Archive for January, 2012


I think I am going to start carrying the camera around with me to take photos of random things. I find that I am out and about and see something that I would like to take a photo of and don’t have the camera with me to be able to do it. The iPhone just does not cut it…..


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India Highlights

Reflecting on our trip to India, it all seems so long ago. We spent 10 days travelling between Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, and in that time saw so many wonderful sights. Although it was winter, the colours were everything you would expect from one of the most vibrant places on earth! Fabrics covered in the most intricate detail, many made by hand, astound you in their workmanship. Likewise, the grand scale of monuments, forts, and mosques, can take your breath away. Everything seems to be on a grand scale. You feel so small when you stand in these mammoth spaces and see all of the intricate carving and inlay work.

One of the most fascinating sights you see in India is of course the Taj Mahal. This is one of the most beautiful tributes to love in the world and you cannot help but be blown away by the sheer size of the place. But for me, one of the most inspirational aspects of this building and a lot of other buildings in the area, is the use of Pietra Dura. This is a technique technique of using cut and fitted, highly-polished colored stones to create images. This is everywhere on the Tak as well in Agra Fort. The skills required for this form of art and the sheer number of people who would have been employed to create these was immense. Around 20,000 people worked on the Taj to build it and they worked 24hrs a day!

The most inspiring aspect of India however were the carvings and workmanship on the buildings. Inlay work was certainly an inspiration and I see applications for that in my own work, but the carving and detail of carving has been something that has always inspired the creativity in me. Even when we were in Thailand, Bali, and Cambodia, you see it everywhere and it is the single most inspiring aspect of a building that makes me think “I want to do that!”

I have played around with creating figurines before. Small sculptures and wearable are, but I believe now, that because these have received such great responses from everyone, that I really need to focus on creating something different from the rest. My focus has been on a commercial road for the last few years. Trying to build a business in the “same same but different” world of jewellery, but now I am thinking that I need to focus on creating pieces that still incorporate the skills that I have and the techniques that I know but as pieces of art rather than pieces of jewellery.

This years focus is to create pieces that are more about me and less about the end product and who will be purchasing them, wearing them and promoting them.


I have also started to write a story. I had a dream about a year ago about a story that I could write and I have finally sat down and started to flesh out the full story. I have even written a little teaser to the action and am working out the structure. I have always wanted to write something. A fictional novel. Now seems like the better time to start and why not. It will be a long process in getting the book together but as long as I do a little bit each week I think it will grow into something that will hopefully entertain people. Who knows, one day it may even be published!


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Something in the wings

I have this sense of being on the verge of something and I’m not sure of what. I’m looking around and feeling a sense of excitement and anticipation.
Where this is coming from I’m not sure, but I want to get started. There are a few focuses on the table for me this year, one of which is a new body of work focused toward sculpture. This is already feeding into Jewellery and I’m really looking forward to heading in this direction. I have not seen anyone do the ideas I have in my head and down on paper so I am excited to get a start on it.
There is something more however and I feel that this is something I have been wanting to do for a long time. I want to write. I have a synopsis which I have started working on and will develop further. It will be a darker story set in a time of the emerging industrial revolution. Another exciting journey to undertake.
There are many others but one has to be a realist and focus on a few at a time so not to spread oneself too thin. I no longer have the patience for that!
It’s now a matter of picking up the pencil and starting the process.

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India Continued……

Since my last update we have ventured from Agra to Ranthambhore National Park. On the way we visited Agra Fort and the descendants of one of the families who did the Pietra Dura, which is the stone inlay technique which covers a majority of the Taj Mahal and many other of the later temples and forts in the area. A very inspiring technique that used various semi precious stones such as Onyx, Emeralds, Rubies, Jade, and many others as decorative elements in white marble. I found this technique fascinating and seeing them actually create this artwork in front of us was fantastic. I have already been thinking of how I can apply this to my own artwork! Of course!

Creating Pietra Dura.

We saw Agra Fort also which was very interesting and a rather extensive fort. The second largest from my recollection of what the guide told us. Very beautiful and if I was a king I would be rather happy with living here! Although, the son of the king decided that it was his turn to rule and placed his father under house arrest. This meant that the former king could only access one tower in which he spent most of his time. He was able to visit a mosque for prayer but that was it. This ends up being a very small part of the massive fort.

Our stay in Ranthambhore National Park was at the Taj. This used to be the Maharaja’s private hunting lodge and the national park used to be his private hunting grounds. This was our Tiger spotting adventure, but with 9 tigers throughout the whole park, it was impossible to locate a tiger:

We saw plenty of other wildlife though:

So, India thus far has been amazing and although we did not see a tiger, I am not too concerned. We have seen some beautiful sights to which I will once again make a dvd slide show of for YouTube! Alex has taken nearly 1000 photo’s thus far and there is no way I can put that all on here!

I will endeavour to place more photos on the blog soon.

Both of us have been playing phone tag with our reception. One moment he has reception and the next I do so we have not been able to send everyone our Happy New Year!!!

But this is it! Happy New Year to all and may 2012 be nice a shiny for the whole year! The only way is up!!!

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