Carnival Backpack day 1

July 15th, 2009 Comments 0

I have started a course to make a dragon backpack for Cardiff’s MAS carnival.

Here is the results of today’s work:

backpack To make this I had to: measure aluminium strips, line them up with my shoulder blades, use a metal pencil thingy to ‘dink’ holes, drill holes, mark more holes, drill holes again, then fit the bolts, getting frustrated when one hole is slightly out, but then actually it is ok, it will fit, phew, tighten nuts, have many conversations about what type of washers we are meant to be using (apparently ones that go on the outside, not in the middle), then bend the aluminium, by hand.  That last bit was tricky, because one side was higher than the other, which would have been a disaster had most of the weight of the dragon been on one shoulder only, so I was a bit fussy at this stage.  And that, is what I did today.

I saw the aluminum drill dust:

aluminium drill dust Just before leaving for the day, I asked the incredibly kind drill queue (of one person) to wait for a minute, so I could play:

aluminium dust wave Well, it’s not everyday you get to make waves out of aluminium dust.  I had to wear a workglove, because these are lethal splinters, so the lines are a bit – glove made.

Travelling through Marlow

July 7th, 2009 Comments 0

On the way home, we stopped in the village of Marlow.  I went for a walk and rearranged some of the flowers in people’s front gardens.  Well to be clear, I didn’t ever leave the pavement, and everything was in easy reach, so no trespassing this time.

pine cone spiral

small rose petal line

rose petal line Well, that was all a lot of fun, and then I also saw this:

alchemilla mollis Just to remind me of what is possible.

France day 4

July 6th, 2009 Comments 0

trumpet flowers before Spotted down a back alley, trumpet flower droppings.

trumpet flowers spiral The wind was blowing, and the pattern kept dismantling.  I managed to get it all more or less in place for this photo.  By the time I walked away it was reforming, but not before someone walked past to see it.

trumpet flowers back

Back in the garden, a friend joined us:


It was our last day, and I had quite a few ideas left for creations.  I managed two more, but not everything I had in mind.

First was with the rose bush:

rose bush

Looking like it sprung right out of Alice in Wonderland, and with hundreds of tiny white snail shells all over the ground.

rose snail line

It was still very windy, again, only just managed to capture it before the petals dispersed.

roses and snails Finally, I quickly used up my leftover gatherings, and ended up with a heart:

leftovers heart

France day 2, the beach

July 4th, 2009 Comments 0

Started with this little one:

hazelnut circle Made from: hazelnuts, stones, snail shells, lichen, twigs with yellow lichen, dried leaf.  Small, but serving a purpose for me at the time.  The sand is not on a beach, but in the town, by someone’s house.  Nearby was a lush bamboo grove growing over a spring.  All the birds and frogs have made it their home.


We went for a walk on a beach, where they harvest mussels.


I made two mandalas there.  Here is a part of the first:

beach green glass

And the second, made from oyster shells, musell shells, and the line of drift-twigs snaking across the beach:

oyster shell mandala Whenever I make these artworks, I feel very happy.  Every stage brings me good feelings.  Looking back at them I can see much greater potential in the materials and locations I use and create in.  The process at the time is about placing items where it is obvious to me to put them, and also practicality – time, balancing the objects on uneven surfaces (petals on grass), sunlight.

Touch of Pink

June 28th, 2009 Comments 0

Heol y Cawl On Saturday (yesterday), I noticed this rosebush over the streetsign (soup street, for those without a dragon’s tongue), and how could I resist?  Actually, when I arrived with camera today, I was a bit disappointed, because one of the things that drew me was the bright rose petals scattered under the sign, framing it nicely, and I had in mind the idea of documenting petals before I picked them up, because they often look better there than anything I can do.  Anyway, 24 hours later, and the balmy Welsh environs has shrivelled them.  So you’ll just have to imagine.  But the name though!

So after a movement packed day, I was glad to be given the opportunity to not have to make yesterday’s Hamlet-esque decision again, as we were making mandalas with our movement in the afternoon.  Well, not pretty picture mandalas, but working with our relationship to objects, their affect on us, moving with them, placing them in the space, and leaving them.  By the end I was tired, and decided to drum and watch the others, but I did manage to hoist myself up, and arrange the following, with Mala:

touch of pink Tiny, but perfectly formed. Not that I actually believe in perfect or anything.

I think I speak for everyone there when I say how great it was to watch the wholly fabulous Anna make her artwork/interaction/mandala.  She is a small one (not sure how old).  Actually, as much as I loved watching her, I found myself experiencing alarm feelings as she ripped apart big shiny green leaves to make the (completely essential) pile-of leaf-part of the piece.  More ridiculousness.  Anyway, go Anna!

Anna's line

Tip Art

June 10th, 2009 Comments 0

wagamama tip I made this one night in Wagamama, with my father and sister.  Made from the paper placemat, and placed on the tip for the waiter.  As I left, I  looked through the window to see the waiter’s reaction when he found it.  He didn’t seem to notice, and didn’t react in any unusual way.  Maybe he gets it all the time.

Rainbow Mandala

May 1st, 2009 Comments 0

rainbow stones mandalaThe idea for this was prompted by Rob, so thank you.  I took the stones from the beach by my house, then returned them with their new coats…  Each stone needed many, many coats.  You can see where I got a bit impatient at times and didn’t wait before turning them over to paint the other side.  I am pleased with how vibrant they look. I have always wondered why there isn’t pink in the rainbow, or at least a warmer purple.  Violet is a cool colour, and Indigo is a dark cool colour.  There is an interesting way in which pink light is interpreted by the eye.  It actually has a similar vibration to green, but in order to differentiate it from green, our brains make up the colour pink.  And it is one of the loveliest colours, proven to make people happy. rainbow stones with daisiesI dropped the stones onto the grass, and loved the random pattern and colour combinations.rainbow stones in contextCan you see the tiny rainbow?  I didn’t stay to see who found it.

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