Winter 2018

Greg and I have just closed the doors for winter. Although the temperatures in Byron hinterland don’t plummet as low as other parts of Australia, we find it impossible to heat the villa as the thick rendered walls absorb the outside chill.

In previous years, we’ve escaped the cold by travelling but this year we’re staying home. We installed a wood burn heater in readiness for winter but it’s already unable to heat the large open space. In desperation, I’ve been google-searching how medieval castles stayed warm in winter – and it seems we have to line the walls with heavy tapestries and the floors with bales of hay … so this may be our next step!

Closing the accommodation enables us to focus on personal interests. I’ve been working with arts writer, Sharne Wolff, on an exhibition at Lismore Regional Gallery. “From Here to There: Australian art and walking” presents the work of 12 leading Australian artists who use the everyday act of walking in their art. Please visit Lismore gallery if you are in the area – the exhibition runs from 7 July to 26 August.


Image credit: Lauren Brincat,Walk the Line 201.6
single channel High Definition video, 16:9, colour, sound
duration: 5:16 min,  sound: Nick Wales
courtesy the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery

Our pottery news is that Greg has purchased a wood-fire kiln and is planning to install it in the stone barn. (Don’t worry – the exterior of the barn won’t change!) Building a kiln is a lengthy process as the existing kiln needs to be deconstructed (brick-by-brick) before reconstructing it again. But we’re excited at the prospect of having wood-fire sessions and seeing the special effects of wood-fired ceramics!

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Photo Credit: Peppermint Photography

Unfortunately, we won’t be participating in this year’s Mud Trail on the weekend of August 18 and 19. The Mud Trail is a highlight of our year, but we signed up to an art tour in Melbourne before realising the clash of dates. Hopefully, we’ll be participating next year.

We’re taking advantage of the “guest free” period to undertake some much-needed repairs around the house, and we’re also hoping to embark on a small building project for my mosaic studio.

Thanks to those who have supported us this year and also to those interested in the happenings at Villa Rustica. We feel fortunate that the villa attracts fabulous guests, and we love meeting and hearing your stories. We look forward to welcoming you when we re-open in October.

Hoping you stay warm over winter!!!

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Photo: The Jaipur Suite

best wishes,




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Comments ( 8 )

  • Megan Puls

    Love everything about VR – enjoy winter XX

    • admin

      Hi Megan,
      thanks so much for leaving a message! We are looking forward to having you and Jo come and stay when overseeing the wood fire kiln. XXX

  • Linda

    Hi Jane

    All sounds wonderful and sensible
    Looking forward to coming down sometime after October
    and the weather is warmer. Best of luck with all the wonderful new ideas you have and repairs.

    I hope you are both well and sending lots of love


    • admin

      Thanks Linda. We would love for you to visit when it’s warmer. I had a wonderful day with Stephen E a few weeks ago! XXX

  • Corinne Meunier

    Looking forward to seeing your “small” mosaic studio being built!

    • admin

      Thanks, Corinne – we’re still crossing our fingers hoping it will be approved! It was so lovely seeing you and Jacques a few weeks ago.

  • Jeanie carlin

    Have a great winter Jane you are inspiring in all yu do and your art of course too. I am sill singing and got to record in nyc with an icon Frank Owens who is still so humble and giving if his piano skills. He was Lena Horne’s Johnny Mathis petula Clark accompanist and Olivia Newton John s arranger too. The arts are what make us human right💕🌷🙏
    I am so glad I got to visit Australia and meet your family.

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