Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Amulets for sale

After the gold rush and the lucky dips the remaining lucky dip amulets are for sale for £10.00 each
let me know by commenting below and I send me your address and I will send you whichever you require if it hasn't already been sold.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Lucky dip at the open studios


Pay five pounds to partake in the lucky dip, inside the sawdust will be 10 copper spoons by Louise Baker and 10 brazed steel amulets by Michael Fairfax, these are numbered and correspond to the hidden numbered stones in the sawdust.
We have made more of these and if you want to select on of Louise's or Michael's that are on display and negate the chance element then you pay ten pounds for the privilege of choice not chance.
If you would like Louise or Michael to dip for you send £5 or £10 pounds to hurstone studio, waterrow, Somerset. TA4 2AT before the 27th November 2015 

We will send you a photograph of all lucky dips on messenger if required, others we will post on Facebook.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Open Studio

Louise Baker and I are opening our studios on the 27th and 28th of November from 11.00 - 6.00.
There will be a lucky dip and there will be broth.
Plus of course tons of brilliant art work.

Workshop at Priorswood Community Centre, Taunton.

I have spent two days at Priorswood Community Centre in Taunton as part of an initiative between Somerset Wildlife Trust and Somerset Art Works as part of their "Routes to the River Tone' project (more can be found on their websites)

I set up with a table, chair, some examples of my ear harps and set to creating a new ear harp for the community centre.  The idea was for people to see me working as they got on with their daily lives, I explained the link to what I was making from a piece of hazel to walking in nature and what it can provide, and how nature can be easily accessed, and the  simplicity of making a piece of art/sound instrument with twigs and fishing wire.  I was surprised at just how much positive interest it generated across the age divide, virtually to a person they were enthralled, amazed and delighted.  The community centre kept a ever flowing supply of tea for me and I spoke to passerbys and shop keepers.
I created this large hazel ear harp with individually tuned strings, the sound from it was rich and full of tone to the listener but quiet everyone else.

hands playing the black and white strings

After returning to my studio I wanted to make another one quickly, so I found a piece of cherry wood and created this very small intimate but delightful ear harp, which also has a lovely sound, I seem to never tire from the joy of these ear harps.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

More ramblings from the studio, and Quartz

Amongst the everyday plotting of exhibitions and new workshops, I have of course been pootling away in my studio, the great pleasure of life, before the next deadline of commission, residency, interview even office day bites into it.  So playing with off cuts from the Quartz exhibition I have made a Lectern Zither, a solid piece of larch charred and strung as if a book is opened on the top, with sides angled to make playing easier but also alluding to the early synthesisers, it has a great sound, looks good and is a pleasing addition to the instruments I can gig with.

Added to the increasing amount of instruments now littering my studio is a tail rocking piece that looks like the sail of a ship, this one is strung through the mast element with copper inserts to stop the string slicing through the oak, the resonance in this one is fantastic and builds up a real wall of sound, rocking the instrument whilst playing distorts the sound giving a wah wah effect, well almost.

Tonight is the opening of the Quartz exhibition in Taunton where I have four large standing sound pieces, when I installed yesterday the sun was behind the pieces so the photographs didn't come out to well but hope to take better ones tonight.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Fiddlesticks for Amazing Spaces at Dove Studio

In april I pollarded the willow trees, from the pollarded sticks I have created 49 Fiddlesticks each one with a single nylon string and two bridges.  These I have hung in the pollarded willows like an autumn fruit suspended from the branches, each fiddlestick can be taken down from the branches (picked) and then played, either plucked or bowed with a violin bow, the player places their ear to the wood of the Fiddlestick to hear the sound that only they can hear.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Workshops at the Exeter Deaf Academy

Workshops with three groups of students at the Exeter Deaf Academy. I took in sticks, they whittled the bark, drilled holes, threaded nylon string and by the end of the session had all created a 'Fiddlestick" a stick which can be played by a bow or plucked. That can only be heard by placing ones hear onto the wood, there is no sound chamber so no one else can hear the sound.  I have discovered after my exhibition at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery a few months ago that a lot of the deaf can hear these sounds through the vibration in the wood and for many it is the first time they have heard such sounds.  The joy this creates for a number of the students is incredible and gives me great satisfaction.  The support team of TA's and Communicators were brilliant, and made the workshops run smoothly, with great humour. But of course the students were the stars overcoming many skills and communication difficulties brilliantly.
Many thanks to the Exeter Deaf Academy.


Playing and Listening



Friday, 28 August 2015

Cloud and Constellation Benches at Carnewas, Cornwall

The National Trust have now sited the benches and sent me these photos, they had to raise them on oak blocks as they were worried about Adders lying underneath the benches.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Koli Environmental Arts Festival

Details of my time in Koli Finland from the Koli website:

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Making of Cloud Bench and Star Bench for National Trust

Two Benches commissioned by the National Trust to be sited at Carnewas in Cornwall, one is a cloud bench which lists 10 cloud formations carved into the surface and the other is a constellation gazing bench with three constellations carved and represented by holes drilled and glass marbles inserted for the brightess stars within the constellation. The idea is you lie one these with your head on the wooden headrest and look at the sky night or day.  They are surprisingly comfortable to lie on.

Making the benches from oak

The cloud formations carved onto the wood

Burning the words

Burning the benches

The Constellation Bench

Detail  of the Constellation Bench

Monday, 20 July 2015

Habitat Hotels

I am working on a project for Bellway homes in Cardiff to create a number of Habitat homes for the wildlife on the new site at Culverhouse Cross, the old ITV site.  I have come up with a number of maquettes and ideas for the project to include homes for birds, bats, butterflies, bees, hedgehogs and insects. These are my ideas to date.

Butterfly Home

House Sparrow Home