29 January 2010

Gokstad & Sardine

The Glorious and the Inglorious.
The very beautiful Gokstad ship-( and reverent museum interior) I'm yet to see it for my self.
(Torbjørn and Ørjan- my erstwhile friends!- if you are reading this drop me a line.)

Wanting the freedom promised by a boat of one's own, 12 y.o. me told my Dad:
"it has to be made from a single sheet of corrugated iron, and I want a transom stern"
( squared-off at the back- like a proper row boat)
Very restrictive parameters , you'll agree.
After some snipping, belting, rivetting and generous siliconing...
"The Sardine" was complete.
She was sleek, but prone to be prone.
Here's to you, Sardine!

At the Circus

A bright moment in history.
hear it and weep. Earnest humour...

28 January 2010

TOUGH spirals

Tough Spirals, yes its true, they do exist:
1. Lobel seahorse. Huh? seahorse!?
yep, the males give birth to the young- now thats tough. (to all the mothers out there: Respect)
2. Iron rings made by soldiers in the trenches. (man, so neatly done)
3.Gladiator's arm protector. (me, I would have chosen something alittle more... shieldy?)
4. Smithson's spiral jetty from space. see it there? Hmm its washing away I guess.
but its Tough because it was made with a bulldozer.

Peter Bauhuis-Sprue Guru

Works by Peter Bauhuis.
There have been several opportunities for me to have met Peter Bauhuis by now, but I seem to always miss them. He is a caster extraordinaire! These vessels are groundbreaking in some sense-
they look almost ceramic dont they? But they are solid metals, cast, liquid hot at about 1000˚celsius and above- so there must be some careful planning. The colour variances result from different alloys of silver, gold and copper being introduced (in separate pours I assume? Or maybe in some instances a confluence of simultaneous pours-???gulp)- amazing.
Colour is a tricky thing with metals- handled masterfully here, both careful and grosso modo.
The whites are silver, the blacks and reds are copper and related alloys, the yellows; gold.
The underside of the brooch reveals the intricate sprue matrix (to explain; within a plaster mould, the liquid-hot metal reaches the extremities of the negative form via tunnels, which then also fill and become those 'branches'. Typically these are cut off during routine finishing of a casting- but here Peter makes them part of the structure- all the vessels have sprues as 'feet')
Ich ziehe meinen Hut, Herr Bauhuis...

26 January 2010

dont speak

except the hound's head; it reminds me of a soul I once knew.
Have you read Raimond Gaita's story of his childhood dog, Orloff the greyhound?
(I think he appears in Romulus My Father too.)

22 January 2010

Nice View

And Ill tie the nautical stuff back into this blog's raison d'être with Onofre Vila's
'View from a workshop of silversmiths of the unloading of a merchant vessel into port'-
L'libre de Passenties per Argenters, 1761
Does your workplace have a view like that?

21 January 2010

water craft

I reckoned you might be amused by these shots, particularly after all those beautiful Johnston photos (!) Now I really feel like going sailing...

1. Jesse at helm, self as ballast. This mirror is heaps of fun because its really creaky and leaky and breaky! Its really too small for two men. Sometimes a ride in an old billy cart is way more hair-raising than in a ferrari...
2. self, aboard the Marisa (Dad's 28'er - slightly more substantial than the mirror!) somewhere off Kilcunda, Bass Strait. (thanks Felix for pic)

Workshop Visitor

I found this lovely creature in my workshop...
My research suggests she's a Marbled Gecko- I think they can change colour a bit- she was going pink!
Geckos, apparently, are unique among lizards in the way they vocalise- they talk to each other.
Thats where the name 'gecko' comes from- the sound they make.
And those toes make use of Van der Waals force!

20 January 2010


Apparently stamp collectors call these 'fancy cancels'- local post masters would make their own cancellation stamps, carved from cork or whathaveyou.
I like how they are crude and visceral in contrast to the lofty graphic of the stamp proper.
*strongbad voice: "IT'S CANCELLED!!"*
I learnt about these from the very measured but always excellent doses administered by J.P over at Amass blog.

17 January 2010


Few built objects are as sculpturally beautiful as these.
Photography by J S Johnston, around the 1880s-90s.
I think the straight side-on pics are simple and great; almost taxonomic...
but then, the dynamic shots are amazing. And also the floppy moments; after the race,
or broken mast...
note sleek boats, with huge bowsprits and gaff-rigs, crew in shirts and vests, hanging over the side, and ladies with parasols oblivious to the possibility of jibe-o! (boom coming over suddenly... once I was crew for my grandpa in a race, and he got whacked in the head in a jibe. We 'carried on' -with  blood pouring out of his forehead!)