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Angelic (2015)

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Angelic (2015)

Angelic is a daring new blend of styles – a dramatic comedy, with memorable characters, nefarious villains, emotionally engaging storylines, and cinematic climactic moments. It will make you laugh, and sometimes, make you cry. (Well, that’s the aim anyway.) With a story spanning Heaven, Hell, Earth and even the realms beyond, angels, demons, mortals and more will come together in a tale that must be seen to be believed.

God’s Throne Room

God’s Throne Room is a large white rectangular room, with stairs at one end which lead up to a dais that hosts the throne of God. Around the sides of the room runs a raised platform, wide enough to comfortably accommodate a couple of people, and about waist high from the ground. This platform joins the stairs as they reach the dais. Other than that the room is largely empty and unadorned.

The throne itself is an imposing white chair, carved and decorated with intricate designs. It has arm rests, and looks fairly uncomfortable.

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Complex Throne Room - Perspective

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Heaven

Heaven is a city floating in a sea of raw untouched Creation which appears as a mass of swirling white, the remains of the Second Plane, a universe that never came to be. Anything that The Eternal intended for it has been lost, although anyone with a strong enough will can bend matter to their whims. Heaven has no true physical location, since only Heaven and Hell exist on the Second Plane at all; there is nothing else to reference position by. The actual Kingdom of Heaven is situated on what appears to be a gigantic bank of cloud, although in reality it is just an incredibly sculpted mountainside, wrought in the shape of Earth-cloud by the angelic artisans. Both the mountain and city of Heaven are subject to change at the whim of God, and they usually reflect his mood; the ‘clouds’ that Heaven rests on will darken and take on a stormy hue when God’s wrath is rising, and lightning has occasionally been witnessed during his worst rages. The ‘sky’ too reflects God’s moods, turning the red of fresh blood should he be angry. The soft blue and white that usually surrounds Heaven is the result of God’s generally laid-back and carefree attitude.

The city of Heaven is the stuff of dreams; buildings can take any shape, any form. Many, like the mountain, appear cloud-like. Others, such as Archangel Raphael’s house, take the forms of huge shimmering beasts, lions, eagles and sharks. Some appear as shining instruments, others as beautiful statuesque figures. Many of the buildings seem alive, they are imagination and personality in physical form. Simplest of all the dwellings are those who have little imagination, or simply no interest in architecture. Uniform and angular, unadorned and unimpressive, they are still beautiful in their simplicity for all angels naturally gravitate to aesthetically pleasing things. More interesting angels create their own houses in whatever colours and designs they choose, usually reflecting their personalities and interests, although white remains the dominant colour, and dark colours are almost unseen.

The city rises from the base of the mountain in concentric circles, with the lower-ranked angels and their houses at the bottom and rising up through increasingly elaborate buildings until reaching the Palace of God on the heights. The Palace of God represents everything that humanity has striven for when building. Majestic pillars support sweeping elegant beams, carved with intricate friezes and statues so lifelike they seem to breathe. Above all hangs a dazzling piece of lightning, frozen in time during The Eternal’s flight from The Immortal and hung by God as a reminder of that sacrifice, and what still lurks beyond, trapped in the First Plane, waiting to break free.

Heaven Exterior

Dorian’s Flat

(Which shall be descibed as if you are outside, looking through the door, which is in the front left corner.)

