Posts Tagged ‘otto’

Yup. Still here.

In Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art, Interesting things, Weaving on January 17, 2015 at 10:10 pm

I just forget how to write sometimes.

A lot of the time.

Well. The good news is that I didn’t fail last semester. The bad news is this week started with a talk containing the sentence ‘THIS IS YOUR LAST SEMESTER OF FREEDOM’. That was terrifying. (But true, this time next year… let’s not go there).

So. Stuff happened.

I spent one evening a week from September to December learning how to weave. I had to buy a loom because I loved it so much. And now I pretty much just…weave. (Conceptual weaving, it’s a thing now).

Before all that though… Otto.




The loom came in a very small box. For something that takes up most of a table, it’s a very small box. And even though it folds flat-ish it isn’t exactly small (it does however fit in the flat, there’s a gap between two bookshelves in the living room that is just the right size. Although we probably need to get a new bookshelf to go there).



It took days and days to build. Because me and instructions that are almost entirely pictures and no text is not a brilliant combination. BUT IT WORKS.




Although when I say it fits in the flat… it takes up the entirety of the coffee table and/or dining table.





It’s 16″ wide, so I am quite limited by size. Which I guess is good. Although I’m already going ‘oh the things I could do if I had a 24″ loom…” (blankets! that aren’t patchwork!). The length is less of an issue. The warping frame I had made up goes from about 1.5m to 3.5ishm.



I’ll save the rambling explanation for another time I think.



In Books, Edinburgh on June 19, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Again… mostly pictures. (It’s hot, I don’t like hot. I start melting).

I went back to where I walked north last year, except I didn’t walk this year (it was raining and horrid at the start of June). It was pretty much how I remembered it, which I wasn’t expecting for some reason. I sat on the wall and finished a book (The Falling Sky). No real reason I went back, other than I’d just finished The Old Man & the Sea and missed the sea. Good a reason as any I suppose.









did get back into the studio – last week or the week before. It’s odd that there’s no people (everywhere is so quiet), but nice. Desk made it back too, so I’m pretty much set until September when I’ll have to move to a different studio. But that’s okay. I was getting a bit stir crazy only being at home or in the shop, so it’s good to have a third place to wander to (and on my way in I could dog leg via a bookshop, which isn’t often because otherwise my bank account would be empty as an empty thing). Not that I’m actually doing much in the studio.

I started drawing colouring pages, based on diagrams from mathematical proofs. Well, one in particular so far. I was reading Sciencia. as you do, it’s basically GCSE/A level Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Physics squished into one book with a pretty cover. I’m not entirely sure why I bought it, probably something about patterns (oh yes, it’s from the same series as the book on harmongraphs I was reading). Anyway. The proof for he formula that says for polyhedrons faces (F) + vertices (V) – edges (E) = 2 is a series of lovely little cubes full of dots and lines that gradually get smaller and smaller.

(Ignore the fourth one on the top row, I forgot I was supposed to be removing lines).



I love graph paper far too much. Ehm. They make great colouring in pages anyway, I’ll probably do more soon-ish. I was going to say tomorrow, but we’re off to see the GSA show tomorrow. So probably not. Anyway, pretty patterns from pretty diagrams.







Also… I got a tent for the studio. Again, it seemed like a really great idea at one point. But then I sat in it and realised how insanely hot it is. Apart from that… I have somewhere to hide (there’s too much open space in here!) and it’s colourful and squares. Maybe I’ll keep it all year and not just for the summer. If the squares were squint it’d be perfect.



I’ve forgotten what else I was meant to be doing. Oh, Otto! So cute.



I left for five days and the teeny pepper I’d left growing on my windowsill became something actually resembling a pepper. And there’s more flowers! Maybe by August there’ll be peppers I can eat… It should be happy in the kitchen in the new flat (only a few weeks til we move, can’t wait) seeing as there’s a window (we don’t currently have one of those).



