Friday, December 17, 2010
Friday, December 03, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
More photographs of what we got up to in Cardiff on my Flickr pages.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
"Reading" top to bottom, left to right: iolite, blue topaz, peruvian blue opal; natural pale blue sapphire; two blue topaz "bullets"; aquamarines and green quartz (in bags); blue topaz, green quartz; and slightly chatoyant colourless quartz.
Intensely annoying: I am being bullied by television licensing again. Despite have had no television for 20 years and having repeatedly told them that fact, reinforcing that I have no intention of getting one, every few years I am bullied for being different. Singled out and sent threatening, aggressive letters which imply that I am a lying cheat and that I am going to be fined £1000.
Today I was warned that someone would be out to inspect my house. Let the fuckers try...
They came once before at 8am and were so embarrassed when I answered the door, wearing only my boxer shorts that they tried to back off: needless to say, I forced them to inspect the house, making sure that they looked under the bed, on top of the wardrobe, behind the sofa, etc. By the time they had finished, I was pretty sure that I wouldn't be bothered again.
Next time, I will be less hospitable.
The morons who control television licensing seem to think it is incomprehensible that anyone would NOT have a television and that anyone who doesn't have one MUST be a criminal. They are so fucking blind to this possibility that their website doesn't even allow you to tell them that you don't have a license, only to pay for one in some form. If you want to complain about their intimidating, accusatory letters and approaches, you have to write a letter at your own expense.
In short, I am being threatened, intimidated, accused and am expected to waste my time and money in order to prove to a government department that I am NOT GUILTY of something of which they have repeatedly accused me.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Bracelet Commission 14
Originally uploaded by the justified sinner
Not posted for a while because I've been really busy but here is a bracelet which is just finished to a customer order. Made from an old chisel, silver, various types of steel, labradorite and citrine.
Thursday, November 04, 2010
I'm really pleased with the way he is looking.
Monday, November 01, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Bad: my microwelder (hydro-flame) broke down; someone stole my tube-cutter; one of the students has hacked a coil of wire into multiple lengths as they were too lazy to look for the end.
Good: I finished a bangle -
Made from iron nail, silver, found washers, an old key, the tang of a file and set with sapphires, blue topaz and carnelian agate.
And received a lovely present of some Tanzanian alluvial "Umba" sapphires:
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Today I bring you "An Englishman's Home":
Made from discarded gas-pipe, the head of a cold-chisel, silver, garnet and diamond.
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Sunday, September 05, 2010
There have been gold-panners working Scotland for years, but as the price of gold has rocketed over the last year or so, it has been hitting the media. The ACJ (Association for Contemporary Jewellery) ran a trip - organised brilliantly by Islay Spalding - to Helmsdale, almost as far north as it is possible to go - this weekend and we had a great day in the hills, panning for gold:
We found some minuscule fragments between us, but nothing we could work with. Some of the other panners we spoke to had found several grams and some in quite large nuggets.
A great weekend, though. The weather was superb and the company good. We stayed in the Helmsdale youth hostel, which used to be SYHA but which is now an independent. Not sure I would do that again, what with rigorous curfews and narky signs telling you what you can and can't do, especially as it was £16 per night and the B&B was only £20!
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
Scotish poetry which I mostly find contrived, mawkish or both - but
there are one or two poets whom I hold in very high esteem: Stevie
Smith, TS Eliot, Sylvia Plath. Amongst that group also figures
Scottish Poet, Edwin Morgan who died yesterday. A remarkable man whom
I had the honour of meeting once in the now-vanished John Smith's
bookshop in Glasgow, modest, unassuming, charming. He signed my CD
copy of his collaboration with saxophonist Tommy Smith, "The Beasts of
Scotland" (containing the brilliantly funny "Wolf"), we exchanged a
word or two and parted.
A lovely man. Irreplaceable.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
So far, I've completed some Morrocan-style whole salt-preserved lemons (which I made years and years ago and then forgot about, though they are SO good) and am half-way through making a batch of Picallili. To follow: ginger and marrow preserve, pickled pears and some sort of tomato conserve.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I've finally joined Crafthaus, which I've been meaning to do for ages. The link is on the left.
