The SALA Festival 2023 is officially finished and it has been a very successful exhibition for us here at Tong and Chic Creations. We had our work displayed at 3 locations, The Top of the Torrens Gallery, The Springton Town Hall, and a solo exhibition at the Lyndoch Lavender Farm. In all we had 35 pieces on display and for sale. The end result was 21 pieces sold over the 3 venues, and it was certainly a surprise to us both. We also got a couple of commission pieces to make as well
The pick axe fish and grass trees proved to be very popular at all venues. Demonstrations at the Lyndoch Lavender Farm on metal rose making inspired people to buy some hand made roses. The bonus is that $10 from each rose sold is donated to the Hills Murraylands Military Brotherhood MMC to support veterans in the local area.
Having three exhibitions at once was quite a challenge, especially when it came to making artworks for display. As you can see in the gallery below, there were some similar items in each exhibition, but each one had its own identity. This is not a complete list of our works on display but it is the majority of exhibited work.
The final weekend of SALA, I was invited for an interview on radio station 5AA with Michael Keelan. The interview went well, and we discussed how long I had been creating metal art. Michael was surprised to find that I had only been doing this since 2019. They had obviously done their research as they were discussing a previous emu I made with welding goggles on. I had to take the opportunity to put in a plug for each of the exhibitions we were connected with as well as Ann’s glass artworks
Now we are starting all over again to create art for Brighton Jetty Sculptures! Watch this space
Hi all, This is Adrian updating the site today. For some time now, I have been working on a big project and until now it has been a bit of a secret to the public. I feel the time is right to tell all, and for me it is a sense of accomplishment. I have recently installed my first major piece of public art and from all accounts it has been well received by all. The artwork takes pride of place in front of the Top of the Torrens Gallery and is there to greet you as you enter. This piece is a goanna (perentie) sculpture made from recycled horseshoes, 135 to be precise. He is perched atop the log that was always a part of the garden and measures 2.1m in length.
This installation marks a significant point in my journey as a metal sculptor. I have only been doing this form of artwork for 4 years, and in that time have progressed from basic home garden art to having my artwork recognised at a statewide event , the Brighton Jetty Sculptures. Now having my first public art on permanent display makes me feel that I have matured as a sculptor. You may have noticed the title “Our First Public Artwork Is Now On Permanent Display”. Well even though I created this piece, I wouldn’t have done so without the support of my wife Ann. At one point I was all but ready to give up, but she encouraged me to push through and the end result speaks volumes.
On top of that, I have been invited by the Lyndoch Lavender Farm to exhibit my work for the SALA festival 2023. I am extremely honoured, and humbled to have been asked to do this, and hope that my art will be well received by all. We are all very excited about this upcoming event. I hope that we will see you call in and spend some time at the store and cafe as well as wander through the lavender and look at my artwork.
As well as displaying here and at the Top of the Torrens Gallery, we are also displaying at the Springton Town Hall for SALA. Needless to say, the last few months have been pretty hectic for both of us.
It’s hard to believe that the Jetty Sculptures were 3 months ago, and here we are preparing for winter. Where did that time go? We took a well earned break and hit the road on our motorbikes, in Nepal! That was an exciting (and at times trying) experience, but one that will remain in our memories for some time. We also took part in the Holi festival in Kathmandu, and what an experience that was. There are many reasons for this Hindu festival, and one is the welcoming of Spring and all the colours. I wont go into it here but if you are interested, I have done a blog on our trip. I will also add links in our main menu to the blogs.
Winter in South Australia signifies the South Australian Living Artists (SALA) festival. It is held in August and we have participated in 3 SALA festivals to date. This year is a big one for us. For the first time we will be exhibiting at the Springton Hall as well as the Top of the Torrens Gallery. This means we have both been working flat out to produce artworks for both galleries. On top of that I (Adrian), have been invited to exhibit my work at the Lyndoch Lavender Farm for my first Solo Exhibition. I am both honoured and excited to be asked to display here and hope my art is well received and proves to be a valuable addition to the magnificent Lavender Garden.
We finally have the shop working properly on Facebook now. If you are looking for a special hand made unique gift, check out what we have on offer. Maybe even consider a bespoke piece as a gift.
Winter in the Glass Studio
In other news, Ann has run a few very successful leadlight for beginners classes and a 1 day foiling class. If you are interested in one of her classes drop her a line through the classes page. She is now working on her exhibits for SALA and also looking at designs for next years Brighton Jetty Sculptures. I wont give away too much but will say the work she has done so far on these items is amazing. She is constantly pushing the envelope with her work, and always exceeds her expectations.
