Thursday, 29 August 2013


Well this is disconcerting, being dead. I gather it happened at some point in the last week, just after I’d opened the last box that I’d been waiting for from the printers. Apparently it was a “Massive Myocardial Infarction brought on by excessive consumption of caffeine pills, Ritalin, and energy drinks over an extended period of time”. The bastards killed me. I knew it, I knew something like this would happen. I could feel it. They were sucking the life out of me one click of the mouse at a time. 

They were killing me, but then really I was doing it, to myself, and I knew it had to be done. They were important. I was onto something, and even if they were going to be my epitaph I knew it would be a glorious one. It is precisely because they drained me so completely that they can now go forth and embody me so comprehensively. They are me, and I am no longer. Well, shortly I will be no longer. It was my followers on Twitter who raised the alarm after I hadn’t tweeted in two days, and wasn’t replying DM’s, and it was my fans generally, on Fb, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, that lobbied for the stuff I had been working on, the project I had just completed, my magnum opus, my progeny, my terracotta army, to be kept in perpetuity, to be put on display, to be lauded. Paradigmatic they said, exemplary of what a maverick, independent, eccentric designer could do at the start of the 21st Century.

^My Byronic ode to the infinite thinness & ineffable depths of technology & the internet

They even took the fragments of the epic youtube film that I had been working on, what was going to be my “grand viral saga”, my Byronic ode to the infinite thinness and the ineffable depths of my life and of the internet, and they put them together to be shown with my children. The whole lot was bought by the Design Museum, to be put in a gallery supposedly. Apparently as the contemporary epitome of ‘Identity’ being manifested in objects of design. Makes sense, I mean those things basically consumed me. They are me, they’re all that’s left of me, and as I fade away I can at least take comfort in the thought that I gave birth to something worthwhile; that my body may be carbonised and float up into the afternoon sky, but I will remain, hard and shiny, colourful, bold, tasty, and delightful, offering myself up to the gaze of every passer-by, flirting, glinting, enticing…

^my pieces in the Design Museum

Wednesday, 28 August 2013


I get this thing when I'm on to something where I'm like, just let me finish it before anything happens to me, something’s going to happen to me, I know it, I can’t shake the feeling, but please just let me finish this... Cycling around becomes a whole world of anxiety because I start worrying that if I get knocked off my bike I won't be able to finish what I started, and I have to be able to, to get it done. I’m getting it at the moment, with all this stuff that I’ve been doing recently, it’s kind of taken me over, its like these things are using me, making me give birth to them, over and over, again and again, and there needs to be more and more of them. I’m getting insane re-blog rates on tumblr right now, and yet I just don’t care what people think anymore, there’s this thing I’ve got to get done and that’s it, now, as soon as possible, these beautiful babies that I have to bring in to the world. For their own sake. For them, all of them, all together. They’re using me, sucking the energy out of me. I’m at their service, doing their bidding, exercising their will. I’m barely doing anything else at the moment. I couldn’t care less if my inbox is jam packed, I’ve turned off all push notifications, I uninstalled Skype from my computer. I don’t really understand it, but I like it, like I’ve got a purpose again. This little world that I’m slowly disgorging. It’s slowly emptying me out. These objects are slowly emptying me out. One vessel at a time. I’m shrinking as their ranks grow, but I’m also growing more satisfied, calmer. They are demanding taskmasters, but I don’t mind. I love them. Looking at them in front of me gives me a sense of permanence, a sense of security -stasis- that I’ve never had before. They are me, but a purer me than I could ever be. Just a few more now…

Wednesday, 21 August 2013


^MeMeMeMe Totems, Glazed Porcelain

As far as I'm concerned there's no point in making anything that won't make you want to eat it just by looking at it. Beauty is great and everything, but I don't think that anything can beat something that is totally irresistible, stuff that is so completely luscious you just want to shove as much of it in your mouth as you possibly can, or lick it like mad like it’s a huge, ice cold, five scoop strawberry ice bonanza. Most food looks like crap and does anything but make you want to eat it. It’s frankly got nothing to do with whether you can actually eat something or not. It’s all about how much it gets your senses going, how quickly and strongly it gets to your gut through your eyes, how quickly it makes you salivate with longing. Our senses, our urges, all our various bodily desires that can be aroused have extremely vague boundaries, they blur into one another. One thing that triggers hunger, if it’s got enough going for it, quite easily tickles a few sensors in the horny department and bam! You’ve got a naughty little piece of porcelain feeding you at the same time as getting you off, whilst all the time doing nothing but sitting there quietly. Coquettish, delicious inertness. That’s what I want to see from the things that emerge from my kiln. Armies of them, phalanxes of indescribably appetizing, delicately lustful, bright, yummy, scrumptious, gorgeous soldiers. Rank upon rank upon rank standing naughtily to attention. My very own Terracotta army fighting in perpetuity, not for beauty, not for my memory, but for deliciousness, delight, titillation and desire.

