Monday, 31 March 2014

Road Atlas - A Project?

Yeah, like i need any more projects to work on!!

I picked this up in a charity shop today, nothing super spectacular, but i liked it's compact size and strong colours (for road maps), great greens and reds! It's a decent age too and the paper is good... and nice rounded corners. Anyway, it must have been about 50p (i just bought a bunch of little bits for £2). As i walked down the street I had a thought for a little slow running project. I'm going to pick random pages and then head to google for any interesting characters, stories, places related to each page. I'll then do a drawing and paste it onto it's page as a background/frame. 89 pages, i wonder if i can do them all? keep it as a full book. Otherwise i'll cut the pages out and frame them up. People/Places Characters/Stories... what can go wrong?

I found this hotel info in this page, so that's already an obvious staring point... what's it's history? Any interesting stories? was it haunted? is it still there? I could even be a simplistic as playing with a dolphin and anchor just as a pure image based starting point... a dolphin based guy with a hefty anchor tattoo, ruminating on his favourite Isle Of Wight drinking den? (one i have visited, to keep it more personal) See, these things just grow... you "gotta go in, to find out"!

Thought I'd just drop this character on to get a better feel for how it could be. He's an early sketch for a different project titled HOME, working through what the idea of "home" means to a variety of characters. So far i have a fox, pig, wet dog, mouse, gangsta rapper, lonely old man, maggot, sword swallower and even a mezcal worm!... why not?

Friday, 28 March 2014


I'm moving forward again. I followed a path. I was looking into controllers for my kiln, so I can convert it to a digital set up, when i saw one on ebay and the seller was right here in Hastings. Then i decided to look at electric wheels for the first time in ages and i saw one being sold by the same guy. I could just pop down the road to pick it up, so I bought it! (i didn't buy the controller, i need to swot up a bit more on that for now). It's a Roderveld max.30 and is in good condition... the Shimpo will have to wait ; )  I don't know why the seller didn't just spend 20 mins cleaning it down a bit better for the photo though, it was pretty mint underneath and you never know people might even pay more!

It seemed a bit extravagant and optimistic to be buying a wheel considering the lack of pot action going on here, but I'm hoping it will move me forward... quicker! It's hard enough trying to teach yourself how to throw a pot without having to remember to keep it spinning! My kick wheels don't have a lot of weight for good momentum anyhow. I'm sure a good leach wheel is a different thing. Anyway it's a step towards getting it all going again and overcoming the problems that kinda froze me in my tracks. Well, those and the fact I've been flat out busy for the last year. I still love to make pots... so maybe I should! That f'ing kiln is the real key though. If I can get them coming out as functioning pots then I know I'll hit the accelerator hard, as all the possibilities start to become realities. I've been my own worst enemy... i AM my own worst enemy!... I'm pretty uncomfortable asking anyone for help, advice or favours. I just can't impose myself on others time. I just create magnificent barriers for myself instead! Then waste far to much time struggling to get over them... alone! I don't give up, but I sure make life hard for myself. Do you massively annoy yourself too, or is it just me?! Fucking hell i annoy myself : )
This wheel makes me happy though.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Signal Box Studios...Homes?

I've always passed railway signal boxes while travelling on trains and thought what great studios they would make. They often have that nice solid brick construction on ground level and then the wood and all those windows on the upper section. I'd have all the heavy, messy, clay stuff downstairs and a bright open area for computers, paint, paper and whatever else upstairs. They also seem like a great template for a small home, especially these days with the growing interest in the tiny home movement, reducing bills, debts and the crap we consume. I'd happily have a bedroom and bathroom downstairs and a bright open kitchen, lounge area upstairs (not that i know if that would be a practical set-up, i know the kitchen/bathroom is mostly back to back... but hey, i'm just playing creative games... not building my family home!) Anyway just a thought. They're great little buildings, thought i'd share a few.

