Monday 21 December 2020

Extending possibilities

I recently purchased two small machines capable of printing relief or intaglio plates up to 12” width. Looking at the possibility of producing artists books using CNC relief plates and/or photopolymer in combination with digital imaging. Yet to try these out - pending while I concentrate on other avenues at present.

Trial CNC plate using MDF from a Mexican graphic image.

New publication

Pleased to see my work in the new Wood Symphony Gallery Publication. Fortunate to have work in all three editions so far.

Sculpture maybe

 Couple of experiments with 3D printing to see whether some of my imagery is suited to 3D printing or CNC on my new machine.


First enlarged Giclee Fine Art prints received. Pleased with the results at 40cm square and can be printed larger still holding detail.

Sunday 20 December 2020

Transitional, transactional or transcendental?

I have a diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease and although I have mostly mild symptoms at present (controlled by medication) they are already impacting on my ability to continue with my current creative work. I am adapting or adopting new ways of working so that I can continue creative pursuits. This means less hand skills and more digital/mechanical solutions.

Below you will find my current thinking and output and some examples of change explained. My website will eventually be restructured and revised to reflect these work alterations.

On a photography course I attended some time back at Westminster Uni., we investigated whether an ethics approach to photography was appropriate in all cases. In amongst the subjects we looked at was the experimental work undertaken and recorded photographically, in the Victorian period. One such series of photographs were the experiments by Duchenne in France. Little did I realise, at the time the relevance of the experiments, to me and my understanding of some of the symptoms that may worsen in my Parkinson’s as it progresses.

So some of the images I am currently working on reflect some of the writings of Duchenne and his investigations into expression or more poignantly, the lack of in the face of those with various neurological conditions. My initial, suspected, diagnosis was based on a hint of facial masking. It is this aspect of Parkinson’s I am trying to express in one series of images I am creating.

The first series has been taken from MRI images of my brain and in these I try to express the beauty of the brain, its complexity and to maybe observe these aspects in a different form to the bland medical imagery. These images become a different kind of portrait series that may alter perceptions of ‘selfies’ in that they explore the inner rather than an outer image or projection of self commonly posted on social media. These explorations are in one sense deeply personal and help me to come to terms with my present and future. The viewer may well see them differently and I hope will respond to the aesthetics rather than the 'medical' of the images presented. The works of Barthes, on photography (e.g. Camera Lucida), is probably relevant to these and other images that follow but textual comparisons/analysis may be complicated when both the photographer and subject are the same. Also digital photography is used making it possible for the image to be fluid over time rather than frozen in time.

The masking series presents a more visceral approach to emotional expression and need to be observed in this context. I have included some images showing one direction I have been working on, more will follow.

I have recorded as many facial expressions that I can immediately muster as a reminder of what I may not be able to do so well later as a reminder to others that an expressionless face and voice may offer no assistance in interpreting language. Many of us may have experienced this during the current period where the physical mask, to prevent infection, also prevents reading facial expression. Facial expression is important in fully understanding how the same words may hold a different meaning if this part of context is missing.

Anyway enough words here are a couple of images including one piece of turning/CNC taken from an MRI image. Some reference links for Duchenne. Barthes and image on social media are to be found below.

 Bowl form from brain scan

MRI Series

Masking Series

Social Media

Saturday 9 May 2020

New lathe

In line with my proposed new ways of working, my new lathe has arrived. I look forward to having it up and running soon.

Tuesday 10 March 2020

ZBrush plus

This is a turntable rendition of a fractal form modified in Zbrush. 

A couple of  3d fractal object images below also modified in Zbrush.

ZBrush plus

I have had Zbrush for some time but not really got to grips with it. It is a complex programme and with increasing age it becomes difficult to remember the hows and whys unless I use it regularly and for reasonably prolonged periods. Anyway I knuckled down recently and have had some good results. Some of which I have posted elsewhere and now show here. 

For health reasons I am having to change my way of working and will rely more on CNC and 3D printing to express my creativity. This inevitably means more use of software solutions on the computer rather than the more conventional, pencil, paper and hand skills approach,

I enjoy the surprise elements and swift recycling of ideas that this method of working provides. It also enables me to incorporate photographic origination and manipulation into the work. I am using fractal software and bot software, at present, to explore new forms and surfaces in conjunction with 3D textures created from photographs. These will be combined and cut from wood using CNC only or in conjunction with with 3D printed wood. My first tries at this were shown in earlier entries here,

I am working through ideas, some are suitable for what I wish to achieve and some are not. The ones shown below are a sequence of variations made from an original bot model manipulated in Zbrush. 

Original bot model

13 variations,each image a progression of the former one