Friday, 14 December 2012

Stream shaped tree roots

On our walk up to the Milomeri waterfall in Cyprus, I was struck by the flowing shapes of the tree roots, somehow capturing the mood of the stream running past them.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Snapshots from Cyprus

Glenn wanted me to visit my Grandfathers homeland before we move across the other side of the world!  With only a few days to cram in as much as we could, each day had loads of surprises and some places bringing out deep emotion as I imagined my Grandfather being in the very same places in his youth.  The spaces where the roads ended; the mountains and the turquoise sea, these were all places in his memory too.

Kalidonia waterfall in the Troodos mountains.

The waterfalls in Cyprus - a bit too cold at this time of year for a refreshing shower, but we did brave the water for a (short) paddle.

Looking over the Troodos mountains on the way back from the Kalidonia falls.

The walk back from the Kalidonia waterfall became somewhat treacherous at times, with both Glenn and I taking risky shortcuts. But what a breathtaking view!  Low clouds setting the scene, making it suitably moody.

Walking up top Mount Olympus in the Troodos mountains, temperature dropping rapidly!
 Our next trick was to walk the Atalante trail to the top of Mount Olympus. We had started a little late, and as the sun disappeared and low clouds took over the mountains, the temperature dropped rapidly.  When the sun finally gave up we did too!

First sight of the turquoise sea near Cape Greco.
My first real glimpse of the sea, somewhere that my Grandfather used to swim, and fish.  I have a wonderful photograph of him in a small sailing dinghy when he was about 16.  He has memories of going out in fishing boats with his friends with a cheese and watermelon lunch.   It was this simple, unadulterated life that I hoped to see and feel a part of.  Further down the coast we found a secluded bay, the water was gorgeous and I was able to take a few shots with my underwater camera, which you can see on my Facebook page.

The hills behind Choirikita.
 Choirikita turned out to be one of our favourite trips out, tucked in behind the motorway on the way to Lemesos.  A neolithic village site, with the remains of stone round houses, something neither of us had come across before.  The hills behind the site were full of the sounds and smells of the countryside, so peaceful, and stunningly beautiful, it's here that I wondered why my Grandfather had left Cyprus in the first place.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

New horizons

Well here it is!  The view from my soon to be built studio...

The plot is ready to be cleared and foundations should be going in, in the next few weeks, then the build can start!  I'm excited and also rushed off my feet, getting ready for the move!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Los Gringos (a date with a rainstorm)

After a wonderful meal at the fish restaurant on Los Gringos beach we decided to take a few shots of driftwood.  That morning there had been a particularly vicious rainstorm and the rain had gathered momentum down through the hills surrounding the beach, and was gushing into the sea, making the walk a little perilous!

Walking along the seaweed strewn beach.

Large pieces of driftwood litter the beach.

Along with more workable pieces.

One of my finds.

Outing with the sharks

After the trials of hurricane Sandy, we eventually found ourselves once again in the Dominican Republic - 30 degrees and welcoming winds.  It was great to be back in the country we are going to be moving to.  After only a few hours back, we had made the decision to move out at the end of January. 

Playa Caleton

Only a few days into our holiday and I was able to try out my birthday present from Glenn - an underwater camera.  I am amazed at the capabilities of this little camera, as although the water was not completely crystal clear, I still managed to get a few shots of the fish swimming in the sea at  Playa Caleton along with a very odd looking creature!

First underwater shots, catching the fish before they swim away.

Point and shoot!
Odd fish.

Action shot ;)

Looking out to sea from Playa Caleton.

Gibraltar rocks!

Finding yourself in the middle of England at the end of Spain is a little disconcerting, but that's Gibraltar for you.  The weather was a welcome change from the grotty English weather we'd been having; the food lacking that Spanish feel we were expecting!
Above Catalan beach.
We had a few action packed days, walking the length and breadth of the peninsula, meeting the famous Barbary apes, and visiting the various tourist hotspots and not-so-hotspots in the form of a massive walk  down the Mediterranean steps! We spent our last day on Catalan beach, where we spent a good half an hour beachcombing, before braving the extremely (in my opinion) cold  late October sea.
Catalan beach, looking towards the Caleta Hotel.
Our most memorable trip was over to Morocco, where we had a guided tour of Tangier, traveling through all the different quarters,  and stopping for a traditional lunch and stroll around the colourful Medina.

