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Rule Breaker: Florence Broadhurst

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It’s an accomplishment in itself to impact your time & generation, but to have enduring popularity and style, which exceeds trends and decades, is an incredible feat. Imagine if the work you created today shaped the industry you work in 50 years from now. Such a remarkable achievement can be claimed by the influential Queensland born designer, Florence Broadhurst, best known for her recognisable wallpaper designs.

Florence’s story began in rural Queensland, where she was born and raised on a cattle farm. Although Florence did not let this stop her from making a name for herself; trotting the globe as a flamboyant performer, a music & dance teacher in Shanghai, socialite, an influencer and an international business and studio owner at the age of 60!

We believe there’s a lot you can learn from the trailblazer that is Florence Broadhurst and the power of being a creative rebel!

Florence shook the Australian design industry in more ways then one. After Declaring “Australia to be afraid of colour” she set out to revolutionise the conservative design industry of her time. With notorious ambition, Florence launched her handprint wallpaper studio in Sydney, going on to produce over 500 top-selling wallpaper designs.

Florence revolutionised wallpaper design, by abandoning the conventions of mass production and traditional. Her prints known as ‘vigorous designs for modern living’ launched the industry into new horizons, transforming spaces into luxurious, timeless and artistic living areas.

We love how Florence wasn’t afraid to question the industry, pushing the boundaries and captivating attention through the bold, brash, scale and colour of her designs, which were far beyond of her time. We believe that you have the creative power to disrupt the industry and fuel innovative theories, ways of thinking and doing for not only this century but centuries to come, if like Florence, you aren’t afraid to step outside of the norm and break, redefine and transform the rules.



Sources: Cover Image, Image 1, Image 2.

Creative Rebel: Ana Saiao

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When your creative confidence is pushed, simply push back harder.

Ana Saiao wasn’t always a jeweler, colour consultant or interior designer. Before moving to Australia in 2010 Ana was living and working in Portugal as a Pharmacist. A career, which she was encouraged to pursuit under the guise of her parents, who believed that she, could never have a creative career. This was mainly due to the high academic and research based education system in Portugal, which places high recognition on careers in medicine and law. Ana found herself trapped between two worlds, her dream of working in the creative industry and reality.

After moving to Australia Ana, decided to dive into the creative industry, defying her family’s expectations, studying a Certificate IV Design in Colour and Design at The Hunter Design School.

This course embraced Ana’s unique eye of colour, texture and form, equipping her with the skills and knowledge to transform her passions into a successful and progressive business in the form of Tuga by KZ and career as our extraordinary Cert IV in Design trainer at The Hunter Design School.

Ana is proof that you should never give up on your dream when someone pushes your creative confidence. You have the power to change the industry, transform interactions, challenge the status quo and shift perceptions, so why give up on your dream because some said you couldn’t do it? We dare you to push back harder, make a difference and convince them they’re wrong!


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Sources: Tuga By KZ

Industry Game Changer: Marcus Westbury

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Marcus Westbury, a revolutionary writer, broadcaster and director is responsible for some most innovative and progressive cultural events and projects, across Australia.

Returning home to Newcastle in 2008 after living in Melbourne, Marcus was horrified by Newcastle’s urban decay, describing how streets that he had previously remembered to be “vibrant, active, and filled with family and friends had fallen into disrepair and despair.”

These experiences lead Marcus to create ‘Renew Newcastle’, the urban renewal project, which is rescuing run-down vacant buildings, scattered around our city into unique spaces for creative enterprises, artists and cultural projects. Check out the images below to discover how our city has evolved over the years with the help of Renew.

We love how Marcus is a catalyst for change. His revolutionary idea has transformed Newcastle’s creative and cultural scene, opening an array of possibilities and opportunities. Like Marcus, you too can change the game, all it takes is an idea and action. You have the creative power to stifle complacencies, which stops creativity dead in its tracks.

Newcastle before Renew:

2009+Empire+Site 2008+Aug+Upclycing2008+Aug+Pawnbroker


Newcastle today:


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Sources: Renew Newcastle & Marcus Westbury

Revolutionary: Harry Seidler

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Harry Seidler, the man who revolutionised Australian Architecture.

Since his passing, Harry Seidler continues to remain one of the most influential and controversial figures in Australian history. Harry based his work on three key principles: social use, technology, and aesthetics. Striving to challenge conformity beyond societal conventions and assumptions.

Harry Seidler’s infamous 81 metre, Blues Point Tower apartment block is a powerful example of this goal. The apartment block thrusting up from McMahon’s Point, Sydney harbor was the first tall building to be registered under the Strata Titles Act. Although continues to be wildly regarded as “one of the ugliest buildings in Sydney” due to modernist design and continues to have numerous calls to tear it down.

A more famous piece of architecture is the Rose Seidler house, the most talked about house in Sydney back in the 1950’s. Again, Harry took architecture to a new level, introducing open plan, large spans of glass and low pitched roofs. Completed 65 years ago, architecture now resembles many of the elements Harry challenged and forged. Ideas that have revolutionised how we design today.