I don’t know what else… I started playing Minecraft (amazing, really. I just love destroying things, very cathartic, and dying my hundreds of sheep different colours). I didn’t know hand drawing maps of individual worlds was a thing, but apparently it is. I got quite excited about maps again, maybe more maps. A map would probably help, I have to leave trails of coloured carpet everywhere so I don’t get hopelessly lost again. I’m not really doing anything other than removing a large proportion of the trees (my sheep decided it’d be a great idea to live in the trees, I disagreed), I’ll get to the point eventually.

I finished Invisible Cities and Cloud Atlas (eventually), started The Name of the Rose (finally) and Foundation. Start of July I’m seeing Neil Gaiman (aaahhh should be AMAZING), and next Tuesday tickets go on sale for all the book festival events. Fingers crossed I’ll get at least some (there’s a lot I want to go to, George R. R. Martin, Haruki Murakami, Hans Ulrich Obrist…I could go on). I just need to read The Wind Up Bird Chronicle before August…

another private view…

In Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art, Leicester, Rambling on October 29, 2013 at 4:29 pm

I’ve forgotten where I got to. Ehm. I went south weekend the weekend before last, the first private view for The Salon was that Friday (there was apparently a second, which was on Thursday), which was alright. I had work on walls, just not my wall. And minus the wallpaper. Which was kind of important, it is kinda hard to work remotely for something site specific, but the wallpaper was part of what I was showing. There was a little ‘shadow’ thing of wallpaper instead, which was better than no wallpaper at all, but not really visible.

But here we go. Private view things and stuff.











It’s like being an artist and everything… Only thing is there’s no heating in there, so it’s really cold and the windows get all condensation-y, so the paper wrinkled pretty much overnight. Which sucked, but not really anything I could do. Ehm what else… I bought a camera. Another, yes. A little compact thing so I can take decent pictures of my work without having to drag the DSLR around. (It’s part of the new ‘lets look like I care a little more about how my stuff looks’ plan, not going so well yet).

So that’s that. I’ll come back and ramble about the week and a half that’s missing in a minute, but here’s Otto…


And a nice shelf…


And an ‘oh look it’s where I walked in April I better hurry up before we land’ picture. EMA was insane, completely and utterly insane because it was half term when I flew back – and all their computer things were down so it’s lucky I had my passport otherwise I might have been stranded… A very cheerful pilot though, who gave us a min-lecture on physics whilst we waited around.


very pink wallpaper

In Leicester, Rambling on July 10, 2013 at 3:47 pm

We’ll get the obligatory cat picture out of the way first.



Now… Highcross Project stuff that I’ve been neglecting. It’s…not really been planned too well, given that it’s all students and they’ve all left Leicester now because it’s summer. Except me, because I came back because it’s summer. We were meant to be clearing the space on Monday, I was the only one that turned up. Means I got a nice space at least, and nicked some things from the piles of crap left behind.




That wallpaper… I’ve been trying to find out why the hairdresser’s went into liquidation (and I’m not paying £4.99 + VAT for some dodgy looking website to provide me with all their financial records), so far nothing. But I did find where all the stylists went – maybe they want all the shite they left behind back. There’s some really odd things left behind, there’s a clothes horse and someone’s jumpers and stuff, absolutely hundreds of sachets of sugar and just crap in general. They must have moved out really quickly – or were ridiculously lazy or something – to have left so much behind. There’s a handful of heads (as in plastic ones, but some of them have been named – creepy) and probably two bin bags worth of hair dye and boxes and boxes of promotional leaflets and flyers and plastic bags.

I hope some other people appear from somewhere, because the space is huge and could be really nice to use as a studio. Heh. I’ve been drawing bits and pieces, and cut blocks for printing yesterday. Need cleaning up more before it’ll look less squint.



I think it’ll probably end up as a writing thing, the little space I’ve stuck my name on has a window looking out of the big window so I can people-watch without being too obvious. Or maybe a data collecting thing. Maybe being a little more deliberately anthropological-ish – more in a really observing people way, instead of not looking at them and just writing the stupid things they say. So maybe that’d be fieldwork, I don’t know. Don’t really want to use the wrong words when I’ve got no idea what I’m doing. But in an anthropology-moment I found this, which is looking for submissions. There’s a ‘creative response’ one, I’m not sure they’d appreciate me trying to pass myself off as an anthropologist. Theme is death & ressurection, and I was possibly going to look into the graveyard(s) they found near Highcross. Speaking of… St Nicholas parish church, which is by the main road kinda…five minutes away from the hairdresser’s. It was built on the site of a pagan temple, using largely Roman stone anyway.





