Tuesday, July 25, 2017

An Exhibition Thank You

I would like to thank all the family, friends and neighbours who visited the recent Mt Chocolate exhibition to have a look, showed a lot of curiosity and got Mike thinking even more. 150 visited the exhibition during the week which was a good turnout given the location. In addition 20 attended (child and a parent together) a creative workshop by Mike for dyslexic minds.

Thanks are also given to;
  • Ari Edgecombe, Jan Ormsby, Frazer Murdoch, Steve Solomon and Elaine Matheson from the South Alive Arts Group for help with arranging and setting up the exhibition.
  • Nikki Aaron and Cress Evans from the office, Peggy Peek and Margaret Cook and the other South Alive Trustees for making the gallery available. Peggy for her wonderful welcome to guests at the opening.
  • Chris Cole of Dyslexia Support Southland for organising the creative workshop for dyslexic children with their parents.
  • Chris Dawson from Lego Users Group South (SouthLUG) for the loan of a big bucket of 20Kg of Lego bricks.
  • Chris and Brian Rance from Southland Community Nursery for the loan of 30 native plants.
  • David Fallow for heavy lifting, Steve Woller for a whole lot of heavy lifting and for being a wise sounding board about graphic design.
  • Ross Nicoll from Southland Woodworkers Guild (SWG) for the loan of a scroll saw used to make the 1:25 scale model buildings.
  • And finally Tracy Peters of Bodkin fame for keeping Mike to task, Chocolate catering, guiding visitors, driving, invitations and everything else that happens behind the scenes.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Designing With Models

I like designing with models. Then I make drawings. Usually the models are fully designed in my head in 3D before I even start. The models are for testing, tweaking, sharing with others. The models aren't precious - more like doodles.

I have done this for the last 40 years. Sculpted portraits of people are also done in my head before I pick up some clay. It makes it all very enjoying because I can then work from imagination and dreams.

When I worked in engineering for many years, welding and fabricating, I found I was able to look at drawings and build a 3D model in my head before starting work. A portable set of plans!

I design sets, landscaping, IT systems etc this way.

It drives other people nuts because they can't see what's going on till a model appears.

The recent Mt Chocolate - The Exhibition was put on for family, friends and neighbours. They were bugging me with questions about why I was doing the landscaping first and building last. And what were all the yellow pegs for!

Mt Chocolate is the name we have given our piece of land where we are planting a future native swamp forest reserve and building a home and art studio.

During the last week plenty of family, friends and neighbours came and had a look at the models, drawings, photos, and the beginnings of a handmade book about the project.

Here are some photos taken by Greg Fordyce during a recent club visit by members of the Southland model Engineers to have a look at the models. Thanks Greg !

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Elgin Park

Michael Paul Smith makes amazing photos using trick photography using models and real backgrounds. A lot of useful stuff here

A playlist of videos from Elgin Park

A short film about the man from National Geographic

A collection of photos on Flickr

From his website

"Michael Paul Smith's Elgin Park:
A 1/24th-scale recreation of everyday scenes from mid-20th century America, ranging from the 1920s to the mid-1960s

What started as an exercise in model-making and photography became a dreamlike reconstruction of the town Michael grew up in. It's not an exact recreation, but it does capture the mood and feel of his memories.

Photos posted on Flickr went viral, attracting millions of visitors from around the world. Michael's work has since been featured by media around the world.
The buildings are constructed of resin-coated paper, styrene plastic, and basswood, plus numerous found objects. The vehicles are from Michael's collection of 300+ commercially produced, diecast models.

No Photoshop was used in these images; they're all composed in the camera. It is the oldest trick in the special effects book: lining up a model with an appropriate background, then photographing it"