A place to play, a space to work.

Making, Relationships

For many the studio appears like an oversized toy box, initially set up like a gallery space it is now a very functional working area. So the sweet like sculptures not in exhibition are wrapped or covered to prevent over spray. A playground of work.

'Toy box of sculptures'

‘Toy box of sculptures’

It has been a year since we had the studio and he has spent many hours there and it has been a prolific year. I always had an inkling that his practice would chance once he had the space and knew that was what we needed. A place to play around with shape, form, ideas. It has meant a development in techniques and styles and smells…..the studio clothes constantly come back tainted with small polystyrene bits which blow around the house and an odour of paint and over spray. The space is filled and now we need more space!

A section of the studio

A section of the studio

'working in the space'

‘working in the space’

One of the recent reasons for spending so much time there was a new project and technique using a large polystyrene block. The carving of which, brought out the Egyptian making techniques. My husband made a carving tool out of a guitar string and a laptop adapter. This worked but was a painstaking process and so a proper cutting tool was ordered which arrived after much of the hard work had been done. The pictures below demonstrate a little bit of the skill involved.

'Polystyrene block at the start of carving'

‘Polystyrene block at the start of carving’

Busy studio and a refined horse

Busy studio and a refined horse

The studio has become a hub in some ways with visits from people interested in seeing the work develop. However, there is someone who deserves a mention as he is in many ways the artists right hand man and is responsible for the application of the layer of colours. Known as ‘uncle Daz’ by the boys, now of an age where they occasionally hang out with Baba in the studio.  Not only do they also come back covered in a dirt and dust they have a unique opportunity in today’s society to have free play. They paint, make, scoot, kick a ball around and play on the back of a disused truck which just happens to be stranded in the grounds at the back of the studio, filled with the left over polystyrene . (n.b Polysterene is now no longer in the truck…health and safety) Although for me the polystyrene wasn’t the problem, but I think there is a time when you have to let them go a little  and shed the overprotective mother, let them learn from the fall, the bump or the bruise.

Anyway, I digress. Studio life is a place for play, play which is a work of its own kind. What more can a boy ask for!


It’s a wrap


Just a quick post about the busy evening we are having. Our kitchen is the largest room in the house so is the place we can get jobs done. So this evening I have been wrapping presents for the festive season. Actually re-wrapping them as my husband had kindly wrapped them this morning whilst I was out thinking he was helping which he was, except I had a very creative theme going on in my head for them all. So whilst I enjoyed my creativity and wrapping the gifts, my husband at the other end of the table was making his maquette for the First@108 award. He was literally beading sweat, drilling and assembling but finally finished. My back was aching from standing for so long but we are now all wrapped up.

We are also in the process of writing the proposal and still have that to finish. Tomorrow my sister in law arrives from Egypt to join us for christmas time and this next week will get sucked into festivities with my family. I can’t for obvious reasons put up a picture of the maquette and although my present wrapping is an art form in itself and a funny story of ours I thought this sculpture, ‘family’ was appropriate for the holiday period. Time to spend with family, forgive family, and to remember that family is a gift more cherished than any material gift you give or receive.

My wrapping story, if you are interested and to cut a long story short is that I won a scotch tape gift wrapping competition in London which then resulted in a feature of my wrapping a garden gnome on a daytime TV show using a Scotch wrist dispenser device. The only problem was before I went on to the set live I was told I couldn’t say the brand Scotch I had to say tape. Of course, the main point was that I was there as part of PR to the Scotch brand. Well, I am still surprised I wasn’t dragged off. It would have been great if I had carelessly forgotten and said ‘scotch’ anyway but oh no I said se-lotape all the way through. The local TV news was a slight improvement, definitely not cut out for TV. I will stick to hiding behind a screen instead!