I have a contact in an anthropology department with an impressive collection of Hominid skulls. I spent the morning making two small plasticine skulls for reference. I discovered it is quite hard to go from three-dee to two-dee and back again and not lose crucial curves. So these small examples will become plaster and then I will refer to them to make bigger versions. I’m trying to get an exactness in some skulls, but in others work on this process of rebuilding from fragments of a thing that was never whole. Today I realised something peculiar about skulls; they look like helmets, they act like helmets, but they are under your skin.
I read in the newspaper that there will soon be a sony eBook that holds tens of thousands of books, and it boasts a screen that does not flicker and strain the eyes. People often imagine that the eBook is intimidating for printers like ourselves, but they are not, they actually go further to help us realise what is satisfying about a real book. Also they take the burden of mass communication off of us bookbinders. Wouldn’t it be great if Dan Brown’s books were only passed on as mp3-like files, leaving paper for that immanent encounter with literature at its best? Bestsellers may no longer be mistaken for books! Hardcore instead of hardback. But that doesn’t seem entirely satisfying to me, as an argument. It prompts an interesting question, how can we be critical about books without just being snobbish? And the other big question for the eBestseller: how will they do those obligatory big bobbly gold letters for the authors name if they have flat screens?
Well I got a job editing TV tapes, which is a huge weight off my mind, but I suspect there is a latent background level of tension still there that will only finally lift when the house is finalised. I am reading a book by Zizek where he hammers Western Buddhism as a way of making people excellent consumers. And you can work people really really hard if they have meditation that allows them to live at breaking point all the time. He has similar things to say about the military applications of zen. Maybe Bush and Blair are Buddhists!
The electrician has been to my workshops and the van that was in there is now gone! So we’re getting there. I’m having to put in various temporary measures to get our next books on the way, but I can’t wait any longer. We’ve got three ready to print! It is going to be all action for a while. I guess this is what it is like to start your own business. I’m convinced you can do it with just a screen and a flat surface. As Ed and Wedgie keep saying, ‘keep it simple’. I just won a photocopier in Surrey on ebay for £20. I think that’s reasonably simple.
It strikes me that Dalston, our home, is getting upmarket pretty fast, it is definitely changing. I just hope they don’t do it as badly as they did it in Hoxton. There will be a public fountain nearby that is a rip-off of the one in Somerset House. They should make a giant one of those cheesy waterfall things you get in Turkish shops, that would be more in keeping with the area.
Oh my life has become an ugly thing. I’m in the doldrums. The studios not being finished is wearying, my solo show in Westminster has been postponed four months due to refurbishment, our house purchase has become a burden to the point that we don’t even care for the house anymore, and I need a part-time job and it is hard to find one.
So anybody who knows of a job going, in all seriousness, put me forward please.
I am looking for pretty much anything. I like working outside, I have experience as a builder and would perhaps like to work in an office. I have experience working with children too.
I guess I feel like there are lots of good things to come in my life, but they always seem a long way off and I need something complete! How long (O Lord) can some things drag on? It is like the horizon, always the same distance away.
I’ve been mostly filling skips recently. We’ve done two and my mum’s garden looks no different really, because so much stuff was ferreted away by my Dad. Bricks and tiles were removed (all day) to make way for the electrician who is wiring up our studio. Dad buried them, stacked them etc. (war child). Make do and mend!
The good news is that I am making three sculptures at the moment, two of them with the mythical wood Lignum Aloes.
It turns out I’m facing popular demand. I’m trying to get the new studios finished in time to get the next book out asap. We are getting there, I promise, and today was a key step, and this blog has been posted on our new computer. Capable of driving big inkjets!
But today is really important as it is our 2nd wedding anniversary, which apparently is twinned with cotton! I’m looking forward to next year already (leather), and the 14th (Ivory) may take a little work. Bizarrely the sixth is either iron OR candy(?!) I also wonder why they thin out after the 15th to every five years. Incomplete website? My challenge to you is to give suggestions of materials for the gap years, just leave them in the comments section. A piece of cotton to the top suggestor!!!
It used to be a few sticks with some skin on top, but now property is a bit of a nightmare to acquire, especially in our illustrious capital city. Man it drags on for weeks, and at every turn people politely relieve you of your money. We are on a knife’s edge today as regards our purchase. What we hope to be the hub of the HFP seems to be undervalued by some and overvalued by others. We just want to complete. Nobody can agree what this house is worth. Is it worth all this hassle? A wise friend said that he thought we could rest assured that we will move into the right house at the right time. I also remember another friend who had enormous housing problems, which kept her out of future trouble when her husband unfortunately died. Are houses the barometers of future woe? I hope not. Are they woe incarnate? Maybe! (I guess that should really be ‘inbricknate’). Whatever happens, we are going to come through this honest, I’m not chipping bits off my soul for property. And as my Grandfather always assured me, if you honour God he will honour you. I’ve lived by that for seventy years, he said. I’ve proved it, he said. He died in the best circumstances: poor, faithful, and very very old.
mrs ping* signing in, trying to get with the blogarhythm. The Henningham household is a bit up and down these days, what with trying to buy a home to put our studio in, David building our screen printing workshop over at his mum’s, visiting relatives learning English, summer barbeque epidemic, me half haunting the post for funding news with the other half slowly realising I’m probably going to have to do it part-time anyway (sigh), and more weddings than you can trip over…
I have more than enough to be happy and excited about, yet today I am wistful and exhausted. So much to worry about, so much I shouldn’t be worrying about, and so much I don’t know whether I should worry about or not. I feel like I’m trying to ride a bike on water. It ain’t the peddling that’s keeping me afloat.
It was my mother’s sixtieth birthday yesterday so a few of us went to Hever Castle for a day out. We stumbled across a book open in one of the rooms showing Anne Boleyn’s aunt, Lady Mary Henegham, who it turns out is my ancestor. Apparently we were still loaded and living in Norfolk until another one of my family was executed for regicide in 1648. I guess it doesn’t help your 17th century credit rating. If you knew my Dad, click on the link and you’ll see the likeness. What do you guys think? Does she look a bit like me? [Comments please]. Also saw some terrible chairs, the kind the author should be put in shackles for. Ping* and I went to the V&A last weekend to look at chinese chairs for my next sculpture. Much better.
Which reminds me, we had to postpone the Westminster show by one month for reasons of paperwork and publicity. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. I had a dream that ‘the skull of John the Baptist as a twelve year old boy‘ [click on ‘fundament’ image to the right] crumbled and needed rebuilding. This is not true. Actually I’m in the unusual pre-show position of having all my work ready to install over a month before!
Wow, what a thrilling headline I came up with! This week I’m mainly sorting out the new screen studio and Inkjet equipment. This is the inherited money I spoke of earlier being invested. Today I ordered a new PC, built to my requirements, so that I can print inkjet stuff like we did for the nth convention. It sure is nice to have capital, but that don’t make me a capitalist. I’m a humble private citizen.
The other thing I’m doing with my time is meeting up with fellow graduates from the slade. That’s the main difference between the two Slades; one of them you’re encouraged to keep up with your friends when you leave, but the other doesn’t allow you to have a reunion, in case you have it in a bank armed with shot-guns. Yesterday Chong-Woon and I had a sandwich and a beer in Bloomsbury, and today Jim and I had a beer by the water in Greenwich.