Dorian’s flat is on the upper levels of Ashmore Gardens, and is one of the smaller flats. It was originally two rooms, but Dorian and Royston have clumsily knocked the centre parting down, leaving a rough circle of bricks in the middle and a larger space. From the ceiling hang two dust-covered and badly connected lights, with lampshades. The carpet was once cream, and has a rug that appears to have once been a Border Collie.
There is only one bed, although it is a double, and the sheets are always in a heap. The covers are black to suit Dorian, and the once white sheets are horribly stained. It is situated just to the right of the door, the head against the wall. Between the bed and the door there is a bedside cabinet with no legs and an alarm clock and empty beers on it, and a standing lamp.
To the right of the bed, and the corner of the room, there is a large wicker chest, which no one has ever seen inside. Above the bed, there is an attempt at a two-tier DIY shelf, which is slanted and shoddy.
Along the left wall is what remains of an antique wardrobe, though one door hangs off one hinge. There are no clothes in the wardrobe, but there is a jumble of blankets in it, for this is where Royston or Dorian sleep when the other is using the bed.
Still in the first part of the room and next to the wardrobe against the left wall, is a similarly sized bookshelf that contains no books, only silent ranks of empty alcohol bottles of all shapes and sizes. On the right there is a writing desk with a chair, though the whole surface is covered with junk.
Passing through the circle of bricks into the second half of the room, the right wall is home to a wooden writing desk and chair. There is a lamp shaped like an old film camera, and a small mountain of uneaten toasties. There is also a camping stove and a goldfish bowl with a dead hamster in it. The chair is used to hang towels.
In the middle of this section of the room is a lumpy and uncomfortable antique sofa, with one of the arms falling off. It faces the left wall, where an old CRT TV stands on a dining table, surrounded by Royston’s clothes and general rubbish.
The windows are at this end of the room, two smaller ones to either side and a larger one in the middle. They curve outward, and stretch from about waist high to near the ceiling. Their tattered maroon curtains are ragged and half-shut, the windows themselves are grimy and one is cracked. The light that filters through them is pallid and has an unclean feel to it.
The ceiling is fairly high since the house is so old, and is a very pale blue. The walls are covered in decades old blue wallpaper, covered in marks and dirt, and where the wallpaper peels, older wallpaper can be seen beneath, and in a few places, still older paper beneath that.

Dorian's Room Overhead

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Barrel

Barrel is the quintessantial town o’ scum. It is full of architechture from every era, every style. Tudor wattle and daub mansions rub shoulders with lines of cramped Industrial-Revolution style houses. As a general rule, the largest and nicest buildings tend to cluster near the town centre, or toward the South-East corner that was formally known as the Marble Quarter. The Marble Quarter no longer exists, and has been replaced with an ever-burning wasteland known as The Ashlands, where near to a full quarter of the town lies in smoking ruins, with gouts of flame and dust still frequently arising.

Barrel was initially a closed-off village for prisoners and petty criminals too unimportant to waste valuable prison space on. Over the four hundred years it has been in existence, Barrel has spread like a disease, crawling over the landscape like an inexorable wave of flotsam and scum. The streets snake like the tentacles of some great kraken, and everywhere are the signs of decay. Litter is ever-present, heaps of dumped waste and piles of rubble mar many corners. A veritable warren of alleyways run between the streets and houses, narrow and dangerous. The tightest nest of these alleys forms the area known as The Darks, a den of gamblers, drug-runners and addicts, gangs and disease-ridden prostitutes.

Many houses are abandoned, especially in the South-East near to The Ashlands, where few wish to live other than the scavengers that risk life and limb on the ash. Further North and West, the population grows denser, and it is here that the majority of shops and entertainment facilities have opened their doors. Barrel Market thrives here, close to the North Gate.

At the centre of Barrel sits the Council Offices and the official house of the Mayor of Barrel, elected by popular vote, or largest bribe. Very few of Barrel’s Mayors ever try to improve the city, but the current Mayor, James Vurkel, is trying his hardest. Here also stands the Barrel watchtower, constructed after the events of D-Day (not the historical one) to prevent any repeat occurrence of such. However, it is a well known fact that the watchtower is for little more than show; it is seldom manned.

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Country of Hotels (2015)

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Country of Hotels (2015)

A room in an anonymous hotel, has a profoundly dark effect on all who stay there.

Working under the production designer, Mike McLoughlin, I assisted in the construction and dressing for the feature film Country of Hotels (2015). I also created the majority of the set graphics.