More me, me, me and me than I could ever be.

^MeMeMeMe Totems, Glazed Porcelain

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Stepwell Whirl

99 Flake, heaven in a cone, twisted as it comes out the machine, white spiral of delight. Sexiest damn piece of food design in the history of everything, the Mr Whippy whirl. Thatcher's one and only, uncontestedly brilliant gift to the world. Bright like teeth in a ridiculously healthy smile, voluptuous and curvy like the most naughty things imaginable. They should make beds like that, doors, lamps, toilets, tables. In fact I will. In fact I did.

In India they have these step wells, their sides are just ranks and ranks of steps. Its because the water level changes so much that people sometimes need to go down fifteen metres or so to fill their buckets. They're weird, ancient, strange looking, the kind of thing that would look great in a fantasy film. In Fellini's brilliant camp-fest the 'Satyricon', he transforms this kind of setup into a multi-storey brothel, an uncanny inverted pyramid of carnal desire. Lurid, strange, ancient, vulgar, dirty, glorious. Pink. Red. Hot.

Sunday, 11 August 2013


God made Adam by baking earth in the fire of his breath. So he was basically a lone designer who came up with the concept of mankind and fabricated everything himself. With his fiery breath, and his mud, he was really like the first studio potter of them all.

I mean I was already essentially shooting off Adams left right and centre, printing them all over the place, imaterialise, shapeways. Selling loads too, online. But I was like God without his fiery breath. I was like a studio potter without a kiln. Everything that I could touch was made somewhere else. Well now there’s my laptop in front of me, and behind me I’ve got a kiln. I can breathe life into earth at the same time as breathing life into bytes. Bam! The setup’s complete: Laptop, Kiln, Candelabra, Urn, and a touch of genius. My objects, my daydreams, my minions shall inherit this earth.

^photo by Tanya Gomez

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Candelabra Urn

To celebrate his passing 30,000 followers on Tumblr he burned the letter his ex had left him the day she stormed out, outlining everything that was weird, obsessive and antisocial about him, and sealed it’s ashes in an urn he’d gotten printed, thereby forever laying to rest his nagging terror both of her potentially being right, and of his being forever alone.

As his online popularity grew, as he started to really get what people responded to in video, posts, tweets, pretty much any medium that came his way, he began to think of himself, sitting there at his laptop typing and clicking, as if he were just like Liberace at his piano, only way cooler. The only thing missing was the candelabra, some trademark scenography, which he promptly set about modelling, ordering, receiving, and sticking next to him on the desk so that it framed his face in all his new Vine and Youtube vids. In his head the stage was now set for world domination…

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Exquisite Ennui

^Vase from the 'Exquisite Ennui' Series, Glazed earthenware

After the second half pill, a big pack of Doritos, and probably the third bottle of Tesco's own Soave, which had altogether lasted them the duration of Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and an episode of something about what it’s like to be really, really fat, they mulled over the fact that they didn't really do much together other than watch stuff on screens.

People around them were taking up hobbies, playing Ukele in the park, doing yoga, cycling, making pottery, obsessively taking pictures of everything and anything they cooked, touched, saw, did, with their old hand-held film Pentaxes, and developing it all in their cupboard. One particular acquaintance they all pretended to like had her own allotment, and had sworn to only eat things that she grew herself because the Supermarkets were “Poisoning all of us”. She was supposedly going to make a documentary out of her experience.  Everyone seemed to be making a point of doing stuff that was hands on, that was old-school, crafty, communal. Some people had even made a point of leaving facebook, which was rubbish because they seemed to mostly be people that they all loathed equally, and whose photo streams and status updates they had spent many happy hours together coming up with snarky comments about.

^2 Vases from the 'Exquisite Ennui' Series, Glazed earthenware

Anyway, not to be left out, they needed something along those lines that they could post to facebook/twitter/flickr/instagram and tag/@ each other in, and since one of their mothers liked making bad clay sculptures of ‘abstract’ interlocking figures, and had a kiln, and mountains of spare clay, and her studio was basically her kitchen, they started making pottery. All of them except one had been to Art School at some point, and so they all agreed it would be simplest running with a Cadavre Exquis type thing. It was an easy way of making something look random and cool, while equally dividing up the workload, and actually making everything a whole lot easier because nothing really needed to be planned, or discussed. One of them would take a strip of clay and bend it into a wiggly shape, pass it on to the next person who would bend another wiggly strip and then stick that one to the previous one, pass it on and so on and so on, until soon enough, after a few times round the table, they would have an unpredictably random looking symbol of their coolness. Sometimes they’d keep going and make something big, other times they’d like what they had quite quickly and end up making lots of little things. 

