Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Monday, 7 September 2015
Let's talk about the weather. Yesterday and for the next few days, it is wonderful, classical, pre-frost September sunshine at the arse-end of Summer, and I am going to be working outside for the whole of it. How bleedin' lucky.
Yesterday was spent surrounded by youth - there was a photo-shoot here for H.I.'s painting t-shirts as organised by Grandson (don't worry, you will have an opportunity to buy one as soon as the website goes live) and I took Grand Daughter for a roast dinner, followed by early afternoon beers in the pub garden, surrounded by the walking dead from the previous night's party. The only alternative would have been an equally wonderful, more healthy, solitary walk in the woods on a mushroom hunt.
I got back to find the shoot still in progress. Everything is Blue-Tooth wireless these days. His camera was linked to an enormous lighting panel, and when he pressed the shutter it flashed. Even more impressively, the photo immediately appeared on his laptop.
I am really impressed with the lad's entrepreneurial enterprise. From scratch, he has made the concept of high-end t-shirts printed with H.I.'s signature on the front and a high-quality image of a painting on the back, into a reality. The price has been artfully pitched at £30 each, using the logic that you can buy any designer t-shirt you like for £35, so some foolish people may just go for the name rather than the artwork for the sake of £5.
Then I understand how he has come to this cunning marketing ploy. Both his mother and grandmother are fashion-victims (though they would vehemently deny this), so he knows the psychological draw of names like Versace, Armani and Nike, and has known it from birth.
I bought Grand Daughter one - at slightly over cost - and she is under strict instructions to wear it in London as advertising.
I tried to think if I had ever had any such speculative projects when I was around his age, and I remembered the bronze mirrors.
I made a wooden pattern in the shape of a flat rectangle with a Greek key border, had 20 cast in bronze, polished the flat surface to a mirror finish and fixed hooks to the back so they could be hung on a wall to be used as antique style mirrors.
I took one as a sample to the South of France by train. They were not light. I was constantly being asked to unwrap it by customs inspectors and police who - once they had seen it - took a lot of explaining to understand what it was supposed to be. Everyone needed this explanation, and I didn't sell one.
These days, I only make things if I am asked to and I never wear advertising unless I am paid, which is never.