Preparing for my exhibition in Wales at the end of the year. I've to make 15 pieces. Here's the beginning. What happens when you add:
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to disassociate the British government from the Pope's intolerant views ahead of the Papal visit to Britain in September 2010. We urge the Prime Minister to make it clear that his government disagrees with the Pope's opposition to women's reproductive rights, gay equality, embryonic stem cell research and the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV. We ask the Prime Minister to express his disagreement with the Pope’s role in the cover-up of child sex abuse by Catholic clergy, his rehabilitation of the Holocaust-denying bishop Richard Williamson, and his decree paving the way for the beatification and sainthood of the war-time Pope, Pius XII, who stands accused of failing to speak out against the Holocaust. We also request the Prime Minister to assure us that the Pope’s visit will not be financed by the British taxpayer.
The meat of the pathetic, drippy, lame-ass, cop-out reply from out spineless lily-livered Prime Minister is as follows:
The Holy See has a global reach and so is a valuable international partner for the UK Government. Our relationship with the Holy See enables us to address jointly a range of foreign policy and development issues. These include working towards delivery of the Millennium Development Goals, addressing the impacts of climate change, preventing and resolving conflict, and finding ways to encourage disarmament.Completely failing to address any of the issues of the original petition whilst ticking all the "popular choice" buttons of climate change, conflict and disarmament. Nice to know that the government thinks that these populist ends are more important than basic human decency, the spread of disease or the welfare of the hundreds of thousands of children abused by the catholic church.
I am disgusted that the government which is supposed to represent me considers this anti-humanitarian nazi-apologising homophobic pedlar of mediaeval mythology considers that "The Holy See has a global reach and so is a valuable international partner for the UK Government." Considering the shift to the right in recent UK politics, I am also a bit frightened by it.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Sorry about the teenage title for this post, but I was so excited!
End-of-term yesterday and my first year group (I'm the first-year tutor, so they see me most over the year) gave me this amazing shirt which they had made for me. I am SO pleased with it and it's by far the best present I've ever received from students.
The only reason I'm not wearing it is that it has to go back to the maker as it's a bit tight across the shoulders.
It really goes well with the Vince Ray poster in the background.
Monday, June 07, 2010
Friday, June 04, 2010
Thursday, June 03, 2010
I've been really busy of late and have a huge engraving job on over the weekend. Additionally, Bob Ebendorf has challenged me to a swap at West Dean this year, which will be fun.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thanks to Lewis for pointing this out me.
On holiday! Off to see Arundel Castle today.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
died. He was 95, so it is hardly surprising, but sad nonetheless. He
wrote a book which was highly significant in the development of my
interest in mathematics and art, "Goedel, Escher and Bach" and also
published my favourite edition of "Alice in Wonderland" with
annotations about the mathematics and jokes embedded in the original
text and his writings and thoughts have been a constant in my adult
life. Despite his death, I'm sure that this will continue to be true.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Just back from a week in Antwerp with the students, which was, given the perilous state of air travel in general at the moment, somewhat nerve-wracking! The students were incredibly well-behaved and good-natured, as I had hoped, however, and the trip was great. We went to the diamond museum, a diamond-setter, the silversmithing museum and the SIHA Jewellery School. It was good to see all our old friends at SIHA and to have a night out with them. On Thursday we had a day in Amsterdam.
I've spent the whole day dropping off to sleep!
Friday, May 07, 2010
Thursday, May 06, 2010
Richard III, named for the very mediaeval style and the suggestion of death and woodland.
Went to vote today, which was just depressing. All those small men, those who had failed at everything else, standing about outside the polling station in their too-long dark coats, smoking cigarettes and smiling smugly in a vain attempt to get my vote and make something of their tiny lives by granting them the power to lord it over me. There is a lot to be said for the theory that anyone who wants to go into politics should be forbidden from so doing. Whatever happens tomorrow, the result will be a further slump into the banality which has engulfed Britain since the 1960s. Three equally bland nonentities beg for their chance to run the country: Politics is no more than a sickening version of "The X-Factor" in which real life, real arguments, real economics, real people doing real things are airbrushed out of existence and replaced with a mere popularity contest which is more about who you hate the least than about who has any real talent or ability. (Or worse: about who greases what palm the most.)
"Choices"? I was offered the following delightful array of losers: Labour, Liberal Democrats, Conservative, Scottish National Party, some "socialist" claptrap that couldn't afford a logo, British National Party, Scottish Socialist Party, Socialist Labour and Trade Union and Socialist. In short, not one candidate that I think is worthy of my support. A bunch of no-hope idiots seeking an enormous salary with all the expenses they can fiddle for doing absolutely nothing. It is little surprise that in the 2009 by-election, the turnout was the lowest ever recorded for a UK election.
