Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 95

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Sunday - Tuesday June 21 - 23, 2009 (diary)

Brooch by Johann Michael Wilm I have finally completed the Photo Gallery of jewelry for The Martinshof Story and am pleased with the way I put it all together. Back in the 1950s most (if not all photos) were in black and white, so unfortunately we can't enjoy the glorious colours of the jewelry we were promoting then.
But even without its true colours this glorious brooch by Johann Michael Wilm from Münich, a cameo nature scene, is a feast for the eye.

After a few rather cold nights the weather has turned mild again these past few days with even a highly unusual spot of good rain during last night.
As I sit on my cabin's veranda this morning with my usual glass of orange juice and green tea, I am wondering what I was doing a year ago. Checking my Blog it was walking that wonderful 8 km trail through the forests from Sankt Peter to Glottertal in the Black Forest (South Germany).

The Glotter near GlottertalIt is all down hill for about 4 kms until you reach the bottom of the valley, then follow the bristling Glotter creek into the village and end up on the terrace of Wirtshaus Zur Sonne where Bernadette, one of the young waitresses, serves you a well deserved Hirschen-Bräu beer, brewed, she explains, "in a village just around the corner".
I did this walk I believe three times last year and absolutely loved it. I have written the route out in detail for my daughter Babette who plans to do the same walk when she visits my sister Wivica in Sankt Peter in August this year. Next year I will be back myself to check out this trail again.

The Oos river and Wallstreet im Hamilton Bistro Another favourite spot I will visit then is the Wallstreet im Hamilton Cafe in Baden Baden. This is a delightful Bistro with a nice terrace right on the tiny Oos river which separates the town centre from the magnificent Kurhaus and Casino gardens. I would sit here every day for lunch and later again in the evening with a descent glass of red wine, soaking up the scene and watching the well to do middle aged German widows looking around for an eligible catch.

Ah well, that is in store for next year, right now I have a great time here in Darwin enjoying the weather and playing lots of bridge, four days this week.

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Wednesday June 24, 2009 (diary)

Chris Steenbergen : Bracelet, brooch and ring in silver and perspex, 1989 Yesterday I received by post two small books Wivica sent me. One is covering the jewelry by Edda Marie Prinzessing zu Erbach Schönberg (in which my father J Th Furstner wrote one of the Chapters), the other one of work by Chris Steenbergen.
The book on Steenbergen absolutely blew me away as I had not seen any of his later work at all ever. I took the adjacent photo today from the book "Chris Steenbergen" published in 2000 by the Dutch Stichting Fonds voor Beeldende Kunsten, Vormgeving en Bouwkunst (Fonds BKVB). The original photo was by Paul Hartland.
I was very much gratified by the extensive references made in the text to both my parents and the important role Atelier Martinshof had played in the promotion of Chris' work during the difficult early years of his artistic career.

Hoefslag 9, Gorssel I met Chris and his wife Jannie last at my mother's funeral in 1989, the same year Chris made the above jewelry.
After we sold the family business Martinshof BV in December 1982, the house had become much too large for my mother, so we bought a lovely home at the Hoefslag in Gorssel. We had the garage converted into a studio complete with work bench and pottery kiln for my mother to continue her many strands of art. Unfortunately the night after her birthday (March 4) in 1984 she suffered a minor stroke which severely affected her speech and memory. My sister Wivica was visiting her from Germany at the time and stayed on for the following 5 years to look after our mother.

Wearing my mother's scarf in Germany, April 2008 Although my mother recovered considerably with her speech and memory, she could not be left alone anymore. Much to her own frustration she was unable to do any of her artistic work which had been the mainstay throughout her life. The only thing she still managed to do was knitting numerous woolen scarfs in a variety of bright colours.
After her funeral Chris and Jannie Steenbergen (and I believe Archibald and Annie Dumbar too) came home with us to the Hoefslag. Once there we opened my mother's cupboard crammed full with her scarfs and we gave one to each of us present. I also took some back to Australia for my wife and children. I am sure the Steenbergens used theirs during the following years. I still have mine and wore it last year during my visit to Germany.

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Thursday June 25, 2009 (diary)

Yesterday, after writing my Blog and another couple of Chapters on the Martinshof Story, I got into my car and drove to the Stokes Hill Wharf for a late lunch (seafood grill) with a couple of mini bottles of Jacob's Creek red. It was a lovely mild afternoon, clear blue sky and a tranquil harbour view.
The land across the harbour is all green and rather flat, with only a couple of isolated hills. One of these is a low table top mountain called the King's Table and each time I look at it I am reminded of the Kaiser Stuhl ("Emperor's Chair, also a table top mountain) on the Rhine in Germany.

I sit there for quite a while, my mind leisurely roaming all over the place, until I reluctantly leave and an to my hairdresser Mendi for a regular (3 mm) Number 1 crewcut.
In the evening I watch the second leg of the State of Origin series. This is an annual event between two rugby teams, one from New South Wales the other from Queensland. This is a best of 3 matches series and perhaps the most passionate event on the annual Australian Sports calender. Queensland won the first match three weeks ago in Melbourne and this time in Sydney they win again, clinching the series. This is the 4th year in a row they have won the event which is a new record. So all Queensland and their supporters are happy.

Electric gate at the Mango farm I have been wondering : unlike previous years when there were lots of wallabies (small kangaroos) roaming all over our Mango farm, especially at night, I have not spotted a single one this year. When I mention this to Gordon he quickly puts me right :
At the beginning of the year the farm owners (Andrew and Kim) got a dog Roxy. To keep Roxy inside the property Andrew built a 1.5m (5ft) high wire mesh fence all around the farm and an electric gate which automatically shuts every time anyone enters or leaves the property. So the dog can't get out, but also the wallabies can't get in. The fence is too high for them to jump over and even the young ones can't wriggle through the coarse wire mesh. Green fingers Gordon is very happy of course, because this year he has not got to worry about those animals eating the young shoots of all the tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes and melons he has sown and planted all around the place.

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