroft-Pottery-Willowherb vase - pink flower motif

Willowherb – Moorcroft Pottery vase




Niki de Saint Phalle - Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles-france-amerique-com

Niki de Saint Phalle sculpture – Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles


paper-doll-sculpture - lady wearing an apple tree patterned own ----KATYA

Katya paper mache doll



Peter Voulkos abstract ceramic sculpture

Peter Voulkos




White Heron bowl – Bonnie Belt


Erte Heat sculpture lady in a red gown relaxing on a tree

‘Heat’ – Erte





Nesting Great Egrets by Guy Schmickle on Flickr






Gourd Carving Art by Marilyn Sunderland






English Bristolware ceramic shoes, 1768

Bata Shoe Museum – Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Daderot – Wiki Commons




Lona Hymas-Smith

Horizon Fine Art Gallery




Nancy-Keating ceramic mosaic bottle

Mosaic bottle – Nancy Keating




zdravkoni---etsy---metalwork sculpture of a dragonfly

Dragonfly – zdravkoni—etsy





Figural compote – Royal Dux





‘Sweet Dream Vaso’ – Roberto Giannotti




William de Morgan vase, Fulham, England

circa 1888-1898




Vipoo Srivilasa – ‘For the Future’




Wedgwood-lustre-tall-vase V&A

Tall lustre vase – Wedgwood




Cherry-Blossom-Dragon-eggshelllady - Linda Biggers Mixed media mosaic, eggshell, seed beads and polymer clay.10" daimeter

‘Cherry Blossom Dragon’  – Linda Biggers Mixed media mosaic, eggshell, seed beads and polymer clay.

10″ daimeter




Fons Bemelman





‘Spring’ – William P. Welsh





French Art Nouveau glass vase  – Emile Galle





Gumtree in pink bloom




‘Garden’ – C Duncan




‘Bring Me Joy’ – The Layabouts – Portia Monique





Modern Italian Mosaics Design – SICIS



Luxus Stuhl 'a heart so big' large mosaic wall panel

 Mosaic mural with matching pink velvet heart chairs – SICIS



The decor panache of SICIS :


Since its beginning in Ravenna in 1986, SICIS has been on a mission to merge the art of the ancients in the craft of mosaics, with modern industrial techniques. Incorporating SICIS’s diverse glass mosaic collections, which include transparent, iridescent, mirrored, and textured materials, it has flourished to become a premier mosaic innovator. Flamboyant, exuberant and fearless in the implementation of ideas has been an enduring feature of Italian design, especially since the post war modernist resurgence. Sicis is continuing this adventurous tradition, offering modern mosaic concepts that capture a contemporary realm of design, taking the rich, classical Italian mosaic art of the past to new captivating levels. SICIS is a factory of artists, mosaic innovators, interior designers and glass makers who research, create, interpret and revitalize. They cater for a diverse range of clients producing monumental murals, bathroom and living space wall panels, mosaic sculptures, mosaic floors/rugs, mosaic jewellry and furnishings.
The city of Ravenna is filled with exquisite works that adorn the monuments, historic buildings and interiors of Ravenna’s churches, dating back over 1500 years. The mosaic medium made a considerable addition to the arts that reflect the might of Christian rule within the Roman empire. In the 5th – 6th century AD there were notable contributions from the Byzantine rulers and Theodoric, who decorated the holy buildings of Ravenna in glittering mosaics.


The-Magi- - Basilica of Sant’ Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna by travel photographer Kathryn Burrington

Basilica of Sant’ Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy


Manufacturing its own “tesserae” directly in Ravenna has given SICIS a lot of flexibility with colour, texture and styles to develop innumerable patterns and palettes in their custom designs of figurative and abstract murals and floors. SICIS has also made a foray into the design of furniture, lighting fixtures and other interior design accessories to support their philosophy of ‘elementi decorativi’ to create integrated outcomes. The longevity of Ravennas steep history in the mosaic arts. is guaranteed with the inventive, pioneering flair and dedication of SICIS.




‘Constable’ Mosaic Rug – the design is inspired by the carpet Savonnerie, XIX century




Exotic-Furniture-Design-Moi-Et-La-Rose-Sicis-Next-Art by SICIS

‘Me and Rose 1 Sofa’ – SICIS



Flower-Power---Collections---Mosaic wall art with floral designs

SICIS – ‘Flower Power’ Mosaic Collections



ipix-2013-SICIS mosaic wall art Vie En Roses Ballerina dancing with mosaic rose art

‘Vie En Roses’ – Salmon – SICIS




ipix-2013-catalog-Ocean Blue mosaic wall mural

‘Ocean Blue’ mosaic wall mural – SICIS




Mosaic Byzantine style panel of the 6th century portrait of Justinian’s wife, the  Empress Theodora, to compliment the Christian Lacroix furniture collection for Sicis





SICIS factory, Ravenna





Mosaic artist at SICIS



SICIS----Flo 1c mosaic floral mural

SICIS –  Flo 1C  – Mosaic Flower Power panel




SICIS contemporary mosaic floor in red and white

Red and white mosaic floor – SICIS




SICIS---Colibri-Altea wall mosaic art in deep greens

SICIS—Colibri Altea mosaic mural



SICIS---Colibri Cheviot Art White mosaic bath on white and gold mosaic floor

Colibri Cheviot Art White – SICIS




SICIS---Colibri--Circlex wall mosaic

Colibri – Circlex wall mosaic – SICIS



Sofa Madame Butterfly 1 - blue and whits sofa with butterfly wings

Sofa Madame Butterfly 1




SICIS-mosaic floor

SICIS Wheel Neoglass mosaic floor




SICIS-Diana-Amethyst decorative High Heeled Shoe

SICIS @ Penthouse · Miami, USA – ‘Diana Amethyst’





