Tuesday, December 11, 2007


CAST IRON RADIATORS are a perfect feature for a period home particularly this time of year. These units are either wall hung or stand on their own feet. Exposure to harsh winters and hot summers can potentially be damaging for ironwork and rust can appear, so regular maintenance and upkeep is essential. The best way to do this is with a good brush down and a fresh lick of paint. Although painting is a great prevention for rust and damage, a painted surface can mask splits and cracks, so care should be taken when buying reclaimed metal work. The first step in the cleaning process is to make sure that the ironwork is clean and dry and free from rust. Various grades of sandpaper, wire brushes, flame cleaning can be used to remove rust and old loose paint. Most paint systems for iron require a primer, undercoat and top coat but some are designed to do it all in one coat. Either way, paint is undeniably the best protection and it should be renewed every 3 to 5 years. Colour is important and black is renowned to be the most popular for gates, railings and most exterior ironwork. However, it was not until the death of Price Albert in 1861 that black became popular , before this red, green and blue were all colours of choice. This was probably due to the more vibrant colours were more expensive to mix and were therefore used as a status symbol.

OLD WROUGHT IRON Dating back centuries, old wrought iron is highly prized for its fibrous and malleable structure. the original blacksmith's material can be hammered and beaten when hot and twisted and bent when cold. Its knobbly surface and non-uniform appearance sets it apart from cast iron and steels more uniform and smooth surface. Unfortunately, old wrought ironwork is no longer widely available, being so labour intensive to produce but many skilled blacksmiths and foundries still exist and produce beautifully decorative wrought ironwork.

CAST IRON, as its name suggests, it is formed by pouring molten metal into a mould or 'cast'. Although cast iron is not easily worked like old wrought iron, it can be successfully welded or machined. Cast iron is the traditional choice for rainwater goods and can still be seen on many Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian properties today. It was also a popular choice for larger items such as railings and gates, being cheaper and quicker to produce than wrought iron. properly cared for, it will last for centuries but its main drawback is its brittleness and risk of shattering.

MODERN WROUGHT STEEL This refined form of iron can be worked when hot or cold and is often used as an alternative to wrought iron. It wasn't produced in large quantities until the middle of the 19th century, but today has largely replaced old wrought iron and many examples will be seen around the home today.

Period House

Courses for period homeowners

Furniture Restoration
Learn how to do small repairs, French polishing, stripping and re-polishing, surface cleaning and revival and repairing lost veneer. No previous experience needed.
12 - 13 January, Assington near Sudbury, Suffolk
£140 (including lunch and materials, accommodation £25 per night)
For further information or to book on the course contact: Anne Holden, Assington Mill Farm, Tel: 01787 229955 or visit www.assingtonmill.com

Carpentry for beginners
Tailor-made for enthusiastic but inexperienced amateurs and will cover what to make, timber choice and acquisition, tools required, wood finishes, ironmongery and adhesives, plus the handicrafts of tool sharpening, cutting, planing and chiseling, classic timber joints and the use of routers and lathes.
18 January, Assington near Sudbury, Suffolk
£45 (including lunch and refreshments, accommodation £25 per night)
For further information or to book on the course contact: Anne Holden, Assington Mill Farm, Tel: 01787 229955 or visit www.assingtonmill.com

Basket weaving, chair seating and willow work
You will be shown how to construct baskets from sustainable willow. You will complete two or three projects, with a choice from shopping and laundry baskets to storage boxes and letter racks - whilst learning about willow harvesting, construction techniques and handle making.
11 - 14 January, West Dean College, West Dean, Chichester
£220 (non residential, residential visits vary)
For further information or to book on the course contact: West Dean College, Tel: 0844 499 4408 or visit www.westdean.org.uk

Period House

Monday, December 10, 2007

3000 year old mummy has CT Scan

Above: The coffin of a 3,000 year old Egyptian Priest [pict from Metro]

Above: Mummy to undergo CT scan at the University College Hospital [pict from Times]

College Hospital, London UK

A hi-tech examination by the NHS of a 3,000-year-old mummy will seek to uncover more of the hidden secrets of ancient Egypt. An elaborate coffin concealing the body of a priest called Nesperennub is to undergo a computerised 'tomography' scan at University College Hospital in Central London. Radiographers and experts from the British Museum will spend up to four hours seeking to find out everything about the coffin and its contents. An earlier scan in London in 2004 revealed that Nesperennub was in good health at the time of his death – apart from a hole in his head.

Fiona Henderson, lead superintendent radiographer for UCH, said: 'This CT scanner was installed just two years ago, when the new hospital opened, and it provides incredibly detailed images, generating up to 6,000 pictures of the body. Up to 36 patients per day are scanned using this CT scanner but this will be the first time it has had such an old and illustrious “patient”. Nesperennub was a priest at Karnak, the religious complex near the ancient city of Thebes, where modern-day Luxor is situated. UCH staff gave the coffin a CT scan in 2004 but improved technology means a lot more can be seen now. John Taylor, a leading Egyptologist at the British Museum, said: 'Fully-wrapped Egyptian mummies still contain a lot of untapped information.'


Friday, November 30, 2007

Faberge egg sells for record £9 million

Above: Faberge Egg selling at Christies for £9 million

Christies, London UK

A rare Faberge egg which had been in the Rothschild family for more than a century sold for £9 million at a Christies Auction breaking three world records. The egg topped with a diamond studded cockerel was the highest Faberge work of art breaking the record for the most expensive Russian artwork, excluding painting and the most expensive time piece ever sold.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

'Rock man'

Above: Two restoration projects - Picture deleted [req bg 7jun08tk]

Above: A commission for a Japanese client showing the progression to a spherical ball and will be used as religious worship aids

Above: One of the many machines at Ben's workshop

Picture deleted [req bg 5jun08cg]

Above: Rock crystal inspected for imperfections in Beazo-alcohol

Above: Crystal rock found in Madagascar

South London, UK

There is nothing Ben Gaskell likes more than to source a flawless piece of rock crystal, take it back to his studios and transform it through a new challenging project. He moved in to his premises in 1992 initially solely trading in rough material, importing from the vast Madagascan network he had built up and distributing large quantities to German and Japan. During a visit to Japan he identified an opening in the market and began to craft rock crystal spherical balls for Buddhists and other religions to use as religious aids. For a number of years his workshop produced only these highly polished balls before he began to take on new projects.

