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 !

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Boardwalk Empire - the Best TV to come out of USA

I recently binge watch the complete series of Boardwalk Empire from HBO. I had never watch it before but had heard of it.

It is simply magnificent. In my opinion the best TV drama series to come out of the USA with The Sopranos in a close second.

I like everything about it - The opening sequence, the magnificent character acting, the lighting, the scripts, costumes and camera moves.

From US National Archives YouTube Channel here is "Inspired by Nelson Johnson’s New York Times best-selling book, HBO re-created the realism and texture of Prohibition-era Atlantic City in the hit series Boardwalk Empire. With video clips and behind-the-scenes stories, Terence Winter leads a discussion of the show’s creation. Panelists include Gretchen Mol, the actress who played Gillian Darmody; Edward McGinty, Jr., the actor who portrayed Ward Boss Boyd and research adviser for the show; Lesley Robson-Foster, visual effects supervisor; Nelson Johnson, author of Boardwalk Empire; and others."

On the set with principle Director/Scriptwriter Terence Winter

Boardwalk Empire: Designing An Empire (HBO)

From David Neat's web site

"The 1/4 inch (1:48) scale white card model for ‘Boardwalk Empire’ not only fully clarified the space but also communicated much of the ‘look’ due to the inclusion of the signage. Courtesy HBO ‘Boardwalk Empire: Designing an Empire’."

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"

Making of Hogworts Castle minature

While still having fun in England, Fellow Southland Model Engineers members, Eric and Pam Shackel have had the chance to visit the amazing 1/24th scale model of Hogwarts Castle used for exterior shots in every ‘Harry Potter’ movie. A short time-lapse of the making of this huge model is here.

The time worked out to build this model with the 86 artists and crew members equated to 74 years and it is 50 feet across filled with 2500 fibre optic lights.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Curves of nature - The architecture of Fred van Brandenburg

A great interview with architect Fred van Brandenburg on RNZ Nine till Noon from 2016.

Draping - first steps

I need to design costume for some characters. Not knowng how to sew - where do I start?

Last week I heard an interesting interview on National Radio about a film The life of Zac Posen: Sandy Chronopoulos. "The House of Z is a film following the meteoric rise of New York fashion designer Zac Posen. The film is the debut feature for Sandy Chronopoulos who spent a year with him to film it."

The interview talked about how Zac learnt how to design by draping fabric on dolls. I thought to myself. That could work for me. Especially if I sculpted the physical form and personalities of the characters first.

"Draping is the art of manipulating fabric directly on the dress form in three dimensions. It is the most creative way for a designer to turn design ideas into reality"

A great Youtube interview with Hartford Stage costume designer Barry Sellers explain how he does works up a design by draping fabric on a Mannequin.

Friday, July 7, 2017

About Mt Chocolate Exhibition

Mt Chocolate Exhibition
Discover the hidden story behind the building of a home and art studio on Mt Chocolate, a new native bush area in Clifton, Invercargill. The exhibition at the South Alive Art Gallery from 16 to 23 July, open 10am - 4pm is by local filmmaker and sculptor Mike Peters. On display will be architectural models, landscape & botanical photography, design and construction drawings and a handmade book of the project.

A creative workshop for Dyslexic students will also be held at the same time in the South Alive Hub taught by Mike and organised by Dyslexia Support Southland.

Design Process
The models on display are working models used to work out the form and proportion of the interconnected buildings, how they sit among the trees and look in the glowing skies. The buildings are to be built by Mike with the help of family and friends for himself and Tracy who left Christchurch after the earthquakes. The art studio will be used for art work for film, theatre and museums.

Mt Chocolate
Mt Chocolate is 1Ha, has been landscaped and is being planted in native plants similar to those found at Seaward Bush and Waituna. A feature of the bush will be Southern Rata surrounding a sphagnum moss wetland and a mosaic of plant communities. The owners will eventually seek legal protection via a QE2 National Trust Covenant.

More information
Any enquiries please contact
Tracy Peters
027 210 5800

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Mt Chocolate - The Exhibition A4 Poster

Here is the poster for Mt Chocolate - The Exhibition

The poster can be downloaded as a PDF for printing
Mt Chocolate: The Exhibition A4 Poster

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Mt Chocolate - The Exhibition

Discover the hidden story behind a nature conservation project and the building of a home and art studio in Clifton, Invercargill.

An exhibition by Filmmaker and Sculptor Mike Peters

Sunday 16 - Sunday 23 July, 10am - 4pm
South Alive Art Gallery
South City Mall, Elles Rd, Invercargill
 Architectural Models + Landscape & Botanical Photography + Handmade Book + Design & Construction Drawings