Sunday, 5 December 2010

Snow joke

I understand that weather related puns are an obligation at the moment. Hopefully it'll be a while before I drive to the studio with -6 as the temperature. Studio is only heated by the welder! Once the thaw sets in I will need to restock Rufford - nice big flowers this time. Also the White Gallery in Bollington and Creative Recycling in Cholton need a visit. Before long there will another ant in the world!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

guess what!

Oh well! Its a day off. 

Friday, 26 November 2010


There are times when an open 8ft roller door is great. There are other times when it does nothing to keep the cold out. This week its cold and looks like it'll stay that way for a bit. On the plus side theres been no snow in Nottingham.
Check out the link - - and then rush of to Wales to see my work at CAT.
Fixed the welder. Got sunburn!

Saturday, 20 November 2010


Busy week, but mostly at Donington ensuring all those little beeltes were safe! Then studio today - and bust the welder. No chance of fixing it until monday at the earliest. Tried everything I know to repair it (that don't take long). Now going for sulking, with some swearing. That's taking longer.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

and a partridge in a pear tree

Tomorrow is the opening at Rufford of the Creative Greenhouse show. Its the place to buy those wonderful handmade Christmas gifts. The show runs until Christmas (and just into the New Year).

Monday, 8 November 2010

Lighthouse Works

Last week I delivered Hercules the Horse and a dozen other pieces to CAT. Sadly the driving rain and poor light did not do anything for photography, but I hope some pictures will follow.
The Lighthouse Works, Queen Street, Astwood Bank, Redditch is now open. A former needle factory now houses Garry Jones' studio and the Lighthouse Works Gallery. In addition to the giant needle centrepiece there are a number of frailloop sculptures, including a snail or two...

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

frailloop goes to CAT

The Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth, Wales with be the temporary home for some of my work for the next few months, if fact until Easter. This is a selling exhibition, so if you see some you like you can take it home (having parted with the appropriate cash)! Don't worry about leaving a space, I'll just need to create another piece to fill the gap.
Photos to follow.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Help Rusty Fish!

Hello folks. I'm back from a hard week WRG work on a very disused canal in Somerset (just). I learnt to drive a little tractor with a trailer - both forwards and backwards and moved a few tons of wood. Picture to follow. Now into a couple of very busy weeks. In the meantime could you follow the link and instructions to vote for a very talented friend.
Category is Mixed Media, 5th picture along, title Instructions - Bracelet for cakes

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Quite = busy (honest)

Greetings! I know I've not said much here for a while, but I have been working away in the studio preparing for the Christmas show at Rufford in Nottinghamshire. I've also been getting ready to deliver to the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth. At the same time I have been looking for a new home for the frailloop studio. It has outgrown the cave at TAO and needs to stretch its wings!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Commission bird. Had a good drawing to work from, with some really fun ideas. I really like the beak!

Monday, 4 October 2010


Just fits into the front window at The Art Organisation. I had to wait for the crowd to clear to take the picture. (Well two people but they were staring at my work).

Friday, 1 October 2010


I hope that the picture come up well! It looks good at this end. Thanks to Mike at Adore Photography for his work.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Holiday over

We had a couple of weeks away, up to Scotland, then over to Orkney and home. The picture should show a landscape from the hotel at John O'Groats looking towards the Orkneys. We saw lots of seals, around the coast to the right of the picture, most places around the Orkney Mainland and then found a few more as we headed home.
Now back to the studio. Maybe time to trade up for a bigger workshop? I wonder whats out there... 

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Getting needled

Soon to be gracing the about to open Needle Forge Gallery, Dark Lane, Astwood Bank, Redditch, B96 6AS.


About 90% complete. Coming along nicely.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

It's oh so quite...

