A recap of the last five months, in pictures

Yes, that is a teeny tiny kilt.

Added some Mini Scotsmen to the trolls, which then….

21st Century Heirlooms

appeared in the Craft Reactor Summer Exhibition.

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Finished that book cover… It’s now on Amazon!

Federn!

Then I hatched a chicken!

Final Passage

Did some more illustrating for the current issue of The Future Fire

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…as well as random doodling.

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Then finally went into Christmas Market Mode, dusting of ye olde Gocco in the process.

Next up: The Bruntsfield Makers Market on Saturday, 16 November 2013.

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Fol rol de ol rol

That Maker Faire was *amazing*! So much fun! I spent most of the day showing people how to crochet hyperbolically (and stroking yarn. Oh! The yarn!)

Aside from the fun that was had showing off, I also lucked out big time in the finding-stuff-department. Biggest bonus of the day was receiving some of Euan Lind’s Construction system to play with. We’ll have to give it back eventually, but in the meantime we’ve already had some fun constructing birds, rockets, telescopes and various forms of satellites.

More important for the purposes of this post, however, was the finding of a handful of most excellent plastic flies, which got me thinking about smelly trolls. Which promptly came into existence.

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Yay for trolls! (Though at the moment I’m green with beard-envy.) I’m currently still tweaking them a little bit, but they should show up at a market before too long.

More trolls

More trolls

Needles & Pins

Happy Easter!

Recently, aside from finally finishing that illustration, my exploits have been mostly yarn based. First up, there was the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, for which Craft Reactor were asked to turn the Drill Hall’s Cow Parade Cow into a sheep for the day. I contributed the head (well, mask and wig), other helpful helpers made some leg warmers and fringey bits, and visitors to the festival were asked to make pompoms to cover the beast. Sadly I couldn’t be there to join in the fun, but it turned out great and the festival was a huge success, by the sounds of it.

Next Sunday, 7 April, will see the first Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire, and with it more yarn! Madeleine Shepherd, of Plum & Pepper Studio, has been at it again, and, together with Julia Collins started Botanica Mathematica, a project which explores “the mathematical processes underpinning botanical structures”, by, well, knitting them. I’ll be a minion at their stall at the Faire on Sunday, helping people through the creation of, amongst other things, Binary Bonsais.

Binary Bonsai

 

So, pop along if you can, and if not, make your own in the comfort of your own home, you can find the pattern on the website, or in the Botanica Mathematica Ravelry Group.

Cave art

Happy New Year, y’all! (Bit late, I know).

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Near the end of last year, I had a bit of an adventure via my random relative Nora, who makes the most beautiful things. She’s been part of the Gera Hoehlerbiennale for the last few years, and asked if I want to collaborate with her on a proposal for the next one.

This meant putting together my very first proper exhibition proposal, after so far only ever stumbling across ready-made exhibition opportunities, which was nervewracking and cool at the same time.

The art festival is held in a system of old beer cellars under the town, which were built between the 16th and 19th Century. Not all of them are accessible, but there’s usually four or five in the festival, and you get to them through different buildings. They’re all quite dark and damp, and in some of them you have to wear hard hats because the ceiling’s so low, and they’re just about the coolest place I can think of to have an exhibition in. The bizarre climate in there means that not every type of material works well, and some of the artists come up with the wackiest shit, but there’s always things in it that are totally amazing. Go have a look at previous years’ stuff here now!

We came up with a pretty cool idea for it, too, linking Gera with Edinburgh, but unfortunately we didn’t get in, bummer! This year they’ve greatly reduced the number of artists taking part (from more than 50 to 30), because getting round all of them can easily take a whole afternoon, so our application was not accepted.

It was pretty good having to put together the proposal, (and working with/ learning from Nora, who’s an old hand at this stuff, always handy to have folks like that around!), and maybe next time we’ll manage to convince them to let us in…

Either way, if you ever happen to be in Gera during the Hoehler Biennale, go have a look, it’s definitely worth it!

Back to the roots

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We had a pretty cool idea for a Christmas tree to be incorporated in this year’s Craft Reactor Members’ Showcase exhibition, so there’s a small bunch of ornaments in the making. We’re quite excited about the number of participants we have this year, it’s going to be fab!

Aside from the usual bunch (Plum & Pepper Studio, Pegeggleg, Made by Jo and myself), we’ll also have, amongst others, Blackbird Alley and Little Red along for the ride. Full details of all the makers will go up on the website, as soon as we’ve gathered them all together.

Not long to go now!

Monkey-makin’

Bored monkey!

Here’s what I made yesterday: a bored monkey. I don’t know why he’s so grumpy, he’s got a tartany waistcoat, with a miniscule pocket, an eency weency bow-tie and a teeny-tiny fez! I’d be thrilled if I had only one of these things, but there you go. Some monkeys are hard to please.

With any luck, he’ll be featured in the forthcoming Craft Reactor Members’ Showcase exhibition 2012, too.

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Scrapheap Challenge

Sometime earlier this year, I was asked if I would like to do an illustration for the title page of We See A Different Frontier, an anthology of colonialism-themed short stories to be published by The Future Fire. Obviously I said yes.

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This is one of the very first sketches. The look I was asked to go for was gambiarra with a dash of biopunk. I must admit I hadn’t come across either of those terms before, which is why the very very first sketch was completely non-biopunky. I’m slowly getting my head round it, but we’re still not quite there yet…

 

Yet another version

This latest version ended up looking like someone stuck a massive piece of gum to some scrap, but oh well. We’ll get there eventually!

It’s being quite the challenge, which was part of the reason I was quite keen to do this. Utter failure may be imminent, but it’s been good trying to draw things which don’t come naturally.

Blinding people with science

Hello! Once again I’m here to assure you that I’m still alive. I’ve been drawing scientists! Here’s one:

Newton

Can you guess who it is? (No peeking!) I’ve also been drawing other scientists, along with a giant and a dwarf, all for a new planetarium show at the Centre for Life in Newcastle.