Archive for the 'Energising objects' Category

Energizing objects investigation – 6

Potential for play


Mum let us each invite a neighbourhood friend to the Friday Craft Club. We cast and painted plaster models. We carved soap (Peter-from-next-door rubbed his eyes, causing stinging, causing crying, causing rubbing of eyes…). We made papier-mâché heads for hand puppets, then wrote and presented plays. Even in those days I was keen on projects like the costumes, involving stitching. Potato prints. Flip books. French knitting using wooden thread spools and some crooked nails.

I keep remembering more. Carving foam with a heated wire. People would move too fast, breaking the wire. Weaving mats with strips of paper (yes, my hand goes up again). Splatter painting with toothbrush on wire mesh, creating soft silhouettes of leaves. All sorts of constructions with paddlepop sticks and pipe cleaners and balsa wood. A bag of clay from the local pottery works became lumpen pigs and doorstop ashtrays. Not that anyone in the house smoked, so that was odd. In any case they all had unpredictable wobbles. Not well balanced.

Alternate version

Notes: I decided to limit myself to objects on my worktable. It’s not as visually dynamic as I hoped. The V formation looks balanced. Perhaps the earlier, simpler version is more effective.

More energizing objects.

  • Balance to create motion
  • A sideways step through memory
  • Process, objects…
  • Caption
  • Energizing objects investigation – 5

    A towering thirst


    I picked up bar work while travelling. First time was in a roughish part of Edinburgh, the Lady Nairne. Learn on the job in those days, no RSA. Back in Sydney I continued learning:

  • if someone asks for scotch, don’t give them whiskey.
  • if someone asks for ice in beer, double check. They wanted juice.
  • if dad asks for a pony of beer, be glad he dropped by to say hi, not embarrassed by the unmanly glass.
  • Notes: This came together very quickly in the kitchen. Initial focus was the top section, which surprised in coming together reasonably easily and holding well.


    More energizing objects.

  • Balance to create motion
  • A sideways step through memory
  • Process, objects…
  • Caption
  • Energizing objects investigation – 4

    Step 1


    Step 2


    Step 3


    Step 4

    Once a week mum would cook with one of us. Special one on one time, precious among five children. Hand made receipe pages, line drawings of blue open-fingered hands rubbing yellow butter into flour.

    Scones for afternoon tea.

    Notes: Improvising with objects in the serviced apartment when visiting Melbourne for the opening few days of Alexander Calder:Radical Inventor exhibition.
    Paper cord (made from 2 sheets of A4); books; series of kitchen implements.


    More energizing objects.

  • Balance to create motion
  • A sideways step through memory
  • Process, objects…
  • Caption
  • Energizing objects investigation – 3

    Production

    Grandma was a proud woman of the north, a Master Cutler in her family line, steel in her veins. Now in the south, we caught a bus into town, eyes straight ahead as we walked past the “loitering youths” (a nervous – making presence, subject of many warnings), to The Bon, the big store. Scissors. We searched. We asked. No Sheffield steel. None.

    I’d never seen Grandma so upset, almost arguing. How is this possible? No Sheffield steel in your store!

    Walking back, I had never seen her so tired. Sad. Lost.

    Notes: Cutlery, corrugating tool, aluminium strip. A chance combination of items on the worktable.


    More energizing objects.

  • Balance to create motion
  • A sideways step through memory
  • Process, objects…
  • Caption
  • Energising objects investigation – 2

    Ready for lift-off

    There was a question around the grandfather and his preference for a three-legged stool. Not my grandpa. A generic grandfather, the sort who gets caught up in a question on a school maths test.

    A question which puzzled housemate and soon-to-be qualified maths teacher Sean. Wouldn’t the four-legged armchair be more comfortable? “Not if it wobbled”, I suggested. “Three points define a plane, so no wobble. Centre your weight within the triangle and the stool won’t overbalance, though it might slope.”

    My early energising repeats the lesson.

    Notes: Weaving shuttle, chopsticks and kitchen scourer. There was a series of simplifications, concluding in a simple and stable tripod.

    More energizing objects.

  • Balance to create motion
  • A sideways step through memory
  • Process, objects…
  • Caption
  • Energising objects investigation – 1

    Coffee cabaret

    She sits in my memory. Sits in the dim, curtained dining room. Quiet drawers agape. Her hands hover, selecting her treasures. Her memories.

    A box open, silver gleaming. “A wedding present. I don’t know what they thought of me, writing to thank them for the grapefruit spoons.” A little laugh. A light sigh. A moment’s pause.

    Carefully packed away, finials aligned.

    Forty years and half a world away, grandma’s spoons spring into action.

    Notes: Spoons. String.
    A second series of investigations, energising objects by putting them into (un)balance / motion. (see also Glossary).


    More energizing objects.

  • Balance to create motion
  • A sideways step through memory
  • Process, objects…
  • Caption

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