Wednesday, June 26, 2013

... on 'to do, or not to do?'

A while ago I had an idea for a speckled egg wall hanging that would be extravagant. It would be glorious, and it would be expensive, and it would be Anthropologie-worthy. It would be so lovely that orders would flow in, and I'd fill them in a haze of plaster dust and an ever-changing bloom of delicious colours. When I left my workroom at the end of the day my hair would be full of rainbow speckles of acrylic paint. Bliss!

My friend Jacinta makes the most fabulous cakes, and when she's designing a cake for a client she will often do a digital mockup - there are some of these (and the resulting cakes) on her lovely Facebook page. Thinking of this as a design process I too could try, I sat down in front of Photoshop to create my first virtual wall hanging. Something that looked like it could exist. Like something I could have made, but haven't. Here's what happened:
Like most ideas, what came out was different to how I initially imagined it, and I've no doubt that if I actually tried to make this wall hanging, it wouldn't turn out the same as this. I have concerns, too, about how I could put this together successfully, given that the number of eggs would make it quite heavy, and they would need an awful lot of little findings, crimps and cable that must each be sound.

I'm currently off the boil about this idea. I find it quite curious that I'm off the boil before attempting an actual prototype, as a result of making a digital one. Problems seem apparent, even though the process of actually making this might prove less difficult than I imagine.

The question is, do I try?

Monday, June 24, 2013

... on something achieved.

I live a ten minute drive from the Rocklea Flower Markets, and over the past months I've been treating myself every couple of weeks. I've bought freesias and banksias, Geraldton wax and proteas, and I've also found myself drawn to the greenery. A few times I've come home with a bucketful of waxy-leaved gum branches.
These macrocarpa gum flower buds were very enthusiastically received by Ollie, and after watching him chew speculatively on the dangling pod-like buds, I too was prompted to take action. Pinkysil action. It had been a while!
I shoved a thick wire into the trimmed end of each bud.
I then moulded a piece of plasticene around the wire so that when the silicone mix was poured, I would be left with a hole through which to pour the plaster when casting. This mould (and the others I've made like this) has been made upside-down.
I used a piece of PVC pipe (like the wired buds, it's pushed down into a base slab of plasticene) to contain the Pinkysil.
The Pinkysil doesn't take too long to cure - an hour later I was ready to try an initial plaster cast. The PVC pipe was removed (the very devil of a job!) and the original green buds taken out by making one clean cut with a very sharp scalpel down into the side of the mould. This mould is thick enough to be self-supporting when filled with wet plaster, and as long as I've taken care to close up the cuts accurately (the silicone tends to stick to itself a little) it doesn't leak.
Hey presto! You can see the cone-like shape at the top of the bud - that's where I moulded the plasticene around the wire. That part gets trimmed off, and I'm left with a complete plaster replica of the original bud.
It's now some days later, and the pods are fully dried out. I've been drilling, glueing, assembling and photographing a-plenty.
 Hello new plaster seedpod wall hanging!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

... on Three Things.

Apologies for the radio silence, folks. I blame the cat. In honour of this silence I have found Three Things around my home which have happened in silence. Things that have also happened while I have not been watching. Here is the first Thing.
I found this Thing on top of my studio cupboard, and I am completely charmed by it. A wood borer, living in this stick, has made a little mountain of sawdust. Isn't it delightful?

Here is the next Thing. I am less charmed by this, and C is disgusted.
I have discovered that, given the opportunity, a kitten will chew on your very nice Grohe bathroom tap (and he will most likely chew on your flowers, too). He will leave un-removeable sharp-kitten-teeth marks, and then he will move on to the laundry tap. Silently.

Here is the third Thing.

I have, at last! been able to successfully grow a choko vine, and I have been checking it often for signs of fruiting. Not often enough, however.
The first, and (so far) only and therefore most precious choko grew between two palings of the fence. I can't get it out. This whole situation perplexes me.

I'll be paying more attention from now on!