In other excitement I made muffins. And I’m going to make summer pudding this evening (best. pudding. ever.). And two out of three volunteer-shop-things have rung me up so far, I’ve got one tomorrow and one next week to go in and say hi and whatever else. Possibly do both if they’ll have me.

So long & thanks for all the fish

In Leicester, Rambling on July 7, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Goodbye Edinburgh, I love you. In all seriousness I’m 300 odd miles further south than I was on Friday, and almost all of my belongings ended up in storage. It looked like a lot in my flat, and then not so much after all. And I’m sorry Tesco, I know I promised to return  your crates. But I lied.



Not really looking forward to carrying all that up two flights of stairs to get to the new flat though… We walked around it on Friday and it’s really really nice round there. More fruit/veg shops than anyone could possibly ever need. We went to the pencil museum in Keswick – because I’ve always wanted to go – and it was tiny and more amusing than informative I think. But I spent £60 on pencils, so not all bad I suppose.



Ehm. I’m still doing days, but I was suddenly very busy and there wasn’t much time/energy to do all of them and write about it. Friday was workaholics day, so I went into the shop. Even though Wednesday was definitely my last day. An extra person was needed Friday afternoon and I was useful and tidied up a bit… Apparently I should get my own keys in September, isn’t that sweet? Tomorrow I’m going to help tidy up/look at the space for Highcross project, and then go hunting for another charity shop to volunteer in I think… Too hot and brain dead. So here’s Otto.


Goodbye Otto, hello work

In Days, Edinburgh College of Art, Rambling on April 22, 2013 at 6:10 pm

I seem to be rather behind in rambling. I came back on Saturday, I spent yesterday trying to sort out what I’m doing. And now I have this evening to very very quickly do it, and not make it too shit. I wish I was using something I’d already done, but none of that was right or good enough or anything really.


Days… April 18th was Amateur Radio day, I did look up all sorts of interesting things but it wasn’t useless enough for me to remember. The 19th was DNA Day and Bicycle Day, I did the latter, in that there was a pink bike in London and I took a picture.


20th was flying-back-north day (horribly turbulence, eugh) and Look alike day and record store day, this for record store day and this is my favourite lookalike ever.



I skipped yesterday because there was nothing possible/worth doing, today is Earth day, for which I scrubbed very very muddy veg. I think that’ll do. Tomorrow is St George’s Day and Talk like Shakespeare day

Friday we went to London, first class. Never done that before. Lots of nice things…including a gallery in a crypt.





I did some very squint bookmaking on Thursday, this one was the least squint (meaning very).



I came up with a sort of plan. Type in patterns, wave patterns, because I keep writing about the sea. I’m writing quickly with no plan, just writing what’s in my head and some gets repeated and reused and sometimes it’s new. It made more sense at one point that planning it all.


Today has been equally productive – I volunteered away most of my day – and equally sort-of-pointless (went all the way to where the exhibition will be – which was horribly euugghh – only to stay for about five minutes, not too happy). Space is quite…big. Tomorrow is going to be hectic, back to exhibition space for 10 and then back to ECA for assessment at half 2, and somewhere I’ve got to have done final things to my assessment presentation (which is crap) and the work needs to be done. I will stop moaning and start doing soon. I’m almost certainly going to be spending my summer doing this…the site specific thing, not the light thing.


Landfall (there’s no time…)

In Edinburgh College of Art, Rambling on April 17, 2013 at 5:51 pm


Fluffier things first though. I entirely failed at pet owner’s independence day (today), I was going to go all day without stroking Otto, he’s been on my lap most of the afternoon. Looking fluffy and adorable. I managed the 15th easily enough – eraser day – took about three minutes of drawing before I did something wrong. Yesterday was librarian day (no libraries though), stress awareness day (I was aware that I was slightly stressed that all of my grades from last semester vanished) one day without shoes (which I didn’t do, because we went into town and that wouldn’t be nice). Today is also blah blah blah day, which is what we called the dog, or I did anyway (just the blah blah blah bit).




