Thursday, 23 April 2009


Pine/Red Cedar 2008/2009

Been meaning to finish this for ages now. Somebody, (you know who you are,) visited the workshop yesterday and insisted that I did. So here you go...thanks for the encouragement!

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Guerilla Miffy

We love Miffy. So much so, Jo and I visited the Dick Bruna Museum on our Netherlands holiday last year. Dick Bruna manages to distill objects into their simplest form. Using the fewest colours and lines he is able to convey emotions and feelings, most interestingly, without changing the facial expression on his characters. A kitchen showroom near our house contains a small selection of Lego in its window for kids to play with; I guess it's there to keep them occupied whilst their parents are planning their next big purchase. Until recently, there lay amongst the sticky bricks, a dog eared version of 'Miffy goes to the Zoo' . We had discussed how nice it was, that the book was obviously read, as it increasingly began to look worse for wear. Anyway it eventually disappeared, (thrown away?). We decided to track down another copy and replace it. Well here's 'Miffy's Birthday', obtained from a Hereford Charity shop for 15pence. We're going to drop it through the showroom letterbox soon, under the cover of darkness...wonder what they'll say?

Monday, 20 April 2009

Bulwell BMX.

Attended the last Winter regional at the, upgraded, Bulwell track in Nottingham yesterday. What a perfect day, weather-wise. I got to ride for a while and practice my gates before the racing began. I was doing okay, gradually building up to jumps that I could easily have cleared before my accident. However it wasn't long before I had to put the bike away after nearly falling off again. My left leg gave way under the strain of all the exercise; it really began to hurt. I'm getting pi%%ed off now, with not being able to ride( or even walk) normally. I am going to have to seek more medical advice and ensure I get back to normality before racing...who knows when that will be :-(
It was great though, to see people really soaking up the newly improved circuit, some of the kids really tore it up and moved 'balletically' through the obstacles. I think B.M.X. can sometimes be described as 'beautiful', it can really overwhelm me sometimes to the point of speechlessness. One amazing proponent is mulitple Britsh number 1 and Worlds Finalist, Kelvin Batey. He, and others, were swooshing along the 'rhythm section' with only inches between them and the ground. Some of the riders, (in the photos below) were just happy to fly as high as they could...Bliss!

Kelvin Batey

Friday, 17 April 2009

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

BMX Days

We travelled to Derby at the weekend. It's where I went to University. It's also where the first two rounds of the 2009 National BMX Series were taking place. It's been about fourteen weeks since I broke my leg, practicing at Chesterfield BMX track. I was a bit nervous about how I might feel, seeing my fellow racers having fun. The track at Derby is notorious as a 'lung buster' of a track, meaning it's long...very long. I have raced there before and find it tiring but continuously challenging. It was so good to see a huge turnout, (about 450 riders apparently) and catch up with my riding peers, some whom I haven't seen since October 2008. It was great to soak up the atmosphere of the day, as BMX race days are so unique. Kids in gladiator bubble helmets, pushing wafer-wheeled, pipe cleaner bikes. Ticking freewheels and the clacking of cycling shoes on dolomite gravel. The mixed aromas of chips, cheap coffee and chemical toilets are weirdly evocative of my childhood. The clash of the metal start gate dropping to the ground makes my stomach hollow with anticipation . I love BMX racing. I am really looking forward to having a go again soon. Watch this space.


Thursday, 9 April 2009

+1 Magazine.

Those nice people from +1 Magazine recently sent along our monthly batch of freebies. The students love it and they always disappear really quickly, (luckily I get to cherry pick a couple of copies for certain tutors and my own collection.) Look out for the Jo Waterhouse interview with Dan Kitchener, she always manages to get the best from her subjects and here she highlights the work of a real master of his craft.

I also took the opportunity to make a magazine rack, worthy of the content; hope the people at +1 don't mind. I am really pleased with the result.

Magazine Rack, recycled pine and recycled teak, April 2009

Magazine Rack, Detail

Hopefully going to the first National BMX meeting of the season at the weekend. It's being held in Derby; will try and get a few pics as I'm still not able to race.


Friday, 3 April 2009

Onto Bigger Things...

This is a page from my sketchbook. It's a sketch of what I'm hoping to build at some point. It would be great to make it site-specific, (maybe in a forest or wood) and put in a place so it could be interactive. I can imagine it being huge with steps inside to view the world through the holes. Could be a bit of an Angel of the West Midlands.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Work in Progress

Working on a piece to be worn by me. It's tentatively called 'Hide' and is the biggest piece I've made in years. It's got a performance element to it and I'm aiming to be photographed in various situations....well possibly.