In 1998 they were looking for an international market. The couple sent their folio to the Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in the US - the letter to the Museum of Modern Art was returned unopened, but the Guggenheim staff was more receptive.

"We received a fax from the Guggenheim saying they loved our work," Peter says. "They placed an order for 66 pieces."

Having work placed in the Guggenheim has been one of the many achievements the two Australian artists have celebrated since they started twisting their own niche in the art world.

In 2000, the couple bought their first house, a derelict 1860s miner's cottage in Castlemaine. They took six months off work to restore it and have since added to the property’s buildings, with a studio and two gallery spaces built in similar 19th century style.

The two galleries house a selection of their work including grapevine leaf mirrors, candelabras, wall features, bowls, fire screens, eggcups and chandeliers. Other pieces, such as metal arbours, outdoor sculptures, tables and chairs, are scattered throughout the couple’s stunning garden, which they created from scratch.

Chelly and Peter can be found most days hard at work in their gallery, amongst the tin snips, wire cutters, pliers and welders, or the garden with their Great Dane, Coco.