Content writing/photography & media relations for tourism, lifestyle, heritage & environment businesses.

Deep Hill Media: Your voice and look in business.

Deep Hill Media is the independent media partnership of Blue Mountains Australia-based Ellen and David Hill. We specialise in brand journalism and corporate storytelling and photography, media advice, editorial and travel articles and images.

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Government across all levels to fight disasters

Involving every tier of government in a national plan before, during and after a bushfire will build national resilience in an era of more frequent, more destructive and compound disasters.

Multi-stakeholder resilience specialist Renae Hanvin, in response to the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements’ recent focus on the responsibilities and roles of each tier of government during bushfire, has called on the Federal Government to support the establishment of an independent national resilience alliance.

“The Royal Commission heard in May from scientists that Australia faces even more dangerous bushfire conditions in the future,’’ Ms Hanvin said. “We all need to be prepared for this new normal and become familiar with the `prepare, respond, recovery’ routine.’’

However, no government could continue to shoulder the economic or procedural burden of disaster recovery alone.

The need for cross-tier government co-operation and business support was inevitable.

It was time government took part in activating the notion of “shared responsibility’’ that enabled collective contribution to disaster resilience. That could be achieved by the Resilient Australia Alliance (RAA), a private-public alliance model developed by corporate2community after four years of global and local research.

Founder of corporate2community and creator of the RAA, a private-public alliance to build a nation of all-hazards resilience, Ms Hanvin said the Federal Government must “put a stop to the reactive, post disaster pop-up approach that comes after the likes of floods, bushfires or the current pandemic’’.

Included in her organisation’s response to the Bushfire Royal Commission, Ms Hanvin said the current system of individual government departments and agencies working in silo towards their own mandate was not economically efficient or effective.

“It is time to support an apolitical and sustainable model that activates these efforts, a model that is not impacted by portfolio and machinery of government staff turnover.”

Kids ride free on Blue Mountains Explorer Bus

Kids can experience edge-of-the-cliff thrills in the Blue Mountains from the safety of a double decker big red bus these school holidays – for free.

Travelling to the best sights and sites of Sydney’s grand backyard after months of Covid-19 hibernation, Blue Mountains Explorer Bus has expanded its route from 29 to 37 stops.

A highlight of the 45-minute trundle around Katoomba and Leura is the jaw-dropping vista of Cahill’s Lookout overlooking the Megalong Valley and Narrowneck peninsular, with plenty of room for little legs to run around.

Hop off the bus at Everglades House & Gardens, where children can work through the activity book.

Immerse yourselves in Australia’s most accessible wilderness along one of the 12 bushwalking tracks along the Explorer Bus route.

From the easy stroll from Honeymoon Lookout to Echo Point, the medium grade walk from Gordon Falls Lookout to the Pool of Siloam or the hard yakka trek from Fairmont Resort to Wentworth Falls, every fitness level (and leg length) is catered for.

When mums and dads are tired of piggybacking tiny tots, the whole family can simply reboard the big red bus at the nearest stop.

After walking up an appetite, recharge in a café or restaurant in upmarket Leura Mall or the eclectic shopping strip of Katoomba.

Operating every 45 minutes between 9.15am and 5.30pm, Blue Mountains Explorer Bus is the only hop-on/hop-off double decker bus in the world in a national park and the only one that doesn’t live in a city.

It is operated by the family-owned Fantastic Aussie Tours, which was established in 1974 and the first tour operator in Australia to be 100 per cent carbon neutral certified.

The Explorer Bus has given visitors to the Blue Mountains the chance to tour the area in their own time with no traffic and parking hassles, no rush and no rules for 30 years.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic struck it operated 365 days and carried about 65,000 passengers a year.

Managing director Jason Cronshaw said: “Like many others, our business has been hard hit by the virus restrictions, but we have used the time of hibernation to make the big red bus bigger, better and even more value for budget-conscious families.’’

Every bus is cleaned and sanitised regularly throughout each day, hand sanitiser is provided aboard, and social distance seating measures are in place.

“That means there’s plenty of room to see the fantastic view we are blessed to share with visitors, and there’s no fights over the front seats on the top deck.’’

Blue Mountains Explorer Bus will operate every day of the school holidays until July 20.

Guests of the Fairmont Resort can use the Explorer Bus shuttle service to Leura Village for just $5.

Phone 02 4782 1866 or visit www.explorerbus.com.au or @bmexplorerbus on Facebook for more information.

