Sunday, 24 April 2011

Meccano at the Olympic Park

Something rather large and wonderful is being made down the road from where I live. Not that I’ve got an Anish Kapoor in my back garden, but almost.

The Olympic Park is a short bike ride away - and we often cycle down to the Container CafĂ© adjacent to the 2012 Olympic (building) Site for coffee and Brownies (believe me - they do the best Brownies). 

The View Tube as it’s known is a haven for other cyclists and mummies and daddies with toddlers who want to watch the big diggers build the Olympics. But it’s also an Education Centre, a hub of Green Fingered gardening/reclaiming projects and an exhibition site for local school arts projects and artists.

The Anish Kapoor sculpture ‘Orbit’ which is being constructed next to the Olympic Stadium is coming along a treat. I’ve not heard any locals say a good thing about it other than it’s bloody huge, but I love the colour - real liquorice shoelace red and I’m really quite in love with it. 
It puts me in mind of roller coasters and a Meccano trumpet tied in knots. 
And judging by the small piece already in place … yes   it   will   be   massive.

Do go and take a look!

Self Help for Plastic Addicts

How about some work in progress, it’s Spring and I’m dabbling in new projects. I’ve always had a fascination for decorative plastics, I loved to buy cheap gum ball charms and rings as a kid. I love threading plastic beads - there’s nothing too precious about plastic jewellery, you can lose a piece and it won’t break the bank - unless of course it’s a one off Vintage Bakelite creation.

There’s plenty of informative blogs about the birth of early plastics and their use in fashion. I have fond memories of the weight and clunky sound of Bakelite - it’s quite distinctive, as is the smell of the warmed plastic. We had quite a few bits and bobs of Bakelite in my family home as a kid - light fittings, my dad’s razor box, electrical plugs - all in that swirled slightly dour muddy brown colour.

I look out for early plastic pins or brooches on my vintage fair forages and I’ve had a few successes, but not many. I’ve taken to drooling over Bakelite crib toys and articulated pins online - it’s become quite an addiction, so in the time honoured tradition of self-help I’ve decided to make my own.

I’ve got quite a collection of vintage buttons and findings and I’m thinking of investing in a small hand ‘Rota-tool’ for drilling and cutting. I’ve got quite a chunky cordless Makita, which is just a bit too hefty - a relic of my scenery making days

I ordered some beautiful Bakelite beads from Etsy - you really have to see them up close to see how glorious the colours are - like highly polished jelly beans. 

The guy on the left is a prototype, the doodle if you will. The more rotund jazz guy on the right will be the finished model with painted face, complete with silver trumpet dangling from his hand. Most of his components are Vintage Plastic. I’m making a jazz gal too - a la Ms Baker, with banana skirt. Both come with a pin on the reverse so I can wear them on jackets and coats. 

Watch this space for the completed jazz duo - sometime soon I hope.
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