Well all good things come to an end…

Still life

…We left Hobart last Friday at the ungodly hour of 5am to catch the red-eye home to Canberra and then off to work.  Suddenly, I missed Hobart and all it had to offer.  I met so many nice people (I’ve got the gift of the gab and can talk to anyone about anything) and when Sue from her divine shop Shall Design offered for us to stay at her place I realised just how nice the people are in this quaint town.  She heard of our terrible experience – a B&B which poor hubbie had booked and turned out to be a frightful, horrible dive and should have been d-accredited to that of a 1 star hostel! Thankfully, the Henry Art Jones Hotel (housed in the former IXL Jam Factory) came to our rescue and gave us a discount on their studio loft and when we arrived Thursday afternoon they upgraded us and provided complimentary drinks for our anniversary.  I highly recommend this place for your next accommodation – you can purchase from more than 400 artworks on display throughout the hotel, go on an art/history tour every Friday at 4pm with a complimentary drink…we missed that 🙁 and enjoy the shopping in the IXL atrium.

So Hobart, this is my version (no not Lonely Planet…while practical…I prefer Wallpaper Travel and recommending alternate places to eat, visit and experience) – click on the images below for more details:

Hobart – gourmet food, art/design wares and a blushing moment

Well we’ve only been in Hobart for 3 days now and I can’t believe how much we’ve eaten, drunk, looked at art and bought lots of goodies.  From jewellery to porcelain & paper art works to smelly cheeses and boutique beer we are having a ball.  Hobart is a small but quaint city with lots of boutique shops, an array of gourmet food and nice pub/hotels which are pokie machine free!

I have been speaking to the shop owners who have all been helpful and loving my highly organised note pad and folder containing pages taken from Country Style and Frankie magazines (some of these go back a few years and have been hoarded in my travel box for that “one day…when I go to…”.  It really is a nice experience to be able to tell the owners I’ve come to their store based on my research and word of mouth.  Australia has so much to offer when it comes to boutique/art/design/food shops that exclusively support young and upcoming artists/designers as well as those with a passion for good sources of food.  Such a nice change to shopping malls and online shopping. While these 2 have their pluses/minuses nothing beats going out in the fresh outdoors (well windy, drizzly, cold, sunny in Hobart so far!) to experience first hand what small business owners have to offer.


So, if you are going to Hobart, I can recommend the following:

the disensary – beautiful clothing and body luxe items

Ruby’s Room – a gorgeous smorgeous kiddy shop – cushions, clothing, toys and all things nice

Pitbull Mansion – I bought a dress (expensive but don’t tell Adam!) – I could have bought more…but I’d have to work more! Mmmm no thanks I’m on holidays 😉 – featured image from Pitbull Mansion Facebook page.

Luxe – At first this looks like a bridal shop but once you go in it has so much more on offer. Beautiful tops/shift dresses/jackets and more.  If only I had more money….

Jackman & McRoss – I was given 2 verbal recommendations as well as my raggedly eared copy of Country Style June 2010 which listed this “worth pining for”.  OMG I had the most amazing salmon/scrambled eggs on rocket/aioli on brioche with the best coffee so far.  They don’t have a website…but are located at: 57-59 Hampden Road  Battery Point TAS 7004, Australia.  BTW – cute shops and beautifully preserved colonial homes are dotted along this road and worth the walk to Battery Point.

A common ground – Okay this is my blushing moment.  As I was shopping, Adam came to tell me that the gourmet farmer I liked from SBS TV was in his shop.  Well, of course I had to go that very minute and check out Mr Evans as he was way more important than some divine peice of jewellery!  His first name escaped me as I was so excited about meeting the food critique who had left city life to go back to where the food comes from and start up a farm to plate concept.  He also happened to be a bit on the  cute side hence my need for speed….anyway, back to the shop.  We enter, he’s serving someone, I’m in a daze, he offers cheese and I’m yes, yes and blurt out “I’ve been watching your series and love it”.  The lady next to me looks quizzical and looks at him.  He smiles.  I’m like “OMG…he’s the gourmet farmer! Don’t you know?”. No, she says fairly blandly.  Well I carry on like a smoked pork* and relish in telling her about his farm, his pigs, smokehouse, his cheeses and anything else that comes to mind.  But at one point I must have just decided to stare…at him…maybe because he was even better looking in real life…and eventually Adam’s sweet voice pricks my ears….”Honey…for the 4th time…which cheeses are we buying?”.  OMG…I’m so embarrassed…caught out big time and realise how pathetic I’ve been with my drooling/swooning and silly behaviour.  But who cares!  It was fun meeting him, buying the gourmet goodies and knowing that Adam can’t wait to tell people about my blushing blonde moment of swooning (and drooling) over a local farmer in full view of him (the hubby…oops!). *apologies for the edited version of the colloquial Australian version “carry on like a pork chop” meaning that someone (moi) behaves in a silly or stupid way…”



Faenza Museum, Italy

24 June 2011 – A 2hr train trip through the hills of Romagna we headed to Faenza – a town associated with its long history of majolica production.  We went to Cento anni del Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche and for a few hours immersed ourselves in the history of porcelain and concluded with the 57th Premio Faenza – the International Competition of Contemporary Ceramic Art.

We went into the town where laneways were dotted with ceramic tiled street names and the local bank displayed contemporary ceramic wares.







A local artist was kind enough to let me photograph her as she hand painted traditional designs. We agreed that next time we stay overnight as the museum was extensive and breaking up the visit would make the trip worthwhile.

Richard Ginori factory and museum visit June 2011

I was fortunate to have a letter of introduction from USA Visiting Artist Professor Anna Calluori Holcombe, and as a student visit the Richard-Ginori factory/museum – a 1/2hr train ride from Florence to Sesto Fiorentino, Italy. My husband came along and luckily he did as he has the memory of an elephant and soaked up all the technical aspects of the factory while moi focused on the creative components.

Excerpt from email

Sent: Saturday, 25 June 2011 6:45 PM
Subject: re: last days in Firenze as we head to Roma tomorrow

” … In the last 24hrs I have managed to fatigue poor Adam with too much porcelain viewing. Yesterday we headed to Faenza, a 2hr train trip from Firenze to visit the International Ceramica Institute and Museum. The day before, we travelled by train to Siesta Fiorentina (11 mins out of Firenze) and headed to Richard Gionori Porcelain Factory and Museum.  The Museum Curator Olivia greeted us and took us on a tour through the factory and museum.  It was a very informative and insightful view into the world of ceramics produced in Italy by the founders back in 1753.


It would be too much to try and tell you all about it but basically we saw production work of machines and people producing 17,000 objects a day.  From soup tureens to dinner plates to cups to sculpture work – there was something happening in every corner of this large factory.  Probably the most fascinating area for me was the hand painting area and mould-making.  I was brave enough to show the head designer my 2 latest pendants and he was fascinated with the raised surface and sheen.  Adam was so good in trying to translate some technical details in addition to Olivia translating.  It was a nice moment and clarified my love of studying and pursuing ceramics as a career …”

In my 2nd semester of studies, Patsy Payne, Head of the Printmedia and Drawing Workshop, ANU School of Art, encouraged me to draw and to use different sources – photographs, nature in real life, and my imagination.  Thanks Patsy.





One of the sources – seeing the bowl in person at Richard-Ginori Museum …







Another source:

Doccia, Museo Richard-Ginori della Manifattura di. Richard-Ginori 1737-1937 Ceramics from the Manifattura Di Docica Museum. Edited by Gangemi Editore. Florence: Gangemi Editore, 2007.