Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Unexpected support...

So earlier this week I had to pick up a parcel from the sorting office because I was out when the postman delivered our mail. I thought it was some letters from home being sent down, but I was wrong...
I received one of the most thoughtful gifts ever from someone who obviously knows me too well. I got a large, leather-bound sketchbook 'To fill with all of the designs you haven't yet made in uni' and 'To show I support you in your endevours' (learning a new instrument each month) a set of handmade pan-pipes!!! This has definitely made my week and a huge thank you to C.K. It's amazing to know that there is always someone who's got my back and can offer support when I need it most. I strive to do the same so to those of you that know me, I'm here for you!

The designing of the top section for the music stand has gone very well and is now complete! The base is well on it's way to being finished, then forging it will begin tomorrow. I am in high spirits because I managed to get quite a lot of work done today at the forge and am ready to bolt a few sections together. Then I'll make the rest of the piece, see how it looks and finish with handmade rivets.

Last week was a bit of a set back because I got ill and didn't manage to get much forge work done, however I did do my sketchbook work, with a few new ideas for future developments/projects added in there. I also sent off my artist statement, worked on my website, thought about my portfolio, wrote some more music, optimised my laptop, applied for a blacksmithing job, packed more of my things for moving out and read a really good book...This is my work station at the moment complete with cups of tea and lemsip!

Anyway, here are some photographs of the piece that I took earlier today out at the forge. Since then I've done a bit of work on the bars, but this is a rough idea of what the piece is going to look like (ignoring the sellotape...).

Thanks and have a good day!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Artist Statement

I have been thinking about what I'm going to write for my personal statement and I want to try and include my own personal statement about my thoughts on music. I have it stuck to every space I work in...

'Music is one of the fundamental forms of the self-expression of the soul for which no words could ever hope to describe'

I firmly believe this. For me, I can express myself through music, but I can express music through my blacksmithing work which is something not many people can say. I love the way I work!

I have also had some excellent news concerning various work experience chances and now have the opportunity to work with a professional violin maker in Edinburgh for a short while. I have the chance to study with him in the workshop and learn everything I need to know to help me in the future for making musical sculptures.

Just wanted to share!
Have a great day.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Ater the Easter Break...

Okay, so I had a wonderful Easter but did little in the way of work due to travelling and the fact that I left most of the things I needed in Hereford...
Anyway, things have progressed in the past week or so. The business plan was finished in the airport lounge in Edinburgh and handed in with a few days to spare and I have made a few more enquiries concerning premesis etc. and have come up with some very exciting options which I am not going to bore you with!

The music stand has come a long way since first playing with the idea. The measurements have been taken to suit me sitting comfortably with my cello so that the music will sit at the right height and look in proportion to the player.

I have decided to go back to some of my original sketches of a sort of 'swan head' likeness. These shapes kept re-occuring in my sketches and I think they are important to me visually and conceptually. I had thought to make the entire piece from long sections of forged bar, but had a reality check when I made a full sized model of the main a little under four meters it would simply be too much to lift, heat and forge without a large gas furnace and out came plan B. Instead of forging ridiculous sections of bar and then welding thicker pieces on throughout to give the spread I wanted on the curves, I have decided to split the bar into several easily forged sections. I had a tutorial at the forge with A.B. and he helped decide exactly what I wanted the top section to look like which then made it easy for me to design the base to suit.
Splitting the bars up has the added bonus of creating a continuing aesthetic throughout the entire piece and save my back from any unessecary heavy lifting. I think it also looks more like a forged object than a fabricated one as well. Here are some of the designs and a small scale example of how the bar will look in steel.

Balancing work and life...

So sometimes you have days where you're just not interested in work and nothing seems to excite you anymore and all you can think about is getting home...
Well I have these kinds of days every so often and it always annoys me when I realise the reason I've been feeling like that is because I've forgotten why I'm here and what it's all about. What brought me out of this downward spiral was a few choice comments from my tutors. I began explaining again what my work was about and realised again that I had stopped playing music! (This month is purely cello theory).
As soon as I got home I got the guitar out and played to my hearts content, then fired up Sibelius and wrote a tango and finished a section of an orchestral piece I've been working on in the past few months. I remembered exactly what I was all about and why music is so integral to my work - It's who I am and what inspires me!!

Never forget to enjoy your work and remember why you do it!