Yeah… my bad for not updating in what’s coming up to six months – and ironically close to the time I completely pinky promised to do a doodle of some sort a day – but new year resolutions are traditionally be made to be broken. Anyhoo, weak excuses aside, I have been far more productive in other ways.
First, I’m now working on plans for the Spring Arts and Heritage Centre’s heritage project, the plans of which are now being adapted into better plans that are more realistic:
Pictured: Not quite what we’re doing now
And I set myself a new goal: A banner/tapestry/quilt per month – because tedious stress and panicked deadlines are a motivational drug for me. But mainly because I like working in that format, and you better believe I made the most awesome, spectacular, wonderful black on white embroidered tapestries you’ve ever scene…. which I cannot show until I know whether or not it’s got into the exhibition I sent them in for…. but I will show once I get the news.
I’ve also got a new baby of steel and 1200 degree heat in the form of my new tiny (not so tiny) kiln that I am so excited and utterly terrified of firing up having not touched a slab of clay in nearly two years, so that’s going to be some interesting times…
Anyhoo, in these past months I’ve found myself finally clawing myself up and out of that hole of a creative slump which, it turns out, does not come in the form of forcing myself to draw doodles – but instead force myself to quilt and sew and…. craft and create and stuff… so perhaps the best and realistic resolution I can make this year should be more make/plan/work towards something crafty/creative/productive everyday rather than just one doodley form – though I’ll keep that up from time to time.
So to keep me sane in this post graduate environment and general denial of it, I’ve decided I need a little more of a push to keep me more creative beyond the coffees I create during my current day job. So I’m going to doodle at least once a day and hopefully post them on here, for now, at least once per week (maybe I’ll make another blog page for it… eventually). It’ll be random stuff, historical stuff, day to day stuff and the odd dream journal stuff in the same vein of my ‘Anything but Lucid’ project. Hopefully this is a resolution I’ll actually keep. I’ll be posting the first strip I’ve done here soon.
So last week on Monday I was sitting in the middle of Birmingham Cathedral Square with a sewing machine and a whole lot of fabric (and there’s footage of it too). The project for Graduates was done by Craftspace who help to promote craft and wanted us to demonstrate our skills to the public and get them involved. Mine involved a look into the lives of those who are buried at the cathedral, plus a little trail.
Each character was drawn in ink, scanned and digitally printed onto fabric (the background I just painted with fabric ink). There are some rather interesting lives if you start digging a little. I might do a later post with a little more in depth about each character I portrayed. At Birmingham you’ve got the wife of John Baskerville (Of Baskerville Old Face font fame – she has her own font, Mrs Eaves, now), the living embodiment of Lord Flashheart in Fredrick Gustavus Burnaby and the more-and-more-interesting-the-further-you-look-into-it family dramas of the gunmaking Grice family.
Our current exhibition, “Create to Commemorate” takes place between the Royal Cornwall Museum and Truro Cathedral. Here’s my own piece, “Banner of the Female saints of Cornwall,” hanging between the Archways of Truro Cathedral.
The saints included are (in descending order) St Ursula (who attempted a pilgrimage with a thousand maidens), St Non (the mother of St David), St Materiana (who built a church), St Julietta (who built a church at Tintagel), St Morwena (who built a church with her own bare hands), St Mabena (another church builder), St Endelienta (who owned a beloved cow), St Menfreda (who beat up the devil using just her comb), St Wenna (also a church builder), St Adwen (Cornwall’s own patron of young lovers), St Keria (church builder), St Keyne (a traveling holy woman with her own holy well), St Tetha (another church commissioner), St Ia (who got to Cornwall from Ireland via giant floating leaf), St Senara (who survived being thrown into the sea in the barrel, whilst also giving birth to her son St Budoc, before settling at the mermaid famous Zennor), St Kew (who also built a church… after taming a man eating bear (or boar)) and St Breaca (church builder and follower of Ireland’s own St Brigid).
On the back are lines from the hymn of St Endelienta.
Lessons learnt throughout this project and researching: Anglo Saxon women saints are tough as nails (and particularly excellent at leaf surfing).
Just as the title says. A lot’s happened, including giant parts of teapots in gardens:
My final year piece in Trelissick gardens, Men-an-Teapot was based upon Trelissick’s history with Spode china and far, far earlier history of Cornwall – specifically the more visual signs such of the neolithic such and Men-an-Tol:
Folklore states that passing a limb through the hole stone cures it of rickets and blesses babies. Let’s just say that since researching this project, my rucksack is now rickets free.
Also, somehow, in some (at this point) inconceivable time, summer happened and I found myself in collaborations. First there was a week at The Eden Project with us and Sue and Peter Hill with the brief ‘2 in 1.’ So we made a giant head:
Also, you can camp at Eden now. We certainly did. First night we spent in the all new ‘snug boxes, which are exactly what they say on the tin, or in this case, up-cycled and split freight containers:
Then came July and I suddenly found myself at the edge of the world to help in the crafty side of things at the (relatively new) Valentia Isle festival, Ireland:
See where that bit of land tears up? That’s where civilization ends until you get to America. If you have very good eyesight, you might just spot the tiny peaks of the Skelligs peeking through the mist. Valentia Isle is also home to one of the nicest little cafe/coffee/book shop and refuges from horrific weather I’ve been to:
It got tedious, the weather was out to personally murder us all, I’m sure I nearly collapsed from self caused exhaustion and I really, really want to do it again next year. Only next time I will definitely pack a tent that isn’t a Wilko cheapie that constantly collapses to the point of a mental breakdown on my behalf.
This project brief was to simply make a prototype lamp that had something unique about it. IN my case I decided to try and design and make one which could have an opening and closing function about the light to give some control over how much or little light was spreading out.
Initial ideas and concepts worked out using cardboard and other materials. Also working out the main mechanism.
Beginning to cut out the pieces of copper to work on. Copper and brass were the metals available at the time to buy. I made the piece using mainly solder. I also had to use some steel adhesive when it came to attaching the steel clamps I found.
The finished piece which uses an umbrella like system to open and close the lamp.