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Monthly Archives: April 2017

This time tomorrow (1 May) we’ll have entered the International Travel Tunnel, and the next morning we’ll pop out at Rhodes, Greece (1 & 2). Then we spend some time on Symi, (3 & 4) and then Patmos (5 & 6). We’ll make a side-trip to Kalymnos.

I have final proofs of my book The Craft – selected poems 1989 – 2016!! And a mockup of the cover! It will be published some time in the next three months, by Douglas Skinner’s Left Field Press. I am excited. I haven’t published a book of poems since Ghaap – Sonnets from the Northern Cape in 2005.

Here’s a mock-up of the cover. The image is a detail of a porcelain tile by my friend Christina Bryer, from her series entitled ‘Swatches’.

the craft cover mockup

And here is an excerpt. The head is, of course, that of Orpheus.

The head sings

The Head: ‘On the left of the House of Hell,
Next to a white cypress, is a well
Fed by a spring. Don’t go near.
There’s another spring in the dell
By Lake Memory, cold water wells
From it. This water is defended
By the unsleeping guards of death.
When you see them, you must call
To them, saying,’
Chorus:  ‘I am a star that fell.’
The Head: ‘Tell them,’
Chorus:  ‘I am a child of Earth
And Starry Heaven,’
The Head: ‘as in the spell,’
Chorus:  ‘But Heaven is the realm of my birth–
You yourselves know this is the truth.
My throat is dusty and my tongue swells
With thirst. Quick, give me the clear
Cold water of memory, let me bathe
In it and drink it, let it heal me whole
And mend me where I am wounded.’

There are cheap sapphires and spinels of poor quality available out of India. They are murky and have no doubt been heated or whatever they do to enhance the colour. It is precisely the bright colour and the hardness of the stones that makes them good for a ring – providing a dab of pigment on the hand.

I bought some and made these rings, which can be worn together or singly.

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Rings: silver and spinel; silver and sapphire.

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In my last post I put up pictures of some sculptural pendants in the form of buildings, that I had carved in wax. Harald cast them yesterday and they came out perfect. I have finished them, leaving a host of imperfections. I am very pleased with them.

Here they are. I photographed them in golden morning light, which gave the silver the wrong colour – so I have rendered them in B&W. There’s a lot of detail. Click to enlarge.

I had this idea of making some pendants which showed the fronts of imagined buildings. I opted for wax. It would give me the imperfect, hand made textures that I want.

I have carved these waxes and sprued them up. (Sprues are the channels through which the metal will flow when it’s cast.)

These are cell-phone snaps of the things I made. If you click on them, you will see more detail. Each has tiny figures. The pendants are all on the same scale. The smaller ones are about 20mm x 50mm.

 

Now comes the moment of anxiety when I hand them over to Harald for casting. Will all the parts fill? Will there be porosities, or other problems? Harald is usually pretty good, but shit happens. We’ll do it after Easter and I’ll post pics.