Qantas 747 Float 1997 Mardi Gras

Qantas 747 jumbo float

The Qantas 747 Jumbo Float of Gayviation from the 1997 Mardi Gras parade

The photo opposite shows the Mardi Gras 1997 Qantas Jumbo 747 Gayviation float ready to go to the parade. This post has been updated. The new version can be found on this link.

It provides some background information about the creation of the Gayviation entry for the 1997 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade.

Paint Tin Disposal

Hydraulic paint tin crusher

Hydraulic paint tin crusher

In any workshop you inevitably end up with a paint tin disposal problem. Any paint left over from projects is usually kept for possible use in the future which, over time, results in a large number of used paint tins accumulating in the paint cabinet.

I recently embarked on a paint tin disposal program which involved checking each and every paint tin in the workshop to see if their contents were still usable. I was not surprised to find many had contents that had separated, skinned over or solidified into jelly. Some could be revived with some dedicated stirring while other tins had rusted bottoms and developed leaks when stirred. In all there were about a dozen or so tins that were beyond saving while the rest, after being stirred and date marked, were put back into the paint cabinet – for possible use in the future.

Drying paint tin contents on newspapers

Drying paint tin contents on newspapers

Paint tin disposal is a messy business. Correct disposal involves emptying any leftover paint onto newspapers, letting it dry and then discarding the newspaper. Before the tins are discarded they should be left open for a few days so any remaining paint can dry out. Garbage collectors are not impressed if two or three litres of Arctic Mint acrylic is released into their load and, more importantly, when it all ends up in a landfill paint tins eventually corrode letting their contents leech into the soil and contaminate the environment.

After following the correct procedure I was left with a dozen empty tins which could not fit into the rubbish bin. Since the majority of the volume of the tins was air I decided to flatten them. Now I guess I could have done this with a big hammer but I wanted to do it with a bit more style and finesse. A steel frame was made up that bolted onto a modified 12 ton hydraulic pipe bender as shown above right. It only took ten minutes to crush all the tins into flat discs that made their disposal a breeze. It was also tons of fun.

4 litre paint tin flattened for disposal

4 litre paint tin flattened for disposal

Flattened four litre paint tin

Flattened four litre paint tin

The Greatest Wonder of the World

The Greatest Wonder of the World exhibition is being held at the State Library of NSW from February 23rd to May 12th 2013. The exhibition showcases the work of Beaufoy Merlin and Charles Baylis who documented everyday life in the gold fields, towns and cities of Australia in the 1870’s.

In 1951 a cache of 3500 glass wet plate negatives were discovered in a garden shed in Chatwood. Now known as “The Holtermann Collection” they were scanned in high resolution by the Library which revealed a wealth of information about the times. It was through Bernhardt Holtermann, part owner of The Star of Hope gold mine in Hill End and “discoverer” of the Holtermann nugget, that Merlin and Baylis were able to create this legacy which is the subject of this exhibition.

We were approached to build a replica daguerreotype camera and a 2D replica of the Holtermann nugget for the exhibition which are shown in situ below. More detail on each prop can be found by following their links.

Daguerreotype sliding box camera display

The sliding box daguerreotype camera display at the exhibition

Holtermann nugget display

The Holtermann Nugget section of the exhibition

The Jalopy Shoppe – Gone!

The Jalopy Shoppe sign in August 2009

The Jalopy Shoppe sign in August 2009

The Jalopy Shoppe, that iconic piece of Sydney wall art painted on the side wall of 688 Parramatta Road Croydon is no more! Previously located at 690 Parramatta Road, the Jalopy Shoppe advertised their car yard business on the wall of the adjacent building with a huge green and black painting of a cartoon-like Model T Ford. It was a familiar sight to motorists for many years on the right hand side of Parramatta Road heading into the city. The business closed about 6 years ago but the sign remained.

Jalopy Shoppe painted over

Driving past several weeks ago I noticed that the sign had been painted over with a bland new advertisement. Such a pity for such a prominent site.

The sign can still be seen on Google street view. An image of the Jalopy Shoppe sign is reproduced from streetview below.

Jalopy Shoppe sign

Google street view of the sign

The newly painted wall

The newly painted wall - January 2011

Sydney Dance Company Show

Above is a short video showing the dancers props being used in the SDC production of “Are We That We Are”

Sydney Dance Company double billTwo new works from the Sydney Dance Company premiere on March 23rd 2010. The first work by Rafael Bonachela, “6 Breaths”, is set to a newly commissioned score by Italian composer Ezio Bosso. The second, “Are We That We Are”, is a physical exploration into the existence of altered states of consciousness within human experience created and performed in by Adam Linder. The costume designs were realised by Jordan Askhill.

The costume props for the production were produced by DecoWorks in close collaboration with the designer.

Opera Australia Twenty Year Hanging

David Wilson from props (right) with Chris Yates at the 20 year hanging

David Wilson (right) with Chris Yates

Opera Australia shows its appreciation to employees who have worked for the company for 20 years or more by holding an annual Twenty Year Hanging ceremony in the Green Room at the Opera Centre in Surry Hills.

Photographs of long serving staff members and performers are hung on the walls of the Green Room.

David Wilson left Opera Australia after twenty years service in 2009 to start his own prop making company, DecoWorks. David was one of several Opera Australia staff who were recognised at the 2009 Twenty Year Hanging ceremony.

David is pictured here beneath his photo on the Green Room wall with the Technical Director of Opera Australia at the time, Chris Yates, after the ceremony.