Friday, May 30, 2008

Love London

1st - 21st June 2008, London UK

Above: Recycled sculpture at London Zoo

Love London is an annual green festival, celebrating projects and organisations that are making a real contribution to creating a more sustainable capital. Throughout June hundreds of events will take place across the city with ordinary Londoners and grassroots groups showcasing innovative local events alongside high-profile regulars such as the Camden Green Fair and the Revolve Brighton to London Eco-Rally. This huge variety of events is expected to draw some half a million Londoners.

One of the many events which will be taking place in conjunction with Love London is The Recycled sculpture Show which will run until September 5 at London Zoo. Hubcaps, crockery and tyres have been used to create a new batch of arrivals at a zoo. More than 20 artists have provided eco-friendly animals such as a great white shark made from old hubcaps, a 'Tyreannosaurus' – built, not surprisingly, from used tyres – and a chicken consisting of broken crockery.

Love London

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gaze Architectural & Garden Antiques

Gaze, Diss Norfolk

Above: A brass lions head door knocker of large proportions, the head 13" high x 10" wide with its ring, estimate £150-£225.
Sale Price: £170

Above: A pallet of approx 350 reclaimed red bricks, estimate £230-£260.
Sale Price: £130

Above: A reconstituted marble statue of a girl with baskets of flowers, estimate £350-£525.
Sale Price: 480

Above: A tree root garden bench, estimate £250-£375.
Sale Price: £250

Above: A cast iron pot bellied stove, estimate £95-£145.
Sale Price: £90

Above: An oak manger nine foot long, estimate £125-£190.
Sale Price: £210

Gaze of Diss Norfolk, Architectural & Garden Antiques auction on 31st May led by expert Carl Willows. The sale will include 892 lots of garden statuary architectural salvage and antiques.

Footnotes: "It was a cracking sale," said Carl Willows, "and the sunshine didn't put anyone of. The buyers where predominately private and there was a very high percentage sold, although, the exact percentage has not been worked out yet. York stone was up to it's mark selling well. The top lots included a cooper domed lead clad cupola (42" square base x approx 92" high) which we sold in a previous sale five years ago, It made its money back selling for £1100.00. A modern cast iron gazebbo sold for £2006.00, and a Jadeite bath fetching £2000.00 where amongst the top lots. Also, statuary sold well as did garden benches and tables. Basic building materials were selling but not at fantastic money. All in all it was a good sale," said Carl Willows.


Garden Statuary at Chelsea

Chelsea Flower Show, London UK

Above: 'Green Door' by Ishihara Kazuyuki Design laboratory

Above: One of the show gardens incorporating stone into the wall and reusing steel framing in the garden

Above: the infant pan on the stand of Architectural Heritage

Above: Architectural Heritage stand

Above: Alex Puddy of Architectural Heritage on his merit winning stand at Chelsea

Above: John Cheeres violinist on H.Crowther stand

Above: cast iron vase by Andrew Handyside

There is not only flowers at Chelsea, this years show had numerous fine examples of garden statuary and ornament. Including Alex Puddy's stand from Architectural Heritage, which was awarded a certificate of merit for its outstanding presentation. The impressive stand was host to a whole array of gems, many of which showing red stickers as indication even in the bad weather things were selling. Mr Puddy said "I have had a few good sale and even in the overcast wet weather I'm hopeful of a more, before the stand is dismantled on Monday and then a quick rest on Tuesday before setting up for Olympia (5-15 June)."

Mr Puddy's stand included a mid twentieth century lead figure of 'The infant pan', £2,400. A pair of nineteenth century composition stone urns, £2,800. An early eighteenth century stone trough, £2,400. A Georgian seat £3,350 and a set of three Edwardian copper watering cans, £360.

JS Garden Ornaments and Antique had a Derbyshire gritstone D.shaped trough, £295 and a small limestone saddle stone, £320.

Leader H.Crowther's stand won a certificate of commendation and showed fine examples of lead statuary, such as Mars and Minera, attributed to the eminent John Van Nost Circa 1720, Cast at Hyde Park London, provenance Aislaby Hall North Yorkshire. A good nineteenth century cast iron example of the Borghese vase, by Andrew Handyside (1806-1887) who was awarded a medal at the great exhibition of 1862. John Cheeres violinist, the musician's copied from led garden statues, by the eminent eighteenth century figure maker John Cheere, 52" high x 24" wide, £3,230.