It's not really! I'm nice and busy and I've been making plenty of noise in the studio. However the client has not seen the pieces I'm working on so it would be unfair to publish photos of them here first. But I've just completed them and I'm very pleased with them.
I've also been very busy working on another bike - this time I've gone lowrider. It was raining hard and I didn't think I would be able to get a reasonable picture. Again, with luck, I should be able to get a photo this week.
And finally I've been working on a 6ft needle. This will be the piece that welcomes visitors to the brand new needle forge gallery that will be opening very soon.

Friday, 13 August 2010


Made this. About 18 inches from head to wing tip. Then went back to ants legs. Then discovered that the box section I used to model the ants knees was now the body and head of a grasshopper...

Thursday, 5 August 2010


Latest piece to come out of the studio:-
Security Dave.
Short, spikey hair, just begining to receed.
Standard issue dark glasses, to be worn at all time.
Uniform bow tie, clip-on.
Couple of tatoos.
Everything you'd expect on 'the door'.

Saturday, 31 July 2010


As a diversion this week I've been trying out a new medium - paint. On Tuesday I went through a white period, but today was my blue period. I would love to post a picture of my work today, but I'm unable to. The press will view it on Tuesday/Wednesday of this coming week and then some photos will be published.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

free space

Now that 'Hush' has gone to be sited I have an empty studio. Had is better as I have started the lowrider bike and (on a smaller scale) a new flying bird.
Having run out of welding gas today I had time out in the sun. Lots of little jobs to get done and a visit to Red Hill Marina - for fun. Sadly the cafe was closed, but it was good to just sit and look at the River Soar.

Friday, 16 July 2010

wet week

Boy can it rain when it wants! Outside working on project hush when the heavens opened. Didn't stop me finishing, ahead of collection first thing Monday morning.
Project Hush is in 2 parts. The other bit is begining to weather. It was tough to get hold of enough sheet steel and it was all painted or galv. But put the grinder over the whole piece, with little effect. Then moved on to a mix of salt and battery acid. That worked as the picture shows!

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Values Tree

What a day! The tree is in place. A wonderful setting in a school in London. Lots of other art work around already. The children created some wonderful drawings which lead to lots of interesting bugs, insects and a line of ants.
Then a crash right in front of us on the motorway. Felt like a long wait for the emergency services. Just very glad it was not for me.
Picture thanks to Roxanne. 

Tuesday, 13 July 2010


Those of you watching BBC East Midlands News tonight may have been lucky enough to see me being interviewed. I will try to get a link up for anyone that feels left out!

Monday, 12 July 2010

Ready for my close up?

I'm getting filmed tomorrow by the BBC. It's a shame they can't show Project Hush, but hopefully the school tree and other pieces will keep them heppy. I'm not sure what will be required of me, but I've been told lots of flames and sparkes give good TV!
Should I cut open the gas bottle with the crew present? Maybe I'll save that for a quiet day...
I will let you know when its due go to air.

Saturday, 3 July 2010


I'm working hard on Project HUSH, and school tree. Should be done in a week. Installing in two or three weeks.
I'll tell all later!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Sunday, 27 June 2010

day off

I've taken a day off. 1st one for ages. Still sunny too.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Work, work, work

It's very odd that making giant ants is so uninteresting. Between us Obi and I need to create 5 huge ants. I'm working on the legs. But each ant has 6 legs, so 30 scaffold poles needed to be bent to the right curve. Each legs each has 2 'knees' - cut out of sheet steel and hammered into shape. 60 needed. Then they need to be welded into shape. 8 feet of weld per leg, 48 ft per ant. 240 ft in total.
But then I walk past the giant ant and think that 6 will look outstanding.
I'm sooooooooooooooo glad I'm not making spiders.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Day out of the studio

Having been busy with ants legs and knees for the past week it was good to spend a day away from the studio with the group of artist that is Nottingham Creative 2. Notts council funded year long group to develop a sellected group of creative folks.
Surprised to find how tired I am, but how good it was get out and see some new people.
Strange to be talking about work after July!

Monday, 14 June 2010

Had to happen...