Blue Mountains businesses adapting to “new normal’’

Blue Mountains businesses are adapting to the “new normal’’ by creatively embracing new business practices and digital technology.

Blue Mountains Tourism president Jason Cronshaw praised the ingenuity and flexibility of businesses, especially small enterprises.

Blue Mountains Tourism president Jason Cronshaw at Echo Point. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media.

“The response has been fast and enthusiastic,’’ he said.

“Of course there’s been tears and tantrums as people are understandably upset to see their business and livelihood evaporate literally overnight as government restrictions come in that they weren’t prepared for and can’t control.

“But we’re so blessed to have a creative community that is pragmatic and innovative and steps up to a challenge.’’

“[But] we’re so blessed to have a creative community that is pragmatic and innovative and steps up to a challenge.”

Jason Cronshaw – Blue Mountains Tourism

Many Blue Mountains businesses sell online vouchers to redeem when restrictions are lifted, encourage forward bookings and direct customers to online sales platforms.

Here are just some examples of how tourism and hospitality businesses in the Blue Mountains continue to operate under the strict new opening hours and social distancing regulations:

CafeXpresso (Katoomba) station is one of numerous examples of fast food shops, cafes and restaurants offering takeaway food only.

– Blue Mountains Cultural Centre (Katoomba) has a Virtual InSight program featuring staff insights, tours of the space, art classes with local creatives, tutorials, recipes from the cafe and more. Details: BlueMountainsCulturalCentre Facebook page (a new page will be available on the bluemountainsculturalcentre.com.au website soon).

– Mount Vic & Me (Mt Victoria) takes online orders and posts a swag of quirky Australian Made items, including the Blue Mountains Socks range, tea towels and greeting cards. Details: www.mountvicandme.com.

– Josophan’s Fine Chocolates (Leura) takes online store orders at https://josophans.com.au and has a page of simple but indulgent recipes at https://www.luxechocolaterecipes.com.

– Avalon Restaurant – Katoomba (www.avalonkatoomba.com.au) offers takeaway meals, along with most cafes in the Blue Mountains. Several such as the Ori Café & Bistro (www.oricafe.com.au) and Finn & Co (www.finnandco.com.au) at Springwood offer a home delivery service.

– GalleryONE88 Fine Arts – Katoomba (www.galleryonefinearts.com), Talisman Gallery – Hartley (www.talismangallery.com.au) and other galleries have uploaded many photos of artwork to their website and social media and have restricted sales to those platforms or email.

– Blue Mountains Chocolate Company (Katoomba) serves takeaway food and drinks, with a home delivery service within a 20km radius of Katoomba. Details: http://www.bluemountainschocolate.com.au/.

“New normal” for Blueys

More gongs for Mornington Peninsula whisky newcomer – Chief’s Son Distillery

Mornington Peninsula whisky newcomer Chief’s Son Distillery is making a powerful entry onto the world whisky stage with its sixth international award just 11 months after launching.

Barrel number 01 of their `900 Standard’ Single Malt Whisky at 49.50% was awarded Best Australian Single Cask – Single Malt Whisky (No Age Statement) in the first round of the 2020 World Whiskies Awards in London on February 6.

In the same awards, they also took home a Silver for their `900 Standard’ Single Malt Whisky at 45.00% per cent in the Australian Single Malt Whisky NAS category.

The awards for the World’s Best Single Cask – Single Malt Whisky will be awarded on March 26.

In late 2019, Chief’s Son Distillery won four international awards from two separate competitions in Hong Kong, including a prestigious Masters Award for their `900 Standard’ Single Malt Whisky at 60.00% in the Luxury Masters Awards.

Owners and distillers Stuart and Naomi McIntosh said it was “an incredible honour to take out such a prestigious award, especially with the very first barrel we ever filled, and within eleven months of launching our whisky to the world’’.

The distillery name connects the meaning of McIntosh or Mhic an Tòisich’’ in Scottish Gaelic, which literally meansSon of the Chief’’.

The McIntosh signature `900’ stamp on their core range signifies the nine centuries between the formal establishment of the McIntosh family name and that of the establishment of the distillery.

During these 900 years, each generation has passed knowledge, experience, love and passion to successive generations,’’ Stuart M<sup>c</sup>Intosh said.Our 900 reference pays homage to our proud ancestors and hails future McIntosh generations. We are all part of the ongoing legend and legacy of whisky and, most importantly, of its connections.’’

Chief’s Son Distillery is a confident splash of new world methods and unapologetic vision, infused with distinctive Australian character and quality.

