…is observation — and not a little artistry.Jim Smith-Wright is working on a 4mm scale model of Birmingham New Street in the 1980s. Utterly superb modelling, of the kind that really makes you aspire to better and grander things yourself.
Photographers call it the “Golden Hour”. It’s the time just after sunrise, or just before sunset, when the light takes on a golden hue.
It’s a struggle sometimes, but it can be immensely rewarding getting up with the sun and going out with the camera.
Upnor Reach, River Medway, Kent.
As a modeller, my period is the late 1950s. This Flickr set of recently discovered intact and in situ original advertising posters of the period is wonderful grist to my mill.
They also hit the design buttons nicely, too.
It’s all about the craft. I’ve been coming to that conclusion over the past couple of years.
High tech, computers and whizzy gadgets are all well and good. I wouldn’t be in business without them, if I am honest. But there’s something much more satisfying about design and art when it’s hand-finished.
I love the crafted feel of letterpress printing. A hand-finished book binding is a joy to behold. Hand-painting signwriting is undervalued. Even the dirtier stuff, like blacksmithing and, yes, even restoring cars and lorries, have aspects of the love, attention to detail and the craftsmanship involved. Skills and techniques handed down from generation to generation, sometimes through an apprenticeship, honed and practised to perfection.
I need to look at ways to incorporate more craft in my work, and to engender the appreciation of such things in clients. One day, such hand-crafted skills may return to the ascendant, because we never know when something will knock our modern society into a cocked hat.
Sometimes, I can see a picture. It can be the most mundane object. In this case, the back door was ajar, catching the early afternoon sunlight, and throwing lovely long shadows while exposing my rubbish paintwork nicely!