The graphics included all the hotel signs, one painting in various seasons, a magazine, a ‘trashy’ novel, a puzzle book in esperanto and a newspaper with concert advertisement.

Painting

Within the film there were three distinct stories, all told within the same hotel room. To highlight this, the idea of a painting that changed seasons was introduced. A very faded landscape painting was found and then I set set to work on altering it. We chose Summer, Winter and Autumn as they more recognisable than Spring, which I believe the original painting was depicting.

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I took a scan of the faded original painting and used photoshop to paint in layers of new colour for each season. My favourite of the seasons was Autumn.

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Autumn

Summer was fairly easy to create within the timeframe, but I would have liked to worked more on the colour of the trees in the foreground. The original painting was so pale that I had to use a light shade of green to make sense of the lack of detail in the leaves.

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My least favourite was winter, as time constraints prevented me from painting in bare branches and shading the snow more accurately. As it wasn’t to be shown close up, I simply blended white over the leaves to mimic frost and snow.

Winter

Signage

For the signs I used Adobe Illustrator and symbols from Human Pictogram 2.0. The film was set in North America so I did some research into the language typically used on these types of signs. I think the pictograms added to the style of the signs and made them suitable but unique.

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Book Cover

The “trashy” novel book cover was created on photoshop by layering textures until it resembled a repeatedly graffitied wall. As the back cover of the book was not going to be seen closely I used the random text generator for the blurb.

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Puzzle Book

Print

Newspaper

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Magazine “Recherché”

The script already contained the magazine title and some of the ‘featured articles’ to be on the cover, so I focused on royalty-free stock photos, text and layout. Below is the chosen design.

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Below are the other designs I created that weren’t chosen.

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Rebel Costume Helmet for Secret Cinema Presents Star Wars

This summer, the company Secret Cinema created an immersive event based around Star Wars Episode V ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. I was lucky enough to be invited to the preview screening on the 30th May. Being a huge fan of immersive events and Star Wars itself, I immediately logged into the website and got my character information. Rebel fighter was my assigned rank and from then on I couldn’t help but get excited about planning my costume.

As it was the preview screening of the event, I didn’t have much time to buy a kit or create my own helmet. Therefore I decided to use a motorcycle helmet as my base. After some searching I came across this helmet on ebay.

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While not completely accurate, I thought it would make an interesting version of Luke Skywalker’s helmet.

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After removing the visor, I started work on the helmet by sanding the surface with very fine sandpaper and then spraying fine coats of enamel primer. This took multiple passes to completely cover the original paintwork. My next step was to find the centre of the helmet and mask sections off. After that I simply painted section by sections outwards from the centre stripe.

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When all the stripes and sections were mapped out I reattached the visor and then hand-painted the symbols. I had separately painted the visor by coating it with cleanspirit before adding the glass paint that so that the paint cracked and the visor looked as if it had been damaged. I finished the helmet with some weathering and a clear spray varnish.

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Night Owls (2015)

Last year I worked as an Art Director on a great short called ‘Night Owls’.

Set over the course of a single night, Night Owls is the story of two lost souls coming together. When teenage runaway Mari breaks into the house of reclusive thirty-something Kent, they discover that they have a mutual disdain for their lives, and build the type of unlikely friendship they both sorely needed.

Originally written as a feature script by Sophie Black, she brought award-winning screenwriter Tommy Draper on board to collaborate on the script for Night Owls. It was shot in Chesterfield in May 2014, and is now in post-production.

Official website here.

Recently some still photography form the shoot was release and I can finally share images from one of my favourite projects. Credit goes to the photographer.

Elly Lucas

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Colin Smith

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Dan Lord

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Props and Prep for Amelia’s Letter

Working on the shoot for ‘Amelia’s Letter’ (then called ‘A Cautionary Tale’) was very exciting for me. There were lots of highly detailed prop pieces to be made for four different time periods, 1903, 1939, 1969 and present day. I loved getting my teeth stuck into the research, especially for the 1903 setting which had most of the significant pieces. The most important things to be made were the letters from the ‘Black Orchid’ publishing company. I first set about creating the somewhat sinister logo. We needed something that could be made into a rubber stamp and then updated for the different times.

