Category: Art and Craft

Cyber Punk London (by )

The Old and the New London

Years ago (over a decade actually) Alaric tasked me with illustrating two Role Playing Games he had written. I have been steadily working on them and part of that is finding suitable visuals to construct the very specific images needed. So I often trail around cities taking images of cyber punk type stuff and the fanciful - the weekend allowed me to sneak some pics 🙂

Ciggy bin face

Our cities are full of unexpected finds like this ciggy bin face - it is obviously a droid from Alpha Centuri and is fed up with people putting burning leaves into it's eye sockets!

Interesting micro structure in amongst the buildings London

Little micro structures hide, clinging to the larger buildings around them as if we truly are creating a jungle of a different type - covergent evolution, lies at the heart of this one 🙂

Pipes on buildings in London

There were so many great shapes and geometries but I had limited time as we were lit. rushing from the station to meet our friends. I want to go back and spend another creative weekend in London, catching as many of the little hidden textures as I can!

Looking up through the sky scrappers to a patch of sun light

As beautiful as the buildings are, there is also something menacing about some of them, they loom in and block out the light. But if you look hard enough it is still there, defiant of the giants that rise on metal frames.

A parasitic tower hiding in the sky scrapers London

Parasitic towers cling to their host buildings gloaming in reflected sunlight, the light was sunset light and was thick and golden, tinged with surrealism as the cities lights mingled with it.

Buildings reflecting buildings London

The city is a labrynth, including confusing and distorting reflection. They buildings are glass coated, they shine and reflect and capture each other's images, it can be hard to tell what is a building, and what is a reflection of a building on a building or a building within a building.

Steal and Glass rainbow reflection

The steal and glass and light created metallic rainbows and an eye rolling husband who was trying to make sure I did not walk off of steps or in front of cars as I was so captivated by the scenes.

Building geometry London

The building vary, some are angular and sharp and others are soft and curvy and some are curvy and angular but modular and it is a landscape of geometry.

Metal imitates bone and nerve

Again the shapes and angles begin to suggest something organic - in this case back bone and central nervous system - it made me think on what would happen if metal suddenly became alive - what sort of creatures would our cities spawn?

The scales of the gerkin London

Many patterns, textures and ornamentation where present and just waiting for me to capture them, the gerkin looks like glass scales, arching off into the distance. I am also starting a photo study of texture this spring and the buildings were a surprising source of such imagery.

Marshmallow trees and ancient church London

And of course hidden in this new glass and chrome London is an older London, and it cries out for stories and contrasts and has a kind of magic realism. These pictures scream... write us into a story, a poem, a piece on heritage and art... and that is indeed what will happen to these images, they will be appearing on my writing and art blogs in various guises as well as being used for drawing practice 🙂

marshmallow trees and red bricks hiding in glossy london

But really why are there giant marshmallows in these trees? And they were not the only strange and fantastical thing we found - a steampunk macarbe sat in the pub where we met our friends just before heading for curry on Brick Lane - there were clusters of young people preaching or goading or occupying London. There was a religious zing to them and they dressed in threads that were bare for aesthetics rather than worn to unravelling. I could not hear what was being said but they had followers with glassy zeal in their eyes. A passion pulsed in the underbelly but it was a safe fire, a cold fire.

Skeleton Seat The Water Poet London

We had a great meal and catch up with friends but as always I am reminded that my London is erroding, disappearing, I can not say weather this is a good or bad thing but London is bright and over whelming, like a million pieces of brain fire. Confetti of glitz and glam that may well tarnish or burn out in the blink of an eye. The markets are gentrified and hipster zones, interesting but no longer mine. Consumerism as always drives the city forward - this has not been lost on the natives living in all the envrions of London - a city of villages and zones.

Buy Shit graffiti London

Florence Nightingale The Puppet (by )

Florence Nightingale having a shocking read of Mr Greys Anatomy

Florence Nightingale the puppet is getting about over excited about Mr Gray's Anatomy. Like Ada Lovelace Florence is a Victorian icon famous for developing graphical representations of data and for being one of the founders of modern medicine.

