Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Yakov Chernikhov

The drawings of Constructivist architect Yakov Chernikhov. Wiki here.




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Monday, 29 March 2010

White Mischief - The Great Exhibition

Saturday night saw the return of White Mischief - arguably the UK's biggest Steampunk club night. It was held in Scala, a stone's throw from the monument to Victorian design that is St Pancras hotel, and I was there to sample its delights. The event did a magnificent job of bringing the genre to life as sky pirates rubbed shoulders with deco dandies amid exhibits of technology from the retrofutureverse. Luminaries such as Herr Döktor and Professor Maelstromme were present and on-hand to talk about their creations. Steampunk is a sub culture which has yet to have a musical trend attached to it (yes, there are Steampunk bands, but although they may dress the part they sound quite different). White Mischief founder Tobais fronted his group Tough Love to the delight of the crowd and Mr.B The Gentleman Rhymer amused as much as he rocked his fans with his witty toff-rapping. I leave you with some of my snaps from the night. The full album is here.

Edit: there's also a BBC video featuring Siberfi, Herr Döktor and I here.


My penchant for Jill Bioskop got the better of me that night and, although my hair was blue, try as I might, my tears were not sapphire-tinted like hers.



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Friday, 26 March 2010

Phonecam #2

I have blogged before about photography and my use of my phone's camera. Here is the result of a little trial. The panorama was shot close to Kings Cross in north London and I was keen to imbue the design with the sense of the heritage of the place. The spot is close to where the Romans are traditionally believed to have slain Boudicca who led the Celt rebellion (though historians now think this is incorrect and she was defeated much further north). I am quite pleased with the little engraved hands and the use of the Century Gothic font. Like my Ancient Greek tent reconstructions, this was inspired by the work of the awesome Michael Paukner.

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Thursday, 25 March 2010

A work of staggering genius

Giant Hamburger has uploaded a delirious little tale of Pooh Bear's adventures with the Alien (and Predator). A facehugger attaches itself to Eeyore in a rather embarrassing place, Piglet gets his face burned off, Pooh dreams of wearing suspenders and knickers and the Predator joins them for tea. Fucking genius. Link here.




Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Whale Fish Studios

A wonderful and bizarre portfolio akin to Dave McKean and Shaun Tan in syle. Website here.



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Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Cara Packwood

Amazing photography and model montages. DeviantArt page here.


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Friday, 12 March 2010

The Ghosts of New Troy - Part II

As McHat and I left the Latin site the sun was dipping on the horizon. It was the twilight Magic Hour as we approached our final destination - Arbor Low.

We parked the Land Rover in the shade of a dingy copse of stunted conifers and noisily dropped two coins into the battered donations tin. At the sound of the metal there was movement in the outbuildings. We made out the shapes of small folk scurrying hither and thither. They comprehended our visit as little as the doe-eyed cattle in the barn. As we passed the gazes of the cows and locals were equally vacant.

The stone circle was silent and the only motion was the smoke drifting from the settlement that clung to its borders. McHat and I breathed deeply and took in the ancient geometry. The occasional token lay on the damp grass - thread, chalk and a wilted rose, perhaps the charms left by a desperate teenage girl. I searched about and found a limestone pebble which seemed a suitable fractal of the landscape. I added it to the fence staple and the other tokens I had brought and strung them onto a bootlace to form a rosary of sorts.

McHat watched impassively as I strode into the centre of the stones and performed the ritual. There were no signs to indicate its success or otherwise. Afterwards we crossed a wall to examine the nearby barrow. No doubt it marks the resting place of some vanquished hero who slumbers until the final call to arms.

That night I drifted to sleep by the glow of the open fire in my bedroom. Long after the embers had died I was awoken by something a-scratching and a-fumbling about the floor. I listened, heart-in-mouth, but at length it faded, as did I.

When the nights are cold and the air is wet I have visions of a skeletal warrior, clad in verdigris plate, feeling for his sword in the dark beneath the earth.





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Paper theatres

One of my more recent obsessions is papercraft (particularly with regard to toys and gaming). Below are some beautiful examples of vintage paper theatres.




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Wednesday, 10 March 2010

The Ghosts of New Troy - Part I

I spent a few days amidst the broken stones of Derbyshire this week just gone. I was hosted by my trusty companion McHat and we embarked on a little adventure to see if we could chip away at the walls of time. I was unsure how best to do this, but felt that a nearby Roman Road would be a suitable starting point.

As we bumped down a muddy track in search of this ancient pathway I remembered that Nigel Kneale had penned a script called The Road. In this chilling tale an eighteenth century village is disturbed by noises in the woods. Learned men arrive to investigate, one believing it must be the ghosts of long-dead Romans returned to haunt the living. He erects paraphernalia to "distill" out the spirits but finds that the truth is far more strange and horrible than he had imagined.

Silence greeted us as we clambered out of the vintage Land Rover. The road stretched out across a natural break in the landscape where fields met a sultry wood. There was, alas, no sign of any ancient intelligence, monstrous or otherwise. However, I found a token to help me - a heavily rusted staple embedded in a rotting post. The metal would, no doubt, be saturated with whatever memories this place held.

With the little treasure in my pocket we left, our brief imprints pooling with those of our forebears. We headed for a place so choked in history that we were certain to encounter what we were searching for...




Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Ben Templesmith

The amazing Ben Templesmith - creator of, amongst other things, 30 Days of Night. Website here.




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Sunday, 7 March 2010

Death's head makeup Mk III

Below is the third incarnation of my Death's head makeup. I did this on Friday for an Alice in Wonderland-themed party (hence the hat and card). I think I need to work on feminising it a bit as I felt this one was too aggressive. Perhaps giving a more refined shape to the eyes would work in this respect.

As I tramped about East London people generally smiled as I glided by. However, it struck me that I was doing the opposite of what women on a night out attempt - making myself look horrific rather than attractive. This probably has some deep psychological meaning that will be revealed to me When The Stars Are Right...

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Friday, 5 March 2010

New desk

If an Englishman's home is his castle, then a designer's desk is his undercroft...or something. I had struggled for ages with a tiny workstation but recently decided it was time to upgrade. I was inspired by several things, the first of which is the blog onmydesk.com. It seems to be updated less frequently now, but it profiles the offices and workspaces of creatives and is an endless source of inspiration. Then there is the desk of the awesome street-dancing Stormtrooper-outfit-wearing blogger Danny Choo. He talks about his furniture and I was very taken by the way it lights up. Finally I was most impressed by the desk my friend Scar Crash has, which she informed me came from Ikea.

So off I went to the Ikea in Edmonton, which is something to behold. It loomed out of the London drizzle as I approached like some kind of primeval behemoth one might find in a Steven King novel. I later recounted this to my friend Tomki, who replied that when he visited the Edinburgh store he had trouble finding it because its vast blue hull was so big he assumed it was part of the sky. After much dithering, getting lost, not being able to find my way back to something I had seen earlier and other such treats that Ikea excels in, I came away with two trestles and a frosted glass top. And a Persian rug, several lamps, mousemats and other bits of crap that just seem to make their way into your trolley whenever Ikea is involved.

Below you can see the fruits of my trip, bottom-illuminated by little lamps I clipped to the trestles, Choo-style. It's a joy to work at and the glass top does not block much of the light from the window behind.