My Angel

29 12 2011

It’s been a little while since my last post, but will try to keep updating over the next few months. I’m currently exploring one of my personal themes of angels and its meaning and influence in modern society. As some may be aware by now, I have a particular fascination for iconography, and religious symbolism, and consequently angels are part of this fascination of mine – please bear with me and hopefully you’ll see my thoughts and artwork develop over the coming year. Happy new year!


Continuing life drawing (2)

4 06 2011

Coninuing life drawing practice

Practice makes perfect

30 05 2011


College has broken up (again!) for the long summer, and besides preparing for a curating project I’ve made it a real priority to knuckle down with life drawing practice. I love drawing the human body partly because of it’s sheer beauty but also for the artistic challenges it presents, which at times can be sooo frustrating. I did this drawing this evening which was particularly difficult to sketch – hence my resolution to knuckle down – practice makes perfect!!!


9 04 2011

Today I heard the most beautiful recital of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘IF’ – I don’t think anyone who heard it left without tears in their eyes. This poem has meant alot to me since I was a kid and first got me interested in poetry. For me it represents what everyone should aim for in life – to be at one with yourself and the world (and yes I know of all the various military undertones and various symbolism of the poetry but for me it still doesn’t detract from its emotional central message). It’s not always easy for a man to tell people you enjoy verse but I love hearing it aloud, which can be inspirational, emotional and fun too! People who snigger don’t know what they’re missing out on!

Although he was a controversial character in his day and still remains so today, I nevertheless find both his short stories and poetry a joy to read and hear. Because ‘IF’ is such a well known poem there is always the danger of over emphasising its significance and quality, but in my opinion it is one of the finest pieces of poetry in the English language I have read.

I was also lucky enough today to be allowed to look at some of his first editions, which was really special – especially a first edition of the Jungle Book!

First edition of Kipling's Just So Stories

Kipling's first ever published works

Three first editions of his best works

I recorded my own recital of ‘IF’ (click on the link below which should open in a word document – just double click on the symbol when it opens). I absolutely hate hearing my own voice (so please excuse its roughness in advance!), but I really wanted to record this beautiful poem to share it with anyone who has never read or heard it before and simply writing it down would not have been the same.


Click on this link to open my recital of Rudyard Kipling’s IF (open in Microsoft word if prompted)



Sunset practice

26 03 2011


25 03 2011

At very long last I've finished my torso sculpture I've been working on for a little while. Yep - it's now been fired and crackled glazed, so now I'm calling it a day on this piece! It seems to have taken forever and been an endless round of kiln watching - but at least it's now complete!

Lost wax!

23 03 2011

My finished wax model of a fiddler - I've grown up with the tradition that a fiddler represents life and the enduring spirit of the Jewish people in difficult times.

I’m currently having a go at a process called ‘Lost Wax casting’, which is an extremely old method of casting to turn a wax model into a piece of glass – not by magic I must stress!

Without going into too much detail, the start of the process is to mold some wax – I’ve used a small piece of around 3” squared. This doesn’t sound particularly difficult to do but until you have a go you don’t fully appreciate the difficulty in modeling wax in your hands – it melts very quickly!












Once you’re happy with your piece, the tricky stuff begins – and believe me it starts to become very time consuming.  Firstly you need to cut a piece of plastic for your wax model to be placed onto. You then need to melt some wax onto the plastic using a soldering iron which will instantly melt the wax.  After which you then need to place your wax model onto the melted wax to position it firmly onto the plastic.

Once this has been done you then need to cut a piece of acetate to surround your wax. Make sure isn’t too big otherwise it will make the plaster process a little bit more expensive and unnecessary.

When you have finished measuring your acetate you’ll need to ensure it is taped up to the plastic base – this needs to be done with great care and attention. There CANNOT be any gaps at all otherwise when you pour in the plaster it will run and the process will be ruined.

When you’re satisfied with your taping up you then need to place cocktail sticks in the undercuts of your wax model to ensure the molten glass flows freely through your cast.

To do this you need to melt holes in approximate positions to the undercuts and push through the cocktail sticks into the wax (not to hard though as you don’t want to disturb your wax model from its position as it will be incredibly difficult to reposition at this stage). Don’t forget to seal up the holes with some wax – as when you pour in the plaster over your wax model it will seep out if the holes aren’t sealed properly.

Once all this has been done, it’s time to mix your plaster to pour over your wax. When you’ve poured in your plaster you then need to make sure it’s dry (obviously). You can then remove the plastic and other bits. Then place the plaster into your oven so the wax inside it melts leaving an impression of your model inside the plaster – ‘lost wax’! You’re then nearly ready for getting some glass billet to place in a flower pot to melt into your plaster cast of your wax model – but I’ll leave that for next week I think!