Though she was made with the other four puppets that we developed after Ada she sadly has not had that many outings but now is her time to shine. The brain hat I knitted for the Science Showoff event will be one of her props along with the brain - she may have to share with some of the other puppets at times 🙂

Other works to go with her are scripts, research into her life, her manga self and a series of other textiles and papier mache props, possibly with some 3D printing.

She is very excited to be out and about and is currently relaxing after what has already been a hectic British Science Week - she will be at Cheltenham Hackspace on Sunday 19th of March (yes this Sunday as of time of posting), for the Science Cafe!

The Jan Recap… (by )

It's the end of January so what has gone on in the household snell-pym in the first month of 2017?

For a start there was the end of Christmas, I am still making the last few Advent vids ready for Christmas next year. We delivered presents though sadly not all the presents so we still have a back log!

Also mine and Mary's birthdays - mine involved a coffee, meal and shopping with Al before hospital stuff but we have only just done the proper celebration with kids and friends this weekend just gone which was also Mary's birthday. There was also posh vegan/Gluten Free brunch. Mary has so far played in the Waterstones cafe with her friend Lilly as her party is going to be in two weeks time. We've planned the party and got stuff ready for it.

This includes me working out how to make upcycled unicorn head bands and tail belts and little roll and pop up horses for the kids to make.

My mother was hospitalised so there was a trip to Essex and the adventures of getting home on the train which were unexpected.

DIY wise we have fixed several toys, remounted a coat rack which had pulled off the wall, dealt with networking and upgrading Jean's computer.

We got a telescope - an amazing thing which was a pool of Christmas money instead of presents for Al and Jean and part of mine and Mary's birthdays. We've seen binary stars so far. It was an undertaking to assemble and we now need to build a storage/transport box but it is assembled and being looked through though we've only had like three clear nights!

I've had three lots of testing at the hospital which took it's toll and norovirus hit the household. I missed a theatre meeting about performing a monologue and a poetry recording evening but I am being given second chances at those so that's all good.

I also missed my Krav self defence one off class and a poetry book launch which made me sad but on the other hand I was live streamed reading poetry at Food For Thought.

Talking of poetry I have also been typing up and editing poems from the BOOKCASE (Not shelf) of notebooks I have. The shear number is insane obv. not all of it is usable but a lot is so I have been organising Turquoise Monster and have even started submitting work again (as in 2 poems so far). I've written three poems this month predictable all about Trump. Of course I am doing my poetry writing challenges so I've drafted a good few more mostly not about Trump.

Jan has also been me gearing up for the poetry writing challenge that I host over at Wopo.

I have also designed, refined and created mini poetry scrolls, story scrolls, made bookwallets etc... for blank scrolls for others to write poetry on, personalised pencils and made write your own poem kits, made and put together 100 mini zine surprise pouches, story boarded two more zines, drafted half a short story, edited a couple of flash fictions, tried to write daily on this blog and started on the mammoth task of trying to sort out the Salaric Craft blog.

Also Storystorm - what used to be Picture Book Idea Month has rebranded and moved to Jan. so I have been idea generating and expanding on those ideas for kids books.

Alaric has been making a cufflink holder for the cufflinks I made him for Advent, the girls have been making invites and decorations for Mary's party and we have all been working on the cosplay outfits for True Believers Comic Festival which is this weekend coming. This has involved sewing, sticking, painting, metal twisting, papier mache and buying new wellys.

I had to get a third print run of my colouring book Love: A Stranger Dream made and in general have been trying to sort out The WigglyPets Press.

I have been teaching myself origami and have folded lit. hundreds of things from geometric modules to make bigger things from to little stand up foxes to pretty little boxes.

We've organised things for getting back down the allotment, so just sorting out containers for soil etc...

I've knitted four hats, made an Ironman craft kit, taken the kids to two (not us) birthday parties. Three projects are still currently being designed and refined including mending a rocking horse that is older than me. I accidently made a pair of slippers from an old coat whilst trying to make a portal gun (please tell me this happens to other people!).