"It is important to be a market maker in Madagascar and to be known to offer the best prices, so in return you hear about the best pieces of rock crystal. Although this is proving continually difficult as the German and Japanese markets are becoming stronger and my last trip to Madagascar because of the children and other commitments was two years ago. This might have been my last had I bought the 800 kilo rock I was offered. It would have challenged the rock in the Smithsonian as the largest flawless rock crystal sphere in the world, but I only had a few hours to decide and although I believe you have to respond to things in a rush there was something not quite right. I wasn't going to hand over the six figure sum on something I wasn't 100% sure on, so I returned without it" Ben said.

Known locally as the 'rock man' his studios could be likened to a [deleted [req bg 7jun08tk]] base as high tech machines were squeezed in everywhere. "Some of these were used during the war to make prisms and periscopes for tanks, but now each one has it own specific task to do. The machine there will make tiny little holes and next to it is it's brains. Working on table tops would be pointless as they have to have large wheels for power, but also tremendous rigidity as there can't be any vibrations at all" Ben explains. The store rooms are like an Aladdin's cave, everywhere you turn there are beautiful examples of Siena marble, Imperial Porphyry, Blue John and of course magnificent rock crystal. Some of which are used to aid with restoration work which he undertakes, but many are lying there waiting to be chosen for the next project. He first inspects the rock in a tank of benzoalcohol to check for impurities "which could be created by any number of things including fluorides, but even one speck of black means that it won't work. The proof is in the pudding or in the tank" Ben said. The co-ordinates are then carefully mapped out to ensure no wastage and then work can begin.

[four sentences deleted [req bg 5jun08cg]

Ben is eager to make more contact with artists for future commissions he said "I enjoy new and exciting work, I can't even criticise the diamond encrusted scull of Damien Hirst as he is not a jeweler or a craftsman. it was produced by someone else and made in a rush with setters working twenty four hours a day in shifts, and I know what it is like to work in a rush on a project. The work was at a peak of high spending when people were shedding out huge amounts of money for Brit Art and this is why it worked. Although part of me hopes that it is broken up and the flawless E-coloured diamonds will be removed it will always remain a social post-it note". Ben is surprisingly humble despite a portfolio of impressive commissions [deleted [req bg 7jun08tk]]. It is clear that his drive is from his passion and enjoyment he gets from working with the material.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Above: Examples of the recycled plastic sheets, including wellies, CDs, plastic bags and mobile phones, prices range from £65 to £300 for a 2m by 1m sheet

Above: How the sheets can be used once they are bought by the designers

SmilePlastics the home of recycled plastics

SmilePlastics launched their first products a range of sheets made from old plastics bottles in 1994. Originally containing shampoo, detergent or milk, the bottles have been collected, sorted, flaked and thoroughly washed to remove any remaining contaminants. Looking like multi-coloured corn-flakes the pieces are then compressed into sheets by a process of heat and pressure, which retains the colours of the original bottles.

The second product range were made from high impact polystyrene and therefore designed to be more ridged and harder. Since then further products have been launched including crushed CDs, plastic water bottles, toothbrushes, banknotes, mobile phones and welly sheets. All of which are visually appealing, with their abstract impressionist colours and versitile as they are easily cleaned and transformed into numberous objects. SmilePlastics sell the sheets to a range of designers who create furniture, guitars, ornaments, fit bathrooms and kitchens with the recycled plastic. More commercial uses of the sheets have been in The Science Museum, the Tate Gallery and the V & A in London and various Body Shops throughout Spain have also adopted the product.


Demolitions: Imposing stone built property C.1920

Above: Examples of Salvageable materials from the impending demolition

Stonewood Co, Lancashire UK

An interesting demolition has come up on the Salvo Demolition site, James Pickles from Stonewood and Co has provided the following brief history and personal anecdote about the old mill, built in remembrance of those who fell during the Great War.

"The building was created for cotton mill workers by mill owner Mr Amos Nelson as a monument to the fallen heroes of WW1. Interestingly it housed a number of evacuees during the Second World War. Mr Nelson obviously had the foresight to keep his workers happy as within the building there was a refectory, a couple of bars, a superb sprung oak dance floor, band stand and stage, card rooms as well as changing rooms for the tennis courts and bowling greens within the grounds

Yes this is an interesting building and one which holds some interesting old memories for me as an eighteen year old being weaned onto the local dark brew ! Attending a seemingly harmless live band event one Saturday night, it quickly became apparent that the locals preferred to box rather than listen to the music. The evening erupted into something resembling a wild west saloon brawl. Chairs and glasses were hurtling through the air as were some of the more diminutive attendees. Eventually the police did arrive and things returned to a kind of normality.

That was back in the mid-eighties when "Jimmy Nelson's" had long seen the last of its mill workers and was now a bar-club hosting small rock and punk bands from the Burnley & Blackburn scene. It has been redundant for the last ten or so years. It is a wonderfully built example of early 20th century mill-town architecture and we are hoping that many if not all of the arches, doorways and window sets can be relocated and incorporated elsewhere."

