To get hold of my Spoons please visit my Shop at 260 Hackney Rd London.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

1st Day at Beauty School

I'm sat there with a pair of tweezers in my hand trying my best to hold them steady, my hands feel a little creaky as i've made a lot of spoons this week, stretching her skin and trying to catch sight of a hair in the light i struggle to get a grip on a little hair. It's only a few mm long but it's thick and black, i pull it taut and then with a quick pull out it comes, no screams or flinches...

Of course she didn't scream because she's dead it's Anabelle my once "baby pig" has now all grown up been killed and chopped up. The small portion of belly with it's mamalian hairy skin and subcutaneous layer of fat was roasted today i had the job of pulling out the last few hairs on her skin so there would be lovely hair free crackling.

I have to admit the roast was amazing and the flavour really was a lot better than shop bought pork. But it did feel a little strange, knowing that i had tickled that belly while Anabelle was alive. And now i was trying to turn that skin which for all intense and purposes is identical to human flesh into crisp bits of crackling.

While we kept the four pigs i wasn't phased by the idea of eating their meat, though it is not something i have done before. i always felt it was somehow undignified for me to pay other people to do it on my behalf, without at least knowing something of the experience myself.

One thing i noticed is that after three pigs were slaughtered i made a much closer bond with the Pig that was kept for breeding, this is in part because of the great weather giving me more time in the pig field and also the guilt of her being left by herself made me visit more often. But i am in no doubt that i bonded less with Anabelle because i knew she would be killed.

It made me think of all the other objects and living things that i don't bond with because of the my expectation of the outcome. Like thinking about the million Children that die each year from Malaria, because if i really thought hard about those children and that stayed on my mind then i would be forced to act upon the feelings. Or global warming just to pick a couple of clich├ęd examples.

It wouldn't do to go around with the weight of the world on your shoulders because you wouldn't get anything done and that would be of no use to anyone. The fact is most people have enough on their plate as it is with paying mortgages and looking after their own children etc.

We tend to make a lot of these moral decisions as a society through the media, the newspapers are trying to guess what our moral standpoint is on a hot piece of news and then try to serve it up in that manner to suit our moral tastes so that we consume it. We know what our views are on GM crops (they are clearly evil) and at the moment we seem to be deciding on footballers their wives and some women who aren't their wives. 

I wonder if in fifty years time we'll still be eating meat, and i wonder how many children a year will be dying.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Pedlar's Certificate £12.25/annum

The 1871 Act defines a pedlar as
"a person who, without any horse or other beast, travels and trades on foot from town to town carrying to sell or exposing for sale any goods, wares or merchandise or procuring orders for the same, or selling or offering for sale his skill and handicraft".

For further information about this please check out this site it's amazing

I am currently renewing my license, having left my winter's residence on 1st May (a great time of year to move on) I have been travelling around a lot and now find myself in Plymouth for 2 weeks whilst I try and get my foot and wrist sorted. It is now time to renew my certificate.

I went to the police station and filled in a very simple form, I took a couple of passport size photos and some photo ID plus another form of ID. I had to pay £12.25 precisely (they do not give change and they cannot accept over the amount, don't ask why). I now await the local Beat Manager to get in contact, he will get a police check done on me and soon enough I will have my certificate renewed.

Street selling is a precious thing to me, i feel very at home and happy whilst pedling my wares. I consider it a very beautiful thing to be able to do something as simple as collecting a piece of wood carving it into a desirable object and selling it to a member of the public on one of our streets. And I am glad to see more and more people are doing it and I do consider it their right to do so. I am not an Anarchist (though sometimes i do lean that way) so i do think it is worth having a certificate, this enables the public to know that we have at least had a police check and that any Pedlar acting beyond the law will have his certificate removed, and anyone in this country can scrape £12.25 together.

Like money Law can be used to enable and empower the individual, the Pedlar's Certificate is a bit of paper that straddles both these concepts, it protects an individuals right to make their way in life unimpeded by the power and impudence of organisations like councils or incomprehensibly large industrial giants like Tesco (such giants overpower ecosystems not just individuals). It does this by enabling an individual to trade with other members of the public in a real 3D space.

Please take the time to think about whether you think it's ok for someone to act as a Pedlar, and if you do think it's ok then help to protect it by talking to others about it.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

When something becomes nothing

I have often wondered why we do what we do, this is obviously a small part of a bigger question.

Most people in this country have thousands of different careers that they could chose from. i am single and childless with no responsabilities and i have not been born into a spoon carving dynasty with the expectation that i carry on the good spooner family name. So why do i chose to make spoons, well it should be obvious why spoons, so i'll focus on why "Make".

Creating something is a very satisfying thing, and when you focus your efforts onto one type of thing you gain much understanding, the way you think about and feel about your creations becomes deeper. For me there is the challenge and there is the outcome. i enjoy the challenge and i think this is in part simply because of the need to do something, there is a sense of progress as i become more proficient at manifesting the spoons i dream of making.

Then there is the outcome some spoons i love because they are beautiful. and not just aesthetically their beauty is in their functionality or their simple lines or something special that only i know about them such as where the wood came from and the circumstances of the wood retreival, or what was going through my mind at the time of making. Sometimes the spoons are ugly and i love them because they are so. sometimes i will stare for hours at a spoon wondering about it's existence. Using a spoon to cook or to eat, when i see someone eating a meal with one of my spoons i am filled with joy and what can be better than serving someone food with a spoon you have made for them. There are times when i have produced things i have been so proud of i have cried (how embarassing!).

When it comes down to it i aim to make something that has pure ideals, a spoon that functions beautifully and has clean efficient lines too simple to hide any lies, ordinary in every way but special beyond measure.

And when you hold something like that, something precious to you and someone takes that away and you realise that precious thing you thought existed no longer does. when something becomes nothing, and that space in your heart that it had filled is now just empty.

If i'm being honest it's that empty feeling that drives me on to keep making, it's the only reliable way i can fill the void.

so why do you make things?