Alaric made my laptop usable again (for now) and we had a chicken fatality 🙁 and we had to fix the chicken run and stuff and general animal stuff to sort out. We've got our new electric car and there was pie making!

NB pie was not chicken Al is veggi!

Jean is still at Scouts, Jujitsu, and Drama and Mary is doing her Ballet, both girls are missing climbing but for one of the parties we did get to go "caving". Alaric is still doing Krav and Hackspace each week. Oh and of course we had to do my tax (sobs!).

There were also visits from and too various family.

So that was January - it snowed and it rained and there was scary fog.

Poetry Scrolls and Food For Thought (by )

A packed Food for Thought Jan 2017

Saturday afternoon I went along for the third time to Food For Thought, this is a monthly spoken word event in Gloucesters Cafe Rene. It is a relatively diverse group who attend though it is down stairs one of the reasons I've only just discovered there is a basement venue!

It was live streamed - I read twice - I did Shy and Ice and managed once again to walk into the speaker making it a hat trick!

There was a good variety of works ranging from classical, comedic rhyme, rap type styly and stuff from behind bars.

Next month is there Two Year Anniversary!!! Sadly for me it classes with The True Believers Comic Book Festival but hey - COMIC BOOK FESTIVAL!!!!

I will be at the comic book fest as WigglyPets Press if anyone else is going. There is also a LARP craft fair thingy going on in Gloucester that weekend too!

Anyway... Food For Thought was great - it ended up being standing room only and there was a little dog!!! And babies.

I took along my mini poetry scrolls which I have been making since new year. These have my art work on side and a poem on the other. Alot of the art work I have used for the covers of my poetry zines etc... so the poems on those are ones from the relevant collections.

Illustrated mini poetry scrolls

I took along a whole bag of them and scattered them around the room before the event started. Someone thought I was scattering money on the tables because of they way they are rolled up. I laughed and said, "Money!!!! Don't be daft I'm a poet where would I get money like that from!".

Bag of mini poetry scrolls to give out at Food For Thought

I was kind of shy about it once people started to open them and read them - it's kind of an arrogance to assume people will want my stuff. And some don't want it, some people ignored them and others looked and then discarded and that is fine.

Some however picked them up and tracked me down and asked me questions about things like career or just wanted to state they liked them or wanted to know if the art work was mine as well (it is).

MiniIllustrated Poetry Scrolls by Sarah Snell-Pym

There are currently eight different poems, I am hoping to get that up to ten in the near future - as in before the end of the week.

Illustrated mini Poetry scrolls

I am filling up a little barrel full of them to take to book fairs and things. They have come out much nicer than I was expecting!!!

Poetry Scrolls

I've been developing this concept since New Year and part of it stems from the idea I had for our resolution jar and part of it came from something I read in one of the origami books I got. I've always loved my paper craft and the origami has helped spark so many ideas.

Poetry scrolls in box

I've even created some boxes and things from traditional origami to display the scrolls in. This part of the project is still under development but I think it's super cute so have decided to share it with you.

Mini Poetry Scrolls in origami box

The scrolls are small as shown by the coin for scale in the above photograph. However I still plan to make some even smaller ones. The idea of making really little writings like this is not new to me. When I was a kid we'd spend a lot of time in Wales visiting family and one day me and my brother were given the tiny tiniest bible - it sat in the palm of our hands. I loved it so much that a little poetry book about the same size was found or made for me (I'm not sure if my great uncle was making them or not). These were beautiful and I have always sort to create something similar.

Poetry Scroll Box with scroll lid

I want to display my works in lovely ways, this is my nature and something I feel has been some what repressed by me trying to make my creative stuff profitable/bill paying. The lid is a mock up in scrap paper where zine printing went wrong and does involve glue, I think once I've perfected it, it will look amazing!!!

I have several other box prototypes being tried out as well.

Now within the origami book it talked about making paper and different types of paper being used to convey part of the message or the feelings surrounding the gift. I felt this was almost an extension to visual or concrete poetry where the structure of the poem and the font of the works as well as where on the page etc... is part of the message or feel. And I also make textural artworks to add a sensory depth so this made me feel all goose bumpy, I could apply this to poetry!