Salvo Demolitions

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Obituary: Fritz Fryer

Above: Fritz Fryer in the Four Pennies [pict. from Telegraph]

We are sad to announce the death of Fritz Fryer who for over 20 years ran fritz Fryer Antique Lighting in Ross-on-Wye. Despite Fritz's obvious success and flair for antique lighting it wasn't Fritz's first vocation. in the 1960's he was the lead guitarist in the Four Pennies who topped the UK charts in May 1964 with Juliet, first released as a B-side to Tell me Girl.

Fritz was born on December 6th 1944 in Lancashire, where he met and collaborated with Mike Wilsh, singing harmony during school hymns at assembly. The duo then went on to form the Four Pennies with Alan Buck and Lionel Morton. He sold Fritz Fryer Antique Lighting and returned with his girlfriend Joan to a Villa in Portugal just a few weeks before he died, aged 62.

He will be sadly missed.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Gaze Rural & Domestic Bygones Sale results

Diss, Norfolk, UK

FAIRS & AUCTIONS: A selection of results from the Gaze Rural and Domestic Bygones sale, 17 November 2007.

Above: A late Victorian walnut three drawer shop sewing cabinet, Estimate: £20 - £30, Sold: £110

Above: A cast iron fireplace with tiled panels - floral decoration , Estimate: £250 - £375, Sold £240

Above: An enamel sign with thermometer - Duckhams, Estimate: £125 - £190, Sold: £130

Above: A 19th Century eel cleave, Estimate: £120 - £180 , Sold: £220

Above: A 19th Century mistletoe cutter, Estimate: £30 - £45, Sold: £70


Friday, November 16, 2007

William De Morgan sale

Above: A selection of William De Morgan Tiles for auction at Woolley and Wallis auction house

William De Morgan sale
Woolley and Wallis Auctioneer's Sailsbury, Wiltshire UK
05 December 2007 at 14:00

WOOLLEY AND WALLIS are holding a sale at their auction rooms of various William De Morgan pieces, which includes vases, tiles, bowls and plates. William De Morgan is one of the most innovative potters of the nineteenth century and was central to the arts and crafts movement. His distinctive style and lustres are instantly recognisable.

William De Morgan sale at Woolley and Wallis Auction Rooms

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Olympia off with a swing

Above: Dave Bridgwater and skittles at Olympia

Olympia, London UK

THE Olympia Winter Antiques Fair had a typically busy first night, although the only celebraty spotted was Alan Titchmarsh. Dealers to the stars were visiting, including Bath-based Dave Bridgwater, who was caught clutching a rare set of eight woodworm-eaten French skittles, with two balls, for which he declined to state a price. This years loan exhibition was “Simply British” a private collection of naive English painting. There were some nice displays of pottery, including de Morgan tiles from £200 to £2,000. Three saddle stones were selling at £1,750 each, and a gothic medieval gargoyle head (looked Victorian or later) at £750. From the 240 International dealers there was some fabulous stuff, among which was a large 1950's wedge end-grain table.

Olympia Winter Arts Fair

Steinitz in three countries Christie's sales

Steinitz sale in New york, Paris and London

"NOTHING belongs to us, everything belongs to God," says France's greatest-living self publicising decorative antiques dealer, near octogenerian Monsieur Bernard Stenitz of St Ouen, in 'Le Prince des Antiquaires' a video of him and his son Benjamin, which promotes three small but high-lot-value Christie's sales in New York 19 October, Paris 14 November and London 6 December under the title of 'Le Gout Steinitz'. Highlights of the London sale includes an important bronze group, Hercules and the Centaur Nessus, from the early 18th century (estimate:£200,000-300,000) as well as a magnificent ormolu- mounted commode with sophisticated parquetry in kingwood, amaranth and sycamore, attributed to Martin Carlin, circa 1780-85 (£180,000-250,000).
The Chineur as he is known in France last had a big sale in St Ouen in 1993, glowing with superlatives, boiserie, chandeliers and parquetry flooring. The current sales this time seem to feature mainly superlatives and furniture, much of it rendered barn fresh, which Christie's is 'proud to have the honour of selling'. Although belonging to God, Christie's heavenly reward will still be a relatively large percentage.

Christie's preview video of Steinitz

Jeff Koons' heart breaks record

Above:Jeff Koons' heart

Sothebys, New York, USA

ON the evening of November 14, 2007 at a Sotheby’s Contemporary Art sale in New York Jeff Koons’ Hanging Heart sold for a record $23,561,000. The magenta and gold heart took ten years from conception to completion and is one of five uniquely coloured versions. The monumental’s heart is coated in more than ten layers of paint. Executed in high chromium stainless steel, weighs over 3,500 pounds, is over nine feet tall and took over 6,000 man hours to produce. So surely it was worth the $23.5 million?.......


Monday, November 05, 2007

Acqua, sapone e creativita

Casantica, Novembre/Dicembre 2007

L'antico incontra l'hitech
La soluzione piu bizzarra della nostra passerella e sicuramente rappresenta-ta da questo curioso (e, a nostro parere, efficacissimo) matrimonio fravecchio e nuovo, fra legno di recupero e materiali hi-tech (il vetro e le rubinetterie iper-contemporanee).

Un lavabo da antiquari
Siete in cerca di un lavabo elegante e classico? Questo vecchio tavolino rinvenuto in un mercantino antiquario e adattato allo scopo puo facilmente fare al caso vostro. Un consiglio: quanto piu e bello il mobile scelto come supporto tanto piu risultera ricercato ed esclusivo il risultato finale.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Material is reusable after demolition projects

Whitehall Place, London UK

During the annual Donovan Purcell Lecture held earlier this month, Ptolemy Dean founder of Ptolemy Dean Architects who specialise on historic building and Hank Dittmar the Chief Executive of the Prices Foundation. Were quoted as 'applauding the fact that the material was often reusable after a building had been demolished.'