The show garden of the Royal Horticultural Society integrated reuse into their garden for the category of 'gardening with climate change' by creating chairs from tyres, creating the borders from recycled metal and using old Victorian roll top baths as large planters. Sadly many of the other gardens opted to use new slate, stone and brick rather than reusing. However, one Japanese designer chose to take 'Green' to the extreme by creating a room in the garden from moss and stone in the hope to highlight the possibility of a truly 'green roof top garden'.


Architectural Heritage

2012 Olympic stadium to be reused

2012 Olympic Games , London UK

The temporary elements of the 2012 Olympic Stadium could be re-used by the winner of the 2016 Games.

Olympic Delivery Authority chiefs are reportedly in discussions with officials in Chicago, an early favourite to win the 2016 bid, on the possibility of shipping over seating, steel and scaffolds from the £496m stadium after the 2012 Games finish. The stadium section would then be ‘bolted on’ to a 7,500-seat arena in Chicago’s Washington Park for the 2016 Games. Other principle ideas include;

1. Zero carbon. Carbon-efficient vehicles will be used on the Olympic site, and renewable energy sources used where possible. Unavoidable emissions from international flights will be offset by schemes in developing countries, such as funding more efficient wood-burning stoves, says Sue Riddlestone, the director of BioRegional.

2. Zero waste. With high recycling targets set for East London in the long term, none of the rubbish from the Games should end up in a landfill. “Everyone’s got an individual responsibility,” says David Stubbs, head of sustainability at Locog. So put that bottle in the recycling bin.

3. Sustainable transport. Spectators are urged to travel to the Games by public transport, on foot or by bicycle, the long-term target is reduced car dependency in the Lower Lea Valley. Riddlestone wants to see car clubs, alternative fuel filling stations and better infrastructure for dual-fuel cars.

4. Local and sustainable food. There will be promotion of seasonal, local and organic produce and campaigns to make the link between sport, diet and health more explicit. In the long term, more farmers’ markets and better food composting facilities in East London are planned.

5. Sustainable water. During the Games, recycled water will be used for irrigation and vehicle washing. Grey water — bath, shower and laundry water — can be used for energy production.

6. Local and sustainable materials. Reclaimed, reused and recycled is the mantra adopted by One Planet Olympics for all building materials.

7. Natural habitats and wildlife. There will be a green corridor from the Lea Valley to the River Thames, including a new park. Waterways will be cleaned to encourage biodiversity. But building work could disturb wildlife, which includes kingfishers, herons and cormorants. Stubbs says work will be phased to try to minimise this.

8. Equity and fair trade. This includes things such as affordable ticketing and fair trade procurement processes. One Planet Olympics points to affordable housing, local employment and education.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sun comes out for Summers Place Auctions

Summers Place Auctions, Billingshurst West Sussex

Above: The new contemporary sculpture park, pieces include Thomas Joynes and Adrian Paddon 'Resole', red enamelled stainless steel estimated at £2000-3000.

Above: Modern sculpture on display for the sealed bid auction Tuesday 27th May

Above: Antique statuary in the sealed bid auction.

Above: Antique statuary examples from both the live auction and the sealed bid auction.

The excitement and buzz surrounding the newley formed Summers Place Auctions Ltd was evident from the moment you arrive up the long drive towards the house. The car park was brimming, a very different site to that of the last Sotheby's auction held at Billingshurst. This was perhaps helped by the weather as the clouds broke and the statuary basked in the sunshine.

The recently extended contemporary sculpture park looked remarkably impressive as each piece had enough space to make its own statement and mark its dominance. The public milled around some with a bemused look on their faces whilst others were quickly flicking through the catalogue to note estimates and potentially leave a sealed bid which will be opened on Tuesday 27th May. "A selection of antique statuary is to be sold via sealed bid. The live auction (Tuesday 20th May) will only include more select antiques pieces, regardless of price. The garden statuary and fossil decoration in the live auction will be the finest examples of their kind. Auctions were running for two days sometimes and people were getting bored. We have therefore decided to try this method," said James. "Which is the oldest way of auctioning", added Rupert.