Then I thought about what paper I could maybe write on and draw on and what textures it should be and then I thought... hang on rather than buying patterned paper I can use art works that I have already created to compliment/add depth to the poems. They are there already and I knew I wanted them to be scrolls, little one off treasures.

I considered making my own paper - I used to do this as a child with scrap office paper and food colouring, it tends to catch my pens so I only like using it for making boxes etc... I realise I probably just need to try different things but I am happy with my scrolls.

Yes they are held together with loom bands - silicon ones - I did ask the kids if I could have them and will be replacing what I use from their stocks and hey they've had all the ones people bought me!

And that leads us onto the butterflying effect of ideas: ideas beget ideas and you end up with what I term a thought cascade - sometimes it can get too much and stops you thinking all together!

So from this I now have story scrolls which are still in development and are big, micro scrolls which are titchy! And are actually a resurrection of an idea I had before the head injury of putting stories in jewellery. And then there are the poetry notelets!

Illustrated blank poetry notelets

The kids wanted to steal the poetry scrolls but they wanted to make their own but they want the pretty pictures and I run writing sessions and creativity drives etc... so I thought... blank poetry scrolls! Ones people can use to write their own poems on.

Blank Poetry Scrolls

So I selected the art work and made them. I rolled a set up to see how they look and I think they are fab! The girls love them 🙂

Rolled up poetry notelets

I picked art works of mine that I thought would be inspiring in and of themselves. Below is my favourite photo of them.

Illustrated poetry notelets turned into poetry scrolls by Sarah Snell-Pym

I am planning on releasing a templates PDF with them in. I might have to charge money for it or something because... bills. But I will also be leaving little sets of them around for people to find 🙂

They work best stored flat so I have been making little books and boxes for them. And also there are a couple of workshops I have worked out in and around this idea from creating your own from scratch to just using as writing aids but more on that later 🙂

Making and Creating (by )

So today has been a making things only day - when I got up I knew writing was going to be a no go as I am still recovering from the cognative tests at the hospital yesterday. This is what I made:

Upcycled book made with graze boxes and old colouring books

An upcycled book-wallet from graze boxes and colouring in books.

Flip note-let booklet with customised pencil

A little flip notelet holder also made from graze boxes and colouring in book (ie off cuts from the one upbove). Including a half pencil I have customised.

Origami boxes for story and poetry scrolls

Origami boxes made from special card Al bought me yesterday, for the large illustrated scrolls both story and poetry. Decorated with patterned tissue paper and stickers of my art work.

These are all still in the concepts phase as I need to see how they hold together etc... Also I have seen the colouring I did after the head injury and it is not pretty but mostly salvagable by help of black marker round the edges.

Here is more of the same from different angles:

WigglyPets Press mini pencil

I ended up using a cheese knife to remove a section of the vanished wood so that I could ink onto the pencil. Very pleased with how they came out though.

Book-wallet for blank poetry scrolls

The book-wallets are for blank poetry scrolls which can be used as note-lets. I am so so pleased with how this came out!

hand made book-wallet

It is lit. some card cut out from a graze box with colouring in sheets stuck to it.

Book wallet pouch with blank poetry scrolls or mini notepaper in

Using origami skills I then folded a double pouch which I stuck on the inside. I folded it out of an off cut from the uncoloured colouring in sheet I used from the inside.

Inside of upcyled book cover

I put the blank poetry scrolls which are little pieces of paper with my art work on that I have printed and cut to size. I hope they will help people get writing 🙂

Story Scrolls and box folds

These boxes came out lovely but the reason one has stickers on it is that it is actually very easy to buckle the cardboard, I ended up using a cheese knife to score lines where I wanted to fold and I added in a fold to make popping the boxes together nicer and avoid the ripping that occured with the first box. p.s. if anyone has seen my craft knives and metal ruler I would be most pleased to have them back but to be honest I don't think I've seen them since we moved from Essex!!!

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