Chief’s Son Distillery distils four styles of unique Single Malt Whisky and bottles them at percentages ranging from 45% to 60%. Their Whisky is available at select bottle shops and bars on the Mornington Peninsula, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra and online at chiefsson.com.au.

The distillery tasting room, 25/50 Guelph St, Somerville, is open 10am to 4pm seven days. Tastings: from $10pp. Group/corporate bookings: (03) 9013 0859.

 

Free garden workshop for Blue Mountains green thumbs

Green thumbs can learn about food growing, gardening and water saving using new techniques and technology at a series of free workshops at Bullaburra on March 1.

Hosted by award-winning sustainable Now & Zen Landscapes, guest presenters will include master landscaper and educator Shannon Decker who will demonstrate new steam weeding technology.

Now & Zen Landscapes director and master landscaper Shannon Decker

Now & Zen Landscapes (derived from the common saying “now and then’’) has operated for 20 years and is the yardstick for the highest end bespoke garden market in the Greater Blue Mountains, Nepean and Central West where projects are limited only by imagination.

 

 

Ian Collins from WaterUps From Down Under, which is making significant inroads into combating water waste, will talk about how to save water using wicking beds.

He grew up on an orchard near Orange, where his father was one of the pioneers in organic farming in the early 1970s.

Manu Prigioni from the Farm It Forward program, which links residents who have unused garden plots with volunteer food growers, will outline the program and how property owners can get involved.

One of the co-ordinators of the Lyttleton Stores Co-operative initiative at Lawson, she has a background in permaculture, soil ecology and restorative farming.

The workshops were a chance for home gardeners to learn from experts, Mr Decker said: “Ian, Manu and I are so passionate about sustainability and reducing water waste that we are prepared to share our knowledge for free.

“We are all custodians of this earth and we must work together to look after it.’’

The free workshops will be held at the new Now & Zen Landscapes showroom, 351 Great Western Hwy, Bullaburra, from 10am to 12pm on Sunday, March 1.

Blue Mountains, Australia – plenty to see & do post-bushfires

Blue Mountains Festivals 01

The Blue Mountains region has prepared a jam-packed calendar of festivals and events to welcome visitors back to Australia’s first tourist destination.

BMATA logoBlue Mountains Tourism president Jason Cronshaw said while the region was still struggling from mass tourist cancellations during the recent bushfire situation, businesses had taken a positive approach to recovery.

“Compared to other regions where tourism attractions, hotels and infrastructure have been destroyed, we recognise how very blessed we are.

“Much of our 1 million square hectare Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area looks as fantastic as ever, including the globally-recognised Three Sisters scene.

“More bush tracks into the wilderness are opening all the time.

“All the popular tourist strips and businesses are open and welcome visitors.’’

Blue Mountains Festivals 03Mr Cronshaw, who also owns the double-decker Blue Mountains Explorer Bus, encouraged people with existing bookings to still come, those who had cancelled to re-book and people considering a trip to #HolidayHereThisYear in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area right on Sydney’s doorstep.

Several long-scheduled festivals and events will go ahead as planned, including annual Roaring 20s Festival events at the Carrington and Hydro Majestic hotels in February, Blue Mountains Music Festival in March and Winter Magic Festival in June.

“The Lady Luck and Wines of the West festivals got things rolling in January and, while crowds were down on previous years, that show of confidence has buoyed the wider business community which will eventually lead the market back to normal.’’

From live music pub gigs, community markets and open days to costumed balls and fundraising dinners, the Blue Mountains will be a hive of non-stop activity throughout 2020.

Take your pick from these upcoming Blue Mountains festivals and events:

Woodford Academy

 

Christian fellowship tours a world vision

Christian Fellowship Tours managing director Jason Cronshaw is excited at the new partnership with World Vision Australia

A partnership between a travel company and a charity is set to transform the way Christians consider and conduct holidays.

Christian Fellowship Tours (CFT) guided trips to remote World Vision projects supporting  First Nation Communities in Australia will give donors firsthand insight into how their donations are being spent, with half the profits of each tour going to World Vision Australia to fund its community development work, along with 50 per cent of profits from all CFT international tours.

The first trip will be a 26-day trip to Oberammergau for the Passion play, which is staged once every decade, and foodie destinations throughout Europe in July 2020.

Also in July will be a trip from Broome to Darwin with the opportunity to meet World Vision staff in the Kimberley.

CFT managing director Jason Cronshaw said the initiative would help reduce the perceived distance of the charity work to the donor and personalise the cause to donors.