Flower Power mosaic – Flo 12C


Black-cosmati-collection SICIS

‘Cosmati’ Mosaic Floor Tile Collection -SICIS




Itlaian SICIS---Hedonism wall mosaic

SICIS – ‘Hedonism’ mosaic




Sicis-lif-essence-Klimit 2013

Sicis lif essence -‘Tribute to Klimt’



SICIS---Colibri-Dalia-Grananda orange and yellow wall mosaic

SICIS — ‘Colibri Dalia Grananda’ mosaic




SICIS · Lush leaf armchairs · Blue Papillons 1




Mosaics SICIS-Baeza-Heno

SICIS mosaic bathroom




SICIS @ Sicis Showroom · New York, USA





SICIS @ Design Hotel · Cosmati Collection

This Project has been inspired by the original floor pattern in St. Marks Church, Venice





‘Skyline Bridge’ mosaic- SICIS




SICIS mosaic wall mural --Showroom-Milan-2015j

SICIS mosaic showroom, Milan




SICIS @ Private House · Los Angeles, California, USA



Mosaic fireplace – SICIS




SICIS Polished Sicistone : Collection Red




SICIS--Sketch-Red mosaic wall in red and black

Contemporary mosaic wall – ‘Sketch Red’ – SICIS



Sylvan-Blue botanical theme wall mosaic

‘Sylvan Blue’ – SICIS





SICIS @ Private House · Cote d’Azur, France –  Lifessence 2013



SICIS-Skyline-Gothic wall mosaic - tall skyscraper building wall art with batman window

‘Skyline Gothic’ mosaic – SICIS



SICIS-Skyline-Dream-11 mosaic wall art

‘Skyline Dream’ wall mosaic – SICIS



SICIS---The Rug-Argentario Original mosaic execution inspired by a Byzantine carpet of the VI Century

Mosaic Rug- ‘Argentario’ – SICIS Bisanzio Collection

Original mosaic execution inspired by a Byzantine carpet of the VI Century





I Romantici Collection – ‘Lancret’ mosaic rug – SICIS

Original mosaic execution inspired by a carpet from Agra ( Taj Mahal ) of the XVIII century



SICIS---The One Marble circular mosaic patterned floor

SICIS mosaic floor – Meeting Room – DM1 Headquarters



indoor-mosaic-wall-glass-textured-Derby - Pinup-mosaic-collection SICIS Italy

‘Derby’ from Pinup mosaic collection SICIS


Italian Acero-Rosso-Armchair-2---SICIS - pink/crimson modernist furniture

‘Acero Rosso Armchair 2’ – SICIS




Hotel Terme Menzi entrance hall · Ischia Island · ITALY



SICIS---Giardini Collection - Lagav Black Flower Power wall mural

SICIS—Giardini Collection – ‘Lagav Black’ mosaic floor rug, Flower Power wall mural, Sultan bath




SICIS---The Rug--realistic looking mosaic floor rug

‘Boucher’ mosaic rug – I Romantici Collection



SICIS---Mosaic Rug-Bisanzio Collection - mosaic rug prepared in the factory for installation

SICIS Bisanzio Collection – factory assembled, Raverna




SICIS---The Rug-Cezanne-Brown

‘Cezanne’ mosaic rug – SICIS

The foyer of the Wisconsin Electric Power Company building, designed by Zimmermann Design




SICIS---Mosaic Rug-Signac

‘Signac’ mosaic rug – SICIS




Working on Moses for the Book Of Genesis mural



SICIS---The Rug Teoderico Original mosaic execution inspired by a Byzantine carpet of the VI Century

SICIS—The Rug ‘Teoderico’

Original mosaic creation inspired by a Byzantine carpet of the VI Century




SICIS---Mosaic Rug-Trotter-Grey

‘Trotter Grey’ mosaic rug – SICIS



Italian Sicis ming mosaic panel

SICIS · 3D Artistic Mosaic



SICIS-Skyline-Venice mosaic wall panel depicting gothic arches

SICIS – ‘Skyline Venice’



sicis-lif-essence-2013-Private House Doha Qatar - purple and white mosaic wall panel

Sicis lif essence – – Private House Doha Qatar




Pink velvet Kundalini-spiral-chair-sicis

Mosaic and velvet ‘Kundalini’ chair – SICIS

Chair whose back is a spiral, a whirlwind of light and vibrations, splashes of colour and dazzling lights, recalling Oriental energy.




Venetian mosaic of precious stones, Venice

Between 2nd half of 17th century and 1st half of 18th century





Basilica of San Vitale

Ravenna, Italy

SICIS website



Mystical gardens and sculptures tour


Garden sculptures of heightened spirit Downunder


All of the three following gardens are located on the outer Eastern fringe of Melbourne, Victoria.  Each garden is approximately one hour travel time from the centre of Melbourne with an additional 45 minutes of travel between them.



Australia Garden :

Cranbourne, Victoria


Contemporary landscape garden, Melbourne

Queensland Bottle Trees in a rock landscape

Contemporary Australia Garden, Cranbourne, Melbourne


The bold, sweeping contemporary botanical gardens at Cranbourne were created from a former sand quarry. It was designed to allow visitors to follow a metaphorical journey of the movement of water through the Australian landscape, from the desert to the coastal fringe. Via innovative artistry of landscape design, this integrated landscape brings together horticulture, architecture, ecology, and art to create the largest botanic garden devoted to Australian flora.
The first half of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Cranbourne was completed in 2006 and Stage 2 was completed in Spring 2012. The stylized native landscape gardens showcase the diversity of environments found on the Australian continent along with much of the exotic and wonderful flora which may be found there.