Natural Stone Specialist

SalvoWEB is a 'fantastic resource'

THE good web guide said Salvo is 'One of the most established names in the architectural salvage industry, Salvo was set up in 1992 to make it easier to buy and sell old building materials and to create a networking for the trade. it contains a wealth of salvage information unrivalled by almost any other site. SalvoWEB is also frequently updated, not just with information on materials, but with other, more newsy, items which may affect people in the trade.'

The Good Web Guide

Strange but True

Above:One of the stone carved heads left in Yorkshire on a villagers doorstep (Picture from telegraph.co.uk)

Yorkshire, UK

AS the eve of Halloween draws close villagers across a 100 mile stretch of Yorkshire are grateful that Police have uncovered the identity of the 'mystery' man. Leaving as many as 20 giant carved heads on village doorsteps. Firsts reports emerged when Fiona Gould who runs a local hotel found one on her patio, she said, "some people think it's a curse, but we have no idea who we might have offended. One woman claimed there is a link to werewolves."

Each of the foot high stones had the hand written rhyme "Twinkle, twinkle like a star. Does love flourish from afar?"

Valirie who runs the Post Office in the village of Braithwell discovered her stone head on the doorstep "there a bit like a gargoyle, they are very bizarre." After reviewing security footage she said "this chappie just drove up at 4.15 in the morning parked his car and dropped off these stone heads."

The mystery heightened and focused on Yorkshire Stone carver Billy Johnson and One to One productions. Together they have been exploring 'hypnagogia' the state of being half awake, and it is in this time that the faces appear to him. After more detective work Billy Johnson and One to One admitted responsibility for the appearance of the heads which were created for a project to explore modern folk-law and traditional craft skills with new media and web based technology.

Natural Stone Specialist

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lawrence Salander in trouble

New York USA - THREE year's ago Mike Roberts sold his stock of architectural and garden antiques at a spectacular sale held by Christie's, organised by Nic McElhatton, which raised £2.3m and where many of the lots sold to a New York bidder. Many of the lots subsequently appeared in the newly created gallery of Salander Decorative Arts in 22 East 71 Street.

Lawrence Salander, owner of Salander O'Reilly, dealers in mainly flat art, and whose website described Salander Decorative Arts as 'our new gallery', is in trouble. His gallery was dramatically chained and padlocked by a New York judge last week because he has defaulted on a $40m bank loan and is being pursued by creditors, including John McEnroe.

Bloomberg press writes:
McEnroe is one of almost two dozen individuals and companies seeking tens of millions of dollars from Salander and his Salander-O'Reilly Galleries, which are accused of defrauding customers and defaulting on debts. Last week, New York State Supreme Court Judge Richard Lowe III ordered the gallery closed indefinitely. The facts in this case, according to court papers, are: McEnroe paid Salander $162,500 in October 2006, based on the dealer's promise to double the tennis star's money through an investment in a painting by American Marsden Hartley. Salander said he had an agreement to buy the artwork for $650,000 from a third party and to sell it for $1.3 million six months later. In a letter to McEnroe, included in court papers, Salander promised he'd pay McEnroe $325,000 even if the final buyer failed to pay. On May 10, McEnroe sued, contending he'd received nothing from Salander except a $50,000 check that bounced. Later that month, Salander-O'Reilly paid McEnroe $200,000 - the original investment, plus $37,500 - according to a Salander affidavit. "Although I now believe the transaction was usurious, I attempted to honor my commitment to double Mr. McEnroe's money in six months," Salander said, according to the affidavit.

After the sale in 2004, Salvo tried and failed to make contact with Salander Decorative Arts. Mike Roberts went on holiday for a year and is now reported to be property developing in France and Italy.

[Bloomberg extract (italicized) by Philip Boroff and Patricia Hurtado Bloomberg 25Oct07]

John Harris descends into Hades to launch architectural salvage book

Above: John Harris book-signing at Lassco 24 October 2007

Vauxhall, London UK - BRUNSWICK House was host to the triumphal launch of John Harris' latest book Moving Rooms - The Trade in Architectural Salvages at which luminaries of the conservation world could be seen although dealers were thin on the ground, apart of course from Lassco staff whose London base this is. Among the more notable in attendance were Gavin Stamp, Mark Girouard, Eileen Harris, Charles Brooking, a coterie from English Heritage headed by no less than Simon Thurley, representatives from London museums and more.

The book is a tour de force, running the gamut from the 1600's to the recent past, spattered with references, notes and anecdotes, open-ended titbits and lush in-depth researched history.

"The book tells a story that no-one else could even dream of putting together," said Sally Salvesen who was the book's editor.

"Salvages are like artworks," John Harris said, in response to our question asking what he thought of the modern UK architectural salvage trade. "Their value goes up and down. Fifty years ago a stately home was demolished every two days, salvage was omnipresent, house sales were happening everywhere, thousands of fine chimneypieces being taken out every year. I think it would be wonderful for the trade if buildings being demolished now were treated in the same way with provenanced demolition sales." The value of items removed in the 1950's had reached rock bottom so the only way was up, and now many of those rescued items are appreciated and worth fabulous sums of money. He mentioned 63,000 Georgian marble chimneypieces – but then duty called and he was signing again.

During the evening Adrian Amos gave a short introductory speech where he described John Harris' visit to Lassco as descending into Hades and meeting Beelzebub. John Harris riposted that his writing was about the rogues of the trade in every century before recounting the tale of his discovery of Lord Bolingbroke's 'Cedar Room', a panelled room in London where Pope wrote Essay on Man, which is now in a private house in Philadelphia.

