Thursday, 4 July 2013

Restoring and repurposing an old mangle to use as a printing press

I recently found this old 1908 "Little Giant" mangle in at Junk and Disorderly in Auckland, looking a little sad and lonely but with possible hidden talents. I'm hoping we can get it up and running as a press suitable for dry-point. 

(I have another old mangle that I use for small relief printing. It was passed down to me from a family member who was a known NZ printmaker in the 60s & 70s and I have always treasured having it, though I only began using it a year or so ago when I finally began learning printmaking skills.)

On consulting my technician (hubby), and getting his reassurance that he would indeed like a project of this ilk, we purchased the wee beast and bought him home.

Within moments, a sign of my hubby's eagerness (at the time), and with barely a chance for me to document it's initial state of being, he had it stripped down and in pieces. (Unfortunately this meant I didn't get very good before photos.)

Some of the quirky features are: the folding crank handle, the carry handle and the  marking gauges on the screws.

The wooden rollers are in good condition. Hubby's plan is to have them cased in steel by a local engineering company.  In fact everything is in pretty good nick - nothing a wire brush and a lick of paint can't deal to. This is a project that will take time but, hopefully, it will be worth the wait.
The cogs pre-cleaning

Cleaning up the pieces

How gorgeous are those cogs!
Painting some of the many pieces

Monday, 1 July 2013

100 Day Project

I heard about the 100 Day Project and decided to take part for any or all of the reasons that they suggested, namely "The project gives anyone a framework and the permission to be creative. It challenges you to dig deep into your creative reserves, to rely on your readiness to work in order to achieve creative breakthrough. It can be an end to procrastination, and the development of resilience. It takes a lot of energy, and yet the rewards can resonate for a long time after the 100th Day is over."

Again, in their words

"The 100 Days Project is simple. 
Choose one creative exercise, and then repeat it every day for 100 days.
Record each daily effort and see what evolves in the work and in the self over time."

Title page for my project
I wanted to choose something that would be easily achieved every day, that required very little in the way of materials or tools, and that had a free and easy set of rules, that wouldn't bind me and restrict me when inspiration and motivation were lacking. I wanted to set myself a task that was simple enough to achieve everyday such that there would be NO EXCUSES to carry on.
So, armed with a pocket-sized sketch book and a black ball point pen I am simply doing a drawing everyday to reflect some happening, musing, or inspiration. I need to fill at least a quarter of a page each day, but on occasion I can spill out to a half or 3/4 page if the desire so takes me. The drawings don't follow on from each other. They simply record a day's reflection. At the end of the project I look forward to having a little book filled with drawings that will hold memories and inspirations. When I'm lacking ideas I look to different styles of drawing or to different illustrators for inspiration. Or I just look around me until something takes my eye.
Holiday sketchbook

I began using this format for drawing when going away on holiday with my family last year.
Every time I go away I ALWAYS (some would say, compulsively) take art gear and good intentions but NEVER seem to get around to actually using any of it. Using this format and the mantra "no excuses, just spend 10 minutes a day on it!" I have come home from holidays with sand between my toes and a pocket book of memories. So easy, so rewarding.

The project started on June 7th so today is Day 25 - only 75 to go! So far, although some days are a little trying, I've not missed a day and I find that ideas feed new ideas. Also feedback from friends and family has been known to spark the odd idea too, usually from left field.

You can check our my project here.