Orange-red Grevillia flowers  -- Australia Gardens, Cranbourne

Grevillia flowers  — Australia Gardens, Cranbourne

Spread out over 15 hectares and inspired by Aboriginal art forms, the highly landscaped gardens use colour selections of clusters of native plants to sculpt shapes onto the landscape. Lots of open spaces are given consideration between the designed elements to replicate the vast open expanses of the Australian landscape.
Also known as the ‘Australia Garden’, it presents sequences of original sculptural and artistic landscape experiences modelled into precincts such as the Gondwana Garden, Red Sand Garden, Ephemeral Lake, Serpentine Walk, Vine Garden and Eucalyptus walk. Included in the gardens are a rich variety of native plants which include the Albany Daisy, Kangaroo-paw, Pincushions, Pineapple Bush, Rope-rush, Popflower, Snakebush, Mat-rush, Grass tree and other fascinating rockery plants.
The unique Australia Garden is designed to be a companion piece to the Melbourne Royal Botanical Gardens and is in contrast to its European botanical features. The layout utilizes 170,000 plants across 1700 species all adapted to this challenging site condition, with species selected not only for their suitability to low organic media, but also their adaptation to low water utilization and drought tolerance.
The young gardens are still evolving and has free entry and can be witnessed from the elevated Boon Wurrung Cafe. Visiting these gardens is a journey that becomes a choreography of movement balancing abstraction, metaphor and landscape poetry through the combination of ancient native plants, rocks and water with space.



Rock garden – Australia Garden



Royal-Botanic-Gardens-Cranbourne--Australia---large lake

‘Melaleuca Spits Lake’



Blue Wren on rocks

Blue Wren – Australia Gardens



Stylised landscape garden Cranbourne

Rock garden built with Castlemaine stones



Cranbourne Botanic-Gardens---Lily-Pad-Bridge

‘Lily Pad Bridge’ – Australia Garden, Cranbourne, Victoria




Cranbourne Botanic-Gardens---Castlemaine-rocks

Cranbourne Botanic Gardens—Castlemaine rocks



Ephemeral-Lake at Cranbourne Botanical Gardens - metaphorical sculpture

‘Ephemeral Lake’ at Cranbourne Australia Garden

Sculptor Mark Stoner in collaboration with Edwina Kearney

Highlighted by white ceramic elements, the work is predicated on the idea of the presence and absence of water and the horizontal nature of its dispersal across the arid zones of Australia. Viewed as a meandering rather than a direct flow pattern. This requires a certain way of movement, a linear sensibility. This allows a rhythm and tempo in the work, a quietness, a distillation of time and space. Ephemeral Lake introduces the narrative of water in this ancient, degraded, arid and flat continent.



Cranbourne Botanical Red Sand Garden

‘Red Sand Garden’




Contemporary-Australia-Garden aerial view

Red Sand stylized garden




Aerial view-Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

Australia Garden – aerial perspective

Maybe because the aerial configuration of the gardens look like an abstract painting, to me the gardens felt like a living, breathing sculpture. Traversing the gardens was a grounded, immersive experience that felt vibrant and refreshing. As you enter the gardens, the first thing you witness is the huge, minimalist Red Sand Garden, an immediate statement of scale and conceptual intent for a botanical garden you haven’t seen the likes of before.



Johnsons Grass Trees with their spectacular flower spikes

Flower Spikes on Johnson’s Grass Trees

Australia Garden, Cranbourne, Victoria



Bush-Ranger-(Anigozanthos) red Australian native flowers

Red Bush Ranger (Anigozanthos) – Australian native flower




Cranbourne Botanical Garden - photo by Craig-Ward

Contemporary landscape gardens, Cranbourne

 photo by Craig-Ward


Royal-Botanic-Gardens-Cranbourne--Australia---red bush-gumnut flowers photo by DancerAustralia

Flowering red gum nuts



Cranbourne Botanical Gardens - photo Roger-Nelly

Cranbourne Botanical Gardens – photo by Roger Nelly





Native plants in a contemporary setting at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Cranbourne




Australia-Garden sightseeing

Sightseeing buggies at Australia Garden





RBCG – Royal Botanical Cranbourne Gardens




RBGC_Australia_Garden abstract outdoor sculptures

Australia Garden water course sculptures




Melaleuca Spits – Sculptured lakes – Australia Garden, Cranbourne, Victoria



Queensland Bottle Tree - Australia Garden - large yellow tree with bottle shaped trunk

Queensland Bottle Tree – Australia Garden, Cranbourne



William Ricketts Sanctuary :

Olinda, Mount Dandenong


William Ricketts Sanctuary is nestled in the Dandenong Mountains in a lush fern forest, in a natural setting of beauty and tranquility. It is an ideal location for Ricketts mystical sculptures, which merge naturally with the ferns, along enchanting pathways. William Ricketts, an Australian potter and sculptor, began creating his sculptural odyssey in 1934, making his visionary pieces from clay and kiln firing them before attaching them onto the natural rock formations.
Having spent 2 years in India at the Sri Aurobindo spiritual center in Pondicherry, and making frequent trips into Central Australia to live with Pitjantjatjara and Arrernte Aboriginal people from 1949 to 1960, his works express a spiritual resonance reflecting his empathy with Indian and Aboriginal spirituality and philosophies. His sculptures were inspired by the cultures and ancient traditions of the Indigenous Australians and their bond with the earth. Torsos of men, women and children covered in moss protrude from tree trunks and boulders. Winged sculptures reach heavenward and others embrace protectively, reinforcing their family bonding. His kinship with the Aboriginal peoples and love of the Australian landscape has translated into a collection of over 100 forest sculptures, which amount to a life long mission, to promote and immortalize the deep spirit of the ancient Australian cultures.


