Wednesday, 8 October 2014

France Part Deux

I bought several things whilst in France.  Couple of my favourites were this group of keys for 4€, the squares on my very dirty ironing pad are in inches.  

And in La Galcante I asked if he had any written material rather than printed and he dug out a couple of boxes.  I found two 1 inch thick document wallets full of 19th C hand written estate documents including inventories and bills, all very exciting even though I can't read most of it.  Also a couple of little books, I was mindful of luggage weight, including an 1814 Le Chansonnnier de Graces full of verses and music.

In Durfort we did several more markets and visits out and about, its a very lovely part of France.  The lessons Keith gave us were quite in depth and he also challenged us to first of all make something with three items.  One thing we had found in France, one from a table of objects we had all donated to and one thing we had brought with us.  We were also not allowed to use anything else as a fixing only what was a part of those three items.  Very hard!

My first on the left was using a donated locket sphere as a bauble, a piece of found copper and a clock part.  With a bit of bending and tweaking it eventually become a ring, of sorts anyway but it is very wearable.  The second piece was a brooch made with a donated draughts piece, a found piece of shale and copper wire I brought and this moves whilst wearing.  The third piece has another locket sphere clamped around another clock part after a little adaptation and another piece of shale, this is unfinished as I wasn't quite sure where I was going with it!

Another thing I put together was an old cigar tin with some clock parts, filigree and wirework. I heated the cigar tin until the paint came off and left some interesting marks on the metal.  I had to really brush up on my riveting to fix the cogs and filigree in place!

The beaten wire was used as a stand.  I was going to suspend things inside so you could see them moving through the holes.

I wanted to go on this trip to see how Keith does his work.  His pieces are rather fascinating and I wanted to know what the draw was.  After doing my pieces above I was becoming a little frustrated.  I knew I like what Keith does and I know I have most of the skills to do them myself but I wasn't enjoying making the items.

Then Keith did a quick lesson on mobiles.  One person who highly influenced him when he first started on his creative journey was Alexander Calder and Keith learned the art of mobile making and the tricks involved with lots and lots of practise.  I was fascinated.

I made two of the easy wire ones first and I have a part made table one yet to be finished. (They are very hard to photograph so sorry!).

Another of Keith's challenges was to make something autobiographical.  Well I didn't go quite that far but I did try and make something that represented that holiday.  This has first of all a fossil sharks tooth, there is a lot of prehistoric monuments in this part of France.  Next was a pearl I bought in Paris which sort of stands for the opulence and splendour of that city.  I then had a little clock face for the time spent there and a stack of beads for the creative people I was with especially Linda who organised it all as they came from her.  Finally there is an old key for the old things we were using and trying to create into something new.

The second one I made I used parts of two bracelets I bought with shields and emblems of the regions of France.

I had at last found something that gave me an inner peace to make and I wasn't fighting against.  A relief.  I still have to finish the other table one and I know how I can use them to make more interesting ones.  I was quite sad to find I couldn't settle to make the other items but we all have things that we have to push ourselves to do.

Meanwhile back to The List....

The hand quilted Halloween quilt for Olivia has been finished.

And the little Bolero cardie has too though it needs blocking.

The list is shrinking!  I feel all these things are like painting by numbers and not terribly creative as such but while that muse still seems to be on holiday somewhere without me I will take advantage and press on clearing the backlog!

Finally I treated my studio to a new dog bed as I kept tripping over the last one.  I think it's a hit don't you?


  1. Your trip sounds amazing! I love the keys, do you have plans? I rescued loads of keys from school with a vague plan to make a wind chime, but they are all modern (well last 30 years or so) and I can't get them to tarnish

  2. I can see little Olivia having a very nice mobile above her cot very soon. Love the baby cardigan. Pattern details please.

  3. I seem to have missed a few of your posts but what a fascinating trip you had to France. Old keys are magical aren't they?

  4. Fascinating to see the way that you have used the items. I rely like the box and the mobiles. You are certainly going to enjoy using the documents and keys - what a find. I lam looking forward to seeing them appear in future pieces.


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