Saturday, 31 March 2012

A day of music

Anyone who knows me well will tell you how much I love music and how it plays a huge part in my life. Well today has been completely about music…..

It all started when I wanted to go down town to buy the new ministry album that came out recently but once I start finding albums I want there’s no stopping the spending spree that follows. After being in town for 2 hours I had spent of £60 on albums, all of which I “HAD” to have. But one purchase really sparked off something that would bring a smile to my face. I felt drawn to the vinyl collections of one shop I was in and found the Tool record Lateralus.    

When I got home and showed my mum what I had purchased, (the albums and record) she reminded me that my speakers for my sound system were still broke but she had spotted some speakers that I could get to temporarily replacement while I get the other fixed as they hold a lot of sentimental value to me. So we rushed out again so I could see these speakers for myself which were a bargain and are now set up in my room bring loud music to house once again.  

This then led me to digging out my parent’s old vinyl collection which had been sitting underneath the stairs for about 12 years. This really took my mum down memory lane as we sat there going through all these old records. I found a lot of which I’d enjoy listening to, Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis, The Police and Asia.     

This now means I will have to go out and find a record player so that the family will be able to listen to all this great music plus it means I will have to start my own vinyl collection too, you can never have too much music in your life, even if it does take up most of the space in your house. Music inspires me and will continue to do so and having days like this helps me connect with why I do what I do within my work.   

Friday, 30 March 2012

Tooling up for the big wide world.

I’ve decided that I should really be looking out for workshop tools that I will need in the future for when I want to set up my forge. So I’ve been looking around the internet for any good deals I can get my hands on. Oh yes I found one, on ebay I managed to get this bench pillar drill for £28 bargain!!!!

Very pleased with my purchase but i will have to travel all the way up to Uttoxeter to collect it, fun time ahead. I’m still looking out for more and hopefully will pick a number of workshop tools over the next three weeks and will have a collection that will at least get me started on the rest of my journey when I finish college.  

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Home at last.

I’m finally home and god those it feel great to be back, my mum came all the way up the Hereford to help me start bringing stuff back to Bristol as we come to the final couple of month left of the course. Even the microphone stand has come back with we so that I can put the finish on it and getting it in the back of the car was very tricky and then getting the rest of my thing on top of that was fun.

As you can see I’ve bringing back everything I can from one of guitars and its gear, films, games, my models and work, filling up the car was fiddly but we got there in the end and now i'm home relaxing with the family.    

Wednesday, 28 March 2012


(Tumbleweed, Puscifer, 2011)

He's so far away
Come on home

A candle you can hold
You're not alone

He's so far away
Come on home

A voice from within
You're not alone

A candle you can hold
You're not alone

He's so far away
Come on home

A voice from within
You're not alone

You're so far away
Come on home

Chilling at H.E. before heading home.

Well I’m heading home today and the microphone stand is coming with me so I’m being picked up from the H.E. centre. But before I’m picked up, I’m sat here just chilling in my studio space finishing off what work I can and saying my good byes to everyone as we all slowly drift off home.

Tasty food, my laptop, sunshine, great music and a slight smile on my face which is a first for about half a week, I feel little happier today knowing I’m going home but also a little sadness as I leave my friend behind for three weeks. But I intend to come back 100%, ready to rock and roll my final piece out in the forge when I return. Roll on the Easter Holidays!!!!      

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The last pulse before the break ahead

In these tiring and downhearted days it has be a struggle to keep going with the work and put a smile on my face and I thank my friends that have been there for me (you know who you are).

Quote time:- (Green Valley, Puscifer, 2011)
“No direction but to follow what you know,
No direction but a faith in her decision,
No direction but to never fight her flow,
No direction but to trust the final destination.
You're a stranger till she whispers you can stay.
You're a stranger till she whispers that your journey's over.”

I’ve lost the will to try and get up early anymore but luckily for me, my body clock wakes me in time to be in college by 9.30 and hour and half later than I normally get there for. Even with this slightly later start I still managed to get some work done before forge, printing picture off for updating my learning journal and sketch book as well as getting in to the workshop to make a Marquette of my new final design.   

I’m really starting to get excited about making this in the forge as the final product and as I’m using most of the pieces form the last design I don’t have as work to give myself this time. I only really need to work on the protective coating over the hooks which I will work on over the Easter holidays where I can talk about it in more detail with some of my music business contacts.  
Once at the forge I wasn’t really feeling up to working on my design so I spent my time knocking out a few samples towards the protective coating and also finished a pair of tongs (for holding 25mm square) that I had very slowly been knocking out in my spare time over the past month. They have turned out to be the best pair I’ve made so far which I’m very pleased with, even got the tong Master Matthew Garton’s approval.

