Saturday, 15 May 2010

John's dragonfly menuki

You may remember this pair of menuki I made last April. This was quite an avant garde concept as far as menuki go but it simply followed on from previous work I'd done based on hollow steel forms that were stone-like. I've also been intrigued by the dragonfly in terms of structure and design and how best to recreate the impression of these amazing insects in metal.

I was asked, at the beginning of this year, to re-visit the idea and make another pair. These are what I came up with. I was quite pleased with the evolution of the concept as was my client.

You can see some more images here, as well as a couple of a fuchi, I had lying around in the studio, that I added a little decoration to as an accompaniment.

If you're interested to see the original pair you can see them here.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

It's time we stopped poisoning our children

Apart from all the new developments with the work I've also been acting as something of an environmental campaigner recently.

Some of you know my little boy, Joel. Well until recently he was going to school on a wine farm. Brilliant! you say, can I join him?....yeah, we thought it was great too. Until we began to get educated as to what really goes on on the average wine farm.

It's chemical warfare! I kid you not, some of the stuff they spray, right next to the school buildings, are derived from nerve gas. Ok, ok, maybe a little overly dramatic but seriously, when you begin to research the subject you reach a point quite quickly where you sit back literally stunned and shocked at the reality of the situation.

I'll confess, a few weeks ago I actually sat here in my study and cried. I was so appalled at what we've, so unthinkingly, allowed our children to be exposed to. It's scary stuff.

The fact is, there's no getting away from the growing mountain of evidence from the scientific community that long term exposure, to even very small amounts, of these industrial agricultural chemicals is a very real and serious threat to the health of our children.

The very idea of having a school in the midst of all these chemicals is utterly insane and can only be defended by steadfastly refusing to even acknowledge that there may even be a problem to consider.

Believe it or not, the management of Joel's school, Chameleons Montessori are apparently able to keep their heads buried in the sand and continue to deny that there's anything to worry about. All I see is a governing body who has placed the financial considerations of their business over the care and health of my child.

This wilful ignorance (it gets worse actually....) in the defence of vested interests is unforgivable. The truth of the situation has been consistently withheld from parents and facts bent to give the appearance that all is well.

You can't keep the truth from people forever though. Slowly, we're putting the bits together... and it's not a pretty picture. This is personal now and I'm intent on making sure no more children are placed in harms way. Not at Joel's school nor any other farm school. It's time people knew the facts and decided for themselves.

We've formed an association called The Galileo Group. and I've published a blog that details the whole sordid story so far. I'll be adding to that as the saga unfolds. I'd appreciate it if you'd pop over there by clicking the link and add your name as a follower. We need all the support we can get so that the issue gets noticed. The more traffic to the site the easier it becomes for search engines to deliver our message to those who are looking for it.

Normal service will now be resumed.

What's up....?

It's been incredibly busy here in my studio since I came back from Japan last November. My project to stimulate a Renaissance in the field of Japanese sword adornment seems finally to be gaining momentum and official approval. I've actually got some exciting news to share....but you know me, I'll make you wait a while first just to heighten the suspense ;-)

I'm putting the finishing touches on a pair of gold menuki today and will add pics here once the client has seen them finished items.
This is the design. They are around 4cm long.

I've not been sure, of late, how best to proceed with this blog really. To be honest there are times when it feels like a thankless task, this constant exposure of self. Of course, as someone trying to survive as an artist this is part of the job and until I'm "discovered" I've got no choice but to keep banging my own drum. It sometimes feels a little crass so I hope you'll forgive me that. I don't want to use the Ironbrush forum as a platform for my own work so what I've decided to do is just use this blog as sort of window into my studio. I intend get back to using the blog like a diary to document what I'm up to and there are some very exciting projects lining up. I'm starting a full koshirae shortly and you'll get to watch the whole process, almost live!...I've got a few ideas to try and allow you into my working world that I'll be incorporating over the next few weeks and months...lights, camera, ACTION!