Another Faun – WIP

This is a trial-run model in oil clay for a piece that I’ll make in something harder, probably Castilene. The idea is that he’s (quite happily) embedded in the rock, sleeping in the earth. I’ve tried him a few different ways. He can have a hand showing, or some flowers for decoration and possibly symbolism, or no extras. There’ll need to be a bit more rock around him, and his head should possibly be turned more towards the ground. I thought he needed the hand, but the more I look at him the more I think he looks better without it, but I’ll try it in a different position – maybe the other hand, pointing up.








Unexpected side-effect of meditation

Late last year I decided to make a proper go of a daily meditation practice, in order to try and cure or reduce an already fairly mild case of OCD that I’d had for a while. I had tried meditation before, but always got bored and gave up quickly. This time I stuck with it: half an hour every morning of concentrating on my breathing and bringing my mind back to my breath when it wandered – which was a lot.

It didn’t do much for the OCD. It did, however, do something else: it took away my appetite for chocolate. At some point, I can’t remember when, I not only stopped wanting to eat chocolate but felt vaguely queasy at the thought of it. Ditto all other candy. I hasten to add that I didn’t lose my appetite for cookies, cake (including chocolate cake), or desserts in general; just the highly concentrated sugar hits of chocolate and candy.

This effect was entirely unexpected. I wasn’t a chocoholic beforehand, but I certainly liked chocolate and had some most days – usually a couple of mini bars. I didn’t see this as a good habit, and I’m not complaining about losing it, but as I said, I was looking to change something else.

I gave up the meditation after two or three months, but my appetite for chocolate hasn’t come back. I’m currently staying with my parents, with access to the chocolates in their pantry. I haven’t even felt tempted.

I have no idea what actually happened. I figure something must have altered in my brain – but what, I don’t know.

Anyway, just putting this out there as an anecdote. Would be interested to know if others have had similar experiences. I know that meditation and spiritual practices can cause people to lose interest in meat, but I haven’t heard of it happening with chocolate!



Shoedibranchs, which are also reviewdibranchs, as promised. They turned out blue with pink interiors, but I think it’s fine with them:


Posted in Art |

The Burp of the Dodo

The Burp of the Dodo

A poem for 1st April, not by T.S. Eliot

Arthur is the candy man, belting
Lice out of the dark lord, missing
Mum and Dad, shooting
Doomed rogues with silver rifles.
Walter kept us white, clouding
Eeyore in Fortean science, filming
A lost legion with diamond tiaras.
Superman surveyed us, cape over the shoulder
With a swish of rayon; we spat in the chamberpot,
And waddled on in slippers, into the Hellmouth,
And developed culture, and twerked for a hoot.
Bingo killer robot, something like, echt dummkopf.
And when we were crazy, staying at the asylum,
My cat’s, he took me out on a spaceship,
And I was flattered. He said, Merde,
Merde, high on treason. And did we wonder.
In the mud, there you find fings.
I rattle, mender of the nets, and go sleep in the water.


“Beach Rubble” review at The Black Letters

Emera at The Black Letters recently reviewed Beach Rubble, a story reprinted in my collection That Book Your Mad Ancestor Wrote. It’s a lovely review, and it makes points that send me into reflection on my own work. It’s always a treat when a review shows me things I hadn’t noticed about my writing — in this case, amongst other things, how much I use the element of water. I haven’t been writing much lately, but perhaps I should try mentally slipping into some kind of wet environment and see if I can’t find something there…oddly, what I see first at the bottom of the pond or river I dive into are a pair of embroidered satin shoes, tea rose pink, laid neatly side by side and even stuffed with paper as if they were in a wardrobe. The paper is quickly gone and replaced with a fleshy interior, a foot with a waving turret of tentacles, a nudibranch, shoedibranch – imagery, not narrative, but thank you water – I will draw them of course!


Gary to caster

Or, the last remake of Gary…

I gave the Bauta ring to the jewellery caster today, and also gave them Gary. He’s a small, fiddly piece more suited to the jeweller’s equipment than a foundry’s, and while it will be more expensive I think the result will be worth it. He’ll be bronze, and I’ll do the patina myself. I’m heading back to Australia soon, so they should be waiting for me when I come back.

In other news, I’m now the proud owner of a mini trampoline. It’s better exercise than I expected, and of course less jarring than working out on a hard surface. And it’s fun. Probably the closest I’ll ever get to having my own bouncy castle.


Pan Returns

Today I did the bulk of the work on Gary – leaving the fiddly work, which, I know from having done it before, will take a few hours.

As well as the jewellery caster, I’ve found a new foundry to cast Pan. I poured wax in the mould, and found that the figure’s position is quite a bit different from the resin model (which was taken from my original), and also different, I think, from the one that was cast. Between him breaking, wax melting and bending, and possibly some welding of the metal cast, I can see how all kinds of things could get changed at that skinny point of his ankle, but I want him to look like the original – which means using the resin model, which has none of the fixes I made to the wax model that the mould was taken from.

So, I’ve taken the rotary tool to the resin to carve it a bit, but I probably won’t change it as much as I changed the wax – I’ll let a bit more roughness and expressive inaccuracy stay, just ’cause I can’t help liking the way it looks.

In other news, today I broke a marble stool just by sitting on it, by which I can only conclude that MY ARSE HAS SUPERPOWERS.

Posted in Art |

Native animals as pets


Good idea or not? I don’t know. But it seems like something worth investigating, both as a means of preserving species and of offering an alternative to cats and dogs which, wonderful though they are, are a terrible menace to native animals when they go feral.

Put it this way: human beings keep pets. That isn’t going to change. You can talk about depriving an animal of its natural life, but that goes for cats and dogs, too. Not to mention horses. So perhaps making pets of quolls would be the lesser evil — or not an evil at all, at least from the quoll’s point of view. We don’t know that an animal in the wild, exposed to predators, disease and the elements, is happier than an animal with a warm bed, meals and health care.

Making pets of wildlife shouldn’t take the place of habitat conservation. But I can see the argument that if we get to know these animals we might care more about preserving them.