Black Orchid Logo

After settling on the logo design, I glued the image onto a rubber eraser and cut into the face with a scalpel to make a rubber stamp. I also played around with different inks and paper to see if I could get the stamp to ‘fade’ for the later versions.

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A bout of insomnia combined with access to AfterEffects resulted in this video logo.

Black Orchid Logo from Anya Kordecki on Vimeo. As well as the logo, I also had to create the letters, illustrations and manuscript for the 1903 setting. The A4 standard was not used until around 1960, so I cut my paper down to either Quarto (10″x8″) or Imperial (9″x7″) sizes. I used a calligraphy pen to both write the letters and draw the illustrations. IMG_6508 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   The last prop to make for the 1903 setting was a photo of the lead character with her husband. I found a an old photo of a couple and added in our actress. 228292(1) couple1

White Lily

I got involved with the White Lily shoot through Sophia Ramcharan, who is the producer at Stella Vision Films, which was also responsible for The Grand and Happy New Year, two shorts that I had worked on previously. I joined the crew quite late due to being abroad for a lot of the production meetings, but I was fortunate enough to be working under Sarah Lewis, who I had also worked with before. I was excited to be a part of not only a science-fiction short, which was a genre I hadn’t had the opportunity to work on before, but also a full set build.

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The set was assembled from black plastic pallets and cable ties, which quickly became a really good base for the set. The director of White Lily, Tristan Ofield, sourced the pallets and built a small test set before the full build in the warehouse space. The writer,  Adrian Reynolds, was also onset for the set build and shoot. It was really nice getting the original creator’s opinion as we dressed the space.

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White Lily was a kick starter funded short written by Adrian Reynolds and directed by Tristan Ofield.

Although the pallets created such a good base for the ship interior, I felt that the space really came alive with all the wires, signage, and part of old computers that we used as dressing. I am personally a huge Red Dwarf fan, so little touches such as the hazard tape around the doors, were very much inspired by that.

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This is the set, complete with cast and boom operator, shown below.

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More links about White Lily:

http://atthamovies.com/white-lily-adventures-in-science-fiction-filmmaking/

http://www.revolutionsf.com/article.php?id=5570

http://www.bsfa.co.uk/white-lily-kickstarter-project-interview-with-writer-adrian-reynolds/

Scale Model – Tube Set

This is the second part of the model build process. The first post on the train carriage build can be found found here.

After building the body of the train carriage, I began making the track for the station.
After building the body of the train carriage, I began making the track for the station.
I photocopied my technical drawing to use as a template so I knew the spacing was correct.
I photocopied my technical drawing to use as a template so I knew the spacing was correct.
I used my technical drawing to find the dimensions of the next level.
I also used my technical drawing to find the dimensions of the platform level.
I secured the two central supports first as they also served as walls for the model
I secured the two central supports first as they also served as walls for the model
After building this to the correct height, I cut out the structural supports for the tunnels.
After building this to the correct height, I cut out the structural supports for the tunnels.
Between these two I carved a 1:50 scale stairway from the Kapa-line foam board
Between these two I carved a 1:50 scale stairway from the Kapa-line foam board
For the featured walls of the intact tunnel, I used foamed PVC rather than card
For the featured walls of the intact tunnel, I used foamed PVC rather than card
This had a better texture for the tiles
This had a better texture for the tiles
The tiles were scored and painted accurately in a 1:50 scale of the distinctive 9"x 3" underground tiles
The tiles were scored and painted accurately in a 1:50 scale of the distinctive 9″x 3″ underground tiles
For the train side of the tunnel I collaged more old adverts onto a mountboard surface
For the train side of the tunnel I collaged more old adverts onto a mountboard surface
The end piece was again made from Kapa-line foamboard with a tunnel image as a stand in for an artist's painted backcloth
The end piece was again made from Kapa-line foamboard with a tunnel image as a stand in for an artist’s painted backcloth
I used Kapa-line foam board again for the collapsed tunnel
I used Kapa-line foam board again for the collapsed tunnel
For the top level, I used foamed PVC for the floor
For the top level, I used foamed PVC for the floor
I made details such as the bar from obeche wood which was painted and varnished
I made details such as the bar from obeche wood which was painted and varnished