Larger architectural pieces will be offered for sale by private treaty. At present the portfolio includes a stunning late seventeenth century Portland stone niche, almost certainly originally from an architectural scheme by Sir Christopher Wren.

Under the leadership of James Rylands and Rupert van der Werff the sale remains largely unchanged as James took to his seat adopting his usual charismatic air. Steadily running through the lots, only to pause to ask Rupert for help with the pictures of the lots as he is a self confessed 'Techno-fobe'. There is noticeably more people in the room and all of the telephone lines are manned. To everyones excitement many of the lots are sold in the room and even those which eventually go to the telephone or commission bids have previously engaged in a bidding war with a buyer in the room.

The auction of just under 150 lots realised £1,620,463 and included some highly significiant items. The highest price paid was for a set of four impressive carved Italian white marble figures representing the Seasons, which dated from the late 19th century and sold for £180,500 against an estimate of £150,000/250,000 [Lot 73]. The set which had been in a garden in Argentina for more than 100years, had a very good quality surface and achieved such a high price due to the rarity of a complete set coming to the market. They were purchased in the room, on behalf of a Private UK Collector.

Other particularly interesting lots include an impressive carved Portland stone seat from the second half of the nineteenth century. Selling to a seated bidder for £26,000, above the top estimate of £15,000-25,000. A white carved marble group of squabbling putti, Anglo Dutch, early eighteenth century. Which entered into a fierce bidding war before finally selling to a telephone bidder for £11,500, well over its £4000-£6000 estimate. A very fine quality French cast iron figure of Flora, after Mathurin Moreau, dating from 1900, was also highly soughafter and after fierce competition between two bidders on the telephone, it realised £79,700 - almost four times its low estimate.

A rare pair of lead lidded urns dating from the mid 18th century and decorated in frolicking classical putti attracted substantial interest, partuculary when the two experts in charge, James Rylands and Rupert van Werff, subsequently attributed them to John van Nost, whi is considered as the greatest lead modeller of the 18th century. On a recent visit to Melbourne Hall in Derbyshire, the team saw the Four Season Vase and were able to make a comparison with the piece in their sale. This resullted in the vases selling for £74,900 against an estimate of £20,000/30,000.

James Rylands, Auctioneer of the sale and one of the specialist in charge said: “As the world’s leading Auction House specialising in Garden Statuary, we are delighted with the result of our first auction in asscociation with Sotheby’s. This sale not only shows that the market for good pieces is stronger than ever, but it also proves that we can sell a vast range of items spanning a 2000 year period - from an Eastern Roman Empire carved white capital from 2nd/3rd century AD (sold for £9,375 – Lot 7) to the two Lalanne Chairs from the 1980s which fetched £48,500 each.

Im sure more is yet to come from Summers Place Auctioneers as, further development of another two acres of landscaped gardens is planed. Work with Jason stiles an experienced landscape gardener to create the largest specialist garden statuary auction venue in the world. The next sale will be held on Tuesday, October 21, with the sealed bid auction continuing until Friday, October 24.

Summers Place Auctions Ltd

Friday, May 16, 2008

Adam Hills from Retrouvius talks at Grand designs

Adam Hills speaks at Grand Designs live Sunday 11th May - Reclamation finding beauty in the past. 'Dispelling the myth that new is always better, our reclamation gurus extol the virtues of re-using materials and objects from the past.'

Second hand

It gets called a lot of names but all these activities promote reuse. Often the difference is simply one of marketing – it could be said that we buy scrap and sell antiques. But I don’t think these distinctions are important from an ecological perspective because we are all in it together. Materials we salvage are normally from effectively finite sources. Marble, granite, metals, tropical hardwoods like teak. These materials DO have inherent value and recognising this is primary. Yes things go out of fashion but that does not mean they should be destroyed. Fashion cycles turn ever faster – they will come back.

