Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Garden Gnomes

http://www.agracefuldeath.blogspot.com/ for updates on the A Graceful Death exhibition coming to Wimbledon in February 2010
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antonia.rolls1@btinternet.com to email me

Garden Gnomes.

Garden Gnomes. I love them, and want to make them. I have three connections to garden gnomes.

  • On leaving his job as a Director of a Publishing Firm, my magically gifted gardener of a grandfather was given Garden Gnomes. I think he burnt them.
  • Bognor Railway Station has, as it is the end of the line (trainwise), a glorious collection of Gnomes on the track by the ticket barrier. Apparently people jump onto the track and steal the gnomes. That just shows what a Must Have they are, and it also is a rotten thing to do. The Keeper Of The Gnomes at the station really does do a good job.
  • I remember reading in our local paper recently of a pub landlord waking to find a mysterious lorry load of Garden Gnomes had been left in his garden. I have not heard that there was an answer to why this happened or who did it or what was the underlying meaning. If there was one. (Wish they had done it to my garden.)

So I dream of making Garden Gnomes. I can't though, not really because I don't know how to make them weather proof and I have not a kiln and blahdi blahdi blah. So my dear talented deeply creative Graphic Designer friend in Dublin (yes, you) said Make Them Anyway.

Yesterday, I began. I spent such a happy afternoon in my studio fashioning a First Attempt. I put on the heating in the studio bit, placed a very neon fluffy pink cushion on the floor, put in a semi circle around me a tray of tea, my two palette knives, an Arsenal Mug of water and some deeply profound completely alien Norweigian Folk Music, and I began.

To say I was happy was an understatement. I sat squinting at the Thing I was making, working it out as I went along, and sticking my tongue out of the corner of my mouth. It is hard making something out of clay. It is just so slippery, fragile, rubbery and goddamn effortful, but it was Such Fun. When I finished my Thing, she couldn't yet be called a Garden Gnome, but she was the first attempt and therefore very lovely and part of the Learning Curve. She looks like a tiny Stone Age Fertility Symbol with most of the detail weathered away by time. But like I say, she is

  • The first of her kind
  • A prototype
  • Very difficult to do
  • Pretty Fab

And so I am going to do more. If any of you want to commission some Garden Gnomes for Indoors that Don't Look Like Garden Gnomes but are Incredibly Interesting Anyway (and colourful. When she is dry, I will paint her.) let's talk.

A few more snippets of news on the home front -

  • my new pillar box red sofa and two chairs were delivered yesterday. Nothing I own go with their magnificence, I need a whole new house to go with them.
  • 13 Year Old Son's teacher, 13 Year Old Son and I all had a meeting about homework yesterday. Teacher was very good and suggested a good system. It included doing homework. Very succinct, I thought.
  • And, worth mentioning, Lucy from London is taking me to a football match on 9 May. Arsenal v Fulham no less. I will have to tell 13 Year Old Son who is an Arsenal fan and then ask if I can borrow his Arsenal clothes. Insult to Injury.

And finally, my Mother and I are going to Maderia on holiday. The Rolls Girls Abroad. Oh Yes.

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