Monthly Archives: August 2015


Council House by night 400x400     Council House tea towel 400x400

Blue Lawn created tea towels showing Perth Council House as part of the 50 years commemoration.

Perth Council House was designed by architects Howlett and Bailey, and opened by Queen Elizabeth in 1963 shortly after Perth hosted the Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1962. Ah, Empire!

The building was placed on the State’s Heritage Register circa 2005, after decades of debate about its aesthetics. The office of State Heritage noted it “is a rare intact example of an early 1960s modernist office building in Perth.” In recent years there has been a reassessment of the value of Council House, and the building is now illuminated at night by a multi-coloured light show.

The design for the building was chosen after a competition won by architects Jeffrey Howlett and Don Bailey. Don Bailey who is now in his 80s, was in Perth for the anniversary event in late March 2013. He told the audience that Council House was built at great speed as it needed to be finished in time to entertain the dignitaries coming to the games in 1962.

“We had eighteen months from start to finish. . . We had to design it as we went. It was fast track building and you filled in the details just ahead of the builder.”

The City of Perth produced a book and exhibition to mark the building’s 50th anniversary, exploring the history of Council House, displaying the original architectural plans, photographs of its construction and the opening.


York Town Hall 1 Jul2016           York Town Hall 2 Jul2016           York Town Hall 3 Jul2016           York Town Hall 4 Jul2016

For the York Bzzaar, we decided to make a screen-printed tea towel.

The York Bzzaar is held annually in the beautiful Avon Valley, west of Perth. To help celebrate, Blue Lawn Designs have created a tea towel using the image of the historic York town hall. We thought that this would be a good opportunity to describe how we make our screen-printed tea towels.

As an example, for our tea towels depicting the built environment, we work from a photograph that we convert into a high-contrast black and white image. From there, we then make a ‘film positive’. This is essentially a transparent and opaque image that is then exposed onto a screen that has been coated with a photographic emulsion (red is also UV light proof and acts the same as opaque black).

The ‘film positive’ is placed in contact with the coated screen. By exposing the screen to UV light, the emulsion under the transparent areas, hardens. But under the transparent areas, the emulsion doesn’t harden and remains water-soluble. As a result it can be washed out with water, creating a stencil of open and closed areas on the tightly stretched polyester (not silk) mesh.

For each additional colour in the design, an additional screen is required. The tea towels are then individually hand printed with water-based inks in the Blue Lawn studio.

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