John Harris writes:
As I had started professional life in an antique shop in 1954, I stood on the other side of the fence to the historians. Apart from precious few of the latter, no one bothered to protest the sheer volume of the salvage trade, or to document it. And if, in 1955, one country house was being demolished every two-and-a-half days, what could have been done? I often speculated that if 1,500 country houses have been demolished, where on earth did 1,500 staircases, 10,000 chimney pieces or 2,000 rooms go? The salvage trade was built on this. In general, the trade was neither particularly interested in its archives nor, indeed, in provenance. I first thought about writing a book on architectural salvages in 1960, when I toured museums in the US and wondered about the whys and wherefores of their many English period rooms. My second attempt followed the Destruction of the Country House exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1974, when it dawned on me that the loss of country houses in the 20 years following 1919 and the first world war coincided with the fashion for installing English historical rooms in American museums — direct cause and effect. [Building Design 24 Aug 07]

Moving Rooms: The Trade in Architectural Salvages

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Olympic Park- how much material from the site has been recycled or reused?

London, UK

Over 95 per cent of 10827 tonnes of demolition materials from the Olympic Park is being recycled or reused so far, beating the 90 per cent target set out in the Olympic Delivery Authority’s (ODA) Sustainable Development Strategy earlier this year.

The Olympic Delivery Authority also announced that over 20 per cent of the overall site has now been cleared showing it is on track to clean up most of the land by summer 2008, one of the key Milestones to Beijing published two weeks ago.

Over 9823 tonnes of the materials from the demolition of buildings on the Eton Manor and Clays Lane areas of the Olympic Park has been sorted and prepared for reuse on site. A further 638 has been recycled or reclaimed off site. Designers will incorporate recycled materials into the Olympic Park, such as the 70 tonnes of quality York stone walling already reclaimed and stockpiled. Other materials that will be reused include:

* 9741 tonnes of crushed brick and concrete
* 10 tonnes of reclaimed London stock bricks
* 2 tonnes of roofing tiles

Over 90 per cent is being recycled or reused on site and over five per cent of demolition material has been reclaimed or recycled off site, including timber turned into chipboard, plasterboard turned into gypsum powder and steel recycled as scrap. The remainder, less than five per cent, including 161 tonnes of asbestos, has been safely disposed of in licensed landfill sites. Also, furniture removed from buildings is being supplied to an organisation that provides low cost furniture to schools and community groups.

The ODA is demolishing buildings and cleaning up the land as it gains possession ahead of the next phase of demolition which begins in July, when the ODA gains full possession of the whole Olympic Park site.

During a nine month programme 256 buildings will be demolished, most of them industrial, and again, wherever possible, materials will be reused or recycled.

ODA Chief Executive David Higgins said: "We want London 2012 to be the greenest Games in modern times and have set ourselves tough targets to recycle or reuse materials wherever possible. These figures show we are not only meeting our commitments, we are beating them. They also show that we are firmly on track to have most of the site cleared and cleaned by Beijing 2008.

"We are setting new standards in sustainable construction and our contractors deserve credit for meeting the challenge."

In November work started demolishing buildings on the Eton Manor area (formerly the Eton Manor Clubs sports facilities) and some of the former University of East London buildings on the Clays Lane estate.

Of 10827 tonnes of demolition materials:

* 638 tonnes have been recycled or reclaimed off site.
* 176 tonnes of timber recycled for chipboard
* 326 tonnes of metals reused as scrap
* 30 tonnes of plasterboard turned into gypsum powder
* 106 tonnes of general waste recycled (plastic bottles, cans, tyres, etc)

9823 tonnes have been sorted and stored to be recycled and reused on site, including:

* 9741 tonnes of crushed brick and concrete
* 70 tonnes of Yorkstone walling
* 10 tonnes of reclaimed London stock bricks
* 2 tonnes of roofing tiles

366 tonnes of waste that could not be reused or recycled has been disposed in licensed landfill, including:

* 161 tonnes of asbestos safely removed and transported
* 205 tonnes of general waste

256 buildings will be demolished during a nine month demolition programme starting in July, including 244 former business and industrial units. An asbestos survey will be carried out on every building to establish safe demolition and waste management procedures.

Taken from Olypic Games 2012 website

olympic news

Go Green

extracts from the Telegraph, UK

Paula Robinson from The Earth channel said "I am embarrassed to think how many times I've bought something based on looks and price alone, without pausing to think where, how and from what it was made. By contrast, my new regime of "shopping green" is hard work, especially when it comes to furniture. It isn't fast, easy or cheap, and I have had to re-think my approach to shopping entirely. I took my cue from the way the French shop for food: for quality, not convenience, carefully picking each establishment for its best produce rather than opting for a one-stop shop. Applying this principle to "green shopping" instantly turned it into an enjoyable quest rather than drudgery. Buying locally-made furniture is a major objective: it's better for the environment than anything shipped from halfway around the world. I'm a huge advocate of buying the work of British craftsmen. They offer quality and value for money and are well worth seeking out."

The notion of 'green shopping' is becoming more in vogue as more people are demanding organic food, products from a sustainable source, or reclaimed and recycled. Paula Robinson suggests that we should ask more questions of the supplier to identify the products history and ideally choose natural finishes to products as these will have lower energy consumption. Additionally she highlight the 'buy local' ethic as Britain is a big producer of wool, hemp and other natural products.

"Ultimately, the best eco-furnishings are pieces already in existence, transformed into something new and exciting with minimal fuss. Repaint old furniture using natural paint, lime, quark, or stain it with old recipes such as tea and vinegar, and plant colour. For inspiring, simple eco-finishes. Look around your home, second hand and charity shops, and architectural salvage yards to see what can be transformed from one use to quite another. Some of my favourites include turning a paned window frame into a mirror; discarded trellis into a kitchen wall rack; a stair spindle into a tall candlestick; and an old shutter into a CD rack.If you must discard furniture, don't go to the tip.Contact organisations that re-distribute unwanted furniture to underprivileged families. And, before buying anything new, pause: don't let looks and price alone dictate your choice. Ask where it comes from, what it's made of, and how it's made, and avoid anything with excessive packaging. There's something satisfying about making a difference, one step - and one person - at a time." Paula Robinson said.