Berber market day.
Weaving a different history in the magic carper bazaar.
Beautiful fresh fruit and vegetables for sale at the market.

The market is bustling with people.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Rumours and rustlings

Sitting here in the middle of hurricane Sandy, it's hard to believe that 2000 miles away in the Dominican Republic, the sun is blazing and there is a seafront hotel room waiting for Glenn and I.  We are currently riding out the storm just outside Newark Airport, staring out of the 5th floor window of our hotel shelter, and feverishly checking on news updates - a far cry from the life that awaits us in the sun. 

Apart from getting intimately acquainted with Sandy, which admittedly wasn't part of our initial plans, we were hoping for a business vacation, and to check up on the progress of the house...because, oh yes, we are planning to move out to the Dominican Republic, sometime in the new year! 

What's really exciting (apart from the fact that we will be moving to the Caribbean) is that I will be getting my own studio.  My life has taken on a new sheen, I'm feeling a bit like a butterfly, wings closed and waiting, ready to take my first flight!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Reaching Dunster beach

On my recent travels I found myself on the road back home from Minehead to London, remembering that I had visited Dunster Beach a few years before, I decided to make a detour and see if I could find some driftwood.  It was a beautiful day, and I just couldn't waste it by spending the whole day in my car!

Dunster Beach panorama.

One of my finds in amongst the sand and seaweed.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Merwood website

At last, the Merwood website is online! 

Huge thanks go to Tim Dale, who designed the website and took some stunning photographs of my work.  We have been through about 6 months of planning and designing, and it's finally done!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Hothouse taster day (Farnham)

The day started off as a rainy blur; the M25 was a nightmare, and after getting lost in the one way system in Farnham town centre, I was just a little late. As I entered Farnham Maltings, I was welcomed with a massive smile!  I needn't have worried about being late, and I soon settled down with a coffee, and an introduction to Hothouse taster day  run by the Craft Council.  It was a day full of very useful information, and lovely people.  At the end of the day the sun had made an appearance - according to my mini it was a staggering 19.5 deg C.  I walked up to the castle and just had to capture the May sunshine on my mobile... 

You Tube video

Thought I'd have a go at making a short film /slideshow of my figures.  I hopped onto imovie on my imac, and Bob's your biscuit, an hour later I had this up and running..

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

QR codes

As an official student of physics, and therefore a geek by default, I reserve the right to post something geeky, and here it is: QR codes.  What is a QR code?  It's one of those funny looking dotted squares that people point their smart phones at, and they're everywhere.

I decided to get one for this blog, so I checked out a few online QR code generators. 

I found the QR code generator from the ZXing project to be one of the most comprehensive.  OK, so you don't get snazzy graphics, but you don't have to pay for it, and they encode anything from your contact information to a calender event. 

Check out the link ZXing QR code generator  and get creating your own code...

Monday, 23 April 2012

Mudlarking on the Thames shoreline

My Saturday morning was a carefully planned affair, up at 7am and out by 8 to catch the low tide on the Thames shoreline at Tower Bridge.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but within 30s of reaching the shore I had found my first bit of clay pipe.  My main purpose of going was to find driftwood, anything else would be a bonus.

Walking to Tower Bridge.
First steps onto the shoreline.

taken from under the bridge looking onto HMS Belfast.

I found loads of bits of pipe, and also midden bones (bones from animals that have taken on the hue of one of the most commonest items thrown into the Thames - poo ;)  a couple of teeth, loads of pieces of tiles, and a few pieces of wood, which smell awful.  In fact the driftwood smells so bad, I'm not sure I can use it.

Close-up of the 'beach', here you can see tiles, glass, shells, bits of pipe...and stones.

Mud, Mud and mud.

I spent a few hours on the shoreline, and left with my bag bursting with pipes and bones, in search for a bacon sandwich and a coffee.

