Wednesday, August 26, 2009

back to the bench

Working at the bench all day today, which was just great. I managed to finish the pendant I started before the holidays, "La Fleur du Mal":

La Fleur du Mal 19

This was an interesting piece for me as it is primarily silver, something I've not done for ages, and it was also mostly designed in Rhino 4 (a CAD programme) which was also used to create the cutting plans and then the pieces were cut and assembled by hand.

I've also started work on the cabinet for my penny-press machine, which I've still not bought!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

edinburgh weekend

Just back from a weekend in Edinburgh for the festival!
I went through primarily to see my friend, Mark, in a play about Suffragettes in Scotland at the turn of the last century and have to confess to being a little worried that it might be a bit of the usual agit-prop rubbish that Scottish theatres used to do rather too much of: it wasn't. It was a rather excellent little series of sketches in which Mark played all of the men, all 13 of them:

Mark In Play

Here he is writing a letter to the newspaper about how ludicrous it is that women should have the vote!

Edinburgh at this time of year is great. The town is full of tourists and street performers, some of them very good indeed:

Gothic Actor

This guy is one of the actors from a company called "The River People", who I went to see on the strength of their street performance. Their show Lilly Through The Dark was a blend of physical theatre, narrative, music and puppetry and was absolutely excellent.

Of course, the street performances can be dreadful too:

Henry On Sax

(This was even worse than it looks.)
And they can be plain odd:


I'm still not sure why this guy was performing with a horse's head on.

Also got to see the Callum Innes show, which is worth a look, and the Jerwood Contemporary Maker's Show, which has some lovely work in it.

I heard someone on the radio last week saying that Britain was 67% nicer this month because all the wankers go to Edinburgh. Not strictly true, but I take the point. Highlights of middle-class obnoxious behaviour include the three families who colonised a cafe yesterday at breakfast-time, re-organising the furniture to suit themselves without by-or-leave and who huffed and stropped at anyone who wouldn't move to accommodate their selfishness; the young teenage boy who thought it was OK to curse and swear and scream in public at his revoltingly liberal mother and father for not asking his opinion about which restaurant to go to; and the private-school idiot who actually uttered the words, "That's Yay. No, that's double yay. No, technically that's, like, yay squared."

Of course, the other reason that Britain can't be 67% nicer is that some very nice people have also come to the festival: my highlights of star-spotting were Barry Crier, who sat next to us in a restaurant, and Nicholas Parsons who was meeting his daughter outside a theatre I was going to.

Back to unglamorous work tomorrow!

Friday, August 21, 2009


I've been featured on the Carrotbox website! A website I always forget to check regularly but full of great jewellery and well worth a look.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

join me in having a remembrance joke at the expense of jade goodie

Because we never like to forget.
Well, actually, I wouldn't care if the vile chav were utterly forgotten forever, but for the moment we shall keep her dear to our hearts with this delightful picture which Dingo sent me from the Argos catalogue:

There is so much that is wrong with this picture, not just that one of them looks like Jade. These are dolls from a range called "Baby Born" which are supposed to be new-born babies. Why are these dolls getting married?

Friday, August 14, 2009

and all too soon...

Home again. It was an easy drive back, though I was very glad not to be going the other way, which seemed to be endless queues of traffic. The weather is pretty poor here at the moment.

The summer went SO quickly this year, what with the course at West Dean and then visiting Norfolk. The pictures for that are on my Flickr photostream(link left) and I can't really be bothered writing it all up at the moment.

Over the last week, we've been gathering up fruit from an abandoned fruit-farm and I made jam and chutney!
How domestic.

Back to work on Monday.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

6 weeks later...

Wow! Remiss of me, I know. It is six weeks since my last post. So much has happened since then.

In Brighton for my usual sojourn with Dingo. After a couple of weeks I went to the lovely West Dean to take a course with Robert Ebendorf.

West Dean

The college building itself was amazing: the country seat of the classic English eccentric, Edward James, friend of Salvador Dali and one of the leading lights of the British surrealists. The interior of the house has absolutely loads of artworks, from Chagall to Dali himself. Superb food as well! Working with Bob was incredible. It was so brilliant to be encouraged to properly think outside my comfort zone and then to be able to discuss it with peers:


Everyone on the course was SO supportive and lovely to work with.

Here are the pieces I produced in the five days:

Work From The Class 1

With which I am very pleased. The bangle (far right) and the lens pendant (second from the left) are not too brilliant, but the rest are much more interesting as diversions from my usual work. What drove me forwards with these pieces was that they are entirely constructed without soldering.

As soon as that was over, I came back to Brighton to head off again for our holiday in Norfolk (avoiding the ghastly spectacle of "gay pride" in Brighton). More on that tomorrow.