In the Forge
I have had a curved ball thrown at me. I was commissioned to create some street art for the front of the TOTT Gallery at Birdwood. Despite having finished pieces ready for installation in January, I have now found out that the items wont be accepted without major changes to reduce the risk of injury. I thought I had mitigated the risks, but obviously I didn’t take into consideration small fingers in places they shouldn’t be. It is a bit disappointing but understandable considering it is public art and we have to look at all possibilities. I have a contingency plan in place and hopefully this will be accepted as suitable.
What this does mean is that I now have 2 more pieces for my SALA exhibition, and given the location, I think they will fit in well with the environment.
Well that is about all I have for now from Tong and Chic, so stay tuned and follow us on Facebook.
Back in October we told you that we have entered some artworks in the Brighton Jetty Sculptures 2023 (BJS). Well the ride there was nothing short of interesting. On the first count only one of our pieces was accepted and we were feeling a little dejected. Shortly afterwards we were notified another 2 were accepted, so we were feeling a little better. After all, we were entering a competition with some big guns and amazing artists.
On the set up day we arrived ready to roll and met up with the amazing staff from the BJS and Surf lifesavers club. The assistant curator Marc showed us where our locations were and made sure our artworks were secure. Ann and I both connected well with Marc and discovered he is also another metal artist.
The day after we were at Murray Bridge shopping and also checking out the flood waters. We received a phone call just as we were leaving asking us to bring our other 2 items down to fill a couple of last minute no shows. It was a mad rush to get home, pack up the ute, and head down to Brighton to set up the 2 items. In all, all 5 pieces were on display.
Fast forward to the exhibiton opening event. We turned up early so we could look at all the artworks, and we were really up against the big guns. The exhibition is set up in the Outdoor Display and the Indoor Displays. Meeting other fellow artists and discussing different methods, styles and opinions was a great experience. Unfortunately I was suffering a bit of heat exhaustion and started to fade out. Fortunately for me I was at a surf life saving club. Marc’s eagle eye saw the colour drain from my face. He immediately sprung into action and in no time I was on the floor getting cooled off and stabilising my blood pressure. Needless to say Ann took me straight home after that. I cant thank the staff at the Brighton SLSC enough for what they did for me that night.
Anyway we get home and Ann has a message that she has sold her ‘Under the Sea’ piece. This was our first artwork sold at the exhibition so we were pretty excited. A few days later I received a call advising that my ‘Catch of the Night’ had also sold. Later that day, I had another call that a lady was interested in commissioning me to make a similar piece for her. So far that has not eventuated, but Ill keep my fingers crossed.
The final day for the sculptures is Sunday the 29th January 2023 and I receive another call advising that my ‘Joanna Perentie’ sculpture has also sold. Of all the pieces this one was Ann’s favourite. I must admit, it did hold a special place in my heart. I was actually planning to put it on display in front of Ann’s Studio, but alas it’s not to be. ‘Little Red Roo’, my final piece will be lonely there, until I make another to keep it company. In all, three out of five pieces were sold. Even though there is a commission on each piece, we are happy with the result and happier that the Brighton SLSC is getting a cut of the sale.
The Brighton Jetty Sculptures is going to be a permanent fixture in our exhibition calendar. We are already planning next years exhibits.
As the old saying goes, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Well November had its fair share of lemons for us at Tong and Chic Creations. A recurring shoulder injury has severely affected my ability to get creative and am currently limited to making smaller items. I was however, persistent enough to finish off my Brighton Jetty Sculptures entries. In the mean time Ann has been busily working away in the studio making her entries for the sculpture and one is finished and the other is getting the final touches.
So about these lemons…… Well since I am limited on my creative abilities I decided to tidy up around the studio in preparation for an upcoming Christmas Decoration class. A small patch of lawn needed mowing and when I say small I am talking about 1m wide by 2m long. Well lets just say a small stone and tempered glass don’t get on too well and the end result was a shattering of one of the doors. It didn’t shatter immediately, but waited for about 30 minutes after the mowing before it exploded. The scary part was the cost to repair was double the price of the complete door!
Well Ann looked at these lemons and said to herself “I can do something with this, I have seen it done before. So after about 2 hours of collecting the glass and putting it into bowls the glass door is now being repurposed into another piece of art. The job of cleaning the dust and grit out of the glass is a tedious task but hopefully the end result will be one worth admiring.