These last two i would definitely put in the 'great studio space' category, yep even this all brick monster below. I'd love it, you wouldn't see me for weeks! ps I know that some folk already have these as workshop/studios and homes. It's not an original thought : )

Friday, 21 March 2014

In My Head

Addictive little ditty from Mark Kozelek/ Sun Kil Moon. Saw him late last year and he was one grumpy, grouchy f**ker.. made me laugh though. He has a LOT of stipulations at his gigs! Great music though. This new album Benji is getting all my ear time at the moment, i'm an addict. It's all good, but Truck Driver, Pray For Newtown and Richard Ramirez Died Today Of Natural Causes, are my clear favourites. Not that you care!
This one will run all summer, i can just tell..... "sports bar shit....."

Friday, 14 March 2014

One Year On - Ring The Bell

I'm sure you've had your fill this week, but there's seldom a week goes by where I don't play a Songs:Ohia or Magnolia Electric Company album. It will be a year ago on Sunday, 16th March, that Jason Molina died at the tragically young age of 39, such an absolute shame. Anyway, I thought I'd post this film of him and the band recording their last album, Josephine, with the talent of Steve Albini at the controls. A great insight into two very talented people. The recent re-issue of Songs:Ohia's The Magnolia Electric Co. album (a classic), for it's 10th anniversary, comes with a great full acoustic demo version. Put the kettle on and turn the phone off!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Big Beast

This is the last of these from Jason Molina. I love the blatant (very!) nod to Neil Young. Tonights The Night, now there's a record... i'm glad Neil headed for the ditch!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Blue Factory Flame

From the Songs:Ohia album Didn't It Rain. It doesn't matter where you dip in to Jason Molina's music, there are NO bad albums. My favourites change all the time.

and a pretty nice cover by Barzin.


Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Coxcomb Red

I will convert you by the end of the week! It's 4 mins, you can spare that. You'll be a better person for it. Jason Molina had an amazing output, i loved all phases of his work. This album is a cracker though. It was tough picking between the title track and this one, but this always works for me.... and i like to sing along (very badly) to it... and under my breath, just to save any poor ears that might be around!

Friday, 7 March 2014

Philbeckian Delivery

Always nice to get a box of goodies! I recently bought a small batch of pots from fellow blogger, great potter and good guy, Ron Philbeck. They arrived yesterday and I'm always excited when unpacking. Pictures never do physical things true justice, just like looking at art in books and not in the flesh. This is the mug that started my mini shopping spree, i knew it belonged to me as soon as i saw it... it's a very 'me' mug. I love it!! Couldn't wait to get some coffee in it. 
If you don't eat off, or drink from something made by someone's hands with skill, thought and passion, then you are truly missing out on a very basic pleasure. You buy a mass produced mug and roll it over in your palm and what does it give you? Nothing. I hold these and i can follow the process of their very construction, how the handle was fixed, which way it was held to be dipped in the slip, the order the lines were trailed on. Then you have all the visual stuff, the variations in the glaze, the bleed of the oxides, the marks of fingertips. I often sit holding an empty warm cup in my hands for some time, following the ridges, finding little bumps and hollows. Find a potter you love and buy a pot. Please.

Ooooh, i wonder what's inside this packaging?
....THIS! it's a fantastic plate, i shall be eating off of it for the foreseeable future!

I also bought a great pasta bowl and a Yunomi with lots of lovely slip. Sorry i didn't get better photos of them all.

 Here's a better shot of the Yunomi that Ron had sent me, when looking at possible purchases. It got it's first run-out last night, great cup.

They will all be suffering from plenty of wear and tear, just how it should be. Art and function.

Thanks Ron!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


Here are some very simple puppets that my big sister gave me a few years ago (she was going to throw them out, but wondered if i might like them... how long has she known me??) Clive had posted one very similar, in terms of simple construction, but i can't seem to find his post on the Artlog to link to, maybe i imagined it? (help me out Clive!). Only the arms are moved by two strings, but there's still loads of character and expression achievable. Are they from a particular story? and what Nationality? I can take a ball park guess in terms of East European, but if anyone can speculate more i'm happy to hear about it. Anyway, i like them. They hang on my home studio door... next to that little mirror that says "This Is Not You"on it .... and it's not  : )