During some trips, donors would have the opportunity to meet World Vision program recipients and learn about their circumstances and needs.

Each would have a Christian tour leader, daily devotions and Sunday worship, along with sightseeing and activities, with accommodation, most meals, airfare and transfers included.

The partnership aligned with the CFT philosophy of travelling with purpose and offered travellers a more meaningful holiday with like-minded people, Mr Cronshaw said.

It helped both organisations expand and diversify their charitable capacity, a fundamental goal under their Christian charter.

World Vision Australia Strategic Alliances acting manager (private funding division) David Towill said teaming up with CFT made sense, given the shared philosophies and goals of both organisations to care for all people regardless of race, gender and creed.

It was also a creative way of encouraging charitable support in a growing pool of worthy causes and would encourage staff working in those areas.

And the partnership was the ideal vehicle to drive the Bush Church Aid model of tours to remote Australian destinations to give encouragement to far-flung Christian communities, which CFT had conducted for 40 years, into a more public and global arena.

Mr Cronshaw said while CFT and its sister companies (Fantastic Aussie Tours and Blue Mountains Explorer Bus) had given 10 per cent of profits to charity for many years, studying for a Masters in Business Administration (Social Impact) at the University of NSW helped him clearly identify charitable initiatives within his company.

“There were things we were doing as a company without really knowing that there were actual names for them or that they could – and should – be woven into our business model to stretch our giving and good works further.’’

The World Vision partnership has also helped Mr Cronshaw become a proud Christian businessman.

For years, he struggled as “an embarrassed Christian’’, giving the impression of simply continuing his Anglican lay preacher father John’s business.

“And then I thought: `How stupid Jason, you also say that you run Christian Fellowship Tours’. It’s probably rather obvious.

“I had a lightbulb moment where somebody on stage at a conference said: `Don’t think there’s a Christian world and a separate secular business world. If you’re in business, God’s called you to be in business as a Christian’.

“It’s still a work in progress for me, but I now truly believe there is no line – it’s just one Christian life.’’

While World Vision was the first such partnership for CFT, Mr Cronshaw hoped it would lead to many more relationships with like-minded businesses, of which he had several on his wish list.

“It’s certainly not an exclusive deal. I believe in this model, and if we can get it right with World Vision we’ll be able to get it right with everybody else.’’

  • The 26-day Oberammergau & a Taste of Europe tour will depart July 7, 2020. Highlights of the international World Vision partnered tour will include the Oberammergau Passion Play as well as food and sightseeing activities in Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France.
  • The 16-day Visionary Top End tour from Broome to Darwin will depart July 22, 2020. During the trip to the Kimberley, passengers will meet the inspiring people of the region, visit with World Vision staff and learn more about programs the tour helps to support. They will also be awed by the spectacular Outback landscapes and thrilled by unique experiences along the way.

Bookings and information: christianfellowshiptours.com or 1300 635 358.

 

Christian Fellowship Tours’ new world vision

Christian Fellowship Tours managing director Jason Cronshaw is excited about the new partnership with World Vision Australia

Charity donors will have firsthand insight into how their donations are used, thanks to a new partnership between Christian Fellowship Tours (CFT) and World Vision Australia.

During some trips, donors would have the opportunity to meet World Vision program recipients and learn about their circumstances and needs.

Christian Fellowship Tours (CFT) guided trips to remote World Vision First Nations projects in Australia will give charity donors firsthand insight into how their donations are spent, with half the profits of each tour going to World Vision to fund its community development work, along with 50 per cent of profits from all CFT international tours.

The first tour will be a 26-day trip to Oberammergau for the Passion play, which is staged once every decade, and foodie trail throughout Europe in July 2020.

Also in July will be a trip from Broome to Darwin with a visit to remote World Vision projects in the Kimberley.

CFT managing director Jason Cronshaw said the initiative will help reduce the perceived distance between charity work locations and donors and personalise the cause to givers.

During some trips, donors will have the opportunity to meet World Vision program participants and staff, learn about their circumstances and see firsthand how their donations are making a difference.

Each tour will have a Christian tour leader, daily devotions and Sunday worship, along with sightseeing and activities, with accommodation, most meals, airfare and transfers included.

Such tours align with the CFT philosophy of travelling with purpose and offer travellers a more meaningful holiday with like-minded people, Mr Cronshaw said.

He had the idea for a World Vision partnership 10 years ago, and it began to take shape when he heard Platinum Foundation’s Joshua Nicholls speak about his high profile One Van One Child sponsorship project.