There is a plan…meaning sort of. There’s less time than I thought. Work for the exhibition stuff needs to be done by (possibly) Tuesday, and then looking all neat and tidy for Friday. Which is very soon. Too soon. Tuesday is also assessment, which is….ehm. Skip to the end. Anyway – it/exhibition opens Friday, for a week. Bits and pieces first, then ‘oh goodness there isn’t any time what am I going to do’-ing.

You started with a project called “Voyage”. This exhibition is titled “Landfall”, defined by Merriam-Webster as being, ‘a sighting of land after a voyage or flight’.

Which is suitably…vague. The rest is all timetabling which isn’t half as interesting. We’re obviously not trusted to title anything this time… It’s quite a nice (one of these days I’m going to sit down with a thesaurus and start using better words than ‘nice’) definition, and sort of fitting I suppose. Voyaging, journeying, come up a lot, and landfall is a good word, the point where land begins and sea ends, or when land ends and sea begins. Got a bit of a thing with the sea at the moment… I have no idea what I’m doing, because in my head there was an extra week and I don’t know where that came from, so there’s a week or so. Pish. I’ve been doing stuff, but I’ve chosen the worst possible time to do nothing (achievements of this week – new pub, new trousers, finished Sabriel, made pie). Speaking of…a new collection of quotes from fiction.



I’ve written a few more things, and printed onto canvas stuff, which looks quite nice. Although one side came out blue/green, even though it was printing grayscale… Nice though. I have more, to print with back in Edinburgh. Only got hand luggage to fly with, so no room for taking lots of things with me, in fact I had to carry a book in the pocket of my coat my rucksack was so full. No room, no time. Depending on how much space we get I’ll do one or several, double sided so light can go through…they make patterns. Perhaps suspended so they can be walked around rather than flat on a wall.




And in preparation for talk like Shakespeare day… (which is the 23rd, I’m sort of tempted to do assessment in a Shakespearean way, but I don’t really want to risk it, and it’s terrifying enough thank you very much).



And this…it works. I had to eat two tins of mandarins. It’s been used for talking, I’ve listened to music and the radio through it (with one tin wedged against my bedroom door and me lying in the corridor) and I tried talking and recording it it didn’t stay taught enough, and I wasn’t far away enough to be able to talk loudly enough for it to work and not be able to just hear me talking. If that made any sense at all.


Cats, maps and sound

In Collections, Edinburgh College of Art, Rambling on December 27, 2012 at 8:22 pm

I think Otto actually missed us, he’s been very cuddly. He fell asleep on my bed the other morning (so obviously I couldn’t get up either).


And someone else’s cat that spent Christmas morning on my legs, I was happy – books, cat and a bath. I didn’t think I’d miss not having a bath so much!


I have a lot of books on maps now, so I’ve been doing maps for some of my phenomena. I still need to categorise everything nicely, but we’re getting there. I’m drawing route maps for all phenomena linked to the subway, because I seem to be able to remember station names and all sorts of useful things, and it’s simpler than trying to map everything else. The colour coding might make it more appealing.

#5 is ‘travelling very fast underground in yet another metal box’, so I’m mapping as many subway trips as I can remember, seeing as they’re all phenomena. This is getting the G from Ft Hamilton Pkway to Fulton St, 15th December, to go to the Brooklyn flea market that wasn’t quite where we thought it would be. There’s an awful lot of lines that cross over, I got a tad confused.


There’s more on Flickr, and I’ll add more…but there’s suddenly quite a few pictures in this. Including this (which was a lovely Christmas present).