I've managed to break a coil spring in the vans suspension. Not the heaviest load its carried, or even over rough ground when it broke. Quite a bang from the back of the van and felt it go. Off to the garage tomorrow.
On the plus side the old springs should make nice dogs/cats. With luck they'll pay for the repair.

Monday, 7 June 2010


The busier I get, the harder it is to find something interesting to write. You'd think more work would make it easier to find something to say.
Don't know what to say about cleaning up 24 5ft scaffold poles. They'll be ant legs by the end of the week! If you are coming along to the Patchings Festival you'll know what I'm doing... I think I'm about 60ft short of scaffold for the ants - all contributions welcome, rustier the better!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010


Today the Giant Ant was finished. Not sure of the stats but it stands over 5ft tall, and must be 6ft long. The jaws are huge. Pictures will follow, but the client gets to see them first!

Sunday, 30 May 2010


Someone has pinched a little dragon. Its got good teeth - I hope it bites them.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

nice day for a drive

Took a look on ebay last night, just on the off chance, and found this lot of scaffold with 10 minutes to go. 9 minutes later put in a snipe bid. On the way to studio this morning took a (hands free) call about collection. 280 miles later arrived at studio with 250 foot of rusty scaffold. It'll make some great ants legs.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Yesterday was good...

...but today is better! I've just landed a large commission - lots of work for Obediar (another skilled sculptor) and I. Watch this space for pictures. Hopefully in about a week...


Open Lady Bay festival was wonderful. Loads of customers. More nice comments about my work. Best bit - lots of friends visiting.
Another day that reminds my why I'm so lucky to be able to do this 'job'.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Open Lady Bay Arts Festival

This weekend I will be taking part in this festival - 1 til 6 Saturday and Sunday. Come and see me, the glass and metal dragon, various other pieces of steel sculpture and lots of other artists and artwork.
For those that don't know Lady Bay is a nice bit of Nottingham, between West Bridgford and the Trent. 
Looks like it'll be sunny too.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Friday, 14 May 2010

Lady Bay Festival interview on Radio Nottingham

This afternoon I was interviewed by Jo Davies on Radio Nottingham. OK - not just me, but help my ego. For the next few days I think you can hear me on listen again at . I think I appear about 3.20pm (not that you should not listen to the rest of Jo's program). The photo (which I hope is attached) was taken by Dan Sinclair. Jo is hidden behind the dragons head. 
It was good to help publicise the Lady Bay Festival and let the dragon (even if was only just the head) out to see the world for the first time.
The stag party I passed heading in to the Jury's Inn Hotel may well find that it wasn't the only one out in Nottingham tonight...  

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

family group

Hope these are popular...

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Friday, 30 April 2010

Do you

know what it is yet?

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

There be dragons!

Take one large dumped gas bottle. Remove excess. Add galvanised pipes. Add more galvanised pipes...

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Lady Bay Project

I have joined forces with the Lady Bay Scout Group to create something for the Lady Bay Festival. I have also been joined by Barbara - who works with recycled glass. Following some workshops and drawings by the group the theme of dragons gave out very strongly. So we have started work on a recycled steel dragon, with glass features.
Today my studio will be visited by the first small group of cubs. So before then I will need to have tidied up, made some room so they can get in and cut the dragons body. But first I have deliveries and collection to make. 

Thursday, 22 April 2010


I've just been told I had made it through the selection round for Nottingham Creative - A craft mentoring/training/helping boot project run by the council - and have to take some work along to the interview stage. Watch this space for updates!
Don't hold your breath. It's a few weeks away.

Little dragon

Finished a pair of little dragons. They stand about 30cm tall and 30cm long.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

mini dragon

End of a odd week. Started with the BCTF, then following up a few leads - some from the BCTF, but the most promising came from a chat with a nice British Waterways guy who helped me with wheel hubs!
Most of the week I have a good reason for not creating much, but I have managed to make a few more little flowers and almost finished a mini version of my dragon. You'll have to wait til I finish for the picture. Monday is delivery day, but if things good well I'll drop by the  studio. If for no other reason I will need to bank a cheque. 

