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Posts Tagged ‘copper’

The exhibition of my steampunk lighting and general sculptures has now come to an end.

It was a fantastic 10 days – I met some fascinating people, swapped lots of ideas and stories with other artists, and, maybe best of all, even sold a few pieces!

Highlights were the ‘Art Deco’ lamp (I could have sold this four times over if I had more than just the one!) and also my new range of ‘Music Stand’ lamps (I am going to knock a few of these up n the next few weeks so will post some pictures /details etc).

My welded steel ‘Mr Bobbly Head’ sculpture (shown in the last post) has also sold, and is now installed in a wonderful new home here in St Albans. I will miss him!

The next artist to be features in the exhibition is the surrealistic photographer Roger Dorey – do go down and check out his amazing photos if you are anywhere near the show…

Roger Dorey

Roger Dorey

 

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This week saw the opening of the 10 day exhibition of my steampunk items and sculpture. After an extremely hectic couple of days setting up, I am really pleased with the results! We had an opening night Private View on the first day, attended by none other than the Mayor of St Albans as well as lots of friends and general punters. Smooth jazz for the evening was provided by my brother, who I must say did an excellent job! Here are just a few selected photos both from the night and also of some of the general works on show / for sale. Do get in touch if anything strikes your fancy!

Private-view-2

My brother playing jazz

David Hardy (portrait artist), Sam Sawdy (organsier), me, The Mayor of St Albans

David Hardy (portrait artist), Sam Sawdy (organsier), me, The Mayor of St Albans

10Key rings and light pulls

Key rings and light pulls

The 'Black Box' lamp

The ‘Black Box’ lamp

General view of some of the stuff

General view of some of the stuff

The 'Silver Box' lamp

The ‘Silver Box’ lamp

The 'Art Deco Uplighter' (the star of the show so far – I could have sold loads of these!)

The ‘Art Deco Uplighter’ (the star of the show so far – I could have sold loads of these!)

Another general view

Another general view

A shot with moody lighting

A shot with moody lighting

A few of the steampunk items

A few of the steampunk items

A new uplighter

A new uplighter

Steampunk coat hooks

Steampunk coat hooks

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A great opportunity has just cropped up in my area – a group of local artists have gained access to an empty shop and are running a two month long ‘pop up’ art show/sale.

My stuff (my steampunk-style lighting, welded metal sculpture, home and garden accessories etc) is being shown in the second week, 10th to 19th November.

Click here to download a flyer for my part of the show (Pop Up Shop Flyer) but see the shop website here for more details on all the artists taking part, opening times, location etc >>

My stuff!

My stuff!

 

 

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Now that the Eastern Approaches exhibition is over a new exhibition has taken its place at the St Albans museum, and again I’ve got some of my work in it.

Called ‘Gadgets & Goggles‘ this is steampunk-themed show, mainly featuring the amazing collection of historical artifacts that has been put together over the years by Maurice Collins (which have been featured a lot over previous years on the tv, in books, etc)

The exhibition is free to visit and is on display until 13th April – check out the official museum page here for more details:

 http://stalbansmuseums.org.uk/Exhibitions/Gadgets-and-Goggles2

Here are some quick shots of my stuff (all taken at night at the private view so not the greatest quality I am afraid) but do get along to see the how if you can!

Three of my smaller pieces

Three of my smaller pieces

The large 'Tripus' lamp

The large ‘Tripus’ lamp

Detail from 'The Swamm Neck' lamp

Detail from ‘The Swamm Neck’ lamp

Gadgets and Goggles flyer

Gadgets and Goggles flyer

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Copper, brass and stone tap

Copper, brass and stone tap

Here are  few quick shots of some very clever and lovely, yet extremely rustic, uses of old copper pipe and brass taps… within what proved to be very up market and luxurious surroundings!!

Despite being used to great effect (in a very stylistically designed interior of a luxury holiday villa) all these items look like they have been built from bits and pieces found in my local skip… manna from heaven!! I spent a lot of time fiddling with them for their form and design – sometimes I even had a wash with them!

I am sure they cost a lot of money to source, import and install, but I think they give hope and inspiration to all us ‘found item’ designers and makers out there!

Brass bath tap

Brass bath tap

Another view of the full bathroom sink

Another view of the full bathroom sink

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I’ve just been working on a new commission for one of my copper lamps. It’s going really well, but the structure of it is pretty complex and I’m finding the process of wiring it up particularly troublesome.

I’ve made life even more difficult for myself  (mainly because I want the piece to have real impact) by including a few ‘hidden extras’ within the piece (all of which will be revealed in the final photos!), each of which require an additional strand of wiring.

This means that the total piece requires three strands of dual core, low voltage wiring to be run through the entire length of the piece. The photo below (sorry it’s a bit fuzzy!) shows some of the intricate features and tight bends that the cables have to be fed both through and around.

complex bends

complex bends

To make this process even more difficult, the lamp is made entirely of 16mm copper pipe and associated fittings, so is pretty narrow at the best of times. Factor-in the internal ridges of the various soldered couplings, and the fact that the tubing is recycled so has a dirty, corroded and lime-scaled inner surface, and the whole job seems pretty-near impossible at times.

My normal process is to feed a piece of very strong, yet very thin, nylon string through the pre-soldered lamp, tie this string firmly to the cable (or in this case three sep cables tied together) and feed this through the tubing by a combination of pulling on the string whilst simultaneously pushing the cable from the other end.

With the current piece, even just getting the string fed down the entire length of the piece proved tricky! I realised that what I needed was a small yet heavy weight, neither too long or too wide so that it wouldn’t feed itself round the hard turns of the various joints (I normally tie a small nut to the end of the string to act as this weight, but this simply wasn’t up to the job in this instance).

I thought of going to a fishing tackle shop to see if they sold small lead weights but, as always, preferred the idea of trying to make my own.

Hence, I came up with the following simple, yet surprisingly effective process.

Firstly I took a block of plaster (cast from hard setting moulding plaster poured into the bottom of an old plastic bottle) and drilled some deep holes, of varying diameters (to give me options of size and weight) in to this.

I then melted a small amount of lead in an old ladle, and poured this into the holes in the plaster. When cooled, I simply broke the plaster away, leaving the smooth rods of lead exposed.

They required very little cleaning up – all I did was drill a very small hole directly though the end of each of them to allow a string to be tied onto the weight.

Here’s an image of the tools and results…

(L–R) lead & ladle, plaster block with holes, finished weights

(L–R) lead & ladle, plaster block with holes, finished weights

They worked really well in practice. The lead is heavy enough to drag the string down the tubing, and I found I could easily cut the weights with just a pair of pliers to make them shorter if need be to help negotiate the really tight curves.

The lamp is now wired up and ready for the next step – I’ll post up details a soon as it’s completely finished…

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Helping my mate SC out with a (top secret) photoshoot in London’s swanky Mayfair district recently, the following two things caught my eye…

Firstly this giant egg (part of the recent Fabergé ‘Big Egg Hunt‘ charity exhibition), covered in copper coins!! It looked wonderful in the late March sun – you know how I love a bit of copper…

Eggciting!

Eggciting!

Then, just around the corner I saw the following blue plaque. All my life I have been plagued by people calling me ‘Clive of India?’ ( each one thinking they are the first to think of that particularly unfunny line!), but here is the first time that name has not made me feel frustrated!

Clive of India blue plaque

Clive of India blue plaque

Check out more about Blue Plaques on this fun website here >>

I’ll add it to my visual collection of other plaques with my name on!! (see other posts here >> and here >>)

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