The ecological mantra is reduce, reuse, recycle. Reduce consumption-make do with what you have and use less. Stop shopping. Reuse-mend, repair, adapt that broken thing you have and give it a new lease of life. Recycle-melt down the metal, glass etc and make new cars, bottles whatever. So reduce = make do and reuse = mend. And you can see that the WW2 adage “make do and mend” has itself been recycled to “reduce and reuse”. But without the rationing, yet. My point is that green issues are not new. Yes carbon footprint and global warming and fresh buzzwords but the need to conserve and value our resources is an age old need and one that really we have only had to recently rediscover and justify.

Architectural Salvage is logical, common-sense & against the in-built obsolescence of our industrialised disposable society. After the austerity years of WW2 the urge for new saw a whole-sale rejection of old as huge clearances and new building programmes took place and it was really during that time that we lost sight of salvage as a worthwhile activity. It is estimated that the salvage market is worth £1billion per annum. The total amount of demolition and construction waste generated in the UK has been estimated at 70m tonnes. Of this about 5% IS RECLAIMED.

Agenda 21 was revealed at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit), held in Rio de Janeiro –the programme run by the United Nations (UN) relates to sustainable development. It is a comprehensive blueprint of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organisations of the UN, governments, and major groups in every area in which humans impact on the environment. The number 21 refers to the 21st century. Agenda 21 has focused attention on the practical application of recycling to domestic waste in order to save resources and energy, thereby reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

The annual volume of demolition and construction waste in the UK is several times larger than that of domestic waste. There are attempts to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill –the Landfill Tax. But there are no laws, rules, guidelines to actually promote architectural reclamation. I think there should be.

Any element of a building can be salvaged –IT IS NOT JUST ABOUT CAST IRON BATHS– Reclaimed Building Materials which are structural elements- beams, bricks, slates, floors; and the pretty bits Architectural Antiques - fireplaces, lighting, claw-foot cast iron baths etc.

Demolition sites - it is frustratingly arbitrary. Of course we have our network of dealers and demolisher's but often commonly and historically the architectural salvage market has been associated with the period home restoration -a Victorian 4 panelled door reclaimed from a condemned building for a Victorian house; a Georgian fireplace for a Georgian living room. But what happens to a 1960s brutalised office building in The City? It may contain hardwood handrails, flooring, granite cladding, furniture…

Retrouvius, started 16 years ago and we have tried to remove these false historical boundaries to promoting reuse through design. Contemporary tastes are thankfully eclectic and buildings are enhanced by the depth, the qualities, the story that old materials bring.

It tells you that you can feel really good about getting involved. You can feel evangelical and self-righteous and very very green. YOU CAN HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT. The salvage world is philosophically allied to the artisans slow food movement, the promotion of craftsmanship, In the food industry concerns over distances travelled and sustainability are common, but we tend not to worry so much about the source of our building materials.

sourcing - being adaptable and adapting: designing with salvage often leads people to jump to finding different uses for an object, like using a cast iron rainwater hopper as an uplighter. Sometimes these are executed with great wit and originality but often they become one-line jokes. It is safer to reuse items as they were intended...let the rainwater hopper be a rainwater hopper. The other thing to avoid is superficial reuse...please don’t build a new project with all new materials and then hang one old window frame as a mirror and think that you are embracing salvage! Design architectural salvage into your house..beams, doors etc. Repairing - planning ahead, problems of us sourcing, planning ahead during strip-out. Design for reuse – office buildings 20 year lifespan! But do they look ahead to reuse? Many salvage dealers end up doing repro.

Ecology, History, Economy - I would be lying if I didn’t admit that primarily I love the thrill of the chase and cutting a deal, the evangelical zeal of saving things..FREE shopping. Using my vision for reuse...I was thinking that it would be great if we stopped making chairs until all the chairs that exist had a home!
Working with specialist craftsmen to repair and restore and rejig, appreciative clients. Completing the circle from building-salvage-restoration-reuse into a new building – the whole cycle- CRADLE TO CRADLE


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Freud sets auction record

Christie's, New York USA

A life-sized Lucian Freud painting of a sleeping, naked woman has set a new world record price for a work by a living artist.

