Friday, January 29, 2010

Small Vices

Only one update in the shop tonight- I'm still hooked on the mudlarking site- my productivity's gone down by 70%!

Oh well- here's one that will go in the shop tomorrow.

I'm slowly getting more and more rustic. Progress!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Secret histories

Since I was 14 I've harboured a secret desire to be an Archaeologist. Indiana Jones was a childhood hero, my brother and I used to 'borrow' some tools from Dad's woodworking table and jog off down to the outskirts of town where cows grazes placidly over a strangely wobbly field- the town's settlement dump. Though nothing came up that was worth anything or older that the 1860s, my brother and I were giddy with glee over the tiniest cup handle or rusty bit of wire.

When I was watching Antiques Roadshow tonight I learned about something I never knew existed. Something that combines my love of London, old stuff, free stuff, scavenging, history, rusted crap and generally mucking about. It's called Mudlarking, and I want to do it for the rest of my life.

Like field walking (where you literally walk a field, head down, looking for artefacts) mudlarkers comb the shores of the Thames looking for everything that's ever been claimed and rejected by the great muddy serpent herself. You must be licensed to do this of course, as well as report everything you find- as every tiny thing reveals a piece of the puzzle of life gone before and to simply find it and go home would be depriving the archaeological world of tiny keys.

The pictures in this post are from the exhibition Thames and Field had at the museum of London. I strongly suggest only going to the site if you have a spare week, because there's just so much stuff there and you really do want to see it all. The museum of London exhibition is linked to on their second website.

I'm going to England at the end of May, and I'm having serious thoughts about staying there until the end of the year- 6 months of wonderful England. I've been there once, 10 years ago, and never have I felt more at home.

And this only fuels the fire! The idea that you an find these things just literally BOGGLES my mind, it's so incredible to me that this stuff is just washed ashore. I get excited when I find beach glass! My brother lives over there at the moment- the basement of his house is 18th century...that boggles my mind! BOGGLES!

I've always been interested in history in this way. I find 'grand' history to be quite boring- who had what war and who was king of so-and-so...but this- the intimate, everyday, ordinary history of the people, that's what I want to know. This is what my work is based on, this is what my life revolves around. The secret history of ordinary things.

Imagine finding that! I think I'd faint- seriously. I really can't think of anything else I'm more passionate about.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New Treasury- Rattle His Bones

In addition to the cuff that I posted yesterday, I have become so obsessed with the poem that goes with it that I've made a treasury to go alongside!

This poem has been in my head all day as I went about my artly duties- everything I worked on seemed to align to it somehow. The colours, textures and mood that I 'see' when I read the poem are all coming together in one muddy, misty, murky loveliness.

Come Darkness

Monday, January 25, 2010

Only a Pauper

Only a Pauper

There's a grim one-horse hearse in a jolly round trot;
To the churchyard a pauper is going, I wot;
The road it is rough, and the hearse has no springs,
And hark to the dirge that the sad driver sings: --
"Rattle his bones over the stones;
He's only a Pauper, whom nobody owns!"

Oh, where are the mourners? alas! there are none; --
He has left not a gap in the world now he's gone;
Not a tear in the eye of child, woman, or man; --
To the grave with his carcase as fast as you can;
"Rattle his bones over the stones;
He's only a Pauper, whom nobody owns!"

What a jolting and creaking, and splashing and din!
The whip, how it cracks! and the wheels how they spin!
How the dirt, right and left, o'er the hedges is hurl'd!
The Pauper at length makes a noise in the world!
"Rattle his bones over the stones;
He's only a Pauper, whom nobody owns!"

Poor Pauper defunct! he has made some approach
To gentility, now that he's stretch'd in a coach;
He's taking a drive in his carriage at last;
But it will not be long, if he goes on so fast!
"Rattle his bones over the stones;
He's only a Pauper, whom nobody owns!"

You bumpkin! who stare at your brother convey'd,
Behold what respect to a cloddy is paid,
And be joyful to think, when by death you're laid low,
You've a chance to the grave like a gemman to go.
"Battle his bones over the stones;
He's only a Pauper, whom nobody owns! "

But a truce to this strain, -- for my soul, it is sad,
To think that a heart in humanity clad,
Should make, like the brutes, such a desolate end,
And depart from the light without leaving a friend!
Bear softly his bones over the stones;
Though a Pauper, he's one whom his Maker yet owns!Attributed to Thomas Noel

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rebellion is mandatory

Well that worked! Less than a week into my jewelry hiatus and I've made two cuffs, a pair of earrings, a brooch and a necklace. I guess I should know myself by now- if you want me to do something, expressly forbid me to do it.

