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.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Albert and Enoch

Albert and Enoch, my father and grandfather, would have if field day if they were with me now.  They were both inventive engineers and the work I am doing would have been right up their street. 

One of my earliest memories is of my grandfather’s attic workshop.  Indeed, some of the tools in my own workshop began life on his workbench.  Like me, he was the town’s factotum: when not repairing clocks he cleaned windows.  One of his war medals is inscribed: For Work at the Forge.

At the age of twelve I was helping my father build scale models of factory layouts that he devised the Mackintosh toffee and chocolate works.  If there was a way of improving a production line Albert was intent on finding it - and a scale model was his way of getting the idea across to managers and company directors.

Following in his footsteps, I am currently commissioned to re-plan the layout and production lines of Dominica’s leading food and drink manufacturer.  I have made similar studies for processing the country’s agricultural products. 

On these projects Albert and Enoch would have been in their element.  I often sense that they are looking over my shoulder and guiding me to add a conveyor belt or devise a mechanical devise to speed up production. 

Today’s picture shows an interactive scale model that I made a couple of years ago to show how the layout of Dominica’s main agricultural processing plant could be improved.  

Monday, October 6, 2014

Figaro here, Figaro there, Figaro Up, Figaro down…

Like the Barber of Seville, I am Dominica’s factotum and these days I barely have time for painting and sculpture. 

On the engineering side of things I have recently been called to the rescue of all three of the island’s utility services: electricity, water and telephone.  If a bus engine blows a gasket, the cylinder head finds its way to my workshop for re-surfacing.  Bakery dough mixers are another regular item on my workbench.

A more unusual request came my way over the telephone this afternoon when a young lady asked if I could give her a hot bath!  On delving deeper into this tempting inquiry I found that it related to Jessica’s most recent business venture:  Home Visit Therapeutic Massage.  When not modelling, my studio assistant is quick to find an alternative means of livelihood.

Last Sunday I helped Jessica set up her stall at a Health Fair for the Aged.  I confess that I was beginning to feel my seventy-one years until the banner over an adjoining stall gave me renewed hope.  It read: Practice Safe Sex, Use a Condom.     

The picture shows Jessica doing good business.   Perhaps she’s convinced her clientele that therapeutic massage improves one’s sex life regardless of age!