I got SoundCloud to play nice eventually, I need to do more sound stuff, but there’s plenty of time for that… It’s not especially precise doing it on an iPad, but it works pretty well for a free app (most of the paid ones – for some unknown reason – don’t seem to support Dropbox…). I don’t know the numbers for the phenomena off the top of my head, but the top layer is a guy playing steel drums on one of the platforms at Atlantic Av, and the other is a pile driver in Williamsburgh, post-art-library-ing.

I gave up watching the Ian Rankin thing that was on yesterday, I was only really watching it for Stephen Fry and trying to recognise bits of ECA and Edinburgh anyway.

Twigs, flights and Otto

In Rambling on December 13, 2012 at 10:16 pm

I was given a Christmas twig, I was so impressed because we’ve always had twigs, not trees, at home. So my Edinburgh twig!

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It’s living on one of the windowsills in my flat. I’ll ruin the surprise, it’s made from a coffee cup from the ECA canteen and the plaster kicking about in the sculpture studio. I’ll take the baubles off and just have it as a thing I think…

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I flew home (Leicester home) this afternoon, I’ve flown lots but never alone so that was neat. Edinburgh Airport is useless for phone signal though. I managed not to lose anything, and get onto the right plane (always a plus). It’s warmer in Edinburgh than it is 300 miles south in Leicester, weird… I’ve mostly brought books and drawing things with me – and some clothes. So tempting to take all my Harry Potter books back to Edinburgh…

Anyway. Otto, my beloved top hat (failed pinhole – wasn’t tall enough) and Leicester twig.

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Tomorrow we fly to New York…it’s weird not being in Edinburgh. How on earth will I cope without my daily dose of lovely Scottish accents?!

I forgot some interesting things

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2012 at 8:48 pm

This first, because it makes me laugh. Otto is a cat, by the way. Not a person. His full name, or one of them anyway, is Mr Otto B. Wiggles. I have no idea what the B stands for anymore…Brian? I don’t know.

Essay – all 1,276 words of it – looks like this at the moment (which probably isn’t that interesting). The things on the right are all six appendices condensed into one huge thing. But they do all need to be there, otherwise all the bits where I’ve cited things people have said will make no sense at all. And the huge red bit on the left is a paragraph I really don’t like, but haven’t had a chance to rewrite yet.

And we have a new drawing project for tomorrow…

Researching and developing ideas can take many forms but drawing is still the fundamental vehicle  to think out and transmit visual ideas.

In this project you will consider strategies for both collecting ideas and ways of working. Using the Museum of Scotland in Chambers Street as a starting point you will spend two days drawing in various forms.

There will be two distinct methods; the first day will be a reconnaissance trip around the museum, taking notes, making drawings, recording what interests you and what catches your eye. This will be done primarily in a sketchbook.

The second day will involve making a large series of small drawings on pre-prepared surfaces with a wide range of materials.

What can you draw with?

  • Pencil (different grades)
  • Marker pen
  • Conte crayon
  • Promarker
  • Coloured pencils
  • Felt tip
  • Conte pencils
  • Oil pastel
  • Fineliner pens

Surfaces for drawing:

  • Different types of paper
  • Card
  • Coloured paper and card
  • Card prepared with acrylic wash

Other materials you will need will be a small drawing board and something to attach your paper to it.

These drawings can then be developed in any subject area.

I tend to like most things that involve the word ‘collecting’. And small things are good, although it’ll be a bit weird drawing small. All the other classes we’ve been drawing on A1. I need to start going through all of those and choosing which ones (I hope there’s some, if there isn’t I’m screwed) to take with me for assessment. I know I’m being pre-emptive, but that’s just what I do. The endurance drawing project just fitted quite well into what I was doing then I think, that was straight after life drawing (which was actually quite lovely and messy) and by then I’d gotten used to drawing classes (they’re scary things to start with, especially if your drawing ability is…minimal). So that was the optimum point for drawing I think, it started going backwards after that. Maybe it’ll start going forwards again, although I doubt it.

I got round to putting all 194 pictures in one place.

And I turned my fairy lights on the other day, they’ve been up since I found them in my biscuit tin (which has never actually had biscuits in it) when I was unpacking all of my stuff, but I’ve never turned them on (that I can remember).

Still no feedback, which is sad.

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