Friday, January 30, 2009

More Messin' Around With Mud

Ah the joys of ceramics class, this was how far I'd got last week on my first mug, so I unwrapped it and started to put the finishing touches to it.

Since the clay was close to "leather hard" I couldn't add more clay to the mug so had to just concentrate on adding texture to the design. I tried various things like faux wood grain and cross hatching but ended up using a broken clay tool to push little glyph like marks.

I sent this image to my brother and he asked me if I had covered the mug in Sumerian cuneiform and I responded "Ur no, it just looks like it". Well we laughed.

The first mug is now waiting to dry before firing and then I get to explore glazes and such. Then I started on a second mug which will have three joining tiki faces. Hopefully next week tat will be finished and then I can get started on making my slip cast mold.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cannibal & Zombie - part 1

I spent today working on a new molded tiki art work, in the same vein as the "Wee Drunkin' Tiki" and "Screw'd, Stew'd & Tattoo'd".

Inspired by my ceramics class I decided instead of using the plasticine that I normally use, I went for normal ceramics clay. I've had this bag for a couple of years now and smelt a bit fusty but was still moist and usable.

Its like a big chocolate cookie, I've chosen the circle shape because I found three round frames in a charity store before Christmas, I think they are for framing plates.

The first figure added a Marquesian Tiki, he was more friendly in the sketch I made on the clay but my hands have made him more snarling with pointy shark teeth.

The second figure added, a cannibal tiki, inspired by illustration in Taboo Table, the cannibal is about to chow down on a Trader Vic's Menehune. I've gone for a faux lava effect in the background like on a Coco Joes Lava plaque.

I add a pie crust style wall around the piece to hold the gelflex...

...but first I have to recyle an old mold and "Screw'd, Stew'd & Tattoo'd" is for the chop.

I pulled a cast out of this mold last week and discovered it had seriously deteriated in the last year, its going to take a lot of cleaning beforeit is ready for paint. But that project is for next week.
The last quater, I chop all the mold up and then melt it down in a pot on the stove. Its best to do this process when everybody is out of the house, so they can't see the mess I make or complain about the fumes.

The pie case with its blue vinyl filing.

Once the mold sets (this takes about half an hour) I lift it out of the clay and inspect it. When I've used plasticine the heat of the Gelflex cooks the clay and distorts mold, but this time the ceramic clay has given a great impression.
I suspect the mold is touch shallow but I can allways build it up with clay when I make the plaster casts later in the week, I can hardly wait.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Supermarket Archeology and Celebrity Shorts

The Waterways authority have been cleaning out a local burn and have dredged out this fantastically decayed shopping trolley.

As you can see by the handle it escaped from the long disappeared supermarket chain Presto. In biblical terms Templetons married Wm Lows who beget Presto who beget Safeways who beget Tesco who is arch enemies of Asda (but they be secretly Walmart).
Presto was named after the first town they opened in Prestonpans, which in turn gave its name to the best Scottish surf band named after a Sunday Day trip destinations, Preston Pfanz & the Seaton Sands.
While charity shopping I saw Cher's white lace cycling shorts for only 40 quid, guaranteed by a letter of authenticity to have come from her own privet wardrobe. Then in a mental health charity shop I saw a worlds best dad figurine, which was reading a newspaper, somebody had altered the figure by gluing segments of newspaper onto the figures sculpted newspaper. Each of those tiny scaps of newspaper were cut from articles on incest and child abuse, I think somebody might just have some issues with their father.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Messin' Around With Mud

So I started my ceramics course and have gotten down to slinging some clay, so this is my first experimental tiki mug.
Since I'm trying slab building the mugs a bit flat, I'm sort of treating the clay like cardboard but I'll loosen up once I finish my first sculpt.

The class is only 3 hours long, the same as my one of the shifts in my unloved job, those three hours feel like they last three days but the three hours of class were gone in seconds.
This is not the sum total of my slinging I just worked right up to the end and forgot to take a final picture. So I have all the major bits added and I've loosely wrapped the clay and placed it in the wet cupboard for next week, this will let the clay dry to "Leather hard" and let me carve into the clay and leave clean marks.
Can't wait until next week!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Tony Hart Everyone Favorite Art Teacher Dies

Tony Hart was one of the best children television presenters of the seventies and eighties, his art tips never excited me as a child, but boy did those tip get me through art college. Now with a heavy heart I read that he has passed away, I'm sure his plastacine pal morph will be shedding a few tears at his leaving.

Wake up to Wogan.

Another new painting, originally this was going to be another baby portrait but that didn't work out, but the parents in question are huge fans of Saint Terry Wogan so I decided to knock out an icon for them, of the be-wigged one.

Early pencil and red line work on the face.

Background of red and lots of the pencil rubbed out, unfortunately the cheap pre-stretched canvas starts to sag quite early on and it flaps rather than pings like a drum.

Yellow ocher layers and the start of some shading.

Brown lines added to shape the hair, its important to get Wogan's unique hair described correctly.

Darker shades added.

The blue/green of the eyes filled in and the white wings of his hair, plus all the major highlights.

Now Jill was meant to do her glitter and sequin magic on the painting but she was busy with college work, so I have to do my own. Spikey star bursts and shamrocks I think.

Laying down silver paint to back the glitter paint.

The silver all done, the glitter paint is made from coloured glitter in a clear suspension so it has to go over a background colour.
There was far to much indelible pencil marks all over the red, so I change it to blue.