I'm still working on clothes though. It's really too hot today to do anything other than sit and sew and watch movies.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Gimme a break

Items in this set:
Arsenic & Old Lace "Genieve" cropped wool jacket, $615
Patch Work Tiered Skirt, $43
KG Sesame Womens Shoes & Boots Online, 150 GBP
Carla Mancini 'Peace' Tote
Iosselliani 7-Stack Ring Set in Gold & Silver - Zoe, $305

It's funny that in the art world an artist is never happy, not me anyway. A good thing though something of a curse, because when you're happy all the time you get bored, and when you get bored you stop, thinking there's not much point on going on if there's no adventure, no challenge.

Immortal Spies

Lately I've found myself really dragging on the creative front. I've been wanting to get into soldering stuff for some time now but wayward finances has made that difficult. I keep plugging on with the textiles, while every day I feel more and more like I'm just going through the motions, making what I make because...that's what I do.

I've been looking around for seomthing new- I feel the skin is ready to be cast, I've grown out of it and yet here I am still bound in its dry, too-small encasing. It's like having one foot off the stepping stone and not being able to see the next one, do I take a leap of faith and hope that something's there to catch me, or do i just stand still until something swims into vision?

Ancient Astronomy

Anyway- artistic ramblings aside- I've decided to take a bit of a break from jewellery. No more cuffs, brooches, necklaces or earrings for a month. The ones you see above are the last additions to the shop for sometime. I'm going to be working on clothing, hats, belts and bags, as well as 'proper' art like assemblage boxes and paper collage.

Who knows, maybe in a couple of weeks I'll be clawing at the bead boxes, ravenous with the desire to churn out cuffs and necklaces. If I do then more so the better, because it means I will have lost my boredom!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hearts for Haiti

Once again the craft community shows us how it's done- Hearts for Haiti is a fund-raising shop set up where sellers can donate an item (or items) and 100% of the money raised goes straight to Doctors without Borders.

I've donated my skies blushing necklace, and there are so many other lovely things to be seen.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sibella Court- Etc

I've been meaning to get around to this for a while now- I bought myself the Sibella Court book for Christmas as a reward for an extremely well done year.

My scanner is still at the old house so these are just photos I took of the book laying open. I did the best I could, I just really needed to share with you the wonderfulness of the images therein.

Some of the still lives are amazing in that they could have easily been shot at my house- even some of the objects shown I thought 'I have one of those!'. The top image above reminds me of a school camp I went on when I was about 9- they had a 'nature' room that was shelves and shelves of animals in jars, taxidermy, butterfly boxes, bones, stones and shells...I remember being hooked on it and deciding I wanted one of my own! I think that's where nature collecting began for me. Sadly these things don't last forever and it's all gone, though I do still have a crow's skull I found when I was 15.

It's not all muddy low saturation- there is a whole section on brightly coloured ethnic textiles, something I was just starting to re-discover my love for when I bought the book.

The two images above are my heart racers. The colours, textures, tones, materials are all exactly what I want in my perfect jewellery. When I make a necklace that echoes this page, I'll know I'm where I want to be. For the time being! (A true artist is never satisfied.)

So there you are! I highly recommend going out and finding this one.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Out of the shadows and into the junk

Do forgive my absence here- this is my first entry since last year! I've been in one of my reclusive moods- no doubt due in some percentage to the heat, but also because that's just what my brain does. I get period where the desire to lock myself away is high, and i spend that time shut away indoors not needing or wanting any kind of human company. (For some reason IM company doesn't affect this, I am still happy to talk to those closest to me.)

I have them regularly- I used to confuse them for depressive episodes but I was always perfectly happy in them. Of course despite the fact that i have them regularly i am still surprised when they come, because -well , I forget that i have them.

Anyway- before I had this most recent one, I went to a swap meet! That's what we call junk fairs in Australia, although they started out as secondhand automotive shows and sort of grew to incorporate any kind of junk. It was only as small one and to be honest a bit disappointing. But I did of course find some things all of which are happily illustrating this post.

I dropped into my Dad's place while I was in town- he's having a Buddhist moment and declaring his patented antique eating shed to be overfed, and is in the process of getting rid of some 'junk'. Of course this filled me with a magpie's fervour and I ended up with 2 boxes- one full of curly-wurleys and door handles and hooks and pulleys and drawer pulls and what-have-you, the other filled with Victorian stained glass fragments. Dad tells me that's just the tip of the iceberg.

The three pictures up the back I bought at an antique shop we passed on the way home- she was closing down and had 70% off all her prices. I'd been in their a few times and magically, most of what I had my heart set on was still there, waiting for me! So the rest of the day's allowance went on those three pictures- a total of $50 for the lot, which is unheard of in this country. The one in the middle technically isn't a picture, it's a mercury convex mirror from the 19th century. I've wanted one for years and never had a money to afford it. Annoyingly I put it on the wall as soon as I came home and found that it gives me a headache! So into storage it goes until I have a wall where I don't pass by it 30 times a day.