The 1995 portrait, titled Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, sold for $33.6m (£17.2m) at Christie's in New York. The previous record was held by Jeff Koons' Hanging Heart, which fetched $23.5m (£12.1m) last November.

The Freud work, sold at auction for the first time, shows Jobcentre supervisor Sue Tilley, now 51, asleep on a sofa. Christie's described it as a "bold and imposing example of the stark power of Freud's realism". Ms Tilley, nicknamed "Big Sue", was introduced to the painter, now 85, by the Australian performance artist Leigh Bowery.

She said: "The first couple of times, I was a bit embarrassed but you get used to it. It's a bit weird to think that a picture of me could be worth so much money. "You don't have to sit still the whole time. It's two or three days a week and you have breaks." She added: "When we were painting it we didn't sit there going: 'I bet this'll be the biggest selling painting in the world'. It was just like one of his other pictures."

The previous auction record for a Freud painting was $19.3m (£9.9m), paid in November for his 1992 work IB and Her Husband. The Christie's sale broke the record held by "Hanging Heart," by American artist Jeff Koons, which fetched 23.4 million dollars (15.1 million euros) at Sotheby's in New York late last year.

Footnote It has now been revealed that London-based Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich is the mystery buyer of Francis Bacon's Triptych, 1976, as well as Lucian Freud's Benefits Sleeping.

BBC News

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Landfill Tax

THE Landfill Tax for active waste went up by £8.00 per tonne in April, taking it from 24 pounds/tonne to 32 pounds/tonne. It is set to rise still further at the rate of 8 pounds/tonne for the following two years. Inactive waste going to landfill will increase to £2.50 per tonne from April 2008 and the Aggregates Levy on the extraction of virgin aggregates will increase to £1.95 per tonne

April 2008 will also see the introduction of Site Waste Management Plans. The Federation is currently working on the development of a SWMP template for members which will be available shortly free of charge.

Inactive waste going to landfill has increased to 2.50 pounds per tonne and the Aggregates Levy on the extraction of virgin aggregates has increased to 1.95 pounds per tonne . Alistair Darling commented: "Landfill tax increases the price of waste sent to landfill, encouraging more sustainable ways of managing waste. The tax - working with other measures - has been successful with overall quantities of waste recorded at landfill sites registered for the tax falling by around 26%. The UK is on track to meet its 2010 targets under the Landfill Directive."

Matthew Thomson, chief executive of the London Community Recycling Network, said, 'We welcome the increase in Landfill Tax, but are tempering our excitement with the fact that the true cost of landfill can not be priced. An inspirational Budget would move towards carbon accounting, a budget which puts the value on the real cost of our use of resources.'

Site Waste Management Plans have also now been introduced, but more on that next week.

Victorian bath rowed over English Channel

Tim FitzHigham created a new world record and raised alot of money for charity when he completed his extraordinary journey across the English Channel in a Thomas Crapper bathtub. Rowing single handedly for nine hours, he left the coast of France at 4am on June 9th and arrived at Folkestone at 1pm that afternoon.

In a remarkable feat of stamina, endurance and a supreme maritime achievement, Tim is the first man in history to complete the journey in a bathtub. For the Bathtub challenge, Tim used a plan devised by the Romans for rowing in tidal water, which he believes to be watertight. Tim says “It’s a failsafe plan – it hasn’t failed in 2000 years,” however, when pressed he admits it’s actually only been used once in the last 2000 years!

Tim FitzHigham is enthused by the idea of showing the craft at the Salvo Fair and perhaps even 'opening it'. After overcoming problems with storage and transportation, due to it being twin-hulled and over twenty feet. It is now being stored in a yard in Hertford and Tim is having a trailer made especially for the Salvo Fair. So seems that the Thomas Crapper bathtub will come to the fair and hopefully with its captain if prior engagements to the Glastonbury Festival allow.

New guide to reclaimed materials from BioRegional

WRAP have published the Reclaimed building products guide authored by BioRegional last year, all about reclaimed building materials. The 80 page A4 booklet, which is available free as a pdf from Wrap, contains an introduction, pages on products including bricks, metals, steel frames, roofing, timber, stone and internal, plus case studies and a suppliers directory.