The shamrocks go green with a thick black outline and it time to do the glittering.

Slap on the glitter and the painting is ready for a gloss varnish coat to pin down the glitter and stops it drifting of the work.
Now thats the last of the Xmas paintings done, its time to start new works for the Tiki Beat Art Show in March.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

R.I.P. Tails

One of my least favorite things about living in the future, is that so often the internet is the conduit by which I am informed of peoples deaths, that kick in the guts while staring at a screen I can do without.

So once again this happened on Sunday when I read that the body piercer and underground techno D.J. Tails had died of a heartattack. I have known Tails from the underground club scene in Edinburgh for the last ten years and he cut quite the striking image over six foot tall, shaven head, facial tattoos and enough piercings to make me wonder whether he'll be buried or weighed in for scrap.

My little brother recon you never die as long as your remembered in peoples stories, well Tails called Saturday Belly-button day because that was all he ever seemed to pierce on a Saturday.

Tails took ages over deciding over whether or not to get his face tattooed, not because it might limit his future employment "Its not like anybody would want me in an office" but because he didn't want to encourage children to get facial tattoos. This was because the pupils of Musselbourgh High School had voted him coolest guy on the planet, "That means I'm cooler than people that have been on the moon", it was a lot to live up too. Sort of like Mr T, a hard looking bastard but good with kids, don't know how good he'd have been at building a tank but if you wanted a hole put through you he'd be the man.

About the time I first met Tails he was hit in the face by a chunk (like a half coconut sized chunk) of firework shrapnel during the "End of the Festival Fireworks", I said to him that was lucky as you could sue the council or at least get yourself on the front of the paper, Body Piercer Hit by Firework, but he said no it was as good as winning the lottery because of all the people who looked up at the fireworks only he got a chunk in his face.

But for what I'll always remember him for is the advice he gave me, I'd just discovered how fast you can push up a Prince Albert from 2mm to 8mm and was wondering how far you could go. Tails told me about his mate who'd taught him piercing and how he'd been a very keen self experimenter and now had seven holes in his todger, each one of them big enough to pass your index finger through but now his cock barely worked, so think ahead. Good advice.

Tails in your life you put holes in a lot of us but none as big as the one that will be left from your passing.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

All that Gltters..

One of the Xmas presents we made for Xmas was portrait of our newly born niece Anja, I had liked one lovely picture of her with her tongue sticking out, her parents describe it as her Oscar winning full-tard look, so i used it as the basis of the picture.

Pencil and the yellow background.

Red outline to back up the pencil marks.

The pencil marks rubbed out, now she looks like a planet of the apes human mutant.

Chunks of the shading, in pinks and light brown washes.

Blue for the eyes.

More shading and the finer details, bit of ginger for her fine baby hair, yes my niece is a ginger.

With white for the final highlights and my work is done on the picture and the horrible realization creeps into my brain that since I can paint babies, then perhaps I should paint more because there is money in painting babies.

Then I hand the picture over to my wife Jill to complete the background in her own unique style.

Big blocks of red, as she heads towards a Russian religious icon style.

Purple paint and Anja starts to look like a jester.

The first of many layers of gold paint, glitter and sequins, several graft sets worth.

Even more glitter and gold.

Yet more glitter, I have to point out that she applies all these tiny sparkles/spangles whilst sitting on our bed, so drifts of them accumulate in the sheets. This means that no matter how many times we change the sheets still we wake up with bits of glitter affixed to our bodies.

Finally with some dark purple paint and silver glitter the sticking is finished and a spay or two of gloss fixes all the sparkles and this most unique of baby portraits is finished.

Anja's parents were happy to receive this gift, whilst Anja is perhaps to young to recognize herself as a piece of art, she is happy to spend hours staring at the glitter.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Evening class booked

I got news from the Met College to say I had a place on the January Ceramic Art Evening class, so every Thursday from the 22nd I'll be getting to sling some clay. Hope fully I'll have time to hand make a tiki mug for the Tonga Hut show.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Ten tasks of Atomic Tony Tiki

After watching my mother-in-law fail at her new years resolution of "not thinking bad of people or swearing" in under 10 minutes of the bells, it started me thinking what my tasks or shit-list should be this year..

1. Do something charitable. - Either volunteer or raise some money for a charity or cause.

2. Earn £1000 from my art.
- From selling paintings, prints or other crafts.

3. Learn to drive. - Yeah 34 and I still can't drive, time to stop being a passenger.

4. Study a for a CELTA or equivalent.
- So I can work my way around the world.

5. Experience Scotland like it was a foreign country.
- This year I saw more sights in foreign countries than I have ever seen in Scotland, time to explore this country before I leave it.

6. Learn to run.
- I pay to go to the gym so I need to set some sort of goal, a mile in 10 minutes by the end of the year.

7. Tattoo, get one and do one.
- I've always fancied trying my hand at tattooing and getting another will just be a treat for me.

8. Learn a Burns poem by heart.
- Its the 250 anniversary of Robert Burn's birth so I think it might be fitting to learn one by heart.

9. Spend Christmas with my Parents.
- My folks live up in the Orkneys a days travel away and its often difficult to get the time of to go there but Xmas 2009 will be in Orkney.

10. Spend Hogmanay with my friends.
- Watching the Bells on Telly with a migraine is no New Years, so if i have to book a castle I will be at a party next Hogmanay.