Indigenous Elder waterfall sculpture at Ricketts Sanctuary

Indigenous Elder waterfall sculpture at Rickett’s Sanctuary




Winged Aboriginal boy sculpture



William-Rickett sculpture with lyrebird tail feathers

William Ricketts self portrait sculpture with totem Lyrebird tail feathers



Entrance to William Ricketts Garden Sanctuary with two aboriginal busts

Entrance sculptures to William Ricketts Sanctuary




Ricketts Sanctuary entrance rock sculpture




Rock sculpture of Aboriginal elder

William Ricketts sculpture of an Aboriginal elder





Rock wall sculptures under native ferns




William_Ricketts_sanctuary_Aboriginal earth mother

A William Rickett’s ‘Earth Mother’ sculpture





Three Aboriginal angels sculpture

Photo by Jakwak


Ricketts-rock-sculpture at the Dandenong Mountains

Unique sculpture garden of rock and moss




William Ricketts – (1898-1993)

Photo by Ern Mainka



William-Ricketts fern forest sculptures

Mountain fern forest Aboriginal sculpture

Ricketts Sanctuary




Stone sculpture with concentric circle motif

Inscribed on the Sculpture :
Beyond organized religions, Beyond man’s institutions
Is the true state of being
That Thou Art – Tat Twam Asi



William Ricketts bush sculpture of Aboriginal children

William Ricketts sculpture of aboriginal children





Terracotta sculpture by William Ricketts

Carter’s Price Guides to Antiques and Collectables




William Ricketts earthenware plaque modelled with an indigenous Australian motif





Unglazed earthenware sculpture – William Ricketts



William-Ricketts-Sanctuary-aboriginal children sculpture

Ricketts Sanctuary

Olinda, Mount Dandenong



William-Ricketts-Sanctuary - Bearded aboriginal elder sculpture -photo-Chris Wang

Moss covered,  bearded Aboriginal elder sculpture





Wall relief and inner sanctum –  William Ricketts

Google Earth photo – Indriati Naland




William-Ricketts-Sanctuary-Earthly-Mother with family

Earth Mother by William Ricketts




William-Ricketts-Sanctuary-----image from Google Earth

Sculpture of an aboriginal seated on a rock ledge with hands reaching up from the earth.




William Ricketts rock sculpture in a fern forest

Rock sculpture immersed in the fern forest




Bruno’s Art and Sculpture Garden :

Marysville, Victoria


Bruno Torfs grew up in South America and moved to Australia as an adult. One of the first places he visited was the mountainous Marysville, which he interpreted as a kind of Middle Earth location due to its natural splendor, mystique and beauty and he immediately felt an affinity with the rugged and graceful landscape. After acquiring an established art gallery there he began creating his sculpture garden full of artworks of Celtic, European and Russian influence along with Australian aboriginal art. Assisted by his wife Maureen, he expanded his garden over several years to include over 200 sculptures and paintings. The lush rainforest embraced his sculptures like they always belonged there, even after they were confronted with the misfortune of a dreadful bushfire in 2009 that destroyed most of the town including his home and some of his artworks.

As a professional artist he believed that the universe supports you when you follow your passion so he continued. He also viewed the event as a cleansing and rebirth for himself and the environment and entered a new phase for his fantasy garden project. His clay sculptures are quite often constructed outdoors and kiln fired on-site. Through his diverse talents and a spirit for adventure, Bruno has kept creating his unique sculptures full of culture and character and his wonderful garden is on the way to a full recovery.


maiden-riding-a-unicorn Bruno Torfs garden

Girl Riding a Unicorn sculpture – Bruno Torfs Garden


Bruno Toff in his garden at Marysville

Bruno Toff in his garden at Marysville



Queen Bee sculpture - Bruno Torfs

Queen Bee sculpture




Bruno Torfs Garden sculptures


Bruno-Torfs---Seated Goddess on her throne in a fern canopy

Seated Goddess on her throne in a fern canopy


Surviving Goddess sculpture from Marysville bushfire

After surviving the Black Saturday bushfire. A close call, some of the sculptures were crushed by falling trees.


Bush fire at Bruno's sculpture garden

Terracotta statues intact after the raging furnace



Bruno Torfs sculpture in a razed bush landscape

Sculpture of a man and a boy in a fire ravaged landscape, curiously in synch with the environment



Surviving sculptures after the bushfire at Bruno's garden

Another surviving sculpture in synch with the event.