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

British Craft Trade Fair

Back home and with a good nights sleep behind me. Good event, better than last year. A positive feel around the stands with lots creative work on show. I had the chance to meet Duncan Thurlby - our work shares a few galleries - and he was the worthy winner of the WOW award.
Booked a larger stand for next year. I would like to bring a few large pieces and aim to pick up some exhibitions. Just need some ideas now...
I also came home with this wonderful squirrel. The work of Garry Jones, ceramics to make ewe smile.

Saturday, 10 April 2010


Arrived in Harrogate and now set up and ready for lots of orders. Some serious panicing as I crafted a tree, but never measured it, or the space in the van. However the eye is still good as it was spot on.
Second panic was the size of the stand. The tree is tall enough to arch over me, so it's quite tall. Last year the stands had supporting bars. Luckily not this year and the tree fits, and looks good.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

re-engineered shelving

As if by magic just under under 6 metres of scrap floorboards, 6 ex-extinguishers, 2 skip slavaged tie rods and 4 ex-farm bolts turn into this. Not the best photo in the world, but its not easy to leave an extra set of shelves around the house with them getting in the way...

Tuesday, 30 March 2010


Managed to get into the woodpile before the rain started. I now have 3 planks, cut to just fit in the van and cleaned up. I think I can use 3 pairs of ex-extinguishers to support the shelving. 100% Recycled.
Even had time to finish a very nice fire dish... 

Monday, 29 March 2010

Forward Planning

Less than 2 weeks to go before Frailloop shows it's wonders to the world at the British Craft Trade Fair in Harrogate. Think I need to craft some shelving. Hope its dry tomorrow - the thought of hunting through a soggy pile of second-hand timber is not nice.
Given my current ability to cut, slice or damage my hands how long before I find a sharp nail?!

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Another week gone

My cut thumb is healing well, but I have to be careful not to get it dirty or to work it too hard. I found I could not use my snips to cut sheet metal - the handle pushes in the wrong place. However I was able to bend bar so made progress on the musical tower.
I've only got a couple of weeks to get ready for the British Craft Trade Fair. I have made a tree and a couple of dogs for the stand. I also want to have lots of small steel flowers. I thought they would great covering the floor, but now wonder if the large, blank white walls will dwarf them. Plan B. Make some shelves from...
I visited the Creative Recycling Gallery in Manchester on Thursday to deliver new pieces. The pictures shows some of my work in their wonderful garden. 

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Recycled tree

Planted the steel tree and met lots of pupils. The weather forecast was good, but the reality was rain. Digging the holes was hard work - lovely chalky soil that was as tough as concrete! Tree in. Leaves set in the flower bed. Looking good.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Back to school

Frailloop is returning to school. Gavin has been commissioned to create a tree from scrap pieces. On Friday he will be it to the school in Salisbury and planting it firmly in the ground. Photos to follow. The thumb has plasters, latex gloves and tape. Heres hoping for a dry day and good stitches!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Thumbs down.

First serious accident in the studio. Well not that bad really but enough to send me off to A+E with about a 5cm cut. When cleaning up a piece of large bore pipe the burr caught the brush head on the angle-grinder which whipped it cross my hand. Never keen about the sight of blood, mine above all others.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

small flower

End of a busy week. Prep'ing for next week which is a bit lively. The picture is the last piece I made today - a flower, standing a not so mighty 280mm tall It was once a fire door, bit of sheet metal, bbq grill and engine bolt! I only used a little bit of the fire door and a 1/3rd of the bolt, I you may have guessed that.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Frailloop Studio

Really needs a clean up. Some bits are in the process of going into sculptures. Some are the offcuts from pieces that have gone into sculptures. Some have just got stuck halfway.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

The teeth...

... have grown a body...

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Fw: jaws

--- On Thu, 21/1/10, GAVIN DARBY <> wrote:

Subject: jaws
Date: Thursday, 21 January, 2010, 21:33

Today I did a bit of dentistry...