Nick's Props Page
Nick's Props Page
I still undertake commissions for all kinds of work be they for individuals, companies, theatrical, or engineering solutions, and I'm always happy and interested to discuss, advise or help where I can… do contact me.
Cambridge Craft Market in the 1990's was a regular market stall pitch, where I sold many metal artworks, ranging from pure sculpture to unusual functional home-wares. I developed a very individual style, and was most well known for making candlesticks from old car gearboxes - Ford's and Mini's were a particular favourite. This was at a time when the social responsibilities and concept of recycling waste was in its infancy, and I took great pleasure in making a living from polishing peoples rubbish and selling it back to them.
These candlesticks were very popular (1990's) - a kind of assemble yourself versions, using car engine valves as the stems, slotted into solid lumps of polished steel.
These popular candelabras (1990's) were hand forged using traditional blacksmith techniques.
Commissioned adjustable plant pot stands (1990's) – I used to make loads of commissioned work like this – not very exciting, but paid a few bills.
These tape cassette and CD racks (1990's) were made as functional sculptures – each 'leaf' spins on the central stem to allow access. Made in all sorts of colours, and metal finishes. Ideally suited to anyone with a collection of 12 albums or less.
Robotic Tricycle made from junk(1990's). This was an experiment to see how 'intelligent' I could make a 'random' robot out of complete rubbish, using just car relays for the switching. It was powered by a car battery and electric lawnmower motor, making it do about 5mph forwards, and about 15mph backwards. It smashed into objects, reversed (quickly !) whilst sounding a horn, squirting water, flashing lights, adjusting its steering, and sending out smoke. Not all of the smoke was planned, and there is probably still a large hole evident in a north Norfolk living room carpet where some white hot metal left its mark.
'Logical Chaos' (1990's) was built as an experiment to see if it was possible to make a machine random. It was at around this same time that Chaos theory was becoming widely discussed, and after building it I realised that I made a perfectly chaotic machine rather than a random one. The central magnetic pendulum is swung, and it is attracted and repelled by the static magnets bouncing it in a chaotic fashion. It between each of the magnets there is reed switch that is sensitive to magnetic fields, and as the swinging magnet passes over each reed switch it completes an electrical circuit that sounds a bell via a motor. Each bell is tuned to a scale (of sorts) so that there is a musical interpretation of the chaotically swinging pendulum – all rather mesmerising, addictive and quite meditative.
A day in Cambridge market (approx 1996) when I decided to take some large scale work to show off for a change. This was one of my last days there as I had got rather bored of making items on a production line – my heart wasn't in it anymore and I needed a new challenge.
A commissioned 'Marsh Harrier' weather vane. I made many weather vanes throughout the 1990's – mostly working to commission from photographs of pets, boats, and hobbies.
This is a still from the end scene of my directorial theatre debut – 'The Ironing Board Waltz'. Six ironing boards wheeled about by hidden seated performers underneath, a butler (me) and a maid in backless costumes dancing, and a lord and lady on static bicycles generating strobe lighting. It was set to Strauss's Blue Danube, and went from black and white to colour as the ironing boards danced with each other in a Busby Berkeley style. It received standing ovations every night, so I had a lot to live up to after that.
This is the wedding photo from the short film (15 minutes) I directed titled 'Wash and Go' (about 2001). It is the love story of a washing machine and tumble dryer set entirely to music, including an original piece written very kindly by Wreckless Eric for the film. It took five years to complete, and was lovingly edited by Karen Hall who is responsible for this website. If you search long and hard on Youtube you will find it as parts one and two. No link here I'm afraid as it will make its discovery all the more worthwhile for those that can be bothered to find it.
Sculpture 5. (1996) This was made as an exploration of what constitutes art, abstract art and sculpture. It is designed to be rotated onto its different faces so that its different forms can be viewed. Sometimes the more that is written about an artwork the more the artwork is destroyed, as for me art is a language in itself that only gets diluted with the use of words.
The 'Percussion Tree' (about 2003) was one of many commissions for Norfolk theatre company 'Theatre of Adventure'. It was built as a sculptural collection of percussion instruments on wheels that could be used for a wide variety of shows, including storytelling in schools, and street theatre.
'The Banana Rig' (about 2004) as it has come to be known, was another commission for Theatre of Adventure, which it a highly portable PA system dressed as a banana – and why not. This used some of my early PA building skills, utilising mostly car stereo technology – it sounded, and still does sound very good, if it is a bit heavy.
Some of the insides of a banana.
'Horn PA system' (about 2005). Two of these were commissioned by Theatre of Adventure as sculptural mobile PA units. The horns house speakers, and are made of fibreglass with steel frames. The bases don't have the amplifiers or batteries attached in this picture.
'Logical Chaos 2' (about 2006) This was built as a commission for a Norfolk event, based upon the concept of the first 'Logical Chaos'. However this one is much larger, and the bell part of the machine was separated into a free standing unit. It was always planned for there to be two bell units, but funds ran out and the second one was never built. I have retained ownership of this sculpture, like several of the others listed above.
Animatronic chrysalis / grub (2010) . This was a commission by a Norfolk School as part of a lengthy educational project over several weeks in conjunction with Creative Partnerships. The brief was to build a chrysalis / grub that would fool the school children (aged 6 to 8) into believing that it was real. It moves and vibrates in response to be being touched in different ways, as well as making noises, glowing, and oozing sticky fluid. It was so successful that the school had to explain that it was not real before they had intended to, as the children became too excited and concerned about it. The whole project was a great success.
© Stuff & Things 2016