New Online Shop
Other news is we now have an online shop that is now open for business. Our other site that we used for our whatever exhibition is now also our ecommerce shop. The address is www.tongandchic.art . To celebrate the opening, we are offering 10% off when you use the coupon code newstore22. For our local customers we are offering local pickup, and outside the local area there is a shipping calculator that seems to be pretty accurate. The stock will be updated often and of particular interest at this time of the year are the Christmas Decorations Please if you have any issues with the shop let me know.
Well that seems to be all for now so until next month take care and stay safe.
We have been talking about doing this for some time and now we are actually doing it. October had us working on some exhibits for the Brighton Jetty Sculptures. This is SA’s biggest sculpture exhibition and will be on display from 18 January to 29 January 2023. This will give us some statewide exposure for our work The bonus is that there is some serious prize money up for grabs. We both caught Covid at the beginning of the month so isolation meant we had the time to immerse ourselves in our art.
On the metal side I have revamped a couple of previously displayed items for this exhibition. My Little Red Roo from the SALA exhibition was missing something. Once I worked out what it was, it was a simple case of adding some more structure and sealing up the rust. The other item that was very popular in SALA was my horse shoe Goanna. This was displayed with a cyprus pine log. After a bit of procrastination, I reworked some steel and created a steel stringy bark tree trunk. The Goanna will remain on the sealed clean steel and the stringy bark has been rusted and sealed.
The third item is a new one that I have been wanting to make specifically for this exhibition. Those that know me well have an idea on what I have planned, and work has started in earnest on this sculpture.
Ann hasn’t been a slouch either and is currently working on 2 items for the Brighton Jetty Sculptures. Needless to say there is glass involved and these are totally different to what she has done in the past. I wont spoil the surprise just yet so you are just going to have to keep following us on Facebook and here for the latest news.
The first beginners leadlight class is almost finished now and more will be run in the new year. Ann is looking at doing a 1 day Christmas decoration class where students can make some glass decorations for the Christmas tree. She is well into the planning now and more details will be available soon………. Watch this space!
Well time really does fly when you are having fun. Before we knew it September 22 had come and gone and what have got to show for it?
Well firstly, we officially opened the glass studio and launched our first group of lessons in leadlight creation. Ann has been busy creating her leadlight manuals for students to use. They must be good because our first students are loving what they are learning and doing. So much so that they stay on for overtime after the class has finished!
In the forge, things have been slow but steady. After moving Ann into the studio, September 22 was a good time to re-organise the working areas. There is now a dedicated sheet metalwork area as well as forging, woodworking and welding areas. Because I have been using the plasma cutter more I also built a cutting table to keep the cutting slag to an isolated area.
A long overdue emu commission was getting the final touches and work has begun on a street art commission for the local gallery.
We were advised in the beginning of September that the local gallery (Top of the Torrens Gallery), was successful in securing a grant for some street sculptures. Exciting times ahead for sure in the forge area.
So we are well into October now and there is more news on the horizon. You will have to come back and see what October brings before the end of the month.
It is no secret that the word is a totally different place than it was 3 years ago. Covid has changed the way we do things and the aftermath of that is affecting how we spend our money. Here at Tong and Chic we took advantage of the isolation and created some art for our own exhibition in February and March 2022. The exhibition was a resounding success to say the least. All of our art in this exhibition can be seen on our gallery site https://tongandchic.art. We also made the move to create a separate glass studio for Ann .
Building the Glass Studio
The new studio will be a lot more comfortable (and cleaner) than sharing the workshop with the forge and metal working area. The studio build didn’t go according to plan though. The contractor who was supposed to come and build the shed didn’t show up. They didn’t even bother to tell us they were not coming. Not to be set back we called out to some friends from the Military Brotherhood to assist us. Without their help we would have been waiting another 3 months with no guarantee from the contractor.
We had the structure up in no time, and over the next few weeks had it ready for a concrete floor. Once we let the concrete harden we laid a floating floor on moisture resistant lining. We moved in the equipment and worked out the basic layout. It is a lot easier on paper but having the actual equipment in place makes a big difference.
The next thing is we need is some power, and once again military mates come to the rescue. A qualified electrician came and installed our power. We are now just refining a few things and it will be ready for use very soon. I have created a short video from pictures of the build below for you to see.
We have plans to provide lessons in the future. This work space has taken into account the space needed for small classes in glass work. Stay tuned for updates on the official opening.
What the Future Holds
With a new studio we thought it was time to update the web site. The old site was out of date and needed some refreshing. We hope you enjoy navigating this site and welcome your feedback.