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A sort of Catch up type post :)

It seems like great big long stretches pass where nothing really happens in Purkdom but the last month has been a tad hectic.

Getting ready for the chocolate festival and hogswatch took a lot of effort and I am finding full time work prohibitive to my creativity. Without full time work though, I would have no where to live, sigh!

I was working until 2am most mornings for a good fortnight and it seemed to be ok, the folks at work said I was a tad tetchy, I apologised profusely. Also got suitably embarressed when I made a few mistakes due to tiredness and being distracted by my personal projects.

Chocolate festival completed, it was time to get the final preparations done for my storytelling performance ‘The Monster Chef’ It went pretty well and really deserves a complete post all to itself but ho hum.

I raised just over £300 for charity and the audience seemed quite pleased with the entertainent. I am not happy with my performance and I did not allow myself enough time to prepare which showed in the end. Next scheduled performance is in Spring so got some time to work on it.

I went to see Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer at the Cheese and Grain in Frome, he was utterly brilliant. I also loved seeing Muriel Lavender perform her poetry and a young acoustic duo called Indigo Children sing. There was also a bit of burlesque as well.

I couldn’t resist the call of Bristol and headed over to the South Pre-Hibearnation event. I have a terrible weakness for hirsute men and had a fun evening, well early morning really.  I met a really lovely chap and caught up with some folks I have met before. In the process of building  a new friendship network hopefully.

This guy? well he is tall and alternative and has a voice like hot melted chocolate. We shall see if any thing develops, hey?

I think that is all for now?

Oh, I also popped across to the Artisan Market in Frome which had some lovely things. I treated myself to a new bauble for my christmas tree when I eventually put it up. Also bought some special Strawberry and Vanilla Jam from Jo Harrington and some amazing smelling raw hot chocolate from www.elementsforlife.co.uk 🙂

I am popping off for now but thats whats been occuring in terms of fun stuff. I did have some post success depression in the week following my trading events and storytelling but hoping that has eased off for a few days now.

Nearly forgot to mention, I traded at the Wincanton Farmers Christmas Market which was cool. Folks were impressed with my work and display. I was super happy when some people that I respect very much told me my business was looking very professional and respectable. Brought me a lot of joy 🙂

Big hugs to you all and catch you soon xxx

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Tired but Happy Purkiness

Ahoy there, how be you all? Lots to talk about, so going to be a tad brisk! hehehe

I have been working manically hard getting ready for shows and such. On the 20th of November Purky attended the Chocolate Festival in Frome.

Remember I had been working hard on new stock, revamping packaging and investing in new display equipment?

Well, do you think it was worth it?

Ego a Go Go that I am, I was super proud of how the stands looked. Been working into the early hours of the morning getting ready for this 🙂

I work full time as well, so been spending the hard earned pennies on the new display gear.

I know it probably sounds silly but it looks so …..legitimate? Like I really am a jewellery designer and polymer clay artist rather than a pretender.

Isn’t it odd the way we seek to validate ourselves?

Anyways, sadly the festival wasn’t my best trading show but it was delicious being there again. I really loved it last time and this year was also fabulous.

I did some brilliant networking and met lovely people.

I felt proud of my work for the first time in a very long time.

I got to spend the day with my amazing friend Vix, or Mrs Super VixieAsbo of www.supervixieasbo.blogspot.com (She was totally awesome)……(We ate really tasty alcoholic truffles together)……(and cream cakes)…..(hehehehehe)

All in all? a Victory. I went to bed very satisfied with the day’s events.

I was rushed of my feet so sadly didnt get chance to take many other photos which was a shame but check out Muriel Lavender’s blog http://muriel-lavender.blogspot.com/2011/11/if-chocolate-be-food-of-love.html?spref=fb and FromeTV made a film of the event http://www.frome.tv/2011/11/dip-into-fromes-chocolate-festival/

If I promise to blog more frequently would folks let me off? I have to write up about the Storytelling performance I did, Hogswatch trading and other exciting things.

For now though, off to bed. My faithfull feline snuggled up beside me.

Massive hugs you lot

H

xx

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A quick extruder tutorial

I feel that I should freely distribute some of my techniques. Why? Well the internet has been kind to me and I feel I should pass that forward.

Here is my take on the now classic extruder cane technique or Klimt Kane (see what I did there?)

Personally I like to work with three or four colours to generate an interesting repeating pattern and enough contrast to ensure the cane has a strong image even when reduced.

These are stacked discs cut using a small kemper cutter that matches the extruder barrel’s diameter.

I use a Makins extruder and frankly it is the best moderately priced tool on the market for the job. The barrel is easy to clean, load and extrude because it uses a screwing motion rather than pressure.

As your cane is extruded it will wibble about everywhere, do not worry about that because we will straighten it all out shortly.

Also, bear in mind that the colour at the end will envelop the entire cane when stacking and extruding. Hurrah for fluid dynamics in arts and crafts!

Show your wobbly sausage who is boss by chopping it into equal lengths and arranging them together. I usually use a square stack and cane formation for ease.

Continue the polymer punishement by squashing the cane to eliminate air bubbles and ensure adhesion.