Monday, 26 March 2012

A patchy and unpredictable day.....

It’s really been a day of mixed emotions for me, and I’m really starting to feel the stress of the past couple of day build up on top of me. Unfortunately it came at the wrong time, to which I snapped at my fellow classmates and almost ruined my day. I’m certainly starting to feel the pressure of which I feel I have no control over and to which I can’t seem to express in words at times (I really need a break away to clear my head and recover for the things that have happened over the past month). Even though i had a bad start to the day and I didn’t manage to get in the forge today I did however review my final design as Adrian advised me too and I did make some changes to it.

sorry about the quality of this photo.

This is a full scale drawing of the new design. I started looking at the old design and how it would capsulate the head of the guitar and I feel that this design works much better now and the changes are not too drastic. Just by turning the design on it head It will still allow me to use some of the pieces I have already forged out from the last design. I will take this design into the forge tomorrow afternoon and begin the changes towards this new design.     

Finding Things.

Every now and again I like to look around for more interesting bits of research or just looking up stuff I like. So I thought I’d share some pictures I’d found that interested me.  A mix of microphone and guitar stands, its always cool when I find something I haven't seen before as and i've got to know whats out there, what i'm competing with?

Sunday, 25 March 2012

In times of pain, the show must go on.....

Although the black clouds have come around again in life as they always do, I wasn’t watching the skies and didn’t see this one coming and so it has hit me hard but as it is said the show must go on….

Quote time: - (Here we go again, Korn, 2003)

“Pounding, it starts again
Hurting, oh where do I begin?
Screaming, they dance around my head
hoping, they'll maybe end up dead

Feeling it grab hold, what can I say?
Really fucked up again (I gotta do this right)
I can't fucking give in (I feel that I can fight)
Can't I ever win (I'll keep it on my mind)
Here it comes again!”

Now we’ve got the depressing part of my life out the way back to my progress on the forging of the guitar wall mount I’m really pleased with the work so far it taken a little longer that an expected because of the “Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome” I start to feel more drained throughout the day. I have formed three out of the five bars and those are the two bigger ones that will require a little more attention to get right. The smallest bar way need re-forging as the bends are slightly off from where they should be, I may even re-forge it in 12mm bar to make it easier to bend, the smaller the bar the less leverage I have to bend the bar.

I’m am a little worried that the 16mm bars maybe to big up against the 12mm pins that will be riveted on top of most of them, but I won’t know until I’ve formed the rest of the bars and I can see it as a whole piece. Adrian also came over to have a look at my design and thinks the position of the design doesn’t quite capsulate the head of the guitar enough, so while I have time I will take a relook at the design and revaluate it to see if a do need to make any changes. I at least hope to have the other bars formed by the end of monday afternoon and begin driling the holes so that they are ready to rivet it all together.    

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Formative assessment

Today was formative assessment for me and five other unlucky students in a group crit with Del and Kate talking about our progress to date, showing sketchbook drawings, Marquette’s and any other relevant development made? I’ll try and stick to the positives of the crit and not the negative points, so everyone agreed that I had a strong body of work which I had developed very well. There were also no complaints about my design for the wall mounts and everyone was happy about the scale I’d decided on for it. I had already recognized that I need to look in to leather attachments on to the hook as protection for the guitar and also how the wall mounts would connect to the wall, Kate and Del have said “NO” to just drilling holes in the design and screwing it to the wall which even I’ll admit it is the easiest option, but its looks like I’m going to have to think outside the box, this is my top priority. Another thing that came up in the assessment was finishes, now that has been a sore subject for me since day one and my knowledge of it is very thin and my experiences in it have not giving me much confidence. I have however decided that the finish on the microphone stand needs to be done and I know in my head that it will take a couple of weeks to achieve the finish that I’m looking for so this looks like a job to do over the Easter holidays and it will give me something to think about like is this the best option for the rest of the products I’m designing and making?…..             

Monday, 19 March 2012

Making Time.

The time for talk is over. The time for designing has ended. The time for making is NOW!!!!
As Matthew always says to me when I say to him I just want it the design to be right. “Just Fucking make it Jon “so guess what, I’m making it. I’ve been happy with the design for a couple days now and there’s nothing really stopping me as I know I can make it in a couple days. So I went into the forge with one thing in mind making this wall mount.

As you can see the design is drawn out on a piece of sheet steel and I’ve started forging out the components and the note taking for measurements are awesome wherever I can write them. I hope by the end of tomorrow to have all the components forged out and would have started forming so that I can move on to drilling the holes which will be the easy part and constructing it as soon as possible.
I will update on the progress of the wall mount as i go each day i'm in the forge, hopefully i will have something better to show tomorrow.    