 embracing couple sculpture in a forest after a bushfire - Bruno's garden

A sculpture of an embracing couple in a razed forest




 tree carved sculptures after bushfire

Scorched tree carved sculptures at Bruno’s garden




Bruno Torfs large hand sculpture fountain

Large hand sculpture water fountain – Bruno Torfs



Aftermathll- Bruno Torf with surviving art from bushfire

Bruno Torfs holding a painting that avoided destruction




Forest Flute player at Bruno Torfs gardens

Forest Flutist sculpture




Robed female sculptures – Bruno’s Garden




brunos_sculptures_Gum tree elemental figure

Bush forest gumtree elemental sculpture



Bruno-Torfs,-sculpture-garden Sculpture of a woman coiled in a snake

Coiled snake woman sculpture





Sculpture on a bed of moss – Bruno’s art and sculpture garden




Bruno-Torfs-sculpture bearded Sadhu sculpture

Bearded mystic sculpture




Sculpture of a bearded man beneath a Gumtree meditating

Bush meditation sculpture against a gum-tree trunk




Sculpture-Garden-Bruno-Torfs - Girl playing with wombat sculpture

Sculpture of girl with forest wombat



Sculpture-Garden-Bruno-Torfs Boy in forest with owls sculpture

Sculpture of a boy in the forest with owls


Sculpture-Garden-Bruno-Torfs - Bush forest minstrel sitting on a tree stump

Forest minstrel on a tree stump sculpture



Mermaid sculpture in a mountain stream

Mermaid sculpture in a mountain stream


Garden sculpture of a seated man with a crow

Talking to a crow – Bruno’s Garden


Wood_Sculptures of Aboriginal with didjeiradoo

Sculpture of an Australian Aboriginal with Didgeridoo



The forests of the above 2 gardens are home to the remarkable Lyrebird, capable of a diverse range of bird calls and mimicry






Ceramic Narratives


Zografos-Gallery---Minoan-Urn-II with blue and red dolphins

Minoan dolphin urn – Zografos Gallery


Storytelling with pottery decoration allowed many ancient civilizations to record unique and revealing narratives of their lives, as a means to record and reinforce their cultural beliefs for coming generations. This was usually integrated into a decorative theme and expressed creatively. Around the 3rd millennium BC in Uruk, Mesopotamia, ceramic mosaics depicted images of their culture from battle scenes to hunting .The ancient Minoans were one of the first to record distinct aspects of their culture in their pottery arts around 1900 BC. Their dependence on the sea for their diet and trading was well in evidence, with many instances of sea creatures being carefully illustrated on their pottery in a creative decorative manner. The matriarchal structure of their society was also ever present in the Minoan arts, with the ceremonial and temple worship by their women being depicted in beautiful detail along with the important symbols of their culture like the Labrys.

Their sophisticated illustration was very unique for this time and their extensive seafaring and trading helped to promote this pottery art. Surrounding cultures like the Myaceans, Syrians, Greeks, Italians and Egyptians were all influenced by their decorative arts, but their free illustrative style eventually became executed in a more rigid manner as it was adapted into a more geometric and ordered layout. Warrior, military, hunting and sporting themes became more popular, along with depictions of deities, Gods and mythical stories.
Meanwhile the Chinese, Japanese and Koreans were also busy recording details of their culture with their pottery arts, expressing reverence to their Gods and deities along with scenes of everyday life. The Silk Road trade route ensured this was witnessed up into the Middle East and eventually Europe. The Persian and Islamic arts were also influential along this route.



Aeneas and his companions at the tomb of Polydorus – painted by  Xanto Avelli da Rovigo

Commissioned by the Pucci family (coat of arms in center of plate)

1532  Florence


During the Renaissance, a more diverse range of colours were introduced which were further enhanced by the use of majolica glazes, which supported greater decorative detail and brilliance of the lustre. This lead to a pivotal shift as more painters were attracted to the sphere of pottery decoration, especially in Spain and Italy, where it reached a new level of perfection. The decorative language attained a greater level of realism in the 1500‘s, originating in Faenza with the Istoriato style. The illustrative art applied to majolica wares were comparable in seriousness to the Italian Renaissance easel paintings. The technical excellence of the pottery decoration matured at the right time to meet the demands for a high quality narrative art, being demanded by clients as a statement of prestige. The artists, being dependant on these commissions, willingly obliged. The delicate majolica had subject matter that included historical, mythological and biblical stories, all featuring artistic perspective and depth to enhance the realism. This hadn’t been executed to this degree in any previous pottery decoration. In some instances, exact copies of paintings by famous artists like Raphael were produced along with artistic interpretations. The decorative virtuosity included musicians, ladies, poets, lovers and social gatherings.




Albarello pharmacy jar, Italy, Circa 1500

Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

During the Renaissance, women used turmeric to dye their hair, as can be seen above. The painting on this piece is performed in blue, yellow and green paints. It is known that in majolica painting over unburned glaze, only several paints were used: white, violet, brown, cobalt blue, yellow and copper-green.

The “Belle Faenza” (Faenza ladies) of the 16th century was also a popular subject and were given reverential attention. The romanticism of the era was expressed with depictions of women in all their finery, with exquisite robes, gowns and hats, generous cleavage, voluptuous curves and a captivating beauty. Other European pottery centers were influenced by this decorative style, especially in France.



Majolica plate –  Tin-glazed earthenware with yellow and gold lustre.

The head of a young lady with the inscription ‘Amaro chi me amara’; I will love whoever will love me.

Gubbio, Italy, ca 1535-40.

The highly ornate decorative wares have continued since but the innovative designs and industrialization of the 20th century have replaced the use of so much detail, along with the introduction of modernist simplicity to carry the message. Contemporary decoration rarely touches on mythical or religious themes these days, but more edgy urban styles have emerged.

The pieces I have selected in this post have innovative imagery skilfully combined with perspective and pottery shapes to enhance the narrative and impact.




Mazzotti vase

Albisola, Italy





Vase decorated soccer players –  Charles Catteau

1946 – Height 40cm




Anna-Lambert flying swallows cup

Anna Lambert




Japanese Sumida Gawa vase – a man playing with his bulldog



Rene Buthaud vase with large female motif

Rene Buthaud




Rene Buthaud

A vase with the free spirited narrative of  Rene Buthaud – many of his works were populated with naked frollicking females.




