Monday, 1 December 2014

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Before the pilgrimage started

Upon my 2013 visit to Canterbury I noticed the icon-like expression of some of the 
Ancestry of Christ Windows. (And the Becket window too)

I made the icon board in November 2013 from an old plywood plank, paint stir sticks and a wine box lid. This was lined with cloth from an old sheet, and gessoed.

My first visit to Canterbury was in 1976 and rather a disappointment. I was 16 and the town looked drab, outdated and backward. And that was also my first impression of England there and then. A country that had failed to update. People drove cars that belonged in a museum and food was of wartime quality. Buses leaking oil, a smell of tar everywhere. I liked the cathedral though, and entering was like stepping in a different world.  Kind, elderly ladies who showed us around and the chance to practice my school English. I still have a postcard of the Becket window, which I must have bought then -at 10p or so. it was the deep blue colour that did it, I guess. Had I already read Murder in the Cathedral by then? I don't know. Perhaps I am mixing things up with our 1978 visit (I had turned 18, the vintage cars were rapidly disappearing and the food was still bad).
The blue was even bluer than Hurricane at Romney

In 2006 - my colleague and I visited Canterbury while on excursion with our school (State Agricultural College). The lads went for beer and we went into the cathedral. I had always cherished that postcard and now I was determined to see that blue and that "helmet" again.

I had to ask one of the volunteers - where was that deep blue window? I had even forgotten it was Becket himself was on it. As he was asking whether I wanted to see Solomon or Becket my mp3 player suddenly jumped to Handel's Arrival of the Queen of Sheba.

In 2013 the food was as good as that in France. One could still spot a Morris Minor or two, but the VW Campervan had become its iconic successor. The cathedral and the window were still there, as ever.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

The start of a pilgrimage

Just another idea
a prototype
the challenge

Sunday, 2 November 2014


Today (and yesterday) was a real Indian Summer.
All Souls' Day and 18 degrees!
A great day to finish this Cornish inspired Hepworthian carving

2 November 2014

Started 21 September 2014   

Inspired by a summer vacation in Cornwall

Toys for boys

It all started by making wooden toys for the kids.
 They got too old for that
But it still makes a nice present for the neighbours' son

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Lining added

Wings' lining added 12 June


Sunday, 11 May 2014

Painting eyes & etc

Painting the eyes took a lot of nerve and even more mental preparation

Yellow "ochre" from the discount shop
Adjusting the pole on its stand - this was actually May 23
Dots - added later that night

Monday, 17 February 2014

Aboriginal Pukumani Pole

28 February 2014 - neck and beak need fine-tuning

After hibernating
I use the Aussie Arbortech woodcarver a lot

23-June-2013 Aboriginals use Ironwood, I think Ash approaches it.

 7-June-2013 I saw this Pukumani pole in the AAMU Utrecht

I chose this ash tree trunk. I like ash, but it is very heavy and tough.

Logging/cutting/pruning in our street 23-February-2013

Friday, 14 February 2014

Vladka - the Vladimirskaya Icon

Two icons of two strong women 14-February-2014.

My final "model" was a blend of three. From left to right:
The "Novgorod", the "Classic" and the "Moscow" Vladimirskaya.

This book of Moscow Icons - a gift from my wife for our wedding - had a picture of the "right" Vladimirskaya with the green backgound. The miniatures were less suitable, though.
We went to Moscow in 1991 and the Tretyakov Gallery happened to be  closed for 'remont', so we missed Vladka. We did see other ones though, notably in the Uspensky Sobor.

Some inspiration

1 April 2013 The green paint was the catalyst.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Constructivist samovar tray

I found this Soviet type electric samovar offered on the internet for very little money

Following some Internet sleuthing, it turned out to be a Tula samovar.


As I was testing and trying out 
I felt I needed some kind of tray

 And I went for constructivism

As a matter of fact, I already possessed a samovar or two...
One I bought in 1991 on the Arbat in Moscow from a group of lads, a true Soviet type of samovar.
I use this one for summer nights in my garden or barbecue parties.

Самовар жаровый  советского периода формы банка граненая листьями
Материал полированная латунь.
Объем  5л
Диаметр трубы: 65мм
Производитель Россия  г. Тула завод Штамп
Гарантийный срок 5 лет.
Товар в наличии
14 000 руб.  
14,000.00 RUB = 288.494 EUR (2014)

DM40 (1991)

The one below- no longer in working order - I bought in 2011 on the Queen's day flea market. 

My Dacha @home