Some Days ...


Not much blogging recently, apologies. I have been full tilt with production of new work, although I have been attempting to regularly roll out images on other social media platforms – particularly on Instagram.

This morning though, I wish to share some of the taxing last 48 hours.

Many of you who know me, know I attempt to do everything to the highest possible standards, and that ‘psychosis’ can result creating the metaphorical rod for my own back when things don’t quite go according to plan.

We all have days we would prefer not to happen – deeply frustrating and seemingly endless. The last couple have been like that.

Over recent times, except for sales, the work has been going absolutely famously: new ideas, new techniques, new media to use and include – it has been really exciting! Couple that with the previously mentioned level of standards, and when things go wrong it is both exasperating and wearisome.

Doing an important new piece, I am currently recycling some previous unfulfilled work which has been progressing well. A key element has been the manufacture of a new piece of Huon Pine to tie other timber, glass and bronze elements together. This involves a significantly tricky bit of 3D retrofitting. Of course, as Huon is not cheap, you want to pick the right piece of source timber, and do it slowly, and carefully, and correctly. Due to the horrible angles involved, first steps involved redrawing/remeasuring the whole schematics, then doing a clay marquette, then proceeding to rough out in the selected timber before starting the detailing process. Simple right?

The process was all going well, had fitted the timber into the bronze, got the ends lined up nicely with the holes in the glass in trial assembly. I thought this was going as per normal, nice and swimmingly ... until – went to drill mounting holes and found that somehow I was short a full inch.


Couldn’t be.


My eyes must be playing tricks, I have double, tripled checked this at each stage.

A full day wasted and a useless piece.

Needless to say ‘Jan wasn’t happy’.

So, bit my lip a few times and stopped for the end of the day before I pushed too hard and ruined the whole work. Regrouping overnight, I hunted another suitable timber from my stocks ready for tomorrow. The next morning CAREFULLY remeasured and recut and reground – again.

Twenty-four annoying hours later, we were finally cooking – then up to final assembly stage, and find the glass holes had magically moved during the day! It did not matter how many times I pulled it apart and which order I reassembled the components, it would not fit. So, breathe, walk away and breathe some more, and come back again –carefully. An hour of VERY careful glass grinding and timber repacking later, hopefully, it will be right. By this stage time was rolling on and fatigue setting in, and this was definitely one of those jobs you did not want a cloud obscuring your brain while trying to get it right, so tools were downed for the day.

If, in a few hours time, you hear a mind curdling scream coming from the back of our place you can guess what has happened. If not, look for some work-in-progress pictures of a piece that I have high hopes for its exhibition setting.