The sky looking mean and moody over the Gherkin.

And at the other end of the sky.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Showcase Cities 18th April (my little sideshow)

It was a strange feeling having my work on show for the first time, and watching people looking, reading and talking about it: my pieces have been a part of my life for a long time - my own little sideshow, and now other people had become part of it!

Blank canvas...see what I did there?! ;)

Gradually taking shape.

Ready to go!

Close up of Cybele and Anastasia.

My arty photo effort for the evening.

Marc and Blair who run the event were really helpful, and there was some stunning work on show. 

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Showcase Cities

This is really short notice, but I'm up to my neck in boxes and sand, and have only just found the chance to write a few words!  I will be exhibiting my Merwood figures at Showcase Cities @ Richmix in Shoreditch tomorrow.  The doors open at 6.00pm till late.  Live music and art, what more can you ask for? :)

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Works in progress

Work on Lysithea has stalled, as not only did I drop her beautiful box, but I also found myself pondering on how best to present the poem inside the box.  A visit to the Paperchase on Tottenham Court Road, with my good friend Richard, soon put me back on track! 

Monday, 19 March 2012

Merwood Website

I was working on my Merwood website with Tim this weekend.  It's looking fantastic!  Hoping to go live in the near future :) 

Thanks Tim!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Lysithea poem

Here's the second poem.  This will accompany the carving in her box.


A box without a lock, lost.
My feet on the sand
Caressed by the waves.
Walking between 
The feathers, fish bones and driftwood,
Stones send stabs of pain through my feet.
Searching the rocks,
The cliffs raging above me,
I look to the sea.
A box without a lock, lost.
Between the land and the sea,
Sand beneath my feet,
Waves meet my outstretched hands.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012


I've been working on a few poems with Lysithea as my muse.  Here's my first stab at poetry for, hmm, over 9 years!


Golden brown skin,
Now pallid.
Her voice,
A single silver thread,
Winding around dark rocks.
Through seaweed forests,
And dead coral,

Based on the idea of the 3000 Oceanids of Greek mythology (Lysithea being one).  Each Oceanid was associated with either a spring, lake, river, sea, flower, or cloud.  Once together and happy, now scattered and broken.   The idea of dead coral came from my memories of snorkelling off the coast of the Dominican Republic, where there are many small coral reefs, slowly dying out through fishing methods and pollution.

Guest blog

Wow!  I'm really excited to finally have some of my work out there, and stoked that there are people who want to know more about what I do.  Big thanks to Nicole Bates who invited me to write a guest blog for her site.  I'm this Wednesday's featured artistic outlet.

And big thanks go to Brenda Gratwicke who introduced us both.

Thursday, 23 February 2012


Photos of my new lady, Lysithea.  She's finished, and I'm now working on her presentation box.  Part of the inspiration for the story behind her name, is J.M.Waterhouse's evocative artwork, 'A Mermaid', and then following the art trail, Tennyson's poem, 'The Mermaid'.  I'm planning to to a bit more research on Waterhouse and the locations he used for his seascapes, which evoke so many memories of my own seaside walks.

Lysithea; 24.5cm High. 

Lysithea, detail.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Date with the early evening light

Determined to take a few photographs of one of the beaches I go to collect driftwood, and other objects left by the sea, I ended up reaching the beach off of Rock a Nore in Hastings after the sun had set.  I had lost the light, but I persevered with my camera and ended up taking one or two OK shots, capturing the atmosphere of the early evening.

Looking over towards Fairlight.

Rock a Nore beach, catching the fading light.

Along the beach I started to see bits of driftwood, a fantastic surprise, as Hastings beach is not that good for driftwood.  So in the fading light I took photographs of these pieces, and collected them as I went.  To begin with I could see the wood clearly, but as I was retreating to my car, the light had faded so much I didn't have a clue what I was picking up!  At least, I knew it was wood ;)  This really added to the experience of searching for wood to was exciting to open up my bag the next day to see what I had picked up!

Now the fun of looking for the wood, and becoming more aware of the beach surrounding, becomes part of the process of creating the finished piece.