Monday, July 30, 2012

'Selkie' crochet beanie

Tonight I finished off a piece of crochet that has been hanging out in my handbag for a month or so. It started off as a play piece, messing around with my new favourite stitch 'Shell stitch'. I had an idea of a lacey-ish beret kind of beanie in these gorgeous sea colours with a scattering of sparkle on the crown. Since I wasn't following a pattern it got stitched and pulled back (is frogging, frogging in crochet too?) quite a few times. The last few weeks or so it has been totally ignored, what with the first draft of the paper due, installing at Stills, working in the studio etc... But I needed an evening to relax in (after the previous few days leading up to the first draft deadline) so I finished my Selkie Beret exactly as I wanted. Its even got the subtle sparkle with a scattering of sequins I bought in Singapore and some very tiny Maria George seed beads.
The other thing I was trying to make up my mind about was the picot stitch around the picot or not to picot? Eventually I realised I could have both!
Picot edging on one half, plain on the other

note the subtle sparkle...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

More reading for the RP

This burst of new material was brought about listening to Norma Cameron's TED talk 'Cultivating Narrative Intelligence' which I found through a site called Storytalk.

That led me to an article and clip 'Your story telling brain'
"Cognitive Neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga, a pioneer in the study of hemispheric (left vs. right brain) specialization describes "the Interpreter" - a left hemisphere function that organizes our memories into plausible stories" 
Gazzaniga, Michael. Who's in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain 

Then to a whole host of articles via Culture Lab (New Scientist) on story telling
Storytelling 2.0: When new narratives meet old brainsMetamorphosis of the storybook by Amanda Gefter

and through one of the culture lab articles 
"E-literature may even change the way we see ourselves. Neuroscientist John Bickle explains how our brains create our sense of self through narrative (see opposite). As cognitive scientist George Lakoff puts it, "Narratives...are instantiated physically in our brains. We are not born with them, but we start growing them soon, and as we acquire the deep narratives, our synapses change and become fixed." Will new narratives lead to new selves?"
and a blog post on 'Red Riding Hood: Neurology, Narrative & Storytelling'
Rose, Frank. The Art of Immersion. (maybe)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Instructions by Neil Gaiman

This articulates everything I love about fairy tales...

Neil reads his poem 'Instructions', the reading starts in at about 1.45 and the sound is quiet.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Messina, transcendent gelato

After the gallery opening, Dougie and I wandered (puffed and pushed actually up the steepness of Liverpool road) back up to Victoria road to grab something to eat before we went home. As we promenaded and peered at various eateries I noticed a disproportionate amount of people walking around eating ice cream. On a winters night 'an all! After dinner we found the source of all the ice cream..easy by the long long queue of people winding out of 'Gelato Messina'. Choosing was difficult with so many flavours with imaginative combinations (and the fact that the crowd obscured getting a good look at everything). To be quick I chose 'Apple Pie' and 'Coffee'. The apple pie was scrumptious, real pieces of crunchy pastry and sticky caramelized pieces of apple studded the creamy vanilla base while the coffee nearly knocked my socks off! There was more caffeine in that there gelato than 2-3 weeks of cappuccino consumption in one go.

I am impressed and will visit again. Read 'the incredible lightness of being hungry blog review'.

Stills opening: 'Water hole' and 'Into the woods'

I love how 'Into the woods' ends up looking, even on the floor.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Install at Stills

As usual, any install that involves carting heavy boxes in and out of a vehicle means it must rain (Mikyoung i'm thinking of you), I wasn't disappointed, it rained. Today I helped install 'Into the woods' on Stills Gallery's mezzanine level. Considering the ceiling height is quite low, we had to make a few omitting the plinth entirely. In the end the glass and animation sits/plays over some thick foam core. Despite the lack of height I really like how it turned out. Thank you Kenzie for doing most of the work and figuring out the hard stuff.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Bundles of twigs, sticks, branches

I am planning on trying out making bundles or arrangements of glass twigs/ sticks, so checking out images. Thanks to all the stick photographers out there