Chandler-Swain - black and white glazed black bird pitcher with chequered background

Chander Swain




Christy-Keeny ceramic bust

Christy Keeny





Ciboure pottery painted by Diego Garcia


Typical Basque scene is depicted with a relaxed village ambience.





Ciboure and Richard Le Corone (designer) – Basque scene





Handpainted  vase 1880

Height 13inches





‘Europa and the Cretan Bull’  – Richard & Carol Selfridge

( – a  nice touch integrating the bull horn with the handle )

Height 20.5 inches





‘Earth Goddess At Delphi’ – Diego Romero






‘Birth of the Corn Maiden’ by Susan Folwell (Santa Clara) and Les Namingha (Hopi-Tewa/Zuni)


 In The Birth of the Corn Maiden, Ms. Fowell and Mr. Namngha’s creation, the central figure’s face is clearly influenced by the Botticelli painting (of Venus).  This debt is slyly acknowledged through the Corn Maiden’s shell earring.  Here the goddess bears a corn snake on her head, her hair suggestive of corn leaves.  To the left are three badgers as well as two katsina heads, which similar to Zephyrus, blow the breath of life towards the Corn Maiden.  According to Ms. Folwell, “The imagery I chose was my two clans as well as the one to which Les belongs.  The badger clan is my grandfather and corn is my grandmother’s.  Les’ family is also corn clan, hence the corn snake.”  The jar was made by Mr. Namingha and painted by both artists.





‘Corn Maiden Canteen’ by Susan Folwell, Santa Clara Pueblo

Native clay, 10” diameter x 4” (2014).


The artist reinforces the metaphor of women as sacred vessels in her Corn Maiden canteen.  This iconic shape is rife with symbolic meaning since it, too, resembles an expectant mother and the form’s original purpose was to carry life-giving water.  For thousands of years, corn has been connected with the fertility of women among Native Americans.

King Galleries





‘Damina with Pierrot’ – Francesco Nonni


International Museum of Ceramics, Faenza



Gerardo-Monterrubio-2014 ceramic sculpture

Urban theme centred around three couples, a cityscape and a wrecking ball – Gerardo Monterrubio, LA




 Gerardo Monterrubio, LA edgy urban ceramic art

Urban decay of an addict – Gerardo Monterrubio, LA

Gerardo Monterrubio website





Hautin Boulenger & Cie Choisy le Roi – Japanesque vase





‘We’ve Found the Body of Your Child’ – Grayson Perry

From a distance the vase looks benign and folksy, but with closer examination a more macabre message emerges





Inkwell with the representation of the Judgment of Paris .

Faenza, Italy –  end of the fifteenth century .





Four footed vase, fish handles – Deon de Lange




Satsuma--vase a geisha and a samurai

Satsuma vase – Samurai warriors, Geishas, Japanese gods and dragons were popular narratives for the Satsuma wares




Jessica_Julian vase with a barn in a field decoration

Jessica Julian




French Porcelain red, gold and lacquer jug with gold pagoda and palm tree

French Porcelain gold and lacquer jug with gold pagoda

Paris, c.1810






Seagulls vase – Limoges






Kaiser Germany Porcelain Theben Series – Tutenchamun Vase





‘Molly’s Odyssey – There’s nothing like a kiss’ – Claudia Clare – my version of Molly’s soliloquy – the last chapter of James Joyce’s Ulysses.

2013 – height 80cm





‘Molly’s Odyssey – There’s nothing like a kiss’ – Claudia Clare




Claudia-Clare Molly's Odyssey - There's nothing like a kiss

‘Molly’s Odyssey – There’s nothing like a kiss’ – Claudia Clare


From the Jumping For Joyce exhibition at the Francis Kyle Gallery




Last-Day-of-Summer-(front)-by-Irina-Zaytceva - footed vase with female motif and botanical decoration

‘Last Day of Summer’ (front) by Irina Zaytceva





‘Leda and the Swan’ – designed by Viktor Schreckengost (American,-1906-2008), made at Cowan Pottery





Longwy-France spherical vessel with theatrical decoration

 Boule Coloniale – Commedia Dallarte – Longwy




Lidded-Jar-with-relief-decoration.-Olive-green,-cream-and-brown-colored-glaze - Copy

Lidded Jar with relief decoration. – Jais Neilsen for Royal Copenhagen

11 inches – 1965




Lidya-Buzio---XIX--1985----Artsy - Copy

Lidya Buzio – 1995





‘Red Queen’ – Kurt Weiser–porcelain, china paint

2008;– 18 x 10 x 8 inches

After Kurt Weiser made the shift from black and white to using more colour in his decoration, he also began to indulge his narrative impulses by incorporating figurative elements, drawn both from fantasy and art history, into jungle and nature scenes. Weiser’s figures, often nude and distorted across the planes of his vessels, move through steamy, Eden-like landscapes, interacting with the natural world they encounter. Themes of lust, predation, scientific curiosities, and the vulnerability of both man and nature abound in these scenes, resonating curiously with the cultivated vessel forms and refined medium Weiser has chosen. Detailed depictions of tropical splendor become wayward reveries as radiant colors and subtle distortions transform classic porcelain vessels.




