31 March 2018

Crafternoons 1 and 2

As it's the Holiday Weekend, and I don't have A Project to be getting on with - apart from, sigh, The Studio...

well, I'm having a little holiday from focussing on Important Things, and just having a little fun.

Mornings - walking out to have coffee and croissant, a treat and a therapy - the walking seems to make the sciatica bearable, but I doubt it's "curing" it.

Afternoons - it's been raining in the afternoons! - have become Crafternoons. During the studio sorting some abandoned projects have turned up that I don't want to just throw away - so I'm finishing them and then throwing them away. Or rather, giving them away. As long as they go away, and have a chance for "another life", I'm happy that they go. It's kinda like releasing your "babies" once they convince you that they're adults and can fend for themselves.

On my first Crafternoon I sewed the remaining 8 circles onto a vintage tablecloth that, 6 or so years ago, I thought might become a picnic cloth. The circles cover the vintage stains, and some are from fabrics that have their own history -
the front

the back

the memories

the stitching
The original plan had a nice border in the blue print, but Plan B does away with that.

For Day 2 of Crafternoons I needed to spend a little time sifting through a bag or two in the studio, and got a little sidetracked by finding a collection of material from some course or other, I simply can't remember it but am glad to be reminded of using wax frottage and india ink, or was it chinese ink, over that -
Rubbings: wax and ink; charcoal

A list of emotions

Fun with circles!

With that out of the way, what emerged was some covers from one bag and some folded paper signatures from another - a perfect pairing for making a coptic-stitch book. The size is A6, the instruction manual is Alisa Golden's Making Handmade Books -

Coptic-stitch books open up completely flat

More screenprint inside the covers, done in 2010
That's really whetted my appetite for making more, so satisfying...

30 March 2018

Riot of colour

The terrace of the members' bar, Picturehouse Central, Panton Street.

From the same location, a view of Piccadilly Circus in a burst of unexpected afternoon sunshine -
 Across the street, beneath a cloud-catcher of a dome, three golden divers are perpetually about to launch themselves -

29 March 2018

Poetry Thursday - Edna St Vincent Millay, on an age of science

Astronaut Charles Duke collecting samples during Apollo 16. Credit: NASA.
"To wake the moon with footsteps" (via)

Upon this age, that never speaks its mind,
This furtive age, this age endowed with power
To wake the moon with footsteps, fit an oar
Into the rowlocks of the wind, and find
What swims before his prow, what swirls behind ---
Upon this gifted age, in its dark hour,
Rains from the sky a meteoric shower
Of facts . . . they lie unquestioned, uncombined.
Wisdom enough to leech us of our ill
Is daily spun; but there exists no loom
To weave it into fabric; undefiled
Proceeds pure Science, and has her say; but still
Upon this world from the collective womb
Is spewed all day the red triumphant child.

-- Edna St Vincent Millay

Tangentially, in the words of American entomologist and biologist E.O. Wilson (born 1929):

We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely.

28 March 2018

Woodblock Wednesday - yellow, grey, blue-green

Working towards some possibilities

The grey was quite nice, but the harsh yellow needed some red adding;
of course the blue on the yellow made green

The colours went "slushy" because the wood held traces of the previous colour

These colours were clearer

Opened up; a little pattern-making...

Unexpected seeping of the yellow - the paper had been kept damp.

27 March 2018

Drawing Tuesday - Maritime Museum

Tools and instruments were my focus.
Boatbuilders' curves
I looked hard at this simple telescope -
... in various ways ...

Later, looking for another instrument collection (most are at the astronomy museum up the hill) there was this beautiful telescope, a diplomatic gift to the Chinese Emperor - the timepiece is the lens cover -
Astrolabes, equinoctial dials, and a portable reflecting telescope -
10 minutes and a bit of water later -

Quite possibly the speed of rendition was a reaction to the care taken with the first telescope.

Elsewhere in the group -
Patterning on glass (Najlaa)

A prow shaped like a golden serpent (Joyce)

Another golden serpent, the colour made of four yellows (Janet K)

Positive is negative (Judith)
- and it takes a long time to add those lines!
Haida (northwest coast of America) carving (Sue)

Tipu - a ship's figurehead (Jo)
Extracurricular department - Joyce's drawings at the Natural History Museum

26 March 2018

Just another Monday

No, it was better than "just another Monday" - it felt like Spring -
 The little tulips in my garden were glorying in the sunshie -
 and on the way to the British Museum I was delighted to see that Han Collection on Museum Street had many examples of pojagi on show in the Gyubang exhibition (till 5 May) -
 (The reflections get in the way rather...)
 At the BM, the (free) exhibition "Charmed Lives in Greece" (till 15 July) was a delight - here are my pared-down favourites -
by Niko Ghika

John Craxton's " Moonlit Ravine" - early 1970s
- tempera and volcanic dust on board

Patrick Leigh Fermor's signed copies of his books
Amid lunch and coffee, there was also time to revisit the Living With Gods exhibition.

25 March 2018

Camden High Line - Sunday walk

Several sites in London are proposing to repurpose old railway lines as recreational sites, one in Peckham and another in Camden. Green space! And - just a 10-minute walk between Camden Town and King's Cross. The feasibility study has been completed - it's feasible - now, fundraising....

Today's walk (with Hampstead Ramblers) went along, or rather under, that defunct railway, and then along the canal through Regent's Park.
Starting point 

Royal College Street - the line will run parallel to London Overground

Graffiti, of course

Funding is being sought for structural work

Endpoint of Phase 1 - near Camley Nature Park

The group heads back to the canal

Quiet waters

Nearing Camden

Camden Lock

Kayaks for boating along the canal

Probably the most photographed cow in London (Regent's Canal)

Passing the Zoo

Boating Lake, Regent's Park

Cherry blossom time ...

... but what are these?