Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Today's Wish List

At least i had Christmas as an excuse this week. Got stuff i really want to put up here, but trying to squeeze them in while at home with kids running around and without my own mac, well, it's not easy!
Had a very exciting present from Jakki (girlfriend? partner? wife?.... what do we say these days?) I'll stick a pic up soon, but for now " Thanks Matt, i absolutely loved it! (and "thanks Jakki"!)... and what a great surprise it was. I owe you one Matt. Better dash, i can hear restless kids!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

That day again.

This one's for you Ron(obviously just the rabbit bit of it!) hope you're checking in today. Nice rabbits by the way. I've also been thinking about opening this 'Wish List' up to suggestions, characters, animals etc. Possibly even responding to personal objects that folk might send in. I'll consider it more in the new year, but i always like a challenge! Got to dash now as i've had a mini flood of last minute work come in as the week comes to an end. I even have a deadline for the 27th! could be working boxing day, but not if i can help it.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Simple Pleasures

As i type these few words, i am sat here drinking coffee out of a mug made with my own hands... and it tastes good. It's not a great mug, it's thick, it's heavy, it's a little wonky (and it's not even thrown!!) but it's MY mug... and that feels good. Just a shame i don't have a picture of it yet! I like it though because it marks a starting point and it's honest and it's humble and weirdly it makes me think... of all the things it could be.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Yep, it's Wednesday.

Oh dear, how does this keep happening?? I've lots of things i could write about and show, but i don't seem to be able to find time. My iMac also died on me last Monday and i'm still getting it looked at. Fearing the worst, but really, really trying not to think about it. Especially not just before Christmas and then the January tax bill deadline! Anyway, back to more trivial stuff and another 'Wish List'.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Another Wednesday?

I'm losing my grip on time, it's racing away without me...can't keep up...must keep up...

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Drawing Book

Just a little sample from a book i worked on recently and am eagerly awaiting to see in print. Very few jobs of this complexity and time turn out to be a complete pleasure from start to finish, but this one was. I'll put more up here once it's out in the world, but for now ssssshhh, you never saw this.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

You've gotta start somewhere

... and i am. I've been doing a 10 week part time pottery course for 6 weeks now and results have been mixed! It's been good fun though and our tutor Tony Bennett has been a great help, along with being one of those nice guys (i'm coming across a lot of them these days)... and very tolerant. I'm joined at the beginners table by Nick and Tricia all equally enthusiastic. It's been a very weird experience being a student again... and funny how quickly you fall back into the role and become useless all of a sudden! (sorry to all those students out there.. i speak for myself when i say "useless") I'd post some of my poor attempts on here if only i had a working camera right now. I don't even have a phone camera now, as i sat on mine and was then too cheap to replace it with something decent. Hard to imagine a phone with no camera these days... it does have a torch though! very useful. None of my efforts have been glazed yet, but i will stick something on here when they are. I've still yet to get on the wheel though, so that's a bit frustrating as i know that's really what i want to do. I guess a bit of all round knowledge is always beneficial. I'd hate to be one of those blinkered students who isn't interested in anything outside what they've already been doing for years! Having dabbled with a bit of teaching in the past, i've been very aware of trying not to fall in to that particular trap. I'm also in the process of clearing a room at home in which i'll be able to work for now. I'll have to start thinking about a wheel too and which will best suit my requirements..Yikes! An email to Matt might be in order for that (sorry Matt). I'm going to get past the end of the course and Christmas before i get serious about it. Hey Ho, the world of clay, hmmm.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Wednesday.... again??!

I've been meaning to post more interesting stuff, but time is just out of control!... and i need to get my accounts sorted! I must get around to my pottery course soon though. It's been good, but i've a million miles to go.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Wish List Wednesday

I doubt anyone noticed, or cared, but i missed last Wednesday's Wish List. Here's this one, which i really like, but don't use it often for obvious reasons! Now i need to go and think of an idea for my LA Times commission, which is about staying at a hotel opposite a busy and noisy nightclub.. hmmmm??? I don't think i'll post the finished illustration.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010


One more Lanier Meaders jug, bit more primitive this one, but i still love it.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010


I've been meaning to get around to putting some pottery on here and the previous post leads the way very nicely, with it's sgraffito inspired colour scheme. These two pictures sum up what i like, which makes me a bit of a mixed up would-be potter though. What can i say? I love characters, faces.. and i like a good narrative, so both fit the bill!