Telegraph-'Going green is worth the effort'

ECO design xmas fair

Above:Example of a sustainable design company who transform landfill-destined items into unique contemporary furniture and lighting

Camden, London UK

An ECO design Xmas fair will be held in Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regents Park Road NW1 7AY in Camden on the 23rd and 24th November between 11am -5pm. Entrance costs £1.50/conc £1.

The fair was set up by a recycled textile artist hoping to promote and sell sustainable and environmentally aware design products to the public. It gives a unique opportunity to buy the goods directly from the makers, products for sale include certified organic clothing, vintage fabric clothes and home accessories, vegetable-tanned leather shoes, ceramics, lighting, furniture, alternative technology, fair trade goods, books, wooden toys and kits and information on developing a more sustainable lifestyle.

Above: A sculptor who makes modern products from recycled and reclaimed materials

ECO design

Monday, October 22, 2007

Eco Age Ltd

London, Chiswick UK

ECO is opening in Chiswick this November, it is a retail concept providing eco-friendly solutions to fashions every need that will combine technology with good design. Founded by actor Colin Firth and his wife Livia Giuggioli who said "we are not eco-warriors we just want to empower people at a time when it's practically immoral not to care about the planet." It will bring together a range of household products, appliances and building solutions such as how to improve insulation and lessen energy use to eco-friendly furniture, paints, inks and wallpaper.

Eco Age Ltd

Gaze Architectural Salvage & Statuary Sale results

Above: A bronze study of a standing girl holding a single bloom 58inch high, selling for £1300

Diss, Norfolk, UK

Fairs & Auctions: Gaze Architectural Salvage & Statuary
"It was a good sale despite the sunshine" Carl Willows said, referring to the architectural salvage & statuary sale at T W Gaze on 20 October 2007. The top lots included 200sq yds of York flagstones selling to a developer for £140 per sq yd, which Carl Willows no longer considers to be a record at Gaze's. In the statuary section the top sale was a 'bronze study of a young girl' selling for £1300, whilst the pair of reconstituted grotesque birds sold for £200. A massive 68inch diameter hemispherical eighteenth century washing machine known as a 'copper copper' that apparently originated as an industrial tool from a cheese making shop sold well, fetching £1200.

The next Gaze sale is the Rural and Domestic Bygones Sale on Saturday 17th November, which will typically include Victorian household equipment, kitchenware, boxes, ironware, architectural implements, tools etc.

Above: A copper copper of large proportions with lip- 68inch diameter x 34inch deep, selling for £1200

Gaze Architectural Salvage & Statuary auction results

Friday, October 19, 2007

Frieze art fair

Michel Blazy sculpture 'Orange Skin' 2007
London, Regent's Park UK

Frieze Art Fair takes place every October in Regent's Park, London. The fair provides an environment to introduce and showcase new and established artists to visitors from around the world. It features 151 galleries providing an opportunity to buy art by over 1000 of the world's leading artists. This year saw strong sales and 68,000 visitors which highlights the booming modern art market.

Deimantas Narkevicus, 'Once in the XX Century' 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Jeff Koons and the world's most expensive toy

New York, USA
The world's most expensive piece of contemporary art continues to divide critical and popular opinion. On the evening of November 14 in a Sothebys sale in New York buyers will be offered Jeff Koons chromium steel hanging heart sculpture. It holds an estimate of $15 - $20m. This should prove a definite test as to the strength of the contemporary market. If the sculpture should reach it's top estimate it will become the most expensive work by a living artist ever sold at auction.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Westland & Co take over the whole church

Above: This piece is typical of the Westland style. A Thomas Jekyll, Barnard Bishop & Barnard, Victorian cast iron insert with kakkumon decoration - well yes we have all seen these before, but the twist is the very unusual very simple but rare and contemporary 1870's Aesthetic-style ash wood surround, and all inset with tiles of birds and flowers hand decorated in the Japanese taste, and tinted black grey and satsuma. Very fetching.

Shoreditch, London UK - WESTLAND & Co, owned by Geoff Westland, earlier this summer took over the whole of St Michael's Church as showrooms for the architectural garden and decorative antiques business. Gone are the lasts and museum display cases, replaced by antique chimneypieces, lighting, mirrors, panelling, fountains, grills and doors. Lassco, which has occupied half the church since Adrian Amos founded London Architectural Salvage, has now vacated its half and relocated to Brunswick House and the Three Pigeons.

"I am very content with the situation," Mr Westland said, "and also happy that Adrian has given it his blessing." Geoff Westland and Adrian Amos aquired the church thirty years ago together with the late Craig Meredith and the three of them founded a company to restore and use it. Craig Meredith died two year's ago.

The web site proclaims the 'Far Pavilions' . . . 'After 30 years of shared occupation in this vaulted and cloistered English Heritage Grade I Listed location, Westlands have continued to evolve and extend their display into the whole interior so that that there are now 16 large galleries showing a very comprehensive selection of antique chimneypieces , fire grates , furniture , lighting , architectural elements and ornamentation of all kinds, on two levels and in the courtyard. This extraordinary environment of interconnecting galleries of ever changing intimate settings and panoramic vistas abundantly stocked unfolding before visitors takes your breath away. The variety and 'splendidity' of the venue, to quote Woody Allen, is fascinating, informative and inviting, providing a tranquilly pleasing, wandering, browsing experience approaching that of a compact museum. Set in a park environnment on the west side, in the bustling sophisticated south Shoreditch triangle on the City of London financial centre's doorstep, well complimented with fine restaurants, art galleries & hotels, you will find Westland London "at the sign of the Ascot Racecourse Clockface".

