Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Using the EC Lyons engraving tools

I was so excited to start using the engraving tools I purchased recently that I just primed a piece of wood and started laying down some lines -- just a simple drawing of plants from around the garden.

The tools are very sharp and easy to work with, reflecting the quality of the workmanship and steel, forged to perfection! 

On this particular piece of wood, which isn't so dense/hard, it was very easy to maneuver the tool around. Very little pressure is needed to guide the point around the lines I made earlier.

In the picture, you can see that I've made my first test print.

Monday, June 24, 2013

New toy: engraving tools for my printmaking

Finally, the engraving tools have arrived from New York. Cost me a pretty penny, as they say. Can't wait to get started on some new works. Printmaking sounds good right about now.

These were bought online from E.C. Lyons. The tools are great, but customer service was bad -- the goods were shipped out only a week after payment had been made. I don't know why the shop assistant was sitting on my order for so long.

If anyone knows where else to purchase engraving tools, please let me know.

Also on the same subject of tools, I was recently in Penang near Armenian Street hunting down an old Chinese engraving shop. Ena had said that he was one of the old surviving craftsman who did door signages the old-fashioned way -- by hand. 

I thought I could buy some tools off him. But when we got there, his shop assistant said that he had taken ill and was not coming in till later. 

Guess it wasn't my lucky day that time.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sekaki: My Sculptures at Segaris

Yesterday, I went to the "Sekaki" exhibition organised by Segaris Art Centre in Kuala Lumpur. Three of my sculptures are there as part of the group exhibition that includes artists like Mad Anuar Ismail, Tajuddin Ismail, Tengku Sabri, Mastura Abdul Rahman, and Abdul Mansor Ibrahim.

The art gallery had invited ex-ITM students to take part in the exhibition some months before. The only brief given was that the submitted works should not exceed the size of one foot in height, width and length.

It was quite a challenge to work within the confines of the size.

Initially, I thought of sending a painting. But during that time when the invitation arrived, I was also playing around with some ideas on the wood that I was collecting at my studio. Finally, I decided that it would be nice to submit something different, i.e. my sculptures.

I had been collecting discarded timber found along rivers and roads for some years now. Whenever I saw some felled tree by the road side, my immediate instinct was to stop and lug them back to my house. But constraints in space (both in my car and at home) restricted me somewhat.

Though small, the collection of wood I have at my studio is sentimental to me -- each piece reminds me of a particular time and place, its origins and the stories surrounding its acquisition. They lie about at my studio just waiting to be transformed. It's not easy ignoring them! I feel like they are calling out to me to make something of them one day. Somehow their energy still leaks out of their dormant state, feeding my imagination, sparking ideas to reconstruct them into new forms.

Anyway, it was nice to meet some old friends again during the launch of the exhibition -- some I remember their names, some I don't, forgive me. Rafiee Ghani, Jai, Baha, Ramlan Abdullah, and my lecturer Rozaika Umar Basaree...these are some of the ones I remembered.

The three pieces submitted for "Sekaki" are Tweet, Mother and Child and Oink! They are "creatures" that represent characters found in current society.

The exhibition is currently on-going until 11 February at Segaris Art Centre, Publika Shopping Gallery, Kuala Lumpur.