Final images of the scale model:

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I painted the walls with enamel paint and used copies of old underground posters to further dress the space

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However I wanted a more finished look for exhibition. I also put less headers* and ceiling pieces for this reason.

Full process below

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Scenery Build – Aged Poster

To create the effect of an aged poster I decided to layer newsprint painted in different colours onto the flattage before painting the final poster. I built up the layers using PVA and Supersaturated Rosco paints.

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After the under-layers were completed, I set to work painting a section of an old poster. Due to the dystopian theme of the story, I wanted the poster to be a face that loomed over passersby.

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When I was happy with the top layer, I coated it with PVA and then started to tear off sections that I had left loose from the layers beneath. I then used a brown wash to further age the poster.

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I wanted the sides of the scenery piece to look like a girder, so I used a 3D printer to make rivets, used a glue-gun to fix them to the MDF sides and then painted over them using a strong black primer.

3D printer from Anya Kordecki on Vimeo.

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Completed scenery section

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Scale Model – Train Carriage

Bar Sign Build

I wanted to make a fullsize prop for the Expo, so I designed this bar sign before I had planned for the rest of my display. The design gave me a chance to practise sign writing and woodwork skills.

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Rather than using metal for the design above the bracket I used MDF and a jigsaw to cut out the pattern. After shaping and sanding the bracket, it was painted with black Hammerite paint to make it look like metal work.

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Teak wood was used for the sign itself. I wanted to paint the lettering on the wood directly rather than masking the grain. After painting the lettering I glazed the sign with a clear spray varnish.

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Finish sign.

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Lasercutter

I decided to use CAD and a lasercutter for the train carriage part of the scale model. This was because the design contained a lot of small and repetitive details, often involving curves. I copied the style of the carriage from the recently restored Met 353. You can find out more about the restored carriage here.

Met-Carriage

I used Adobe Illustrator to draw up the structure in 1:50 scale and then put A2 mountboard through the lasercutter. I also used the same process for the doors, collapsing stairwell and other small details.Train

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lasercutter from Anya Kordecki on Vimeo.

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Technical Drawings of Tube Set

 

 

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My planning process for the end of year Expo is part traditional and part computer based. I found that using a drawing board and paper was easier for me to work out the larger areas of the set, including the cross-section above and the floorplan shown below.

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Once these measurements were in place I found using CAD more effective when working out details such as the train carriage.

Train

Masks for ‘#MurderSelfie’ (2016)

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#MurderSelfie – a comedy-horror

A young couple update their home invasion nightmare via social media as a quiet night in turns into carnage. 

Working with Tobias Tobbell, the writer and director of ‘#MurderSelfie’ (2016), I created the masks for the masked intruders. We decided on two distinct ideas for each mask. The half mask was more threatening so I exaggerated an angry expression with a deep red colour. We later discussed the idea of the face looking as if it had been skinned.

Half-face “Devil” Mask

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Full-face “Mummy” Mask

The full mask was to look more haunted, I took inspiration from mummified corpses and went for a sorrowful skull like mask that was wrapped in bandages or old skin.

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When the concepts were finalised I began forming the masks by sculpting them out of clay.

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After I had the shape I wanted I covered the clay in cling film. I then used different materials to make test masks, before deciding the best material to use. Both masks were to be created from static materials, so I explored plaster, papier mâché, ‘Das’ (air-drying modelling clay) and ‘KobraCast’ (polyester bandage with thermoplastic).

