Monday, 6 September 2010

Pigeon Claw Necklaces, the new range









I made individual sand casts of a pigeon's foot to make this new range of necklaces. Each cast can only be used once so they are all different. They are made from brass and bronze that I melted down to create a gold coloured alloy. One is made from solid silver. I fixed glass faux pearls into the claws. I brazed screws onto the last pair to make pigeon claw hooks for the wall.

Pigeon Hat

Pigeon Hat

Pigeon Hat, side profile

Pigeon hat
I caught, killed, ate and taxidermied a pigeon to make this hat. I used a classic 1940's style shape because it complimented the shape of the bird. I love the pattern that the shades of the grey feathers create and the way green and purple colours come through on the neck feathers in the light. Pigeons are seen as vermin. I wanted to pay homage to the pigeon and celebrate its beauty influenced by the taxidermy hats women worn in the early 1900's. The fashion then was to adorn hats with tropical bird feathers, but I think our native birds are underappreciated. It has a faux glass pearl for an eye I and tinted the socket with gold ink. My intention is not to shock, I just want to make beautiful pieces out of the things I love.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Bespoke Medals

This is one of five medals I was commissioned to make for a sailing award called The Spirit of Kathy.
I took an old medal that my Mum won years ago and a half penny that my brother had in a coin collection. I filed off the writing from the coin so just the image of the ship remained. Then I removed the previous emblem off the medal and fitted the coin into the round space. The type on the original medal was printed on so when I made a sand cast of it, it didn't make an impression. I cast six medals in a brass bronze alloy, the same as I used to make my pigeon claw pendants. This created the base for the medals. My Mum's boyfriend then soldered on the brass loops at the top to hold the ribbon. My Boyfriend's Nan engraved them for me.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Sign Writing

The Blind Tiger Club
Brighton's one and only speakeasy organised by Playgroup. The pop up club is based on a 1920's illegal speakeasy.
I was asked to make a pub sign and given a large piece of MDF, some paint and one day to have it finished.
I chose an art deco style arch shape for the top of the sign a matching art deco font so the sign would be in keeping with the 1920's roots of the club. I copied the tiger off the smaller-than-A6 flyer that i was given for the night and i painted the eye in a gold ink.

Brighton Pavilion
I was asked to design an image that would fit this 12' by 3' sign behind the bar at Hectors House, Brighton. It needed to be in sections so that drinks information could be written displayed. I came up with this design of Brighton Pavilion, dilapidated. I wanted to do a bold structural design that would work well in white on black. I had limited materials, just chalk and white chalk pens, and the sign is 8foot up the wall so the whole thing had to be drawn up a wobbly ladder.

Brighton Pavilion

Brighton Pavilion
After getting the go ahead for the design by the manager and by Playgroup, the promoters of the venue, and having done a couple of days work on it, the owner of the pub came to have a look. He, Nick Griffin, no, not that one, was unsure about the message that the pub could be seen to be giving by my design. He thought the establishment could be perceived to be endorsing terrorism.
We had a little chat, I explained that my design was ambiguous. It was about structure and line work. and the play on using a Brighton symbol like the Pavilion was not violent but fitting with the location of the pub as well as the size and spacing of the board. It was playful, tis all. And in any case, it was a little late now.

The majority of my sign writing work has been for The Lexington, Pentonville road, London. Its a Bourbon pub with an American theme. Most of my jobs there are writing up the lists of over 90 bourbons that they have across 2, 3' by 8' boards that hang behind the bar. Rewriting their menus, wine and all American beers lists. This is the Western style font I found to fit in with the all American theme.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Taxidermy in Progress

Gold Finch. A gift from my Father. He found it on a walk in Suffolk, we think it was killed by a fox. Shampooed and body removed ready for blow drying when the feathers fluff up again. The yellow stripe through its wing is how it gets its name, which if you ask me, is blatant false advertising. That's not gold. Once finished I will to correct this. I have been experimenting with inks and gold powder to recolour the feathers.

Pigeon wing. I was given the pigeon by a man that works for Rent-o-kill. I just kept the wings because they had the nicest patterns on. A friend asked me to make a bra type winged contraption to wear over dresses so I think this will be the pair for her.
Both the pigeon wings and the gold finch are currently drying out in a cake tin full of Borax.

The mouse my Brother caught. I thought it looked adorable and its head is uncrushed so its currently in a freezer in Hackney waiting for transportation.

Monday, 16 August 2010


Gouache painting of a dead pigeon in the gutter.

The beginnings of a new painting. I wanted to paint the light coming from either sides on the hands and at the moment I am working on making the lace top look see through.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Hand Poked Tattoos

A style of tattooing taught to me by Hannah Johnson, after going over a tattoo of my own.
I use needles that make three small pricks, I like that I can build up the design dot by dot. I'm still practicing, it takes a long time and can be more painful than gun tattoos, I'm told.

Spider tattoo I designed based around the house spider. I concentrated the joints and shapes of the legs. Its on the right side of my boyfriend's chest. I'm going to finish it with a little more grey shading on the body and a couple of legs.

I love the simple, classic shape of the Fleur de Lis. I was inspired by the structural shading in Victorian filligree designs. It is on Antonia's ribs, the left side. I am also tattooing two upside down Fleur de Lis on my own ankles. Its taking a little while to finish. It's an awkward angle and pretty painful. but coming soon....

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Pigeon Claw Pendant

Making fake gold
Alloy experiments with mixtures between bronze and brass.

Initial sketch.

Made by sand casting a pigeons foot in an alloy of bronze and brass. The glass diamond is fixed by bending each claw a little and making small grooves to hold it in place.

Think of England

Hackney Olympics 2012


Feathers in the Plughole

Madrid airport. Stranded passengers during the Icelandic volcano

Wednesday, 19 May 2010