Westland London

Masco at Grand Designs Live

Above: Minchinhampton Architectural's massive display on their stand at Grand Designs Live - not surprisingly left the team slightly exhausted, or as Steve put it, "completely beaten up".

NEC, Birmingham UK - STEVE Tomlin missed the Shipston do this year, "very reluctantly", because Minchinhampton Architectural Salvage has a feature stand at Grand Designs Live.

"We had a great success," Mr. Tomlin said, "and the two TV live shows with Kevin McCloud were heralded as high points and gave a dramatic emphasis to our message. The stand was acclaimed as the first million pound reclamation display. It sounds easy and was very much praised . . . but has left us all slightly exhausted."


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Clipsham Quarry

Clipsham, Lincolnshire UK

Above: David Davenport-Hardley inspecting blocks for Palace of Westminster restoration in 1949

Sue Thomas Clipsham Quarry Company Director asks, "Why look abroad? When everything you need is here in the UK," she is referring to UK quarries, which she believes are capable of supplying the country's need for most stone including limestone. "I'm not an environmental nut," says Sue, "but I do feel if there's a product on your doorstep you should use it."

Sue has been a director of Clipsham Quarry for six years and enjoys taking a hands on approach along with her husband Alan Thomas and her father, Sir David Davenport-Handley. The earliest recorded use of Clipsham stone for building is between 1363 and 1368, when it was used for the construction of Windsor Castle, although there is evidence it was used prior to this by the Romans. Sir David's father expanded the quarry in the 1930's, at the request of the government, to supply stone for the restoration of the river front of the palace of Westminster. After the Second World War, Attlee's government was using as much stone as the quarry could produce to rebuild the Chamber of the House of Commons, which had been bombed during the blitz, Chipsham stone was also used at the time to repair the bomb damage to Buckingham Palace.

Today the quarry is not only used for its dimensional stone production. The stone is hard and aggregates are also produced there by Buillimores Sand and Gravel. The aggregates come from the north face and the block from the west face, with at least 200m between them so that the block is not shattered by the blasting. With the help of Black Stone the Thomas's have managed to extract more uniformly shaped rocks which command a better price. These are what Clipsham call the DH blocks (Davenport-Handley) that sell for £160 a tonne and smaller ones for £95 a tonne. In two or three week around 1,000 tonnes of block can be extracted. Clipsham Quarry Company now allow two operators, Artisan Stone Supplies Ltd and Collyweston Stone, to work in the quarry producing stone walling. The stone is more consistently available now, word is getting out and their customer base has grown in the last two years from 8 to 20 masonry companies.

The block currently being exposed is of exceptional quality and is already in demand from the major East Anglian cathedrals and some Oxford colleges.

The message is spreading that the stone is available and enquires are starting to arrive from further afield now that Clipsham Quarry Company have a website www.clipshamstone.co.uk.

Above: Example of Clipsham stone

[Natural Stone Specialist September 2007 www.naturalstonespecialist.com]

Period architectural features workshops autumn 2007

Greenwich, London UK

* Windows 1: 17th Century, Georgian and Regency 5 Oct 9 Nov
* Windows 2: Victorian, Edwardian and Interwar 12 Oct 16 Nov
* Doors: 16th Century to Early 20th century 19 Oct 23 Nov
* Cast Iron: 18th and 19th century 26 Oct 30 Dec
* Staircases: Late 17th century, to Interwar 2 Nov 7Dec

These workshops are designed to have a maximum of 10 participants and give an understanding of historic evolution of the window, door, staircase and cast iron features in British architecture. They can be booked as individual workshops at £50 per workshop or as a full series of five for £200 exclusive of VAT.

The workshops take place at the Martine Campus of the University of Greenwich. The teaching provided by the collection's founder Charles Brooking, will be accompanied by "handling sessions".

For further information please contact Jenny Lynch, School of Architecture and Construction at the University of Greenwich, telephone 020 8331 9312

Lead paint

Above:Door painted with lead based paint

Technical Advice taken from SPAB (Douglas Kent, the SPAB technical secretary)
What is Lead paint?
Lead paint comprises lead pigment, usually lead carbonate ("white lead"), bound in oil. The pigment creates either a white paint or a base for tinting with colour. Historically, linseed oil was the usual binder and turpentine the thinner, their proportions determine whether the finish was Matt or semi-gloss. From the 20Th century, the flow gloss and drying time was improved by using an alkyd resin medium and the addition of titanium dioxide pigment boosted the covering power.

Lead tetroxide ("red lead") has been used extensively fro metal primers. Mixed with lead carbonate, it forms a pink lead primer for joinery.

Where might lead paint be applied?
Lead paint was popular until the 1960's, particularly on timber and metalwork. It was also applied to lime plaster in grander buildings (this had to have carbonate paint is now restricted by law for use on listed buildings grades I and II only, or, in Scotland, grade A), scheduled ancient monuments and works of art. Where care is taken, its careful application is to be encouraged, especially for the protection of 18Th and 19Th century joinery and conservation of important historic interiors.

What are the pros and cons of lead paint?
Lead paint has unrivalled durability on timber, possessed good flex ability and is "breathable". Its texture, depth of colour and mellow appearance are difficult to emulate with alternatives, and it emits less environmentally harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than modern oil paints.

The main drawback with lead paint is toxicity. A health risk only exists, though, where lead compounds are ingested or inhaled due to unsound or disturbed paint. Dust from sanding old lead paint is the greatest hazard. The presence of lead paint does not justify stripping historic joinery.

How do I identify lead paint?
Old lead paint frequently has a creamy or soft colour. Rather than splitting and peeling, it may develop a fine, oblong pattern of cracking. A chalky surface can provide a further clue, but is not exclusive to lead paint. Detached samples feel heavier than with other paints. Lead paint might be present in nearly any pre-1960s building. Its existence can be confirmed with a DIY test kit or more sophisticated analysis. Where found, it could be safer to renew or cover coat lead paint than attempt its removal. If removing, use wet (not dry) sanding, chemical strippers or low-level heat.

