Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Getting My Goat

Why is it my boy can do a better 'goat riding a tricycle' than me? Well, he was copying me (yeah, sure!). Kids don't know what they've got!   I'm still not sure my boys think i have an actual job.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Do You Hear Me Bill?

The season is changing, the mood shifts ever so slightly and Bill Fay feels like the right fit. If you don't know Bill already, here's your time to go find out (you might need to take a trip over to youtube to watch/listen). Time of the Last Persecution,1971, great album, great year! ; )

Friday, 26 September 2014

Early Show

You lucky blog readers get an early viewing of my next issue of The WALL...well, i'm late, but i'm skipping a week! Yeah, i can't keep up either. Basically, i'm going to try and put one up each week, but it might not always happen. I have a stock pile of ideas, in fact i have an actual book of them, 20x20cm, in just very rough black and white, but getting them into their final form just eludes me some weeks. It bothers me, but i doubt it bothers you! ;-)

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Home - Time For A Shift In Our Thinking?

My man, Brad Kittel... or Darby (Lettick) as his friend know him. He featured (pretty briefly) on the last series of George Clark's Amazing Spaces on Channel 4. Brad runs Tiny Texas Houses and he's been doing this for years now, tearing down old unwanted buildings and using all the beautiful old materials for new little wonders. Brad's a can do kinda guy. He's building a community out on his land in Texas, trying out a new model for living together harmoniously and leaving something better for those to follow. You can't knock that. Better make time though, this isn't a short clip!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Born, Not Made

This is for the non-potters that drop by, as i know all you pot nuts will have seen this by now. It's a little film about one of my favourite potters, Clive Bowen. I want to share some pot love with all you other creative types out there. It's in conjunction with his exhibition at the fantastic Goldmark gallery. Go feast your eyes and your soul, this is what making pots is about! (so why aren't I making pots?!... Well, i'm buying clay at the weekend, I've been out for ages... and you can't make pots without the mud. So, i'm making a start... again!). You know i could fill many, many (many!) blog posts with my internal struggles over this clay business and how hard i've made it for myself to get up and running. Anyone want to give me a kiln?... that works!!... please.

Monday, 22 September 2014

The Notorious P.I.G

Couple more from those little simple silhouette images. Pure image making, just for the hell of it, made about 5 years ago and buried in a file, never saw the light of day. I like the horse... if it had an idea and some nice black line work on top of it! Something had better emerge soon, my head needs reinvigorating!

Friday, 19 September 2014

Mean Bird

Found this hiding in the depths of my mac and it still made me smile, so it's been moved. A second chance to try and shape my future work. Lots of trials and errors going on here these days. Playing around with my work, trying to find an "in". Tweak the way i make my images. The series of images that this bird came from has reconnected with the kind of thoughts i'm now having. It's cyclical.

Thursday, 18 September 2014


Sometimes i convince myself that i want my work to be more complicated, more crafted, but then i find bits like this lurking in my computer files and i really find the simplicity satisfying. You'd think i'd know what i want by now! ... It's never that easy.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove

The latest in the Nick & Tesla Adventure books is to be published on the 7th October by Quirk books and as usual i provided the artwork. Thought I'd share some images of how the cover design developed. I'll get some of the inside illustrations up soon. This book has the kids building their very own (and very cool) Gadget Glove. It has a UV light, a torch, a voice recorder and an alarm!

The glove in full UV mode. I like to add simple colour to my sketches,
i just find it helps sell the idea better and it's nice to have an idea
of how the final cover might look.

It was decided to focus on the glove more.. and change to red

Wanting to get the action back, but zooming in to see some glove detail.

A tightened up sketch with background elements

The final Art. For some reason the background heart and brain got dropped on the actual cover
(they were giant display models!)

Monday, 15 September 2014


Next instalment of The WALL. I missed a week. I knew i would! Hard when no one's paying the bills. I have more complex images lined up, but each week i get beaten to it. Next week i promise excitement and.... colour! Did i say "promise"? ; )

Friday, 12 September 2014

Freedom, Debt and our Collections of Crap... Oh Boy!

Now, i don't think this guy's the most inspirational speaker ; ) but bear with him, i do like a lot of the points he makes in this little talk. It's something i'm thinking a lot about these days. Midlife crisis? The pointlessness of the path we end up on. Does what we do make sense for us now? What does freedom mean to us? What should we be doing with the rest of our days? Lots of questioning and trying to do better. Do we want the script we've taken? Can we change things or have we buried ourselves so deeply into our house and our stuff ? How much of our stuff is crap? what is our attachment to it? If it all went, how would we feel? (well, that one's me... i don't think Jakki could deal with that concept!). What if we had to adapt? There's a different world out there, it's just how much of the past you want to bring with you! Work > Buy > Debt... shoot me. I'm done with it (but is it done with me?) : )

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Hastings. A Model Town?

