Journal

19 February 2024,

Girella Elevata, sandstone & brass.

I’ve always been excited by unique pieces. For me there’s unique that doesn’t hit the aesthetic appeal and then there’s unique that captures both the eye pleasing and the awe of attraction. This is where I set out each time I’m creating, to hit that level. I want to impress myself; I want to make something that presents in a Gallery and I see the uniqueness but also beauty.

Girella Elevata, I remember when this design came to me. Constantly thinking of how I can pair brass with stone, designs pop in and out of the head daily. I didn’t get the sketch pad out, I went straight to the studio and started working on the stone leg. The piece of stone itself is stunning, subtle pinks and yellows surrounded by a pastel rose, I haven’t come across this before, but I knew the brass would enjoy these tones. Once the stone leg was complete, I rolled down the hill in my truck to a local welder and got talking about the brass leg I wanted and went into fine design detail about how all sides would be seen meaning the joins would have to go unseen. The brass base for the stone leg was also a major consideration point for stability but keeping in mind aesthetics.

Now for the top, this piece of stone honestly, I just can’t get enough of, excuse the pun but I only have a few more slabs of this stone and I’m almost certain I sadly won’t be able to get my hands on anymore. The previous owner had it covered in dirt and left aside, this is the sort of thing that fills me up. Giving this stone the life it deserves. Hours of cleaning from a good hard scrub down and plenty of sanding the top came up good. The shape unusual for a table for sure, but again back to the top it has what I aim to achieve. I didn’t change the shape at all, leaving it how I found it, all I had to do after cleaning it up was give it a few coats of clear over the next few days and it was ready to meet the legs.

A couple weeks went by and the brass was ready, the plates for the stone leg were perfect and the brass leg showcasing some very high quality welding. Back to the studio I get to work, setting the plates to both sides of the stone leg. Then being super cautious when drilling into the underside of the top to put four plugs in so I am able to screw the brass leg solid to the top. The stone leg I didn’t fix, being able to adjust the position of where you want it to sit. Some final adjustments and by that afternoon Girella Elevata is finished, I set it up neatly, give it a clean and sit back to enjoy something very pleasing to my eye, a piece not seen before.

I return to the studio the next morning; I have another glance. Excited for sure, but felt I could elevate this piece if I gave the bottom plate a shadow effect. In luck the adhesive I used was a 24hr cure, the glue had not yet set and I was able to take the plate off, cut down the leg, pack the plate out and re attached throughout the next few hours. You’ll be able to see this detail through the images below.

Girella Elevata is now finished, a piece which has hit what I set out to achieve, a piece which is unique to the design world, a piece which is forever one of a kind, a piece which is a talking point for your next guests.

Continue to Love all,

Tom x

 


12 February 2024,

The road to Woolooma Glass House

A text from Phoebe reads “Tom, do you reckon you can make a sink?”

My reply “Yeah for sure!!” It’s not a lie as I thought that I could make a sink, however I’d never made one nor did I know exactly how to. Designs immediately flooded my head with how to approach the piece and how I wanted the finish sculpture to appear.

Excited by the creative project, I jumped online to view other stone sinks, fast realising that Sandstone wasn’t the chosen rock that all the mass-produced sinks were made from. This just added to the excitement, the natural beauty through the bands and colours you can inject into a space with just a hint of sandstone is so cool! and a sink being a perfect feature piece, I opted for a bit of colour!

Sourcing the right piece for a commission can be tricky! Finding something around 400mm wide with enough depth to sculpt the opening for the sink and then held colours throughout was fun! At first thinking I was going to go down the browns but when I stumbled across this piece with such variety of reds, I convinced myself that this was the right decision! Heading back to the studio, over the next three days I worked this piece of stone, with the typical creators doubt creeping in every now and then “will this work? Have I chosen the right colour, is the shape right, will I be able to free hand the opening for the plumbing….” There was a sense of “ I knew I could do this, but in the same way, shocked myself with the quality I was able to produce.”  I was really proud of this sink which was going to feature in probably my favourite space I’ve ever visited. Returning home after completing the sculpture Zoe asked “can you show me a photo please” which I replied “I actually can’t I’ve only shot it on film through my little point and shoot, you’ll have to wait and see it in person”, which is another point of view where I’ve come to with my practise which I’ll touch on further in the very close future.

