This is a lovely example of re-using, re-cycling and up-cycling. These lovely artworks in the Singapore Biennale (currently running til Feb 2014 at the National Museum) are made out of vintage chandeliers but with the glass and cystals changed to uranium glass beads and with black light installed so that the uranium glass beads glow a beautiful green colour in the dark.
The works are by a Japanese artist husband-and-wife team, Ken and Julia Yonetani who are now based in Australia and are entitled “Crystal Palace” (read more about their gorgeous work here) and is their response to the recent Fukushima nuclear plant disaster.
Uranium glass was widely used to make glassware such as candy bowls, citrus presses and cake stands in the 19th and early 20th century. They are also known as vaseline glass and many vintage fans love collecting uranium glass kitchenalia.
Do you also love these vintage chandeliers, coupled with old-fashioned vaseline glass, being given a new lease of life as these stunning artworks, even if the event behind them is actually quite sad?
Sometimes when you think you are never going to find anything good at a weekend market, you get lucky. Totally unexpected, totally fantastic!
I was ready to leave the Rapid Creek market in Darwin for the airport, because there just wasn’t anything interesting that caught my eye. As we were walking to the rental car, I saw this lovely 1970s glass decanter set. Whenever I travel, I always end up buying fragile, breakable things. That’s just me, it always is. There is no point fighting it. So I asked the seller to wrap them up and she even found a box. That made it easier for me to carefully hand carry the lot up the plane and safely transport them home.
The holiday to Darwin and Katherine Gorge (Nitmiluk) was such a great one for many reasons, this vintage treasure was just the icing on the cake.
With the Year of the Snake jussssssst around the corner, I guess my relatively-recent passion for snake skin and other reptile skin, is all the more apt. I don’t like snakes or lizards in real life and even common lizards in my kitchen give me the heebie-jeebies. But in the last 2 years, I’ve gravitated towards handbags and shoes in snake, eel, lizard or crocodile skin.
Vintage handbags in these reptile skins are usually well-made and well-maintained. I think it is because these bags are on the higher-end, cost more and hence used and preserved by the original owners with tender, loving care. Of course there is the fact as well that generally vintage bags are usually of better quality than the use-3-months-and-throw-away handbags that we find now in the age of our disposable culture.
This year will be a great one for vintage lovers of snake skin and reptile skin in general, to showcase their lovely treasures. Wishing everyone a very happy and healthy Year of the Snake.
i cant wait and am so excited to share this with you. my latest sewing machines craze, and here is one of my latest find.
old uncle said this was his mom’s and machine should be around 60 years old. a check on the sewing machine database confirmed it was made in 1917, it is nearly a hundred years old!!
you cannot tell from the photo but it has peeling paint and rust all over the leg frame. i have started sanding some parts of the metal frame but still a long long…. way to cleaning it up, not to mention restoring. as SP has rightly said it – it will be a project of love.
i was pleasantly surprised when i opened the cover. the sewing machine has this rare sphinx decal, which is gorgeous. anyway, i would have lugged her home with or without decal!
i spent an evening just to polish the metal plates. look how they shine now.
oh before i sign off, here’s the sneak peek -
mint as never been used, clock was kept in original box and stored away since day 1! this is a 12 inch diamond clock with an outer rare brown rim and ready for this?…………………. GOLD coloured inner rim !! i am in vintage heaven land!
have a great weekend and come visit our open house this sun. please hop over to our facebook for details.
look forward to meeting you!
I fell in love with the Vespa scooter watching Audrey Hepburn holding onto Gregory Peck riding on one of those, along the cobbled stone streets of Rome in “Roman Holiday”. The romance of the era, the place, the time was just intoxicating. It helped that the beautiful, gamine Audrey Hepburn was the star in that movie as well.
And so, I toyed with the idea of getting a licence for riding scooters and then getting a cool little Vespa and pottering around the streets. I loved the cream ones with tan leather seats, they were so classic and clean. I lusted after the red ones with black leather seats, they lure you with their screaming fire-engine red. I loved seeing that lady who had a daisy painted on her helmet, who used to ride hers around the CBD where I worked.
But being the pragmatic person I was, I reasoned that with Singapore’s frequent showers, I was likely to get drenched. And more importantly, I may be a careful rider, but I didn’t have the same confidence in other Singapore drivers and what protection would I have on a wee scooter?
And so, my dream remained that. I still admire these vintage Vespas and Lambrettas (like the one pictured here) and love their beautiful aesthetics and mostly also the sense of romance they evoke for me.
We love coffee, independent cafes and most of all, upcycled, repurposed vintage items of great, timeless designs which are given a second (recycled) lease of life. Obviously not everything old is a treasure, but when it is, and it is given a second chance, we just lurve it.
So here you get a row of old theatre seats (I suspect they were from the old Burleigh theatre in Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast and they look like 1950s, 60s design) bolted to the ground, serving as seats in a really cool cafe. An added irony is that this is just in front of a medical practice (the cafe spills over on the outside walkway) and the waiting patients often just sit in these seats in a neat row, having their coffee, waiting for their turns. The fixed position of these seats are just so apt for waiting in queue, so neat, so disciplined, so “can’t-go-anywhere”!
An additional upcycled feature is the use of these crates as tables. I looked at the markings on the crates and they read “Sydney” and “machine”. Isn’t this so much better than perfectly-matched, proper cafe tables and chairs which seem to lack character in all those franchised cafes?
It has occurred to me that lovers of vintage are an unsuperficial lot. We have the uncanny ability to see past cosmetic scuffs, dents and scratches, right into the bones and soul of the treasure. When we chance upon something that has the potential to revert to its original beauty, our hearts skip a beat at how wonderful it is, with stars in our eyes.
Vintage naturally means old and old usually means in a used condition. Sometimes it is lightly used and sometimes we hit jackpot and come across something mint, lovingly kept in someone’s china cabinet, waiting for that special occasion. But more often, the item could be much loved and well-used and bears the scars of that daily use. Some of us have more patience, foresight, imagination and also handy skills to return the item to its original beauty or at least dress its wounds to a manageable extent. Others, are just accepting of these evidence of loving memories and are content to add layers of their own new memories over the old.