I haven't stuck anything about this great little town that i live in for a while, so here's a nice little toy town version of the place where i live. Welcome to Hastings, wish you were here.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Commit Yourself!

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back-- Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I saw this quote yesterday and it connected, it made real sense. You can apply it just as easily to making work, being creative, or taking a much bigger step in life. I remember, many years ago, someone saying "if you have something to fall back on, you will". I think that's very true, you can't move forward if you know you can safely move back.

The quote is attributed to von Goethe, but it seems that it's actually mostly (nearly all) by W.H. Murray

'But when I said that nothing had been done I erred in one important matter. We had definitely committed ourselves and were halfway out of our ruts. We had put down our passage money--booked a sailing to Bombay. This may sound too simple, but is great in consequence. Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way"

W.H. Murray

The quote was in the fantastic new book by Lloyd Kahn and the Shelter crew. Tiny Homes On The Move. A follow up to that amazing book Tiny Homes Simple Shelter. This one focuses on homes that move. Converted vans, gypsy vardos, boats, you name it... if it moves it's been converted. As always these books are just so rich with imagery, hundreds of photos. Jam packed with inspiring stories and people, along with lots of links to their cool blogs following their adventures. I highly recommend buying both these books, even if you never plan on going Tiny or hitting the road. They give you dream space by the bucket load!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Hokusai Elvis

Another old drawing, dragged from the depths of that same old notebook, late 2000. I worked this one up and it lived happily in my portfolio for several years. I'll have to see if i can find the old artwork anywhere.

Friday, 5 September 2014

More Pots

Here are a few more of the pots from Hastings Museum.

I have that same big jug that's top right. I always like that big bulky one bottom right.

The brickwork inlaid slip is interesting, I don't think i've seen any others.
Classic Sussex inlaid type at the front, they have lots of that in the museum.

A Shoe! and a very lovely one it is too. You don't see many Slipware shoes.
I'd like to make one though... nice bit of Adidas or something!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

My Bruin!

I haven't been to the museum for a while. Since moving studios I no longer walk past it everyday. I detoured recently though and was happy to see the Slipware Bruin, bear, given a permanent display. He looked well at home. I always get inspired sitting in this room, amongst these pots. I love these old hedgehogs, not the cute style little lumpy versions (though i do love those too!)... and check out those Sussex pigs, with their detachable cup heads. I'd love to have the skills to make those somedays, bring them back to Sussex and not just have the twee Rye Pottery ones. I heard recently about Mike Crosby-Jones (once of Briglin pottery, but now running Gopsall pottery, Winchelsea Beach. He threw 163 pots in an hour in 2012, he was 78 at the time) making a glaze out of Winchelsea silt, from just down the road. I'd love to be able to combine something like that with these traditional Sussex pottery forms, but also keep them current and not just stuck in the past. Maybe a little modern sgraffito can perform that service! Anyway, these pots, they all get my mind buzzing!
I also see that a splendid new pub that recently opened in Hastings, The Crown on All Saints Street, is using Mike's pots to serve their food and drinks in. Yes, a new pub opening!... makes a change these days doesn't it! I'd love to meet Mike and chat about pots and the Sussex traditions, i'm not very comfortable contacting folk like that though, so maybe the Universe will just drop me there one day.

I'll post a few more of the museums pots in my next post, it's not just this cabinet! ; )

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Take A Waltz

A couple of weeks ago i was hanging with my mate Tom. Just catching up, drinking too many bottles of wine and watching The Last Walz in the early hours of the morning. Amazingly it was the first time i'd seen it all the way through. I love Levon Helm singing and drumming away. Anyway, thought i'd share for anyone unfamiliar. Oh, and If you ever feel like picking up a guitar, but could do with some guidance, Tom's the man. Follow the link and you can watch a few of his youtube tutorials. Or you can contact the man and get some one-on-one lessons via Skype. Here's his fb page

Monday, 1 September 2014


This quote by Eleanor Roosevelt to "Do one thing everyday that scares you", was in a short film by Casey Neistat- Make It Count that i'd watched. It did make me think i should achieve more, get off the track occasionally, do something different. It's been a funny old year after the crazy one the year before it and i'm in another process of re-evaluation, what exactly do i want?... Or rather, how much less do i want?!

I feel like i'm at that point where the life we're living and the life we want to be living are maybe at their furthest points from each other. A few changes need to be made, but everything seems so much. I watch things, read things, but then still feel paralysed to do anything… what can i do?… what should i do? I'm active, i'm moving, but i still feel frozen… paralysed. Does anyone else feel like this?

And yes, everyday when i wake up i do feel a little bit of fear. I'm ill equipped for this world we live in. I don't seem to 'get' how it all works.
...How does it all work?