Friday, 25 March 2011

The end of a busy week and developing an idea.

Wow,Friday evening already and here I am typing my blog in bed with a cup of tea at 10pm! I have had a really busy week and am very tired! Due to the nature of my 'day job' I have very little to do over the winter months(good for turning time!!) and then suddenly spring arrives, the phone starts ringing and 'pow' I'm busy again(good for my bank account!!) This week I've had two days of grading potatoes for the local farmer, a day and a half mowing lawns and a day spent digging up fir trees and barrowing soil!!! Oh the joys of manual labour!!! Still, the moneys good and the sun has been out all week, so it has been nice to be outdoors. Luckily I managed an afternoon to devote to my passion and make some shavings fly!
I finished work Wednesday lunch time and came home to find the family out for the afternoon, they had gone to see the 'inlaws', so it was off to the shed for me! After making the piece posted
previously, the ideas continue to come on a theme or at least a style and it continues to develop into something else. I really liked the colours on the 'fire' based bowl and started thinking of a new design based on a supernova, using the same colours. The result is shown opposite here, the
description of the design is as follows "In the death of a star, it sheds off the outer layers of itself in a supernova, thus creating a nebula of gaseous filaments and dust, in this case leaving a dark remnant behind"
I began to wonder how much wood I was
removing in these pierced bowl forms and found
up some very accurate scales.This piece started out as a 10" by 2" Ash bowl blank weighing more than a kilogram(2.2lb) and was turned into a 2mm thick round bottom bowl, this weighed
88g(a tiny bit over 3 oz), I then marked out my design and did the piercing work, sitting in the warm sunshine at the garden table, after quite a bit of sanding to ensure the removal of fluffy fibers and clean inside edges of the holes I reweighed the piece at 28g(1 oz). It was then airbrushed with acrylics and lacquered to finish, the final weight of the piece after drying out the paints is 31.4g(1.108 oz).

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Piercing is addictive!

As soon as I had pierced the 'lid' for the piece in the previous post, I sat it on the top of the headstock of the lathe upside down and knew that a bowl with this styling was going to be the next thing I produced. I made a few sketches over the next couple of days and came up with the design for this. Today Georgie had some friends over to meet the baby, not wanting to sit amongst women in 'baby talk' mode and them more than likely not wanting me there, I made for the refuge of 'the shed' with a coffee and my mp3 player to plug into the stereo,happy days!
It was nice to be able to have the door open and the heater off while I was working, spring finally seems to be arriving in Bacton, the daffodils are coming out and the birds are singing!
The initial thought for this piece was to make a simple 'open' bowl shape to pierce but I decided after a bit of a think that a wide rim ogee style bowl would allow the piercing to be shown off better.
My thoughts on the design are based on fire, the 'skeleton' part of the bowl is representative of the flames of the fire dancing away from the black part, which is being burned. Its no more complicated than that.
After turning the ogee bowl I got out a big extension lead and sat in the sun doing the piercing, Dylan saw me from the window and made his wish to join me in the garden known in that special way a nineteen month old can! He took great delight collecting the pieces I was cutting out off the lawn and arranging them on our garden bench, he loves being outside and currently also loves being with daddy, which I love!
After the piercing was done it was time for me to feed the family and then to put Dylan to bed, only then did I get to go back out to the shed,to break out the airbrush and colour my piece!
All in all a nice Sunday afternoon and an end result that I am happy with! I now have four days of 'real' work to look forward to this coming week.....

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Experimental Piece.

My parents looked after Dylan yesterday and Georgie took baby Daisy to show her off in a visit to her colleagues. Seizing my chance I made a dash for 'the shed' . I have had this pointy ended 'organic' Elm hollow form hanging around for a while with no 'lid' or finish. It was in my collection of 'I'll finish it later when a plan for it comes to mind' pieces. I don't mean to have unfinished work everywhere but I often get sidetracked and leap into a different project leaving things half done, but its often a good thing as it allows different ideas on how to finish them come to mind at some point, without being forced.
As many ideas do this came to me while laying in bed waiting for sleep to come, for me this is a time when various ideas and designs race around my mind without any of the distractions of the day breaking my chain of thought. The first thought for this was a disk cut out into three points to make a steady 'stand' to keep it still but as I imagined it I began to picture a wrap around style, similar to an acorn cup but made with a skeleton design, with a gap between to allow the full form to be viewed and also allowing

the piece to roll and center itself on the densest area of wood, adding another dimension (or keeping it) of movement/freedom . The skeleton design of course leads to the cup looking worn or corroded/rotten/eaten away and influences both the colour used and finish. I have used unnatural colour to contrast the natural organic look
of the form.
It is also the first piece photographed with my new lights and graduated background, which I hope leave the piece standing out better in the picture with the distraction of my old crumpled white background finally gone!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Some texture inspiration.

As said in the previous post I have been snapping away at things of interest on my walks, I think its going to be a great way of having textural inspiration at hand and a good way to study things without appearing odd to others holding my head 6 inches away from random objects for minutes at a time!
The texture on the old timber sea defenses is great, I have no idea how to recreate this but it really does give me something to think about, this would look great on a sculptural piece or wall hanging.
The same old timber defenses have these corroded bolt heads in them. The speckles of colour and grainy appearance of the decayed metal is great and something I'm planning on using. It not only can be used to show decay but also great age, the effect of the rust bleeding into the timber is something I never would have thought of without taking the time to do this. This picture especially has ideas flowing from it for me!

I love these weather and tide worn old timbers the staining where the iron was,the enlarging by nature of the man made holes, the weathered bleaching and opening up down the endgrain. It makes me want to run out and buy a shot blaster!

Enough rambling, I'm eager to get back into the shed in a few more days and produce something!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

New things!

I have created this blog 4 days after the birth of our second child, Daisy, a really nice moment in my life. My 19 month old son Dylan has taken to her brilliantly and rather than our fears of him being ragingly jealous coming true he mostly just wants to kiss her on the cheek. It has to be the sweetest thing I've ever seen. Looking at the life my wife and I have created in these two fills me with a really nice warm feeling. Family life is by far the best thing I've ever experienced :)
There hasn't been any time for work over these few days since the birth but there has been a bit of time to sit back and think in the quieter moments of the day,when the family are napping. Time to think a bit about what I'm doing
creatively and where I want to go with it(I haven't come up with an answer yet!).One idea was to start this blog where I can post more thoughts and random things that influence what I'm doing,rather than just posting work on internet forums to be disected by people with no clue as to where I'm comming from and often can't seem to see past their own blinkered ideas.
I have also decided to try and soak up a bit more of the different environments around me,the colours,textures and shapes that surround us both natural,manmade and where the two interact. I'm trying to carry my camera with me to document these where possible, even if I don't know how or when I'll use them! I'll post some of them here for 'food for thought' . All this means more walks,which can only be good! Dylan has been enjoying them so far,we've visited the beach a few times this week to give my wife a bit of quiet time with the new arrival.