That prompted Mr Cronshaw to instigate the One Bus One Child program under the World Vision umbrella, through which CFT and sister companies Fantastic Aussie Tours and Blue Mountains Explorer Bus sponsor 14 children in Zambia.

While the company has long given 10 per cent of profits to charity, charitable works became part of the company’s official business strategy when Mr Cronshaw began to study a Masters in Business Administration (Social Impact) at the University of NSW.

The course has helped him identify initiatives and expand the company’s social impact potential, which is a large part of his Christian faith.

“We were doing stuff out of the generosity of our heart more than weaving it into the business model,’’ he said.

The first step is the World Vision partnership, which will help both organisations expand and diversify their charitable capacity.

Mr Cronshaw said he was pleased to see that philanthropy is becoming a larger part of Australian business culture, particularly among young entrepreneurs who are now likely to make ethics and cause-based decisions.

“Any business out there can do something. You don’t have to be an established business. If every business did a little bit it would help society enormously.’’

World Vision Australia Strategic Alliances acting manager (private funding division) David Towill said the CFT partnership makes sense, given the shared philosophies and goals of the organisations to care for all people regardless of race, gender and creed.

Teaming up with CFT is also a creative way of encouraging charitable support in a growing pool of worthy causes and visits will encourage staff working in remote areas in challenging circumstances, he said.

While World Vision was the first such partnership for CFT, Mr Cronshaw hoped it would lead to many more relationships with like-minded businesses, of which he had several on his wish list.

“It’s certainly not an exclusive deal. I believe in this model, and if we can get it right with World Vision we’ll be able to get it right with everybody else.’’

  • The 26-day Oberammergau & a Taste of Europe tour will depart July 7, 2020. Highlights of the international World Vision partnered tour will include the Oberammergau Passion Play as well as food and sightseeing activities in Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France.
  •  The 16-day Visionary Top End tour from Broome to Darwin will depart July 22, 2020. During the trip to the Kimberley, passengers will meet the inspiring people of the region, visit with World Vision staff and learn more about programs the tour helps to support. They will also be awed by the spectacular Outback landscapes and thrilled by unique experiences along the way.

Bookings and information: christianfellowshiptours.com or 1300 635 358.

Now & Zen wins gold at landscaping awards

 

The Blue Mountains has cemented its place at the leading edge of landscape design, after Now & Zen Landscapes won two gold awards at the industry’s most prestigious awards earlier this month [Nov 8].

All NSW & ACT Landscape Industry Awards were for work completed in the Blue Mountains by a completely local team.

Headed by master landscaper Shannon Decker, Now & Zen Landscapes took out best in category and gold for Residential Construction $100,000 to $150,000 for work on a property in Sublime Point Rd, Leura.

It also brought home bronze awards in the residential construction section ($100,000 to $150,000 category) for projects at Leura and Wentworth Falls and $150,000 to $300,000 for a Leslie Rd, Glenbrook property.

The highest accolades in the industry, the annual TLA Landscape Excellence Awards recognise innovation, creativity and outstanding craftsmanship in landscape construction, design and maintenance residential and commercial sectors.

Sublime Point Rd, Leura, property owners Jane and Alan Cooper, who have commissioned Now & Zen for garden design and maintenance work for more than a decade, said they were “thrilled with the final result and the attention to detail’’ and not surprised their new outdoor living area and kitchen won the top award.

“We wanted to have a beautiful and functional outdoor area that blended with the modern lines of the house design and the water feature.’’

The Now & Zen design gave the space a modern feel and made the most of the magnificent view over the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

Committed to excellence, Mr Decker said he was proud to continue the tradition of landscaping excellence the likes of Danish-born Paul Sorensen who created renowned Blue Mountains gardens such as Everglades and Leuralla.

“It’s nice to swap our cargo pants for a bag of fruit now and then and celebrate the collective achievements of our industry.

“I was stoked to win these awards, but I was even more excited at the number of talented people in our industry, including here in the Blue Mountains, doing some truly outstanding work, which pushes us all to reach higher standards.

“It’s such an exciting time for landscaping, with new technology and products coming out all the time and property owners who embrace sustainability, water-saving designs and drought resistant gardens yet without compromise on beauty.

“I’m especially excited that regional landscaping has been recognised and the possibilities that presents to landscapers in some of the nation’s most significant rural and country areas, where the scope of design can be greatly magnified by the scale of the landscape.”

