My on-line diary began in the 1990's from my studio in the North of England. After a lapse of ten years, I resumed posting from my present studio on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

From the far beginning, the intention has been to give an insight into my working methods, and to share the triumphs, trials and tribulations of work-in-progress.

My diary pages are followed by thousands of artists, art students and art lovers in over 50 countries.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fire engines and an Institute for the Arts…

Yesterday I attended a meeting to discuss the formation of an Institute for the Arts and I spent today machining parts for one of the island’s fire engines.  In this day and age, I doubt if work can be more varied than that. 

A few generations ago, a craftsman turned his hand to all manner of things.  My grandfather was just as much at home repairing clocks and fairground traction engines as he was cleaning windows.  I could sense his ghost – and that of my father - looking over my shoulder as I successfully completed a very tricky piece of machining to an accuracy of 1/10th the diameter of a human hair.  In turn, I told my son Tristan, you’d better watch carefully, you might never see the likes of this again.  Maybe one day, all three of us will be looking over his shoulder.

Incidentally, in today’s picture is one of my grandfather’s micrometers.  It’s a hundred years old and still in daily use.  Also, my father’s depth gauge - now going on eighty.  Both instruments bear their initials.   

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