Friday, July 20, 2012


Surgery...well it felt like it. After having left the rubber to cure properly, I came back to it a few days later and sliced it down one side in a wavy pattern so it it more likely to lock together more. I used my scalpel, and having to prize apart the rubber with my fingers (which as you can see is red and rubbery) it felt rather gross. I also ordered 4 kilos of plastimake today to make my 'mother mould' with. The mother mould will keep the floppy rubbery bit firm and in shape. A lot of people use plaster or fibre glass. I have made one with plaster, but with this size it becomes very heavy and somewhat fragile with man handling. Fibreglass on the other hand is light and strong but isn't allowed in our studio because we aren't equipped safety wise. However yet another offhand comment from Marcus made me think...yeah WHY don't I make it out of plastimake? We shall see...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

chopped meat, watermelon?

This is my pile of cleaned chopped and drying PVC mould material (its reusable). I kept hoping that none of the scavenging birds around uni would mistake it for food!

Remaking the long branch mould

My last attempt at making a long branch rubber mould was a failure. After a chat with Marcus I decided on another method.
The idea is to pour the rubber around the entire object in one go then slice it open. This means entirely surrounding the branch and levitating it.  With a new microwave and electric stove top we just had enough heating power an volume to pour most of the mould in one go.
Branch held up with boards and screws
The beginning of the clay damming

branch inside completed clay dam

View of poured and set rubber

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Kiln 15 set to go!

I have been furiously making moulds and kiln 15 is now full and set to go

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mould mash ups with Matt Perez - Day 3

Last night we were told to make a small wax object to cast, no bigger than one's clenched fist. As I was doing some other work on the computer, it was 11pm before I thought WAX! Yikes!
Here is a pic of my wax bird before it gets covered in plaster silica.
The whole class invested their objects, my invested bird looks rather cat like.
Invested bird
After the moulds were steamed, cleaned and filled with furnace glass frit, lunch was eaten before the coloured bullseye glass sheets were brought out. I think everyone else was pleased to see glass I find it overwhelming...unless I have an idea to go with it. Here are some of the designs put in the kiln by the class.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mould mash ups with Matt Perez - Day 2

So we had some mashed up moulds, right? This morning was the time to 'Frankenstein' them together. Here is my mould, made out of three different moulds made from 'textured tiles'. One swapped with Trish.
My Frankenstein...

Monday, July 2, 2012

Some kind of fairy tale

Tonight I HAD to finish the book I began last night. I came across a reference to 'Some kind of fairy tale' by Graham Joyce via one of the fairy tale blogs that I read daily. My interest was piqued after reading his article in the guardian on his top 10 fairy fictions with a link to his own book (which he didn't include in the 10 & who else remembers the owl service?).
The premise revolves around Tara who turns up on her parents doorstep 20 years after she disappeared a t the age of 16 with no trace. Tara thinks that she has only been gone for 6 months after going off with a handsome stranger on a white horse in the bluebell woods, needless to say her family don't buy it, especially her brother Peter, who is now married with a tribe of kids. The story is told from different view points: Tara, Peter, Richie (Tara's old boyfriend), Vivian (her cigar smoking psychiatrist who reminded me of Bettleheim's writing) and Peter's son Jack. I found the tale captivating and intriguing, I really wanted to know how it all worked out.

Mould mash ups with Matt Perez - Day 1

Mashing up on the first day...woo!
'Tile' moulds
Sawing or floor dropping to break up

a possible Frankenstein to be

Sorry Matt but I spell mould with a 'u'. Any how I am doing one of SCA's object lab courses, a casting, kiln-forming workshop called 'Mould mash ups' with Matthew Day Perez. Even though the workshop caters for beginners, Matt is an artist I very much admire so I think it is worth it.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Hooked on crochet

mmm Like no one has used that title before...
But I am, addicted to crochet at the moment, especially shell stitch. A scarf for Mikyoung, a farewell present as she leaves Australia. Made out of two 'balls' of silk garden by Noro in muted heathery tones.