Saturday saw me tootling off to Crail in the East Neuk of Fife to meet my new friend and analogue enthusiast Donald Tainsh and his partner Maggie.
Since our last meeting in Glasgow on the Dry Plate Workshop at Streetlevel, Photoworks, Donald has been waiting patiently to take delivery of his new camera 'The Intrepid'. His waiting time has not been wasted though as he has been preparing and perfecting his glass plate techniques: the story of which can be found on his blog.
The weather was on our side and we managed to make our exposures before the rain came out. It's fair to say that we caused quite a stir with our cameras being snapped a couple of times by the tourists!
I departed leaving a 'message in a bottle' for Donald and Maggie to launch later in the day. It's great how the internet connects you with fellow geeky friends!
The bottle was eventually dispatched on Saturday afternoon from a rocky outcrop almost as far east as you can go in Fife. Maggie made it over the rocks and pressed the shutter release to record (on glass!) me throwing the bottle out to sea. We watched it for about twenty minutes until we could see it no more as it bobbed on out in the direction of the North Sea. It was quite a moment that moved me to pen a (sort of) poem and once the plates are dry I’ll put it all together in a wee blog post!
The second of my bottles to leave Scottish shores was couriered and launched by my colleague and friend Mr Allan Paris and his partner Jackie Gardiner. Allan and Jackie are professional artists whose works can be found in both public and private collections. They love to travel the world and I am sure if it wasn't for work commitments they would be living abroad for a large part of the year. This summer they are visiting Menorca.........
....the "wee bottle" wen't into the water at 1.20pm on Thursday 28th July....at the mouth of Mahon harbour....the 2nd largest natural harbour on the planet, behind Pearl harbour, Hawiaii. ...photographs were taken....a family from Liverpool were sitting behind us on the harbour boat trip and they thought your idea was really "cool"
Procrastination..........the avoidance of doing a task which needs to be accomplished.
If you have chosen to be an artist (visual or otherwise) there are times when it is difficult to
begin to create. There can be many reasons why: work or family commitments, money, space. The most debilitating reasons though are fear of failure and trying to live up to the expectations of friends/family/others.
To help me keep on track I have devised a number of strategies:
It has been a couple of weeks since I have had the spare time to write an entry for my blog. A result of having to buckle down and bring up to speed my research essay whose deadline is approaching fast! For the first year of the Masters Programme we have had to write twelve reflective essays of 500 words to accompany each of the seminars and a 3,000 word research essay. Next year we will be expected to produce a 10,000 word dissertation.
On target for the deadline I have been spending days in between either in my studio or down the beach. I have been looking in particular for glass washed ashore as I will be working with one of the specialist technicians at Grays in the next couple of weeks learning how to make custom moulds to slump the found glass into tiles. These will be the supports for my analogue positives. I am also hoping to learn how to use the sand blaster so I can prepare glass for my dry plate adventures.
The summer holidays it may be but........................
Launched by Sarah MacLean and family, bottle #4 travelled from Arbroath in Sarah's pocket firstly by car and then by ferry from Fionnphort to Iona. In Iona the bottle attended a Mendelssohn concert at Iona Abbey before it was launched finally into the waves from the beach.
Sarah and her family watched the bottle anxiously as they were not sure if the tide was coming in or out. However on the return ferry they saw the red top of the bottle bobbing happily away halfway between the two ports. This time now wondering whether the currents would take the bottle North or South.
My messages in a bottle have caused much interest in the office, so much so that 3 of my fellow lecturers/friends have asked if they can launch a bottle for me while they are on their travels in the summer holidays.
The first of these bottles was launched last week by Sheila Watson at Torrox beach, Nerja, Malaga. What initially began as a launching of a bottle turned into a family performance event with each member of the family taking a role: Sheila - guardian of the bottle, Sheila's sister - photographer and last but not least Sheila's brother in law - bottle launcher.
"It was really windy that day, my brother in law threw it in as he has more strength than me
and we stood and watched it bobbing out to sea...it was kinda emotional you know! It took off at a great speed, we were really surprised!
Anyway I gathered up some little treasures from the beach at the spot we threw it in to bring back for you."