In order to achieve great design, we believe you must challenge perceptions, inspire original ways of thought and revolutionise the standard way people see the world around them. In our opinion, Harry Seidler’s infamous Blues Point Tower and the famous Rose Seidler house are just two of the many designs that have achieved this. Whether you love it or hate it, you cannot deny its innovation.

Like Harry, strive to take risks, challenge your perceptual capabilities and others and become a revolutionary.



Sources: Cover Image, Image 1, Image 2.


Industry News :: Porter’s Chalk Emulsion Workshop

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This hands on course helps you to gain an understanding on the different techniques and uses of Chalk Emulsion.

Only $80 per person. Includes all paint, waxes and supplies plus Champagne, Orange Juice & Nibbles.

Wednesday 19th August 10am – 12:30pm
Wednesday 23rd September 10am – 12:30pm

To book please contact
Bristol Paints Kotara on 4956 1099

Spotlight :: Miriam show’s off her home

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Past student, Miriam Ragen, recently had her home featured in the Newcastle Herald.

Miriam’s “interest in modern Scandinavian style has led to her beautifully minimalistic smatter of slimline furniture, simple ornamental pieces and monochrome colouring with gentle pops of pastel throughout her home.”

Check it out here

Artist Spotlight :: Vanessa Lewis

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When I first discovered some of Vanessa’s work through the Blessing & Honour’s stationary range, I instantly feel in love with her hand drawn work; the textures, movement of every stroke and the beauty of each of her subjects.
Upon meeting Vanessa, she revealed her love and passion for discovering traditional techniques. Creating her work by hand, with imperfect dots and lines where the ink merge together naturally forming stunning  design pieces.

Here’s her story….

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“I feel like I have been an artist all my life. I was born in Zimbabwe, Africa to two beautifully creative humans, who loved life and gifted me with a yearning for knowledge, beauty and truth. When I was ten, my family traveled through Europe, on a kind of ‘lets see everything’ pilgrimage, I fell in love, so deeply, with art and the rest as they say.. is history.

Now based in the excitingly understated city of Newcastle in Australia, I make art, I draw and paint, study, research and explore the recipes and techniques once used by artists throughout the centuries. Sometimes feeling more like a chef than a modern day painter, I work with deliciously luscious ingredients..eggs, vodka, walnuts, pomegranates..and more. Every day in the studio is an exhilarating learning experience, as I explore the chemistry, the botanic’s of painting and turn it into new art.

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The more I learn about mediums, the more there is to know. I started with tempera as its such a beautiful yet challenging medium, and I really liked the idea of learning to make my own paint, like artists used to do. Recently I have been exploring old inks, from recipes from the renaissance etc.  They are all so historically rich and yet almost forgotten by contemporary art, and yet they are so wonderful to work with even if they are occasionally quite rebellious. Gold leaf is also an ‘historic’ medium with a long history, it has been a real treat to learn how to use the different metals, and I think it adds a new dimension to the picture I’m working on. I love love love working with charcoal, its a medium that’s long been undervalued, but its so versatile in its mark-making abilities. I get my charcoal from Coates, a family run willow charcoal factory in England, which I would love to visit one day.

I  am influenced a lot by how other artists work and I love to see the world through their eyes. I have learnt that the only way to grow as an artist is to keep doing. For my own art, I look to the life around me, anything that makes my heart skip a beat whether its something in nature, music, people anything beautiful even if its achingly sad. Creativity flows from a  full heart, and that becomes the starting point. Then I let the mediums do the rest.”

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Meet Vanessa and fall in love with her beautiful work at either Hunt & Gather Markets or The Olive Tree Markets.

Discover more at Apothecary Artst

Inspiration :: Timeless Leather

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Leather is often described as timeless and classic.

It’s soft and supple, with a natural patina developed over time, leather lends warmth to an interior, creating contrasts and offsetting other finishes like wood, steel, stone and concrete, becoming a conduit for effortless style.

Leather has become a favourite and essential material throughout design history. It is one of the distinctive hallmarks of coveted Scandinavian style and was the fabric of choice for the renowned Eames Lounge chair. American designer Ralph Lauren’s use of leather is evident in home furnishing whether it’s on the New England coast or his Western ranch.


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Inspiration images sourced from: designattractor.comroadkillrescue.nethandmadecharlotte.comthedesignchaser.comdreambookdesign.comkarinecandicekong.com


Similar products can be spotted locally at: 

Me Me Homewares; Empire Furniture; InsideOut

Exploring Japan

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Japanese Architecture, Art, Design, delicious food and an exotic culture are just some of the many joys of visiting Japan.


Donna will be travelling to Japan later this month to meet with the Kobe Design University in hope of establishing a relationship between the Hunter Design school and Japan. This trip will also include some planning for our second student excursion tour later this year.


Last year students enjoyed a 10 day excursion to Japan, experiencing Japanese culture, learning some Japanese craft and visiting a few of the amazing design and architectural interests of Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara and Kobe. If you are thinking this may be an exciting opportunity, you can contact the school or come along to our information night next term (date to be confirmed) and you too can join us for what will be a truly memorable Japanese experience.

Watch out for further details in our next newsletter.