A beautiful January morning Zoe and I loaded up the 4x4, swag back on the roof, battery esky with fresh supplies from the farmers market in the boot, a bag of clothes each, a book or two, chessboard, stove top and the sink. We hit the road at 4am to head North West only to run into a full blown 40-degree day, past the point of any coastal breeze we arrive at the river an hour away from Woolooma. Think dry… think, go for a swim and by the time you get back to the swag you need to do a U’y and walk back through the mud to then float in the water alongside the many turtles hanging about. But we loved it. Acclimatizing is imbedded deep within us, the appreciation for the water on your skin at 9pm whilst bathing under the stars! The feeling of the southerly breeze that cooled the air about 10pm was such a blissful time, immense but calming, one of those moments you can’t not be all but present for. A solid night sleep was now on the cards.

Arriving at Woolooma we are met by Phoebe at the old Wool Shed in the 4x4 buggy which will climb 4,500ft above sea level along a trail which shows plenty of faces, but beautiful they are! Rolling hills, a pond lined with cattle, into dense rocky terrain, through butterfly valley, winding around deep forest and then arriving at The Glass House. Stepping out the buggy you instantly feel just how special this place is! Hard to put into words, but 12 months ago when I arrived there for the first time, I broke down in tears in appreciation, being able to visit places like this is such a gift!

We unload and the sink is moved into position, a little nervous for sure, questioning thoughts were still creeping in on the drive there, but when Phoebe expressed excitement and for my eyes being able to see it in place, a sense of joy hit me, that little smirk you make when hard work pays off.

Zoe and I now had 72 hours in our own little realm. Clothes very optional, meals looking down over the valley from 4,500ft, sunsets where colours and clouds are hard to even imagine, time is no longer a thing, forest walks that don’t end, just put your dream playlist on, settle in and honestly just BE. There was one morning were getting out of bed just wasn’t on the cards for a while as the clouds smothered the mountain. Wrapped in the doona, bed as comfy as it gets, all we could see was, cloud. We opened the window and you could see it seep through into the room… it was bliss, the whole experience was bliss!

Thank you to The Lands, The traditional Custodians of the Lands and The Mother for having me along this journey.

Continue To Love All,

Tom

 

 

 

 

5 February 2024,

In the mid of last year, I was really struggling with guilt that Onestone was a selfish act and didn’t give back in any form. So, I started donating to organisations that helped protect The Mother, I would catch the bus when I could to certain places to minimise my fossil fuel use, a veggie garden was planted, compost bin sorted and chickens purchased to feed my scraps for a zero food waste system in my home and also enjoy the cycle of receiving eggs. But as I continued to think about Onestone it came to me that in fact there is plenty of beauty to it, which does give back, in the way of re introducing patience back into the household, pieces which are one of a kind, made from hand, using an upcycled natural material in a sustainable way, sculptures which are crafted to last lifetimes, to be handed down through generations. These do make me proud! But I know it doesn’t have to stop there and it excites me that I can contribute more! It all aligns but at the time not being fully aware, I’ve had a few people ask me “what do I see Onestone doing and where do I see it going” I’ve always said “I want everyone to win from it” and that’s just the complete truth!

I’d love to be able to create art which then allows me to give back for the rest of my life! This led me to putting thought and motion at the back end of 2023 toward finding an organisation to give 10% of all sales to in 2024 that come directly through my website.

