Friday, 22 June 2012
Introducing Pauline Parsons. I was lucky enough to visit her at home some time ago when she opened her doors to the public. It was a chilly wintry evening in the Macclesfield area and we were invited around a bushy drive towards her shed. She and her partner welcomed us inside. In hindsight, I’m glad I took the photos you can see beneath. It’s always nice to have professionals rub off on you in any walk of life. I remember her saying that she didn’t use any glazes whatsoever. At the time, I thought she was mad, but after many unsuccessful trials and tribulations, I can now fully understand why. Clay, like wood, can be nice enough on its own. You don’t need to go and ruin it by slopping paint around all over the shop. Paint can conceal and disguise all the fine details.
TIME: 2-3 hours
CLAY: White St Thomas
TYPE: Hand build
STAGE: Not fired
PROJECTED COLOUR: Undecided
White St Thomas is a soft white clay. Gone are the days of darker clays like Terracotta, which soak up all the lighter glazes. Whiter clays offer a pale base, a clear slate if you like, for the colours of your paints to show up on. The colour of the clay can radically affect the end result after administering your glaze. So wise up.
The first I heard of Zack Khan, it was another British bodybuilder in an interview with Giles Thomas of MDTV calling him a “big horrible monster”. It was said in the voice of a hater, but received with interest, curiosity, and excitement. If somebody is hanging out in the pro ranks looking like a big horrible monster, then I for one wanna see him. In the sport of professional bodybuilding, it’s perfectly acceptable to look like a freak. It’s envied, called for, and loved.
The first I saw of him was on the Bodypower Expo poster on the door in a local gym. He could barely fit on the poster. We’re talking mass to spare here, you know what I mean?
Then I heard his endearing accent when I hit on his YouTube video blogs, documenting his road to recovery after an extremely serious injury to both his legs, ripping his quads on squats. Just that alone tells you something, doesn’t it? It’s hardly your typical everyday niggle. It’s not catching your pinkie on the dumbbell rack as you lift the 25 pounders off to do a set of seated hammer curls. Ripping both your quads means you must be really going for it, really pushing the limits.
What I see in this man is the best breath of fresh air since Gregg Valentino. The bodybuilding scene was getting boring. All these new Everyday Joe pros get you down. They are getting shorter and shorter and they look like barrels. Worse, they have zero personality. There are only so many Shawn Ray “back in the day” videos you can watch. I mean, Shawn’s a consummate professional with the microphone, but he’s no comedian. There’s not enough talking smack these days, if you ask me. The golden age, with the likes of Ronnie and Jay and Flex and Kevin and Chris, are gone. But all is not lost.
Because here we have Zack ‘King’ Khan, a British heavyweight of epic proportions who has the balls to reveal his life to the cameras and inspire people like me to write blog posts like this. Rather than go through the motions of buttering him up, I’ll get straight to the point and say that he makes us smile. He makes us laugh. And that’s all we really ask for in a pro, you know. That’s more than enough. Great physique, strict ethic, size to burn and a gritty condition are dozen to a penny (sort of), but someone who puts smiles on faces, amid the usual sour bunch? Priceless.
I’d have quite happily gone through all of Zack’s video blogs in order, from 1 to 97 onwards. He tells it straight, he cooks, he goes shopping, he gets around on crutches inside his house, he wears face paint, he smiles when he’s doing heavy seated rows, he’s down to earth. What comes over predominantly is that he’s a really nice fellow, all in all, a really brave nice fellow.
It’s thoroughly entertaining witnessing Zack churn out his innuendoes and lingo while cooking pasta in the microwave, or thinking on the spot while doing seminars, but don’t be fooled into thinking he’s nothing but a big softie with his cheeky smiles and playful attitude. The proof is in the pudding of any pro by their training sessions, and Zack leaves the fancy stuff at the door when he shifts some insanely intense weight. By golly, the size of him! A YouTube commenter said that he cares about nothing except being huge. Well, I seriously doubt that's true, but even if it is, amen to it!
Wednesday, 13 June 2012
What follows are examples of work from known associates I have collaborated with either past or present. Whether your efforts are superior or inferior to your competition is irrelevant. What matters is the artistic journey and exploration of self. Your only adversary, in reality, is you. The only object you should strive to better is your last, by you.
|ADDING DECORATIVE GLASS TO MELT INSIDE |
THE KILN. ANY OLD BROKEN BOTTLE OF STELLA WILL DO
|A CAST OF SOMEONE'S HEAD. CLEAR |
NOSTRIL PASSAGE ESSENTIAL FOR BREATHING.
|POOR GREEN PENGUIN HAD |
ITS WINGS CLIPPED. #OOPS
|LOVELY SILK PAINTING OF A |
GRAYSON PERRY-ESQUE VASE.
|PLENTIFULLY STAMPED HOUSE NUMBER |
PLATE FOR ATTACHMENT TO FRONT
DOOR. THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL.
|GLASS JEWEL SAMPLES. ATD IS IN A |
MAD RUSH TO EXPERIMENT WITH GLASS.
PRONTO. DOUBLE QUICK. SOON AS.
|LIGHTHOUSE LAMP NEEDS A |
SHADE. CAN YOU HELP?
|BASE OF LIGHTHOUSE. QUALITY |
JOB ON THE MOSSY ALGAE.
|ANOTHER LAMP BASE IN DEVELOPMENT.|
|A PUMPKIN SPHERE, WITH HOLES IN FOR LEDs.|
|THIS SPHERE FLASHES DURING DARKNESS|
THANKS TO SOLAR POWERED LEDs.
OH, AND IT'S SET INTO A PIECE OF LOG.
|ASHTRAYS IN THE SHAPE OF LUNGS. |
SO YOU DON'T FORGET TO TRY TO GIVE UP.
|THIS PEACOCK IS A SYNTHESIS OF CLAY AND GLASS.|
Sunday, 10 June 2012
Whoever posted on YouTube that this guy is peerless is right on the button. When it comes to vocabulary, not even Stephen Fry can keep up with him, and that is bloody well saying something. Every time Will speaks publicly it’s a perfect opportunity to tilt your ears, get the notepad out, and start learning some new words. Does he feel no sympathy for whoever he speaks with? Surely they don’t know the meaning of some of the words he comes out with. There is much to be said about Will, much aplenty, coz he makes us laugh out loud with the slightest effort. For now, peerless is enough. Peerless is a compliment of the very highest magnitude, and peerless is downright true.