Kurt-Weiser_-porcelain globe

Rotating porcelain pear globe – Kurt Weiser




Kurt Weiser rotating Europa globe

Referential narrative : In Kurt Weiser’s Europa, a gourd shaped ceramic form is held at a tilt by a curved metal bar, that allows it to turn like a globe. On the piece is a detailed china paint illustration of a moment in the Greek myth of Europa. In the story the princess Europa is abducted by Zeus who disguised himself as a tame bull. The bull wins the princes’ affection and when she decides to try to ride him he takes her down to the ocean and swims to Crete. Zeus reveals his true self to her there and, among other things, makes her the first Queen of Crete. On the piece there is only an image of Europa riding a bull in the water, but it is not hard for a person who is familiar with the narrative to fill in the rest.





Lonnie-Schang narrative vase

Lonnie Schang

Writing on vase – Mother, he’s not a carney. Vern is a entertainer…he is an alligator wrestler. It’s a real profession and he works really hard at it. I love Vern and I’m going to marry him. He’s outside practicing….Hold on mum, Vern’s coming





Large vase ‘Women on clouds’ – Gino Ponti – Italian Futurist






Majolica Montelupo,–boy and flag





Mesoamerican,-Zapotec-Mexico-(Monte-Albán)-Urn-with-Human-Figure,-300-B.C.---A.D - Copy

Mesoamerican, Zapotec Mexico (Monte Albán) -Urn with Human Figure





Michael Kay-Leda and the swan

‘Leda and the swan’ – Michael Kay



Kalahari-Studio-Signed-South-Africa-Hand-Crafted-Pottery-Platter - hunters with an elephant

Platter with hunters – Kalahari Studio

South Africa




Polia Pillin  Rectangular Vase Mid Century





Geometric Art deco bird decoration vessel – Charles Catteau




The-Whaling-Vessel-by-sarahogren-on-Flickr - sailing ship on the seas

‘The Whaling Vessel’ – Sarah Ogren





Mermaid vase – Zsolnay






Large folk art dish by Natalio Chichipan Estrada – The designs come from imaginations and memories of the Purépecha culture

Tzintzuntzan, Michoacán, Mexico



The Mango Pickers Ingrid_Saag Large vase with nude woman

‘The Mango Pickers’ – Ingrid Saag, UK




Victoria-Sexton Piedmont Craftsmen

Victoria Sexton, USA

Piedmont Craftsmen



Nightwalker-Claudia Clare - adventures of an Iranian limo driver in London

‘Nightwalker’ – Claudia Clare

This vessel documents the struggles of a Kurdish-Iranian refugee limo driver in London, with metamorphosed images from Russia and cryptic messages.

more here




‘Nightwalker’ – Claudia Clare




Couples–Maria-Luise Bodirsky

‘But leave room in between your togetherness. And let wind and sky dance between you’ – K Gibran




Virginia_Hottinger landscape bulbous vase

Virginia Hottinger




Modern figurative sculpture with seamless integration of imagery onto form by Rudy Autio

De Young Museum, San Francisco





Running, red earthenware vessel, Jitka Palmer





Exotic sculptural gems collection


The discreet Rainbow of Africa Museum, located in the English countryside outside London, gave the curators from the USA Heritage Auctions the surprise of their lives when they witnessed the quality and uniqueness of this substantial collection. The African themed Museum of Warren and Di Taylor, located in the basement was filled with cabinets displaying a mind boggling collection of rare African gems. These were amassed over a span of 50 years and three generations, sourced from all corners of Africa, stretching from Namibia across to Madagascar, up to Morocco and down to S.Africa.
Warren Taylor first began collecting with his father, Morton Taylor, and eventually refined his focus on a diversity of colours and exotic gem crystals. The whole collection of around 345 gems will be presented for auction in New York on October 15, 2015, with the original Rainbow Museum being recreated with the original cabinets.
I’m showcasing the gems which are in their natural uncut formation because I’m fascinated by the instrinsic sculptural textures, colours and forms of these rare gems. Included are some sculptures crafted from combining gemstones, some faceted  pieces and other gems from outside of Africa.


Gem collection –  Rainbow Of Africa


Link to full collection here




Smithsonite-on-Mimetite.-Level-33,-Tsumeb-Mine,-Tsumeb,-Otjikoto-Region,-Namibia.3.9-x-2.8-x-1 - Heritage Auctions

Smithsonite on Mimetite – Tsumeb Mine, Namibia






Very Rare Gemstone – Cerussite – 430.21 Carat.. Kombat Mine,

Namibia, Africa



Azurite.-Easter-Pocket,-1994,-8th-Level,-Tsumeb-Mine,-Tsumeb,-Otjikoto-Region,-Namibia - Heritage Auctions

‘Azurite. Easter Pocket’ 1994,  Tsumeb Mine, Namibia.





Calcite ‘Flower’ –  Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia.

5.2 x 5.1 x 3.4 inches




Labradorite-Antsohamay Quarry, Tulear Prov., Madagascar. Height 6 inches

Labradorite  – Madagascar

height 6 inches




Lapidary Art- Exotic Desert Plants. Artisan crafted in Namibia.

‘Exotic Desert Plants’ – Lapidary Art – crafted in Namibia.





Bicolor Fluorite –193.86-Carat.. Garuzo, Manica, Mozambique





Liddicoatite. Sahatany Pegmatite Field, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar

3.4 x 1.5 x 2.4 inches




Calcite gemstone - . Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Calcite –  Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Rainbow of Africa Collection





Dioptase & Calcite –  gem crystals, Namibia.

