Friday, 19 August 2011

Thursday, 11 August 2011


I don't play enough in my work. I usually stick to the things I know and the things I find easy. I am determined to play more and to experiment with new ideas because I'm in danger of getting bored of myself. I was in the studio blowing bubbles with ink the other day and getting very messy. They came out looking like little planets.

I composed an 'about me' page yesterday for the Helfa Gelf open studios next month, and wrote some rather pretentious arty rubbish about what I want to work on in the future. It sounded rather far fetched (I think the word 'philosophy' was used), but it's true - I want to try something new, to explore the ideas that preoccupy me and not to just go with things in my comfort zone. Even though the fun stuff is enjoyable to make and I love making people laugh, I know that I can try other things too.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

office chairs

Sincere apologies for my absence, and the absence of any new work here lately. I have been preoccupied with studio preparations, namely the refurbishment of this beast of a work bench.

Thoughtlessly, I omitted to take photos of it in its original state. Here you can see I've planed off the dark, sticky goo that was deeply ingrained in its top surface. That job took days. I've just finished waxing the top now, and am prepping the base to be painted. It's been a tough job, but it will be such a useful piece of furniture once it's nice and clean!

The other thing that has been preoccupying me at least for the last twenty-four hours is the pursuit of a half-decent-looking office chair. It's a hard life I lead, I tell you. Now I hate most office chairs as a rule but I need something that is adjustable because I have such terrible posture and spend so much time at my desk that I am in danger of damaging myself. So what am I to do? They are so ugly! Of course I like the vintage printers' style chairs, but I wonder if they are any good for your back. I think I need something at least a little more modern.

There is one that I like: godfather of all modern office chairs, the Fred Scott designed Supporto task chair. It looks terribly ordinary in standard 'office' colours of black, grey, blue, but the coloured versions are a joy. I particularly like the low wide back version. Shame that they start at about £800 for a new one, and less for a battered vintage one. Deary me.

Twenty Twenty One, £990

eBay, starting bid £345

eBay, starting bid £125

Image from Supporto.

Image from Spaceist.

Monday, 1 August 2011

my studio

The previous owners of our house were two artists. One of them used the space above our garage as a painting studio. I haven't introduced you to this space yet, so here is a peek. There are two rooms - the large one at the back where he painted, and a tidier room at the front, with a window, which was more of an office. It's a lovely space, full of light: surely the perfect place for an artist to hole themselves up for a day of creativity.

However, it's not watertight or insect-tight. There is a recent leak in the asbestos roof that has soaked one of the beams and is causing me a bit of anxiety; the beam has sprung some orangey mould that I think will need addressing with some urgency.

It doesn't make me feel terribly creative, being surrounded by piles of dead flies, oil-painty floors, mouldy beams and staples all over every surface. It drives me mad. I like things tidy(ish) and clean. He left an enormous work bench that was covered in layers of oil paint and other unmentionable gunk that I have spent days planing, scraping and sanding off. There were other bits of furniture too - an old armchair, a couple of tables, a small snooker table - and a whole lot of junk including a picture of William Gladstone, piles of unused picture frames and some crockery. In a nutshell, it's a bomb site. A bomb site with potential, but I have a lot of work to do to make it how I want it to be. These photos were taken after several days of junk clearance and hard work, so you can imagine how awful it was before this, perhaps.

The studio and garage are in a building opposite our house - ours is the garage on the left, with the studio above.

In September I will be taking part in Helfa Gelf Art Trail, which is an open studios event for the whole of North Wales. I intend to be ready to welcome guests to this bomb site by then - not like 'finished' ready, but at least minus the dead flies. I am collecting inspiration for the space over on Pinterest, but right now it feels like a million years before I will be able to call this space my workplace. Give me a year to work on it. I'll keep you updated with its progress.