Although most of the Cardiff industrial scene has long since been swept away one splendid relic survives in place beside the former Bute East Dock. Having had some success with my version of a still extant Bristol Dock Crane I decided to attempt the Cardiff version. It’s taken longer than I expected, being a little more complex but it’s now ready for production and hopefully some sales.
Approximately 30cm tall, adjustable jib, working winch, rotary cabin with opening door and the whole thing rolls on boogie wheels. Easily assembled from 43 press-out pieces of superior 3mm laser-cut birch ply, a sustainable material.
After such a long break – I did manage one festival last year, lovely Lindisfarne – it is great to be planning a whole season of fun. Also been several months since I put anything on this blog for the few followers who see it.
I’ve stuck to several small festivals and three of these are short journeys from Bristol, trying to keep the milage as low as I can.
The highlight of my Summer will be Green Gathering which is at Chepstow overlooking the River Severn on a beautiful, spacious estate; lots of music and some politics, lovely people. Not far north of that is El Dorado near Ledbury, another four days of jollity.
Towards the end of the season Lindisfarne – small but perfectly formed – where viking gear is optional but frequently added. This is a longer trip for me but will be part of an extended Autumn jaunt, hopefully.
The Bristol landscape has many interesting sights and the Harbourside district has become a major tourist attraction, as well as an area of apartment housing boasting many thousands of flats and houses.
My approach to making toys and models is minimalist and eco-friendly, and my Bristol Dockside Crane reflects this. Like all my models/toys – currently 21 – it is made with sustainable materials, mainly 3mm birch plywood, laser cut, and made in the UK.
This model in on sale at Artigo 188 Gloucester Road, Bristol, along with my other toys and models.
One of my model testers, Laura painted a narrowboat model for me, entirely her choice of design. The name chosen may be appropriate as sales of my range of models – 17 different boats and aircraft – are almost non-existent.
A simple frame of florist’s wire – galvanised is best – covered with wet strength tissue, using pva, could use starch paste but then not at all waterproof. This owl is hanging in my cherry tree and hopefully deterring cats from my little garden.
Still sorting out work from a year or two ago, this quilt was made in 2018, there was also an artist’s book using similar mask images. The animals are all British Isles native apart from the grey squirrel, although that has been here for quite some time now. I haven’t done much work for the last two months and sorting out old pieces, repairing or completing them feels like a way back in to making some art. These are sketches of some of the mask images, drawn on a tablet, or drawn on paper and scanned and manipulated in Affinity Photo. The bamboo silk fabric was digitally printed and I also screen printed some tiles but the results were messy.
Many people have reported how the early part of the Covid crisis was a period of stimulus and creativity, I felt that but in the second UK lockdown I felt quite depressed, especially with our government incompetence and found work difficult. I did start work on a fairly large piece – another art quilt – but progress was slow and I have put it aside for a while.
The next and final step is to make a border, this will need to be a dark material and quite wide I think. The quilt was to be a practical piece for a child’s bed but didn’t get finished and so wasn’t used that way. I try to use organic fabrics, usually from the Organic Fabric Co. in Wales but this isn’t always possible; I like bamboo because it is grown without herbicides or pesticides and is really versatile, takes dye and print beautifully and is widely available. The quilting (wadding) is also bamboo.
I am having a clear up and out, and I came across these small pieces from a few years back when I was pursuing an MA in Multidisciplinary Printmaking at Bower Ashton in Bristol. I made them with the Fukushima fiasco in mind, knowing that would be a topical issue all my remaining life and beyond. Fukushima is in the news again as the authorities want to release a million tons of radioactive water into the sea, Uproar Over Japan’s Decision to Disperse Radioactive Fukushima Waste Water and the situation at the site remains dire. I made about ten, gave some away.
I’m thinking of re-framing them perhaps as a single piece, but undecided about the type of frame, a black painted board? These scanned images are fuzzy, the originals have a lot more detail.
This little fabric print was made with a simple stencil, I made lots but didn’t use them. Came across it this morning and thought I would add a border. The impression of a face was entirely accidental.