This one is a North Devon Harvest Jug, with beautiful sgraffito decoration. For further info on this kind of thing look here. Or you could do worse than visiting Doug's, or Matt's Blogs. Both are fantastic slipware potters carrying on a wonderful tradition. Matt's also been very helpful to me, one of life's good guys and a talented potter too. Hopefully, one day, we'll be able to collaborate on a pot or two. I just need to learn how to first!

This beauty is by the master of face jugs Lanier Meaders. I don't know what it is but there is just something about them. Face Jugs seem to be a particularly American thing, most originated from the Carolinas and Georgia and the introduction of African slaves working for the potteries. There are now so many out there making them and the end result is often not so great. There's a great piece here, which seems to sum up how i feel about face jugs too. I'm sure i'll come back to write more about both of these areas, but for now this will do.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Dead Ends

The untimely end of an unfortunate few....

I've had the idea for a while, but didn't want to just repeat the wish list format. Having said that, now i've produced this, i am tempted to work them all up individually as a postcard format.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Harold Davidson

This old painting of mine seems to have gotten a lot of attention lately, sitting up on my lounge wall.
It must be about nine or ten years old now, back in the day when i used real paint and didn't mind putting 20 odd hours into a picture. I think i'd peaked on this one and still enjoy looking at it. Maybe it's time to pick up some paint brushes again? Anyway, the vicar was an interesting character and anyone interested in crazy tales should definitely look him up, you can find some info here. Sorry about the poor quality of the photo. I need to get myself a camera.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

'Wish List' Wednesday

Here's a little idea suggested by my good friend and studio buddy Gaz. 'Wish List' has been around for a couple of years now and started from me getting back into the pocket sketchbook and just drawing. These drawings then seemed to develop voices and i added their little mutterings. The words were always mimimal and started to become hopes and dreams that they might have. It slowly developed over the year and finally found an outlet as a rather beautiful poster that was produced with my agent Heart. It even recently popped up on my good friend Lydia's blog recently ( if you have kids you'll probably already be very familiar with her work. Who knows how many fantastic kids books she has out there now?).You can also see more of my work on my agent's website here. Now i'm going to feature one 'Wish List' each week and maybe show the workings or thoughts about it. Some even came from objects i have around the house and a couple of my kid's toys developed into little characters. I'm starting with this one, as it always seems to be most peoples favourite and sums up the whole concept. Actually, you can have two, as this was one of the first and another firm favourite.

Monday, 18 October 2010


Here's a few more of those good 'ol folk from Tennessee.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Behind the curtain

I thought i'd show a vague working process for a personal project i've been toying with for a while.
It's preliminary title is "Folk". I've about a dozen at the moment, but haven't found the thing that will gel it together yet. I'm thinking of having groups of certain kinds of Folk and finding quotes from each group and switching them over with another group, for what i hope will be both insightful and mildly humorous.... well, i can hope!

Anyway, here's the initial photos taken from a great book i have on Tennesseans.

Then here are a couple of little notebook drawings, loosely based on the photos

Then scanned and coloured up simply

..and finally re-hashed versions taking them a step further.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Ball Rolling

Well, now where do i go with this? It's odd because i'm writing to an audience of one at the moment, while i find my way around. These will be old news by the time anyone reads them, so bear with it, i'm pretty useless at sussing this kind of thing out, mistakes will be made! I'll add some of my favoured blogs soon. For now here's a couple more shots taken around my studio space. A space i share with  5 other fantastically talented creative guys, more on them later.

Friday, 8 October 2010

A New Dawn

Well, here goes....
I'm taking the plunge and trying to make sense of the various strands that are my creative life. A Blog. Why not? I know there are lots of views on how best to represent yourself out there in the modern world and not everyone likes a Blog. I've done the website thing.. and i still intend to give mine a makeover... but something about them starts to feel like a museum the moment it gets put out there. It's a bit like a portfolio and how you feed new pieces in as time passes, but it still seems to capture moments passed. The excitement is at the moment of these works creations and the thoughts that went into them, there's so much more to any work than the finished product we see, it's the tip of the iceberg. It's the reason so many people are more interested in sketchbooks/notebooks than the works they lead to. A process of refinement has taken place. We lose a lot of the blood and guts, the true soul of the work. Some folk manage to get this through to the end product, but the rest of us wonder how it slipped through our fingers..again! Hopefully, by logging, sorry... Blogging some of this process, i will find new ways to hang on to this soul, to make everything a bit more 'honest' with a bigger beating heart.