Devil_final1(plaster test mask on left, ‘Das’ test on right)

Mummy_comparison3(plaster test mask on left, papier mâché test on right)

For the ‘mummy’ mask, I decided on using KobraCast because it was strong, slightly flexible and the texture worked well with the mask design.The KobraCast came as a roll which I cut into strips and used to build up the detail. I also used a thin black gauze over the eye holes to enhance the expression. Looking at the mask now I would have liked the shape of the eyes to be more rounded, but overall I liked the outcome and enjoyed working with the material.

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For the ‘devil’ mask I decided to use Das because I like the smoothness of the material and it’s ability to pick up detail. I pressed another sheet of Das over the clay sculpt and let it dry a little before adding the detail of the wrinkles and creases.

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Das can be a little heavy and brittle but since it was a half mask the weight was okay, I also added a strips of plastazote foam to make it more comfortable to wear and to reinforce the structure of the mask.

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The finish on the ‘devil’ mask was my favourite part. I used a red acrylic primer and matt acrylic paint to enhance the shape of the mask. The final layer of paint was Citadel Technical paint in ‘Blood for the Blood God’, which has a wet look gloss finish.

IMG_8029(finished ‘devil’ half mask)

IMG_8026(finished ‘mummy’ mask)

Blacksmithing Course at Cold Hanworth Forge

During the three days before my birthday, I had the somewhat unusual present of a short course in blacksmithing at Cold Hanworth Forge, just north of Lincoln. Arriving at the forge I met my teacher Bob Oaks, who showed me around the working forge.

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He then showed me a variety of things that I could create during the course. I choose the large ornate bracket, as it looked the most complex and I wanted to learn as much as possible. The bracket had a variety of different finishes to each component, all of which required different techniques. After watching the first process, I set to work on creating the leaf and other details at the bottom of the bracket.

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My tutor created each piece alongside me (though much faster) and when the three section were made they were then welded to hold them in place for fire welding.

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Fire welding was the one technique I was not taught in the process of making my bracket as you have to be very fast and experienced to successfully fuse the pieces together.

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After fire-welding the first three pieces, the next section created was the backplate. I found this part the most difficult as it involved splitting part of the plate with a chisel and a sledgehammer. After the split, the two halves were shaped round the anvil.

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The other end of the back plate was then shaped and drilled to allow for the rivet attachment of the supporting bar. The end of support bar was heated and shaped into a point and then curved around the anvil. The twist in the centre was created by flattening a section into an oval, heating the piece again, quickly securing it in a vice and using pliers to turn it 270˚.

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The centre scroll was completed again by shaping the end into a point and beginning the curve around the anvil and then using a bending fork to shape the tight spiral. The general curve was achieved bending the iron in small increments along the centre of the bar. The support bar and lower part of the scroll were attached with rivets and then the bracket was secured in a vice ready for the wrapped join at the top. A thinner iron bar was again shaped to have tapered edges and then it was heated (this time with a blow torch) and the start of the wrap was hammered into shape. I then used a pipe to hold the metal bar as it was heated and wrapped tightly around the two larger bars.

Overall I really enjoyed the course. It was really interesting working with materials and techniques I was unfamiliar with. I definitely feel like there is a lot more to learn judging from the amount of tools covering the walls of the forge.

(I forgot to take a picture but it looked very similar to this)

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Here is the final bracket, ready to painted and hung.

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You can find out more about the course here.

Amelia’s Letter (2015)

Promotional images for the short film ‘Amelia’s Letter‘ (2015), which I worked on in February last year. I’m looking forward sharing more when they are released.

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Links to previous posts on this project below.

1. 1903 set for ‘Amelia’s Letter’

2. 1939 redress for ‘Amelia’s Letter’

3. 1969 redress for ‘Amelia’s Letter’

4. Present day redress for ‘Amelia’s Letter’

5. Props and prep for ‘Amelia’s Letter’

6. Book cover prop for ‘Amelia’s Letter’