This is also a quick way to reduce the cane with relatively little distortion.

Ta daa! Une Cane 🙂 Notice the uneven raw end, but we will be slicing that off shortly.

Reduce and recombine extruded cane elements to your hearts content 🙂

Then slice the buggers up and use them to create lovely things.

Ta very much folks 🙂 Hope you enjoy!

Mwah x

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Prince What a Mess


Do any of you know those books? ‘Prince What A Mess’? They are about a very mucky afghan puppy

Anyways, my studio reminds me of those stories

 Been doing some serious production work and my studio erm, reflects this.

However, I think these chocolatey delights are worth it.

Big Sunday hugs

xx

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One Month Later

So a month ago, today, my family buried our Mother.

It was actually a really lovely day and beautiful service. I will post about that at some point.

However, this is a post about some jewellery I made.

A while before she died Mum and I talked about making memento jewellery from fine silver using precious metal clay. It was so she could always be with us.

These are sculpey moulds of Mum’s thumbprints. The piece on the far right is a thumb imprint made from the moulds. This was used to imprint the silver clay.

Silver clay rolled out ready to take the imprint.

Cutting out the clay around the thumbprints.

The pieces were dried and then filed/sanded to give them smooth edges before firing.

Fired in my kiln according to manufacturers instructions!

After firing the pieces have a fine white layer over them, this is the organic binder burning out of the clay.

Using a brass brush clean all the residue off 🙂

Mmmm liver of sulphur, guess what, it smells bad!
This is to put a patina on the silver and bring out the
thumbprints.

A lovely dark patina 🙂

After the patina is buffed off it settles in the cracks and voila, lovely shiny maternal thumbprints.

I made one for each of us. The one on the left uses an imprint mould and has my thumbprint in the back. That one is for me and now hangs on my necklace next to a pendant my sister bought me.

This is hardly my most detailed tutorial but happy to answer more specific questions in the comments.

Lots of hugs to you Purky Blurkers

xxx

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Returning to my Blog

Its been somthing of a rough year so far.

Purky failed as a business, my relationship ended and my Mother has died.

After my last post, about something so important, I honestly did not know how to follow it.

These things however do not excuse me from active blogging and I apologise profusely to folks who have been waiting for an update.

I have been creative over the last month and taken literally hundreds of photos documenting my life and my work. There are several tutorials which I will get written up and released over this month.

A snap shot of pictures from the last month, just to give you some flavour.

Cute tame starling

My new adventures into indian cuisine

An important Purky project for the family in progress (full tutorial to follow eventually)

My beautiful sister on her wedding day

A gorgeous (late blooming) passion flower

My updated shrine, its a collation of things that are meaningful to me, though the skull candles are just for the ambiance of the thing….

New Purky display equipment and Phil supervising work in the new studio

New tile pendants, cufflinks and stud earrings about to be cured.

The night I met Lady Gaga…

New Revolution Pendants and new stud earrings.

I hope that gives you a flavour of what has been occuring in my life this month. I haven’t included pictures from my Mother’s funeral and other things like that.

I promise to return to regular blogging and my love and best wishes to all of you

Harry xx

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Goodbye Mum

Nothing and everything to say really.  I was in Bournemouth at a friend’s house, having done a photoshoot the day before. I notice missed calls and followed them up.
Dad told me Mum was in Bath hospital and the end was nigh. I showered and contacted my sister. Loaded the car up and headed over.
About half an hour away from Bath I checked my text messages and saw that Mum was heading back to the nursing home. My sister and father managed to convince them to allow her to head back to the nursing home, my Mother sincerely did not wish to die in a hospital.
I somehow got their first and I know this, may sound bizarre, I wanted to take some photographs of her room. This was going to be the last place that she drew breath, it needed to be remembered.
I feel that in many ways that room was more homely than her house was at the end.  That moon was a present from Dad, I don’t remember when it arrived in our lives but have always been very fond of it.
Some of her favourite objects surrounded her and pictures of her children on their graduation days looked down at her. The box frame on the left is her corsage from my brothers wedding.

A bit later on, I saw Mum being wheeled in on the bed and lurked in the lounge while the nurses and care staff transferred her back to her bed. A brief family conference before we headed in to see her.
Without meaning to sound brutal or callous, it was clear that her time was drawing to a close. Her breathing was rapid and shallow, there was no response to stimulus.
I left to have some breakfast and my sister and father, who had been up all night left to get some rest.
While I was waiting for my food to arrive (at the pub round the corner) my sister called to let me know that Mum had slipped away.
It feels like, she was waiting for that quiet moment of peace. Perhaps I am needlessly romanticising and that’s just the moment her heart stopped and her brain shut down. Although, in all honesty, I feel that she was probably holding on until she was alone, before she passed.
I finished my breakfast/tea and headed on back to the nursing home. Just a short walk.  My sister was on the phone making important calls to people to let them know. Dad was outside smoking.
I went into see her. Knocked on the door. Yeah, I know….
Anyway, she was laid there, the care staff had tidied the room around her and placed a flower on her chest. I had a few words…as you do I suppose. Kissed her upon the forehead. It was the strangest feeling, knowing that she couldn’t feel what I was doing. There was that momentary flash of fear that she might, well open her eyes and scream or something. I know that is ridiculous but her near death has been a recurring theme throughout my life.
Obviously, she didn’t stir. I took a heart shaped brooch I made in 2009 as an anniversary present for her (Dad has matching cufflinks) and placed it next to the flower. It was very odd walking away from her for the last time. I will not see her again. I presume her casket will have a closed lid.
For the first time in so long, my mother was peaceful.
I will miss her company and comfort and wisdom. She also had a wicked sense of humour.
But, I would gladly trade every shred of happiness she offered me for her peace and safety. Her body will never hurt and her mind will never be stressed ever again.
I am a grown man and I will be absolutely fine and capable and strong even without my Mother’s presence. 
As much as I will miss her.
She showed me how to be a person and I will continue to live honestly, expressively and joyously in her honour.
Lynn Joy Pursey 1948 – 2011
We love you

