07/13/17

Sun & Moon hares

They’re finished, the other waxes are finished — 5 sets of dancing hares and 2 pairs of silent and noisy crows, and we’re all off to the foundry tomorrow — yay! I reinforced the new hares with harder wax, a bit of wooden skewer inside, and as you can see, more skewers outside. I think they’ll hold. Fingers crossed. They don’t fit in any of my boxes, so I think I’ll have to put them in a suitcase, carried flat.

After that I’m going to take a few days off. This work can be physically demanding, and my arm’s a bit sore. Tai chi and frequent short breaks help, but it needs a proper rest. On the up side, the fritter burn healed fine and I’m still keen on frying. There’s a simple yet satisfying sense of accomplishment when things come out golden and crispy and ready to eat.

07/10/17

Body horror for potatoes

Found this list of rather good gardening tips — I particularly like the eggshell starter pots:

On first read I also liked the idea of growing roses from trimmings poked into potatoes. Then I started thinking about the potatoes. Expecting to live a normal life and be eaten in a normal way, but then a thorny stem is poked into you, and slowly the plant takes you over, spreading its roots through your harmless flesh, consuming you with terrible leisure. Or perhaps it’s just that I like eating potatoes and selfishly don’t want to share them with roses. Perhaps a potato would rather merge with a rose than with me, and stay in the ground and never have to go in an oven.Save

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07/3/17

Another bit of Knights Out

More from the WIP novella:

Two weeks earlier, Gwynn had paid a visit to his tailor. If a cavalier of Ashamoil suffered from occupational hazards, his wardrobe suffered with him, so that even more than the civilian beau of fashion he required new outfits on a frequent schedule, and the appointment was for the fitting of several works in progress.

The tailor’s name was Aubrin Sill. His shop was in a small street above Fountains Bridge, in that old, trim, sedate quarter, cupped between two rugged hills, whose dominant species was the bespoke clothier. Most of the ateliers in the wooden shophouses affected an ouward simplicity, from which it might be gathered that they offered no more than the most basic correction of nakedness, and Sill’s establishment was no exception. Inside, however, one trod on plush fir-green carpets and sat on velvet seats within a grove of carved teak shelving, under a panelled ceiling with bronze gasoliers and water-powered fans: genius might be modest, but it charged an appropriate price for its works. At the side of the shop was a stall with a young groom in livery of the same green as the carpet, into whose care Gwynn delivered his horse before going inside, looking forward both to the indulgence of vanity and the pleasure of the tailor’s company.

He thought highly of Sill, which of course was nothing out of the ordinary. A tailor is the only infallible being that most people will ever encounter. A man without religion may still be moved to a worshipful state by many things, among them the sight of himself in a looking glass, kitted out in splendour, and view the one who kits him as something of an angel. But even in the sartorial heavenly orders Aubrin Sill ranked among the great ones of many wings and eyes. He was made for his work and was a master of it. He knew everything about flattering a figure and displayed the mind of a philosopher of art when he spoke of cut and fabric; and if on the one hand he found inspiration in a mandate to go a mile beyond the mode, the adventurous and conservative impulses were balanced in his character and he forbade a rabble of infelicities in dress, and thus had the dignity of a lawgiver, and to the man who had run off to join a circus he could give assurance that he would never appear as a clown.

But he was even more than this. If some gracious personalities are obviously false, his seemed obviously true; one would expect to find at the core of him the same refinement that characterised the surface. He possessed a quality above the usual benign dignity of tailors, a soulful radiance that nourished the spirits of all who came in contact with him, as though he were, if not an angel, then at least the human incarnation of some uncommonly effective tonic. Gwynn regarded him as one of the city’s very best features.

On that day, however, Aubrin Sill’s aura was scarcely in evidence.

07/3/17

Ngk

These two bigger hares are rather more trouble than the three small ones. For casting’s sake I’m trying to kind of tidy up the wax while still keeping a spontaneous look, and it’s surprisingly fiddly. They’re generally unwieldy, and with the dark wax I have to wear glasses to see what I’m doing. Also, their long skinny torsos are worryingly bendy. The armature wire I used was too soft. I’ve tried replacing the wax with hard Castilene, which wasn’t hard enough, and now harder wax, which still doesn’t seem sufficiently rigid. Next stop, epoxy. I’ve only ever used it for repairing a garden statue, not for modelling, so I’ll have to give it a trial run. Or try and stiffen that part of the armature with steel wire — since I’ll have to remove the wax I might as well try that.