Now & Zen (derived from the common saying “now and then’’) has operated in the Blue Mountains for 20 years supporting sustainability and resourcefulness and is the yardstick for the highest end bespoke garden market in the Nepean valley, Greater Blue Mountains and Central West.

Mr Decker himself is the local industry authority, recently headhunted by one of Australia’s oldest recognised training organisations, The Management Edge (TME), to run its NSW and broad horticultural training program working with employers and was recently invited to sit with the board of directors of The landscape Association, given his cohesion with metropolitan and regional areas and passion for training.

As well as an 80-acre property at Mt Victoria where concrete and soil is recycled and green waste composted, Mr Decker has built an off-the-grid ironstone and iron bark house and he and his family recently opened The Source bulk foods store focusing on zero waste shopping with an old charm shopping experience.

Talisman Gallery creates upscaled jewellery to adorn the home

Traipsing the Victorian goldfields with his father in the 1960s, a young Ron Fitzpatrick could never have known how those gold hunting jaunts would influence an art show at Hartley, NSW, in November 2019.

The Blackheath metal artist’s show, Adorn, at Hartley Historic Site, blurs the line between jewellery and sculpture by upscaling jewellery designs into forged iron sculptural pieces incorporating semi-precious gems and opals.

Every time I go prospecting or to a gem fare I think of my dad,’’ Ron says.He had one of the first metal detectors around. He actually made himself a special tripod with a winch on it so he could lower himself down mine shafts.

“When I was young I was interested in being a gemstone dealer and a jeweller. It’s like its coming full circle and melding into my forged work.’’

Ron’s artistic journey began at school with a teacher who taught mechanics and metal skills. He left school for a fitter and turner apprenticeship at age 15.

During a trip around America when he was 20, Ron “met this guy in San Francisco who made the most amazing handmade knives, just beautiful – all etched on the blades’’.

On his return, Ron opened a shop in Caulfield, Melbourne, in the 1980s and sold the knives and Thai Chi dancing swords he made.

“It was a pretty tumultuous kind of time in my life and I probably didn’t have the discipline and the life skills and marketing skills needed, so I didn’t pursue that.’’

Ron next took up tree surgery work, travelled to India, worked as a cook, then got a job installing security grills, where he was introduced to the wrought iron work he is renowned for.

Today, in an old woolshed clinging to the side of a hill overlooking a clutch of sandstone colonial buildings, the circle meets at Talisman Gallery.

But this time, Ron has brought to the forge the experience and skills needed to understand the metal and coax it into the shapes of beauty and art from his imagination.

“It feels like the older you get, the more you gravitate towards what’s in your soul,’’ he says.

Ron’s work has changed tack several times since he opened Talisman Gallery at Hartley.

There was wrought iron pieces, polished dragons and mirrors. Then came the exploration of driftwood and large coloured glass garden sculptures.

Through it all have been recurring themes – gemstones, ammonites and nautilus shells, Fibonacci spirals and the Balinese jewellery he imports.

So the upscale jewellery concept for the Adorn range was no great stretch.

Meaning “to decorate or add beauty to, as by ornaments’’, the Adorn pieces are embellishments for the house or environment in the way that small-scale jewellery is for the body.

The new pieces show Ron’s experimentation with gemstones such as labradorite, moonstone, tiger’s eye and opal.

Their shapes reveal the feminine balance of fine jewellery design with the masculine of metal and scale – “the balance we’re all looking at in ourselves ‘’.

The new range also shows Ron’s new skills like splitting metal to make fine features such as strands of hair, feathers or claws.

“Every time I teach myself a new skill, it opens me up to a new piece in a new direction and new design possibilities,’’ Ron says.

Adorn will be held in the historic Corney’s Garage below Talisman Gallery throughout the November 30-December 1 weekend, with an official opening at 2pm on the Saturday.

Talisman Gallery at Hartley historic village, Great Western Hwy (400m before turn off to Jenolan Caves heading west) is open from 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Sunday. Details: Ron 0407 723 722, talismangallery@bigpond.com or the Facebook page @Talisman Gallery Hartley.

  • Create your own piece of art on the anvil by beating red hot steel into the shape at a guided workshop. Cost: fire poker $45, decorative wall hook $60, sculpture $65, additional element costs vary. A great family activity available to anyone aged 13 years and older on December 28 & 29. The 2-hour Creative Fire experience is also available as a couples’ workshop activity anytime at the special price of $275 per couple until February 15, 2020. Bookings essential. Gift vouchers also available.

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