A couple of weeks ago whilst sculpting away I was listening to ‘Waterpeople Podcast’ a Women called ‘Annie Ford’ was on. A vibrantly spoken, amazing human! Wow did Annie have me feeling so enthused about this world and the fact that we CAN HELP and CAN GET BACK ON TRACK! Annie works for an organisation called ‘Surfrider Foundation Australia’ which at the moment is in full force towards stopping a company called ‘TGS’ from getting the approval to seismic blast an huuuuge area of 5.5 million hectares from Tasmania to Victoria’s coastline and all the way along to South Australia. TGS has applied to blast the region for 400 days. This damaging plan puts unique and globally significant areas under threat, including the 12 Apostles, King Island and the Great Southern Reef. The blasting proposal includes two Marine Protected Areas: the Bonney Upwelling, and protected whale sanctuaries. On top of this, the area is exposed to some of the biggest swells on the planet straight from the Southern Ocean. This means that blasting in this area is especially dangerous. Seismic Blasting is the extremely brutal first step in finding fossil fuels. Without doubt It is a tricky time of transition from using fossil fuels but for me it makes no sense to bomb our oceans leaving everything in its path deeply impacted or whipped out completely and it’s pretty clear that that’s just not a sustainable approach. Do I still use fossil fuels through travel, work and play?, of course I do, but I’m trying really hard to lower my impact in all areas through this period! and just because oil and gas is the way it is right now doesn’t mean we can’t push to make a change! Even a small change has a beautiful impact and is a great way to start. Annie talks about many ways of limiting your use and overall is such a beautiful listen to get you really enthused about life! Here’s the link https://open.spotify.com/episode/3NEF7StL8CH7SU8a4qc7Qp?si=2a4ec54992d0463a

https://www.surfrider.org.au/campaigns/save-the-southern-sea/This link is the direct page for the campaign of ‘Save the Southern Sea’ where you can read up on all the brutal impacts seismic blasting has on our ocean.

Thank you, Annie, Waterpeople Podcast and Surfrider Foundation Australia for inspiring me! I’m looking forward to the Onestone family giving to an organisation that cares for country!

Continue to Love all,

Tom xx

 

 

 

21 January 2024,

The start of this year begun with 14 nights straight in the swag with my beautiful girlfriend Zoe after an amazing time with a group of friends around Manyana. Socials were deleted, phone found a new home under the car seat until directions were needed or the local food was tested. As we cruised past Batemans Bay with the swag, fishing rods, surfboards, a bag of clothes, esky, cooker and a few other bits my nervous system settled. Immediately in awe of the change in flora, cycads mixed amongst the gums made for a new but such welcomed scenes to the eyes. There wasn't a day where we knew what the plan was, nor where we were going to sleep. Nights spent under the stars, woken by kangaroos bouncing around our heads, alarm clock was the sound of black cockatoos. Starting each day with respect to the Mother and a thank you to the traditional custodians of the land which we had the privilege of venturing through on that given day. There was one particular moment on this trip where nature shook me but left me in awe. A sunny day, a fun little beachy with a few mates, sitting waiting patiently, the clear water turned into a 6ft bronzy, as i glimpsed it, the mammal went right under me, in reaction to know it's where abouts I popped my head under water to see where it was going to come from, as lifted me head back out, a single dolphin was steaming my way, we hadn't seen a dolphin all morning, normally dolphins moving in pods, but this particular time, just the single one. It didn't hit me until a few moments later on the beach how cosmic that experience was... The moment nature left me in awe! another situation where you can't not but believe in a higher power, a spiritual world, I'm grateful for this experience as much as I felt so small and out of depth at the time there's plenty of beauty to it. The shark had no intention of hurting me at all otherwise it would've, just curious, sussing out who was in it's zone. Merimbula was the as South as our little 4x4 got, an open mic in Bermagui, a car boot sale, beachies that were so fun but with no one out where I had to convince an old local to come surf with me. Slowly making our way back to Palm Beach, the thoughts of what 2024 is going to look like for Onestone come. I want to story tell, I want to exhibit overseas in a couple of different countries, I only want to document through film imagery and super 8 motion, but most importantly I want to connect deeper to myself and the Mother, I want to love more, I want to continue to grow as a human and leave kindness and gratitude wherever I step, with this I know the creations will come.

Continue to Love all,

Tom