4.1 x 3.5 x 2.3 inches





Mimetite Epimorph on  Cerussite, Namibia, Africa

2.7 x 2.1 x 1.4 inches





Cuproadamite – Namibia, Africa




Rhodochrosite. N'Chwaning I Mine, N'Chwaning Mines, Kuruman, Kalahari Manganese Field, Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Rhodochrosite Northern Cape Province, South Africa





Scheelite -Khomas Region, Namibia, Africa

3.1-x-2.6-x-2 inches





Rhodochrosite, South Africa





Tiger’s Eye Horses . Artist Luis Alberto Quispe Aparicio. Stone source South Africa





Cuprosmithsonite-Epimorph-on-Tennantite Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region, Namibia

Cuprosmithsonite Epimorph on Tennantite – Namibia, Africa





Rare Gemstone – Pezzotaite – 9.81 Carat

Ambatovita, Madagascar




Vanadinite on Baryte.  Midelt, Khénifra Province, Meknès-Tafilalet Region,, Morocco.


View whole Rainbow Of Africa Collection




2015  October 4th –  Nature & Science Signature Auction – Dallas


See Nature & Science Collection here



Apophyllite on Stilbite - Momin-Akhada,Rahuri,-Ahmadnagar-Dist

Apophyllite on Stilbite – Ahmadnagar, Maharashtra, India




Amethyst . Graf Claim, McTavish Township, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Amethyst Heart – Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada




Ametrine Dragon Sculpture . -Luis Alberto Quispe Aparicio. Stone -Bolivia & Brazil.

Ametrine Dragon Sculpture . -Luis Alberto Quispe Aparicio. Stone -Bolivia & Brazil.





Tiger Iron Bowl – Mt. Brockman Station, Pilbara, Western Australia

9.0-x-7.8-x-3 inches




Chalcopyrite on Quartz. Piaotang Mine, Xihuashan Ore Field, Dayu Co., Ganzhou Prefecture, Jiangxi Province, China.

Chalcopyrite on Quartz –  Jiangxi Province, China.






Malachite on Native Copper – Malachite ‘Mushroom’

Arizona, USA




Tiger Iron Natural Slab . Mt. Brockman Station, Pilbara, Western Australia.33.0 x 29.0 x 1.0 inches

‘Tiger Iron Natural Slab’ –  Pilbara, Western Australia.

33.0 x 29.0 x 1.0 inches





‘Tiger’s Eye Sphere’ – Pilbara, Western Australia

6.4 inches diameter




Violin-Frog-.-Artist--Luis-Alberto-Quispe-Aparicio - stone from Russia

‘Violin Frog’ by Luis Alberto Quispe Aparicio

Stone source – Russia





Sphalerite and Quartz – Hunan Province China







Azurite -Bisbee, Arizona, USA






Baryte on Orpiment – Nevada, USA






Azurite.-Bisbee,-Warren-District,-Mule-Mts,-Cochise-Co Arizona

Azurite  – Arizona, USA





Blue Mauve Star Sapphire – 10.76 Carat .. Sri Lanka.





Chalcopyrite on Calcite – Hubei Province, China





Fluorite, baryte, sphalerite, calcite – Tennessee, USA




Fluorite-on-Quartz.-Ruyuan-Fluorite-Mine,-Ruyuan-Co.,-Shaoguan-Pref.,-Guangdong-Provence, China

Fluorite on Quartz – Guangdong Provence, China




Lapis-Lazuli-Sculpture.-Afghanistan - deep blue

Lapis Lazuli Sculpture – Afghanistan




Linarite – New Mexico, USA




Large & Impressive Amethyst & Rose Quartz Macaws on Tourmaline & Albite Base. - Peter Müller

Amethyst & Rose Quartz Macaws on Tourmaline & Albite Base. – Peter Müller





‘Twist’ – Morrisonite and Jasper- Sculptor –sculpted by Perry Brent Davis




Green Fluorite on Quartz – Ganzhou Prefecture, Jianxi Province, China





‘Malachite on Native Copper’ –   Bisbee, Arizona, USA

7.8 x 5.5 x 2.5 inches



Native-Gold-on-Quartz - from California

Gold on Quartz – California, USA





Apophyllite with Stilbite natural crystal – Jalgaon District, Maharashtra, India.





‘Celestine’ – Newport, Michigan, USA






Polished ‘Gem’ Red Dinosaur Bone Slab. Jurassic, Morrison Formation

Utah, USA





Plumbogummite & Pyromorphite – -Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China





Rhodochrosite – Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China



Selenite. . Pernatty Lagoon, Mt. Gunson, South Australia

Selenite. Pernatty Lagoon, Mt. Gunson, South Australia





Tektite – Libyan Desert Glass – Western Desert, Egypt





Rhodochrosite Cockatoo on Tourmaline & Quartz Base  – Peter Müller.

Stone – Argentina & Brazil.




‘Sonora Sunset’ Sculpture – Milpillas Mine, Sonora, Mexico.

12.3-x-8.3-x-4 inches




” Big Beauty” – Tourmaline with Quartz & Aldite on Lepidolite

2006 – São José da Sa, Brazil

11.0-x-7.8-x-11 inches





Wulfenite – Xinjiang – Autonomous Region, China





Large Quartz Agate Tabletop – Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

23.7-x-23.2-x-1 inches




Crystal King Quartz – 8510 carats

 Museum Victoria

 Alex Amess selected a 14-kilogram crystal, 25 centimetres high clear quartz crystal from the Crystal King Mine near Tallangalook in the Strathbogie Ranges of Victoria, Australia to work on. Setting all the facet angles by eye rather than machine was painstaking work, with the cutting and polishing taking 200 hours over three and a half months.





Shattuckite Octagonal Box by Konstantin Libman