Harry xxx

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The unethical vegan

This is my fridge full of nommy fruit and vegetables. Love fruit and veg and for the last two months been mostly subsisisting on frozen veggies, whole grain carbs like brown rice and pasta and frozen fish.

I have been enjoying my dairy products but trying out the soy alternatives.

They erm, don’t taste of much to be honest so may just use them as fillers in my recipes rather than star attractions.

Will let you know how it goes.

Oh and the unethical bit? I don’t think free range, organically ethically produced meat is that much of a problem, same with dairy products.

I am going to try veganism but I am still going to wear leather and all the rest of it.

Voila and all that 🙂

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The magnificent Mother

To cut a long story short, my mother nearly died, again.

She has a long and frankly astonishing history of cheating death. 15 years ago she had a massive stroke which left her permanently disabled but left her personality intact.

We have had quite a rough ride together and the boundaries of what it means to be a mother and son and she has taught me so much about being a human being. From age ten to eighteen I was one of her primary carers and even once I left home I was involved in looking after her.

In Febuary she had another stroke and spent the next six months in hospital before transferring to Pondsmead.

It appeared she had another stroke on Sunday night whilst at the nursing home she now lives in. We were all called and came to say goodbye. She was unconcious, her food and meds were stopped and we were told she would be gone most probably within twenty four hours.

Over the course of the week we noticed she was responding slightly to auditory stimulous. I  had sort of decided to play Abba and Queen to her because they were her favourites. Ooops past tense, bad habit. They are her favourites.

All four of us, My two elder brothers and elder sister were together with my father while a vicar came to do some prayers. I must confess I stood to one side respectfully as I find christian worship somewhat redundant philosophically to me but have complete respect for the rest of my family’s beliefs.

My siblings stayed overnight on Sunday and Monday. It all seemed rather hopeless.

Without meaning to sound callous, I found myself able to find solace in the peace my mother appeared to have. She was sleeping and in no pain. I had no wish for her existance to end but compared to all the pain and trauma she has endured over the years, this was nothing.

I stayed over night on Tuesday,  Mum began choking on her own secretions and I must confess I was very alarmed. I called for help and the frankly wonderful nurses did lots of oral care and suction to clear her airways. I was willing to accept an end but not like that, she deserved better.

Over the course of the night I tried to sleep in her reclining chair in her room but could not. I realised I was counting the seconds between each of her breaths. The figure rose and fell, erratic and shallow, deep and warbly. We thought she was going to leave us and at those moments it was all too easy to believe.

Earlier in the day my sister and father managed to convince the doctor to restart my mothers fluids and give her 15ml of water an hour via her ng tube. Thats a tube in the throat to allow a nil by mouth patient to be fed and given medications.

Everytime she came round, like a cough or a splutter shook her back into conciousness, I tried to talk to her. Sometimes she focussed, sometimes not.

I remembered she was supposed  to be being fed water and that had not been happening through the night.

As the morning came, she seemed to be more aware, awake, responding to a squeezed hand. The words were like a radio tuning in and out. She kept saying the word ‘thirsty’ and I asked them if they had been doing the fluids. I had fallen asleep a few times and not kept tabs. Another lovely nurse started the water again.

My mother, unstoppable, stubborn, never wrong. Awake 🙂

I went home about 8am to get some rest, needed to feed Phil as well and have a bath. I left a note for the doctor. Explaining what had been happening.

I couldn’t sleep so popped over to Bristol to see my friend Maya and get some headspace. There was no guarantee she was out of the woods. Did some online research and it was clear that some people have a final resurgence before it is time for them to leave and I thought that may be the case here.

A phone call at lunchtime told me that Mum was chatting and popping in later on she was helping my father do the crossword.

She is frankly, awe inspiring. Her brain and body were dying and she didn’t. Not sure I believe in souls although I do believe in the complete indivisuality and uniqueness of a human person’s electrical brain patterns so perhaps thats my version.

I hope the lazarus ability is coded into my D.N.A but even if it isn’t I am glad my mother posesses it.

I spent Thursday catching up with my sleep and doing some sorting out. My collegue Alex came and took me out for lunch to check up on me which was lovely.

Away we go folks, 🙂