Tuesday 11 September 2012

Here is some old work of mine, just to show a technical side...
The chair is maple and hand made steel hinges, rubber covered wire seat.
It folds into a tube and was made in 1996.
Can you see that I had a theme at the time?
This piece was made just before the chair.
I was mad on Hyperbolic Parabolids.
Ended up writing my Thesis on Tensile Architecture...

I could not figure out how to make a jig to hold a ping pong ball still while I drilled it.
This had to be very accurate as well. Balls filled with Plaster.
I asked the head of the furniture course, Phil Hussey and got his answer.
I asked another lecturer who specialised in metal, Ian, got his sketches too.
Then, still not happy with the replies, went to the head of technical drawing -
Ivor I think he was called. And got some complicated sketched from him.
In the end I came up with a simpler better solution than all of them.
This was a real learning experience for me, one I hold close as I teach everyday.
Often children come up with much simpler ways of looking at the world.
I tend to over complicate my designs and solutions.
Too much thinking can be slow and bad.
I am tired of much of that. I used to study Philosophy, now I study Zen.
I suppose this is what happens when you have 2 young boys.
Our course was run by Philip Hussey and his identical twin brother, Trevor, was head of Philosophy and Sociology. He taught my girlfriend of the time.
We used to compare their handwriting and style when we had essays handed back, amazing brains and multi layered, branching styles of feedback.
So I got into Philosophy from talking to Phil who turned me on to Bertrand Russell, my favourite Philosopher for many reasons, the obvious one occurs to you once you have read a few of his works. Try 'In praise of Idleness' or 'The conquest of happiness'  and 'The problems of Philosophy' are a good start.
So Phil said one day why do you not go to my brothers lectures?
So I started going to his classes - writing essays for him to mark, one minute I would be chatting to Trevor, then literally within 5 mins Phil, very wierd experience as they often wore similar clothing.
Phil told me a story about Betrand Russell once. Him and his brother (who both had degrees in Philosophy - funnily Phils being a first, open university from memory and Trevor only a 2:1 - although from Oxford / Cambridge) rode on their Bikes to Betrand's house - he was old and not well at the time I think. It was a long journey for them and purely 'off the cuff' lets go see our hero!
When they got there, a bit scared and feeling silly knowing he would be too busy and important for them, they went and knocked at the door.
A woman opened the door and said 'ahhh! are you the 2 boys we are expecting?!'
They just stood stunned by what she had said, thinking
'we could lie and get in to meet him'
but no, instead Phil said 'no sorry we are not' and the reply was
'well he is too busy to meet anyone' so they got back onto their bikes and rode home.

So I feel you get out what you put in.
You either get in deep or roll up your trousers.

When standing - just stand.
When sitting - just sit.
Above all - do not wobble.


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