Sunday, January 15, 2017

I'm Still Here

Not having posted for four weeks, you'd be forgiven for thinking I'd dropped off the face of the earth, but I was just having an extended Christmas holiday and settling back into work again. I didn't feel inclined to do a retrospective of the year gone by and I've a horrible feeling that next Christmas I may not feel like doing a retrospective then. In short, I'm somewhat lacking in global optimism just now.

That as may be, things here are going along as normal.

Back to work again. The only thing that happened this week - apart from my usual teaching and colleagues suffering from colds, flu and sprained ankles - was a short intermediate show by the Level 5 BA Jewellery and Related Products students, where they had to make work out of really  non-traditional materials.

Mateur and Colourials - 5

Mateur and Colourials - 4
Work by Xiao Yang. Eggshell, spices, wool.

Mateur and Colourials - 3
Work by Effy Ma. Bread, sugar, plaster, pigment.

Mateur and Colourials - 2
Work by Tilly Wright.

This weekend I was back at The Herbert on what seems to have been the first day of winter as I had to scrape snow and ice off the car for the first time. It warmed up to a wet, cold day:

I was teaching a workshop on precious-jewellery making and in a mere six hours (well, six and a half: we over-ran a bit), the participants made silver rings set with moss-agate. Everyone finished them but most still had to polish them up at home.

There is another next week on using found objects.

This workshop was part of the Craftspace "Made in the Middle" show which is currently at The Herbert and you will recall that I wrote about the opening of this show before, here.

As part of the show, I've put a piece into the handling collection:

Run of the Mill - Handling Collection

Rather amusingly, this was returned to me this week for reconstruction as someone felt that the nail element was too sharp to be handled safely!

'Elf and safety, innit?!


Songs used to be just "songs" and anyone could perform them. Over the holiday, Dingo pointed out that at some point the concept of "covers" came along but we couldn't work out when this happened. It may have been at the point when performers started to write and be identified with their own material but it isn't really clear. When Thelonious Monk "performs" Duke Ellington's 'Mood Indigo', we don't think less of him; when Chrissie Hynde "covers" Radiohead's 'Creep', there it is viewed as something second-rate, inauthentic, unoriginal. It seems to me that the important thing is that the "cover" brings something new to the material, exactly as musicians always have.

A minor digression to introduce a fantastic performance of a fantastic original! Nostalgia 77's soul version of White Stripe's 'Seven Nation Army'.