Usefull Mushrooms

Here’s one of my latest pieces, less like art and more just practical fun.

It’s a bottle opener, the stainless steel stem is solid, so is heavy enough to stay put, the head is red nylon with stainless rivets in it, and it’s this that is used to pull the top of the beer bottle.

To add class, I also experimented with copper versions, one with protruding spots....
 ...and one with a smooth surface....

...all versions are practical and will be on the website soon.
They're all a bit of fun and the hope is maybe they will bring sunshine to someone's life.
I’m now working on a corkscrew of a similar vein and maybe a salt and pepper set….I’m entertained by the concept of developing a range, under the guise….

The Useful Mushroom Co”

.quite why is beyond me, but it does make me chuckle.

Suggestions for useful mushrooms anyone?

Plumbing problems

Possibly the most fun I've had with a piece for a long time, here is my latest humorous sculpture, titled simply “leek”

The vegetable is real, and so the piece was only in existence for a day or so before things began to get pungent and the whole thing was taken apart. Considering this, there was quite some effort. The tap is a 2” stainless steel gate valve, with 2” stainless steel pipe sections protruding from top and bottom.

These pipes had to have threaded sleeves welded on, and the bottom piece has also needed a flange welded on to both resemble pipework in an industrial environment and to allow it to stand. I then had to cut a hole in the top piece of pipe, trying my best to give the impression of a burst or similar, and then finally the whole thing was hand polished up in a satine finish to give a nice semi-dull effect.
Fitting the vegetable was the easiest and quickest part, with photographs being taken in earnest to quickly capture the sculpture before the leek started to turn – all quite frantic. The pipe work and valve have been retained, maybe one day they will be useful for another project – all that remains of the piece is the photographic record. It will end up on my web site one day soon, and then maybe I should consider making a steel leek to give it some permanence.

Sad Art

Here’s a sketch that I recently drew on a more somber day…

Sadness can be an extremely destructive emotion, almost as if an addictive debilitating drug feeding on a self perpetuating spiral of despair and helplessness...when in a depressive form, it can bring one to total catatonic failure...overwhelmed by emptiness and unable to see or make sense of anything or anyone..
It is refreshing then that as this emotion has such a huge strength, it can become almost overpowering when portrayed in art. Take this fantastic piece from Seo Yeong Deok made up from bicycle chain...

or this wonderful piece by Michael Magrath which is made from from salt stone and is designed to degrade in time, making it every day that little bit more hopeless....

........they both reek of the hollow shell that is a man in the throws of the empty lonely darkness.

Art and Religion

We make sculpture for a number of reasons, it can be an escape, an outlet for pashion and frustrations as they build up inside, it can be to satisfy another through commission. It can also be a simpler method for some to communicate, an easier forum.....
Art is a release, as a religion is for some if you like, connecting people who would otherwise remain disconnected.
It offers us, as people trapped in a harsh world which as a species we've created but we really aren't designed to exist in, a way to connect with something larger, a way of escaping the limitations of our individual life and individual selves.
Personally, if I'm not creating something I go quietly mad … the desire to get the image in my head out into a tangible piece is so strong it can drive me to destruction.

One of my recent works is a simple wooden cross. Measuring about 2ft by 1ft, it's made from kiln dried walnut wood and deeply polished.
The cross was made for a picturesque and tiny Chapel at Abergeirw in North Wales.

Clearly not in any way an original piece, this is a design that is thousands of years old. It requires no special skills or materials, and is fundamentally simple to make.

Oddly ironic then, with the religious undertones that are associated with art and its effects, that it was a deeply satisfying and moving piece to make...