They’d keep the door to the garden open, have the TV on, a spliff in counter-rotational movement to the clay, a laptop in the middle of the table, bowls of crisps, some regional craft cider that would look good in photos, and plenty of 2litre bottles of Soave. At least one of them at any given moment would be snapping Vine vids and posting them online that showed lots of clay covered hands and them just generally having an amazing, old-school time. They got the mum to fire and glaze whatever they made –as well as clean up the mess they left- and without really having to change their lifestyles that much they got to keep acting as holy-as-thou as they liked around everyone else because frankly, unfairly, the stuff that came out of their weekly binges was really quite amazing. 

They even got into the local newspaper and a whole load of blogs because they marketed the pieces online as “communally made by young local craftspeople, trained in British arts colleges, who have a passion for keeping traditional skills alive whilst pushing the newest in design ideas.” On their ebay page you couldn’t avoid in huge graphics that 30% of any money they made was donated to a fund that ‘fights the negative effects of gentrification on local communities’.

^Vase from the 'Exquisite Ennui' Series, Glazed earthenware

Monday, 29 July 2013

57th Rome

^Two pieces from the "57th Rome" 3d-printed Ceramic Collection

There was this old history doc on More4 the other day that had these really bad early cgi fly throughs of a super low-res version of Carthage. They were going on about how grand it had been, rival to Rome, how violent the siege had been, what a loss to the world its destruction had been etc. But its huge circular harbour, its acropolis and its piled up buildings were all rendered in badly bitmapped cylinders and rectangular extrusions, and everything was blurry-edged and a bit fuzzy cos the animation had been really badly de-interlaced. It felt more like Mario64 does Carthage with a faulty graphics card than anything else. It was gorgeous though. I’ve always liked ruins and their reconstructions, they always get me thinking and guessing about what this bit was, what that bit did, who lived in it, what was the world like then. This kind of did that, I mean just hinting at Carthage is enough to set your fantasy-loving mind off on a Game-of-Thrones-like bender, but it was also like another kind of reconstruction, of the early digital era, of when I was 12 and CD-Roms were new and we played Myst, a time that seems hazy and as impossibly remote as the colonnaded agora in which the Carthaginians sacrificed their children to the fire. The ancient Mediterranean meets antiquated technology, with somehow the former being infinitely more sophisticated than the latter. Take a Carthaginian column and you’ve got a stack of amazing sculpture, its capital, fluting, entablature, it’s all rich as hell. But then stick it through the filter of early computers like they did in that documentary and it gets completely changed. It gets reduced to a kind of even more ancient, prehistoric sort of primitiveness. The fluting goes, the capital loses everything except its bounding box, the entablature becomes a flattish surface. It’s a double ruin. The city got reconstructed from the ruins of its story, its traces, but the limit of the animator’s tools meant that in a way they ruined the reconstruction, instantly joining together for all eternity, in perpetuity, through the vehicle of that animation, a certain moment in the sped-up technological time of the 90s, and the pungent era of epic mythological time of Carthage and Rome. I think we should try and do it more often, what that animation did. We should reconstruct things that we are obsessed with from the impossibly distant past: things, objects, buildings. We should reconstruct them with all the modern tools at our disposal, knowing full well that we are ruining them in the process. Ruination through making. Fabrication Technology as Time Machine that transforms the past. Amphorae, Oil Lamps, Candelabra; NVidia Quadro, ZCorp6500, Photoshop CS6.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013


^a Lovenir

There’s no point having sex unless you record it. And forget snapchat, vine, movs, you might as well go the whole hog and do something proper, push the limits, and I don’t mean just another fuzzy, badly framed phone vid pasted together on imovie with shit music. Put any old ebay web cams equidistant from each other in the four corners of your room, make sure they have an unobstructed view, and bam, there’s an app (called Lovenir) that syncs them together and takes as many 3d scans/vids of the action as you want. Like usual, you can both watch the fun afterwards as many times as you like, edit it, send it, post it whatever, the difference is that now you can pick your favourite frames and order them, have your very own little yous doing it all day on your bedside table. They 3d print souvenirs of you that get sent straight to your place, and you can get them any size, any material (all depends on how much you want to spend), you can pick whatever frame, and they've got filters which are like the 3d equivalent of instagram. You can get street-icon-people filter yous, Salvador-Dali-melting filter yous, 50s-tin-toy filter yous, it’s endless. I've also discovered tangentially that you should keep the ones which depict rather specific positions you have a penchant for. They can be rather useful in situations where otherwise explaining the desired set-up can become a bit long winded and awkward, especially if it’s an off-the-beaten-track kind of one.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Porcelain, the State, the Living Room and the Deviant

Earth, minerals, sand, and fire; some madness, lust, covetousness and greed; a little art, flair, pretension and pageantry; too much time, technology, loneliness and power: this stuff makes us into little prophets, we tap the plastic three times and out comes all the riches of the world, and more, fashioned in our own image like Medusa turning her own children to stone with a disinterested glance, through her webcam.