The introduction states:
Use of construction materials has a significant impact on UK sustainability. In the UK, they annually account for 19 per cent of the total national ecological footprint, 23 per cent of the total national greenhouse gas emissions, 420 million tonnes of material consumption (7 tonnes per person), and 30 per cent of all road freight on UK roads. Substitution of a few well chosen, locally sourced reclaimed materials can reduce the environmental impact and the embodied carbon of a project significantly. For example, comparing the impacts of reclaimed and new materials shows a reduction of 96 per cent for reclaimed steel and 79 per cent for reclaimed timber. These savings can sometimes be achieved with little or no additional expense, making reclaimed an extremely cost-effective way of cutting carbon emissions.

Some of the stats have been drawn from work done by BRE and Salvo, and SalvoWEB and SalvoMIE (the underused materials information exchange for low value old and unused new building materials run by Salvo) are also kindly mentioned several times in the text.

Reclaimed building products guide by BioRegional [2.9MB pdf]
BioRegional Reclaimed

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Salvo Fair's four page spread in Period Living

Snippets include;
For those in the know, the annual Salvo Fair is an opportunity to snap up original features from salvage yards tat stay hidden away for much of the year, says Caroline Wheater.
Whatever your fancy, the annual Salvo Fair held at grand Knebworth house in Hertfordshire is a happy hunting ground fort lovers of salvage, with more than 60 specialists displaying their wares, of known provenance. 'We advise people to come with an open mind,' confirms Ruby Kay. In recent years exhibitors have brought stone flags from Paternoster Square, a dispensary from Harrods, and the interior of the bombed Baltic Exchange. This year the stars of the show are expected to be an antique rolltop bathtub-cum-boat and a giant robot looking for a new home.

'Salvo is a really quirky fair,' agrees Steve Williams of Chancellors Church Furnishings based in Surrey, who has exhibited at all eight events. Oxfordshire's Keith Edmonds is another Salvo stalwart. Keith always has something up his sleeve for salvo, and this year its going to be some antique stone and marble Buddhas, salvaged from the construction site around Beijing Olympic Stadium.

An appreciation of old things is the common denominator ofamong the broad church of exhibitors. 'We all have a passion for reclaiming and saving things, and part of the fun of Salvo is mixing with like-minded people,' explains Valerie Chaffer of Mongers in Norfolk.

Billingshurst video preview

Billingshurst, Sussex UK - COLLEEN Gowlett previews the first Billingshurst sale to be held under the mantle of Summers Place Auctions in association with Sotheby's with a stroll around the sculpture garden with James Rylands and Rupert van der Werff. Among the many lots discussed were 18th century leadwork by John Cheere and John van Nost, Compton and Liberty pots, antique stone seats, Manufattura di Signa, modern sculpture and where to put it, and an explanation of the new concept of the combined live and sealed bid auctions. Live auction is on Tuesday 20th May 2008 - see link below for the catalogue

Summers Place Auctions

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Camden Mall wins over developers

Dealers and supporters of the antiques trade Camden Passage are celebrating after Islington Council threw out the proposals to redevelop The Mall. Around 120 people turned up to show their support for dealers of Camden Mall. It is thought that the application to remove the individual dealers' shops at the antiques center was an attempt to convert the two floors of the Grade II listed building into a single units in order to sell the space to a multi-national chain. Dealers, customers and local residents spoke against the plans before the cross party planning committee voted unanimously against it.

Reuse old furniture

Traditional upholstery

Transform a tired piece of furniture by attending this five-day course which has an emphasis on traditional craftwork and natural materials such as hessian and vegtable fibre. Learn basic techniques to create a beautiful piece of furniture to take home. Course costs £50 for five days including morning and afternoon refreshments.

Restoration Course

Friday, May 02, 2008

Grand Designs Live

Sunday 11th May, Excel London

11:00 Reclamation: Finding Beauty In The Past
Dispelling the myth that new is always better, our reclamation gurus extol the virtues of re-using materials and objects from the past
Confirmed speakers: Adam Hills - Retrouvius, Max McMurdo - Reestore, Max Fraser

Times and topics are subject to change, please check before visiting.

Grand Designs Live