19 October 2012

Museum of Childhood (again)

Ladybird toy 
Last week I went to the Museum of Childhood with Melanie and Becca. I've been to the place so many times (it's one of my favourite places in London), and I have a lot of photos on this blog of the various different exhibits (look at the Museum  tag), so here's a few things I noticed for the first time. First up this amazing ride-on ladybird toy.
Lotte Reiniger Scenery
They also had this, one of Lotte Reiniger's scenes from Cinderella. I was surprised at how home-made the actual piece is- you can see pencil marks on the black card still and the edges are roughly taped (it's about 75cm across). I always wondered how she got some of the transparent layers- turns out it's layers of tracing paper and semi-translucent card sandwiched in between the main layers of tracing paper. Of couse when the whole thing is backlit with coloured lights it looks immaculate. Here's the film . . 

Magic Lantern Slide I 
They also have an excellent collection of magic lantern slides, one of my all-time favourite things. These two have levers at the side, which make the sea and kaleidoscope move respectively. I wish that magic lantern shows were still a common entertainment.
 Magic Lantern Slide II


Amoebas from Emma Falconer on Vimeo.

For the last two weeks, I've been doing work experience at an animation studio. I know I don't want to be an animator (too much minute adjusting of other people's artwork!), but it's been good to do anyway. I'd much prefer to design things, and then hand them over to some animating wonder, who would do a much better job than me. I made some minor contributions to an advert for Canadian tv (I'll probably link it when it's been on later in the year) and did costing for getting some promotional gifts made, but the most valuable thing has actually been just talking to people. Everyone is very friendly and helpful, and has insightful things to say. 
In the spare time I messed around with After Effects, and ended up with this. I was interested in the play of lights and shadows and lines mostly, which is why nothing too exciting happens, and why it's very short. I wanted the cilia to move, but didn't really have the time to hand-draw it, and the puppet tool on After Effects doesn't like fine-lined shapes with lots of transparent areas. My friend John Newman did the sound, after asking for small sound projects a little while back. It was kind of a Brian Eno/Windows type brief- 12 seconds that sounds like amoebas (but with less silly requests than the actual Microsoft one)

14 October 2012

October Music Mix

I've had an 8 tracks account since forever, but never got round to uploading any playlists. I'm always making new ones, either for the ipod, or for friends as mix cds. I used to add them to Spotify, but I haven't for a while now. All my playlists from this year are lost now though. Here's the songs I've been listening to this month:

Modest Mouse, Sleater-Kinney, Sonic Youth, Trail of Dead, Codeine, Hüsker Dü, Sentridoh/Lou Barlow, Arab Strap, Cat Power, Elliott Smith, Jeff Buckley, the Fall (Arab Strap are definitely NSFW)

(Also, I wish I knew what film the picture is a still from, I've had it saved for years, none the wiser)

07 October 2012

Abandoned school science lab

skeleton 2 
I was doing some residential teaching for the last 2 weeks. A group of year 9s from Chile came on a school trip, and I gave them lessons about English and British History/Culture and took them to various historical places like Cambridge and Canterbury. I was working in the middle of nowhere, in this old manor house in the middle of a national park. The house had been a boarding school from the 1920s to 2005, and the company I worked for was only using part of the building. 
We were the last school tour to be there before it was going to be handed over to the new owners, who no-one knew much about, but didn't seem to be using it as a school. There were lots of locked up rooms that had been used by the boarding school, but weren't used for the language holidays, like the science lab, and they had piles of school stuff lying everywhere. The attitude was pretty much feel free to explore, just make sure the kids don't get into anywhere that could be dangerous. The caretaker gave me the keys to the science lab, and later on, when all the kids had gone back home, and we were cleaning up, I explored the attics. Apparently all the school stuff was going to be sold off on the 10th of October in huge job lots, because the new owners wanted a clear building. I have a lot more photos, and some interesting things about the house that a local historian told us, but I'm going to start with the science lab pictures. 
tripods  trays  things  test tubes  
All the glassware in the lab looked like it had been reused forever. Everything was worn and stained. 
skeleton 1 
Scary student paintings!
magnifying glasses   jars 
The jars had various pickled creatures in. I would have liked to have taken some closer shots, but there was quite a lot of junk inbetween me and the jars. 
irritant .
flasks . experiment  electrics   droppers  corrosive 
Safe storage!
 corks 2 
corks 1 
bottles  bones
  bell jar

05 October 2012

I could be happy

I'm busy applying for jobs and hunting through boxes of hastily packed things and trying to do fun things that cost little to no money. 

I have a lot of photos to edit and post, of abandoned science labs, and topiary and other things, but I'll do them when I get round to it.

Yesterday I went to London in an attempt to return some expensive DM shoes I had only had for 4 months, which had a split sole already. They wouldn't let me return them because I didn't have the receipt, so I had to lug them round all day. I'll see if I can get them fixed, or returned via head office. It's not what you expect when you buy Dr Marten's shoes. 

I was also there to go to a private view for my friend Mark Pembrey. He does fantastic things with typography and printmaking, and he had an exhibition at Woolfson and Tay, a bookshop in Bermondsey. For some reason, I was expecting it to be in an old quaint building on a market square, but Bermondsey Square turns out to be super modern. In fact they were filming a reality show there, where various famous people had to run a restaurant/hotel. There were quite a few bored looking locals standing around outside the restaurant window to see if they could get a peek of anyone famous. The bookshop's great anyway (although wonderful bookshops are always painful when I'm broke) and I had a better time at the private view, chatting to Erika, Mark, Zoe and our teacher Graham than I ever would have had standing around outside a tv set.

In between, I met up with Vicky and two other girls from her illustration course, and we mooched around interesting shops and ate some (always fantastic) ice cream at Gelupo and oohed and ahhed over art books we can't afford.

These paper cutouts are about a centimetre tall. You could buy them in a laser-cut postcard to punch out yourself, but each card was £15. I couldn't find them on Magma Book's website though, so I have no idea who the designer is.

I also loved this badge and button map of the UK & Ireland by Vicky Cockell in the Festival Hall shop. There are lots of little in jokes in the choice of badges. Yorkshire is marked with a Kes badge, and Waterford with a "I cracked the Crystal Maze" one. I would love to own it, but it costs £250, and I have much more neccessary things to do with £250, so I'll have to stick to admiring it.

Also, me & Vicky shared a starter at dinner that was amazing. It was slices of polenta, topped with creamy sauce and sliced mushrooms and herbs. I want to cook it for myself now.

Also, I was in the supermarket with Tukru the other day, and they had a vending machine that sold Hello Kitty charms of starsigns. I put some money in, and joked that if I got Capricorn, my starsign, then it was obviously a mystic sign that my luck was finally turning. I did get Capricorn on the first go!


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