How do I obtain lead paint
Supplies of lead carbonate paint are limited, but still available. The SPAB may be able to advise. You must declare that your intent is lawful, using a form the supplier usually provides. Approval takes several weeks. It is not required when buying red lead paint.

On buildings where the use of lead carbonate paint is no longer permitted, a compatible alternative, such as linseed paint, may enable the retention and over coating of old lead-based layers.

How do I apply and renew lead paint
External redecoration on a 5-10 year cycle is not untypical with lead paint and, internally, it needs renewing infrequently. Because it tends to erode rather than peel, surface preparation may require little more than washing with sugar soap and, where necessary, lightly rubbing down with wet abrasive paper. Only loose paint needs scrapping off. When taking back non-lead overcoats, remove all stripper residue thoroughly. Vacuum cleaners must have HEPA filters. Children and pregnant women should not be present.
Lead paint should be well-stirred and applied thinly with good bristle brushes. Each coat must dry properly before the next is put on. Natural oil based formulations are slow drying and demand great skill by the painter.

Note: I strongly disagree with the idea of using lead-based paints - TK

[Cornerstone Vol 28, No 3 2007 www.spab.org.uk]

Monday, October 08, 2007

Nails - a brief New Zealand history (with links to Britain and the UK)

Above: Ladies nail hammering competion, Tututawa picnic.1910. Mc Allister, James, 1869-1952:negatives of Stratford and Taranaki district (photographic ATL archive)

When Captain James Cook arrived in the Pacific, he found the islands societies lacked iron. Iron nails were not required, as buildings were woven, lashed or pegged together. Throughout the Pacific, Cook traded iron nails for food and mama (status), while his men found other opportunities. Yet on 19 June 1770, when his ship Endeavour needed repair at Endeavour River, Queensland, the nails required were made as in Roman times - by a blacksmith forging each one.

Nails were of considerable value - not only in terms of money but also in utility to early European settlers. The New Zealand Company ship "Glenbervie" included in its 1840 voyage at least 20 kegs of nails (1 keg = 100lbs). Reportedly in 1843 the first house built on the Canterbury plains was constructed without iron nails, as these had been left in Wellington by mistake. 'Ranzau' - a house at hope near Nelson was built around 1844 with handmade nails that had travelled from Europe (probably Gemany), and ranged from 6 cm to 30 cm in length.

Mr Philip Valle travelled with his wife and six children on the 600 ton ship "Mary Anne" from England to Nelson, arriving on 8 February 1842 after a voyage of 137 days. The only loss of the voyage reported in the original passenger list was "1 case of nails value £1 14s 6d" belonging to Mr Valle. On 18 July 1844, two years and five months after his arrival and his nails still lost, Mr Valle wrote to the New Zealand company complaining that he had yet to be refunded the cost of the nails.

The New Zealand imports of nails were so important in the 1800's that they were listed separately in the statistics. In the year 1873, imports of nails were just over 6 kg per head at a cost of 9d and representing 0.5% of total imports. Nails had a critical importance to a country undertaking major building developments.

This extract was taken from Construction History Society Newsletter.

[CHS Newsletter No 78 August 2007 www.constructionhistory.co.uk]

UK's oldest multi-storey garage at risk of demolition

West End, Glasgow UK
Above: Botanic Gardens Garage, the UK's oldest multi-storey garage

Arnold Clark wants to demolish the B-listed Botanic Garden's Garage, in Glasgow's West End where plans are to build a four storey block of 35 flats, four mews cottages, retail space and a restaurant. The Botanic Garage is the oldest surviving custom built garage in Glasgow. Built c. 1906 it was designed by David Valentine Wyllie and has a distinct facade of green and white terra-cotta tiles and an unusual steel-trussed roof and extensively glazed rear wall, crowned with shaped gables. Eva Branscome, of heritage group said it is 'an important survivor from the earliest days of automobile history.'

A community campaign has been launched to save it via my-space, and they now intend to lobby Historic Scotland to award the garage A-Listed status and safeguard it from demolition.

Above: Inside the Botanic Gardens Garage

A selling exhibition of sculpture at Chatsworth House

Above:Myth (Sphinx) by Marc Quinn, installed by the Canal Pond (picture courtesy of the Chatsworth website)

Chatsworth, Derbyshire UK

Sotheby's present the selling exhibition 'Beyond Limits' with some £14 million of contemporary sculpture for sale held in the grounds of Chatswoth house in Derbyshire. The Duke of Devonshire agreed for the exhibition to go ahead which comprises of a variety of 23 contemporary sculptures, the works include sculptures by Damien Hirst, Marc Quinn, Richard Bray and Carol Sinclair.

The exhibition is open daily from 11am to 6pm, beginning September 8 through to November 4 2007.

Autumn Decorative Antiques Fair

Battersea Park, London UK

Above: Various pieces on Alex Puddy's stand for Architectural Heritage

The Autumn Decorative Antiques Fair 2-7 October 2007, continued to grow with 135 exhibitors drawn from across the UK and Europe. It was the largest ever held at the marquee in Battersea park London. It aimed to provide inspiration of how 'old and new can blend together as a background for modern living.'

The range of stock was enormously varied and displayed in a stylish but informal way. Particular highlights included Salvo code dealer Architectural Heritage which showcased an array of garden ornaments, fountains, sculptures and Garden Antiques offering a range of garden ornaments, including statuary, urns, finials, sundials, fountains, bird baths seating and other architectural items.

The fair takes place three times a year the 23-28 January, April 24-29 and October 2-7 at the marquee in Battersea park

Above:Architectural Heritage stand at the fair

Above:Damian Sherlock's stand for Garden Antiques UK Ltd