Whatever happens, I will end up worse off. Being middle-income, middle-class, middle-aged, single, employed and male, I will be paying for tax cuts for the rich, benefit rises for the poor, duck-houses, moats and every other fucking thing that the corrupt and stinking edifice of British Politics sees fit to squander money on: Britain will sink further into the squalid mediocrity of financial, moral and cultural bankrupcy.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
This was brought home to me today when, sitting on my bike in the traffic queue at a red light, the van in front suddenly went into reverse and knocked me off my bike, the bike going under the van, me - mercifully - to one side. (Apart from some very serious bruising on my right arm, everything, bike included, is OK.)
The second this happened, everyone around stopped to look; they were concerned; they volunteered as witnesses; they sat me down; they called the police; they rescued my bike; they brought me water and a first-aider from the bus-station. I was actually overwhelmed by the basic goodness and humanity of these people, especially the staff at Buchanan Street Bus Station, outside which the incident happened.
I wish I could thank them all personally for their help and for reminding me that things in this town are not always as bad as they seem.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
The Lobster Quadrille:
Blue Sunset on the Grey Lagoon:
It has been interesting revisiting an old piece. The Lobster Quadrille relates to Blue Sunset in form and materials but not exactly. I've also decided to use a few new techniques in it, such as granulation.
If I'm being honest, I feel a bit guilty about copying my own work!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
of him doing it and in a panic he tells his fellow councillors. Who do
nothing. In fact, they tell him it is OK.
The police get involved and end up pressing charges on the grounds of
fraud, those backhanders for contracts which every single inhabitant
of this dump knows are paid out.
Then they drop the charges.
Remind me why I pay council tax... Is it so that some fat degenerate
can snort it up his nose? Perhaps it is used to pay off corrupt police
officers? Maybe it is so that all the councillors can snort it up
their noses whenever they don't have them firmly entrenched in the
trough of self-indulgence?
glasgow is run by a corrupt, stinking bunch self-interested idiots and
losers. It is no wonder that the city is one of the most foul in
Link, in case you think I am making this up: BBC report.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
I was woken up this morning at 6am by the sounds of an attempted murder outside my house. A cheap ned slag with a huge kitchen knife attempting to stab one of two sportswear-clad inbreeds. I only wish she had succeeded in reducing the ned gene-pool but sadly the police stopped her.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
You should too, at the Number 10 website.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Went down on Friday, to meet with James and to hear a performance of Stockhausen's Carré, a spatial piece for four orchestras and choirs which was performed in the incredible venue of the Methodist Central Halls (AKA "Q-Club"), a crumbling Victorian brick methodist church, very wrecked and very beautiful. The music was excellent and the other pieces on the programme were Allegri's Miserere, Tallis' Spem in Alium and Berio's Laborintus II. The Berio piece is one with which I am familiar from recordings: this was a proper performance, complete with actors, dancers and video projections which made it particularly exciting.
On Saturday, I spent the day with Sophie, being highly cultured and visiting the Bridget Riley retrospective and the Staffordshire Hoard - delighted to hear that it will now be staying in the Midlands and will not be going to London - wandering round the art gallery and museum and going to the Rag Market, which is a brilliant kind of market where you can buy anything from buttons to tweed jackets. Bought an old waxed cotton trench coat which smells funny, though I didn't notice that until it was hanging up in the hotel room...
(The hotel was SO noisy, the Ibis hotel in Chinatown. Directly above some nightclubs. The place was clean and efficient, polite and friendly, but even after moving to three different rooms, the noise of the clubs below was unbearable. Not helped by the cheap Liverpudlian hoor who hammered on my door at 5am in a drunken stupor and who just shrieked and ran away when I growled at her!)
Met up with James in the evening and went for dinner and a drink but as he was working at 7am on Sunday, it was an early night.
Sunday was all about taking photographs - on Flickr now - and then home to worry about the degree validation (see previous post).
Not much to report today. I have washed the coat and have re-waxed part of it and it smells much better!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Completed a few pieces which have been on the go, including this brooch, La Bellezza della Lotta, inspired by Marinetti:
My Carl Sagan tribute piece, Contact:
Which I have been invited to submit to the Celebrating Sagan website.
In addition, I got some more professional shots taken of the last pieces I finished:
Off to Birmingham this weekend for a concert, to see friends and to RELAX!