Thursday, 27 May 2010
Wednesday, 26 May 2010
Oh I have gotten very excited about this one. I really love the circles with holes, a fabulous surface on the oak, alluding to all manner of things, old posts from wrecks to octopi to well whatever your imagination conjures up. Oh boy this is why I love being a sculptor. the making of new tactile things that didn't exist before but you are so pleased they do now.
I have been making a series of canes and sticks. I particularly think the cane element could be very exciting. We can usher in a new elegance with these charred black canes containing glass spheres, giving one a very special optical experience as well. Remember this is the blog you came across them first!!
Thursday, 20 May 2010
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Again the shape of the wood dictates. I have been cutting and shaping a number of pieces of oak from the wood. Cutting to what I think may work with a chainsaw, storing and then looking and recutting with chainsaw and shaping with an axe. These then get taken to my home workshop where they are worked with an arbourtech, chisels, drawknife, spokeshaves and then drilled with bits or countersinks. Finally they are charred with a blow torch, wire wooled, polished and photographed for the blog. This has kept me on top of the photographing as in the past I have forgotten to photograph and then sold a piece and that's it gone from my memory! So blogs can work and be useful.
This was a struggle. Not at all sure were this was going but as it the case with these things, the more it and I worked together the more a dialogue between the wood, the shape and me occured and this piece appeared. As with improv music that I create so with the working intuitively with the wood can bring about results unthought of.
Monday, 17 May 2010
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
The Gimlet Eyed Mariners are playing the Perfect 5th in Taunton on the 12th of May in an evening of Improv extravaganza. See attached poster for all the news. This is a must see event.
Gimlet Eyed Mariners are an offshoot of my other Band Tapes and Ashes.
Wednesday, 5 May 2010
By using a concave mirror I can harness the energy of the sun to burn lines in the wood. Here at 11.15 pm on tuesday the 4th may the sun tracks its marks onto the riven wood. On this piece the sun was out for the duration of the burning, but at other times when there is cloud cover the line becomes a series of burnt and unburnt elements. This marks time, delineates the now, the place, as the angle of burn changes throughout the day. For other images of my sunburnings please visit my website www.michaelfairfax.co.uk and check out 'sun burnings.
This is me charring the surface of a piece I am working on at the moment. I have been charring the surface of my wooden pieces since 1985, after a visit to the Museum of Mankind. At the exhibition they had a room dedicated to the Brazilian boat builders, it transpires that they hollow out the boats with adzes, then make seats. They start a fire and a number of men then hold the boat aloft over the flames, moving the boat constantly, the heat of the fire opens the hollowed area a small amount, they then take the boat from the flames and put the seats into place, as the boat cools so it contracts and holds the seats in situ. Brilliant, I went home immediately and tried the technique, I have been burning and charring sculptures ever since, to lesser and greater degrees. The charring is not only aesthetically pleasing but also carbonises the surface of the wood, thus making it last longer. I discovered many years ago whilst doing a workshop just outside Birmingham that in the 'olden days' The posts put into the ground were charred over an open fire to protect the wood. I love the process and the way different wood reacts to burning and the way the grain becomes more prominent. In this picture I am using a gas burner, I also burn over open fires and am soon going to try some faggot fires. I have also branded, stencil burnt all sorts of techniques are possible, fire is a tremendous tool.