Monday, December 07, 2009

Lecy Picy

Here are pictures from the space I organised at the electric picnic, Non-Toxic Machines, it was based in the Green Crafts space, while technically not a green craft, making machines out of old bikes seemed to fit in quite well with the ethos of the whole thing, and I felt really welcomed, the organisers of the space Marie and Nic Piper were great, they did everything they could for us and trusted everyone to do their own work and do it well, creating a real community feel to the space, and it made me wonder why more organisers arn't as pleaseant and organised, having bad experiences working for the body and soul area, where ego's seem to rule the space, the organisers arn't at all organised and seem to think that people should be honoured to be part of the festival and generally treat people with contempt.... they know who they are.. anyway me and my friend Anna, fellow bike artist from Belfast, Paddy Bloomer, and his partner Joanna who also made dresses from old tents, ( had a great time. Padddy made a bike soundsystem on a old sinclair C5, an i mostly tinkered with my bike powered virtual reality machine and people had much fun peddling and playing tunes on the pedal soundsystem

Hollies workshops

ok, these were workshops me and my friend fergal ran at the hollies centre for practical sustainability ( in the summer. They went over two days and the first workshop was concerning making bike generators, this went ok considering there wern't to many people, we decided to make two kinds of bike trailer, the first kind was based around a fish box, the big heavy rubber/plastic boxes fishermen use, the wheels were taked apart and put on the axle of a peda;l, and then the pedal cranks bolted onto he box, this method worked well as it can be done without using electricty, which was handy as we didn't have any electricity on site, the problems started with the second kind of trailer, a metal frame one which used normal wheels but needed welding, so it was difficult to get people involved as i couldn't teach welding in such a short time, so i basically had to make it with other people watching, which i felt was a bit disempowering, and dificult, so we decided the following day which was about making bicycle powered machines, would be entirely electricity free, apart from what we generated with the machines, to be super low impact, but also using only hand tools made it a super accesable day, were anyone young and old could get involved, and after a breif talk about the technicalities possibilities of bike machines we went about making three bike generators, it was a bright sunny day, an there was a wonderful atmosphere of playfullness an invention amoung the participants who all went away very happy, i was buzzing after that day, and it inspired me to organise a non-toxic machines space in the green crafts field of the electric picnic.

Mushrooms, Metal and bikes

Ok here are some more images, first off, some gratuitous action shots of me on the forge in me workshop, then a surprise, when the glen studio's semi-collective returned from our outing at the electric picnic (where non-toxic machines bike crew had there first event fotos soon_) we'd only been gone a week, but upon returning wehen i went to use my anvil, there where mushrooms growing from it!!, well actually from close ispection, they wern't growing from it, but from the beech stump i put it om months before, it must have had some fungus in it, at first i thought it was really cool, but then i looked them up, an i think they are destroying angel mushrooms, some of the deadliest around!, and when ever i pivcked them, the next day there would be more!, they've finally subsided but i expect they'll be back next year, a foto with bikes in it? oh yeh that was from a workshop, me and my friend fergal did in the hollies, a centre for perectical sustainability in west cork. more to follow

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A long time since my last confession

Its been a long time since my last blog, and alots happened since then, so i will not attempt to catch up all at once but i'll do it in installments, i spose one of the most exciting things for me was setting up the Glen Studios with friends Sean Og and Donal, its a studio space which primarily focus's on sustainable art forms, i've got a forge there and lots of tools to play with, its also significant in a life changing way, as to set it up i had to decide where i wanted to be for a good few years, which i've never consciously done, so I feel thats a big step forward, its in a place called kinsale, which is a little seaside town on the south coast of Ireland, there could be alot worse places to be. It was the first transition town, which means it aims to leave behind its dependancy on oil over time, more about this later. It also has a small college which teaches the only full time permaculture course in Europe, so this brings interesting people from all over the world, and alot of them settle here, making it culturally alot more exciting than many small towns in Ireland.. any way to the pictures.. The first one is Paddy Bloomers 'Skary-Go-Round' which he brought down to cork for the cycling festival there. I had the pleasure of working with Paddy at the electric picnic this year, in a bike recycling space i organised called Non-Toxic Machines.... photo's will follow.
The next picture is Sean Og, Donal and me around our burner in the studio's, then me on a bike generator at the entrance to the studio's at our first event, a performance and film screening.

Next is Brendan Power, pyrographer using a bike generator I designed and made, so he can pyrography without mains electricity. His website: and the Glen Studios website (still in construction) thanks for your attention and i will upload more images shortly. Thanx. Rob