Saturday, 24 January 2009
The inspiration for this piece came from seeing a painting at a friends house. Our friends Barbara and Barry, who own and run the Countryworks Gallery in Montgomery, Powys, have a 'painting' at home (I can't remember what the subject was) which was almost like a mini fresco that had been broken. It was mounted and put in a frame and I thought it was really interesting. This mackerel was an early experiment and before that I played around with different plaster and cement mixes and made notes as I went along. I just used watercolour paint and it went on really easily, I remember. My intention had then been to make a more authentic looking piece (as if it was an ancient section of a fresco) but made up of pieces as if it had got broken at some point and then roughly assembled with the pieces not quite touching. Unfortunately I got my notes muddled and I never did manage to replicate the plaster concrete mix. Whenever I applied the paint it just didn't go on very well. I may have a go again one day as I liked the effect. I'm sure with trial and error I'll get it right eventually!
Here's the Christmas present I made Jane a some years back. It's all made from a door very kindly donated by my friend and aerobics teacher, Jan Phillips, when we lived in Shropshire. The great thing about the door was that it had many layers of gloss paint, built up over many years, so it was great sanding this back to give it its very aged and distressed look. It took a while to make and although I designed it on paper first it kind of evolved as it went along. The letters are hand carved, the recess into which they sit was routed out partly freehand and partly using a wooden template I had to make first. The door never seemed to quite fit and took hours of careful sanding and the painting took a while too, with several false starts as it really wasn't working. I hate to say it but I didn't finally finish it until Easter time (fitting I suppose!) and gave it to Jane at 11pm on Good Friday. Well, to be fair to me, I was only able to work on it some weekends.
Notice the tiny hinged door in the sky. This was difficult to make but when you open it there's a little wooden 'cradle' attached to the inside of the door just big enough to hold one egg. The idea was that if you were cooking and just needed one more egg in a hurry and only had one hand free it would be simple to open and egg that 'emergency' egg!