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Its all about the details....

Working out the few last details to the form of the design sometimes doesn’t take too long when the development of a design has been going smoothly and I recognize where certain things need tweaking anyway. The latest Marquette I made, I feel that I cover the last of the tweaking that I knew of and I’m really happy with the outcome of the development so far.

I feel the changes I’ve made were for the function as well as the form of the design like the central bar, which I made longer so that it can hold the kooks on in the centre of the design. Now I feel I can now begin to think of what it will look like in forged bar and also start to anticipate any problem that may occur and how it will be constructed 
This drawing covers what I think most of it will look like without the hooks. I’m now really excited to get in the forge and create a sample of this design before finalizing it.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Productive Development

Today has been a very productive day even with the pounding headache which I’ve had now for the past couple of days, I soldiered on with an extreme amount of pain killers in my system which must have kicked me into action.

I spent the morning updating my learning journal and contemplating on the development of the Marquette’s I made the day before. I then made my way into the workshop and began creating….. “Magic”…


As you can see i've developed ( from left to right ) and with each one refining, adding and thinking about how to make the next one better from the last. I will continue to develop it as there are a few minor details that need addressing and tweeking all of which i will deal with over the next couple of days. 

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

ummmm catch up time at 5.00 in the morning

Yes it is about half five in the morning and I’m up with a pounding headache and a cup of tea, so I thought that I should catch up on thing with my blog.

First of all, Dissertation is done and handed in YAY!!!!! One less thing off my list of things that need doing, I’ve spent the past couple of day getting it checked and finalized and have not been in the forge this week thus far. But now that it is completed I can get back to the practical work and my business plan.

After reviewing my Marquette’s and my drawings in my sketch book, I decided I needed to take a little more action and pick two designs I like and begin developing them towards a finished product.

Hear I took two of my favourite drawings and made a quick Marquette of them both to see how they might look. To me they are still very flat and don’t have much depth to them but I know that I can begin to refine these designs to make them better. It has also dawned on me that these wall mounts could end up being bigger than I imagined this is not what I intended and so I need to think carefully about how the wall mounts will connect to the wall and will they be too heavy.        

So over this week I may not be in the forge as I’m still feeling quite ill but I will have a good idea of what needs to be done when I get back in there!!!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Back to cross that line.

Over the past couple of days I’ve been really working in my sketch book to try and work towards a design for the guitar wall mounts and develop it and I work much better in just simple line drawing as  the back bone of any design I have. Once I have a drawing that I’m happy with I will go back to Marquette making to visually find the three dimensional depth which will allow me to draw up a more detail visual picture of what the finished product could look like.

I’m started to get really excited about these drawings and where they are leading me, as I continue to draw more I get a better idea of how the product will work and look like.   
These are some of my drawings in my sketch book

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

the hooks continued.

I'm still thinking about the hooks and as each day passes I feel I get a little closer towards a another final design. this day has been no exception, finishing another marquette with rotating hooks, this does boost some self confidence in my own forging skills.

Theres is still some work to improve the forging of the hooks but i think the hook idea is almost fully there. I feel this works alot better then the last marquette with the hooks attached to the same bar.


Monday, 5 March 2012

Getting it right.

I’d been thinking about what the hooks could look like and how they’d work all weekend and I had a good idea of what to make for a Marquette in the forge today. I wanted the scale of these wall mounts scaled down to 12 mm but the hook may have to remain 16mm but I’d have to test this out in the forge.

My idea was to use riveted tenons that would allow the hooks to rotate freely. Making the hooks would be the easy bit creating the tenon would prove more of a challenge but they were successful first time round!!!     
Slot chiselling the holes and drifting them it 12mm round took me no time at all.

With a little hand form Chris riveting the tenons with the gas torch went smoothly and the hooks rotated just as I thought they would.   

I'm very happy with the outcome of this sample and I have an idea of what I should be aiming for with the hooks now and I have ideas on how to develop them further and make them look better. I will spend tomorrow thinking about making them look better and fit in with the wall mount designs.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

to the end of the writing nightmare

after a long couple of days working without sleep the end is in sight for my dissertation. I now have 800 words left to go and then i've hit the 8000 words target and I start to feel the huge weight being lifted off my shoulders and awake from this writing nightmare. For those who don't know what my dissertation is about, it is about Land Art and how it has changed and developed within our culture since its birth in the 1970s.
Land Art has alway played a big part in my art life and i've alway had an interest in it since i started college over five years ago. Developing an understanding of its concepts, meanings and values all of which i learnt over time and the more i learn the more i love and appreciate it.