This picture was a labour of love. Usually I go down to the harbour to draw but on this occasion I took photos as the weather was rough and all the boats were parked up waiting for a break in the storm, it was cold and windy and not a day for hanging about. I did one small pen and ink then one large full sized charcoal drawing of which I used as a template for the wire. There is no use trying to guess a picture, it needs to be right before I start, but I also never know how it will go or what I'm going to do until I start, a bit like starting to write a novel but only vaguely knowing the main characters name but not knowing what the plot will be. I used a variety of different kinds of wire including forging a piece of copper rod. The work tooks weeks, I pondered over it for months. Once the wire part had been completed I laquered it and the resulting drip effect I was very happy about. But the most difficult part is adding the pieces of colour, always, this never gets easier. Each
Beachcombing is a pastime loved by many. Finding a treasure between some pebbles that no one else has seen. It could be a piece of seaglass, the rounder and frostier the better, or a piece of pottery perhaps from times long ago. I found this stone the other day, on a beach that has few shells and no glass or pottery, it does however have the most amazing assortment of rounded boulders in every colour and pattern imaginable. I resist the temptation to take one home every day but can't help myself when the tide has wet them, pick up a stunning stripey or speckled rock to put on display by the front door. Every time though without fail, when the stone dries off, the glossy patterns fade to dusty images. Really they should be left where they are, but who can resist?
I love these cufflinks, Caithness stone picked from a quarry inland that displays more prominent lines of iron oxide. The stone has been etched to enhance these lines then set in sterling silver making them unique for any man who might have a connection with Caithness or Scotland.
My second attempt at trying to create facets in a relatively ordinary piece of Caithness slate. Polishing up this mudstone reveals delicate layers of silt that look like miniature landscapes. My next step is to combine gold into the design to compliment the stone, I'm having a lot of fun and making a lot of dust...
I've been drawing up at the quarry for some time now and at some point the idea of making some jewellery came into my head. So I dusted down the workbench and started experimenting. I've been up to Spittal quarry to pick their brains and now I have a whole new world of tools to buy... it's a dusty business this stone but it polishes up a treat!
Had a relaxing afternoon drawing still life with mum who wanted some drawing tips. What I decided was that she should do a quick sketch on throw away paper using a continuous line, but NOT looking at the paper - this would concentrate her mind to looking at the subject and prepare her for a second sketch - like a warm up as you would with exercise, and if the picture was terrible it was always meant to be binned anyway. Turns out we both agreed she shouldn't throw that sketch away as it turned out to be lively with lots of marks that she wouldn't have done had she been watching her pencil! This is my piece, first marked out with marks made using my fingertip dipped in charcoal dust, pencil line, a little dry acrylic for texture then watercolour wash over.
This picture will be on it's way to Alessandro Studios in Broughty Ferry once the piece is in it's giant frame! The boat is 70 cm in height and the black pieces are lacquered rust beach finds. I'm going to add some red to the Sparkling Star, the other two boats are black.
A new big piece if work that has involved 5 different thicknesses of wire, steel and copper. I have used forging in this work to create a variation in the thickness of wire, giving an interesting linear quality. Using different twisting techniques also achieves this. This piece is A1 in size and I also have a variety of sketches of this size too!
I've done a number of sketches of stone piles at the quarry and now transferring one into a fine wire picture. There isn't much of the roll left so I'm enjoying the last moments of working with this lovely wire...