Monday, November 26, 2012

Are you a maker, or a process maker?

The complex is now simple to make. 

 Just create the process that makes the object/building. 

On a LAD day I noticing that the Holland Paper Biennial was directing traffic to my website (I was invite to exhibit in the 2002 event).

I looked at the 2012 artists and recognised a image from the Vogue Living Journal on our coffee table.

Michael Hansmeyer is an architect and programmer who explores the use of algorithms and computation to generate architectural forms, which can be cut out of thousands of sheets of paper or printed out via a 3D printer.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Art is just failure, the gap between intention and result...

The organisers of the recent Australian Ceramics Triennale have just started uploading copies of the papers given.

I was on a panel on "Outside the Box" and I found the paper by co-panel member Tania Rollond particularly insightful about the creative process.

You may like to read it here:

That may be hard to read.... on small screens it may be easier to read it here.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

1864 letter from Schoolmaster on "Mermaid" sailing to New Zealand.

This a typed copy of a handwritten, 149 year old family letter dated 16 February 1864.  

I've highlighted words for those you just want to get to the dramatic bits...

"To 51 George Street
 Hampstead Road

Dear Mother and Friends,

I know you will all be most anxious to hear from us, at the time I indite these lines we are about 70 days sail from New Zealand should we meet the Mail before our arrival in Port our letters will be sent on board, so that by having them in readiness you will hear from us nearly 2 months sooner than you otherwise would in case we missed this Mail, I will not attempt in this letter to give you any account of the Voyage. 

I leave that for another time. 

We left Gravesend on Saturday 14th Nov with over 400 souls on board all told - Mary did not ail much for the first few days but when we got well into heavy water out at sea, she was very ill and continued so for neally a fortnight since that time has had very fair health. 

For the first week everything was very uncomfortable fancy scores of men, women and children all sea sick at once. It takes some time for so many people to settle down and get comfortable together, after a time it is all right, before we left the docks I was chosen by Mr Ottyell, that is Mr Marshmans head clerk for the Provincial Government of Canterbury, as sworn Witness, to Witness the Signatures of all the Emigrants owing money to the Provincial Government for which he paid me 1 guinea and through that I had the appointment of Ships Schoolmaster offered me, which I accepted as the Schoolmaster who had been appointed previously failed them in the last moment by not making his appearance and they are bound by the Government to carry one. I am to receive 10 pounds for my services which are not by any means heavy and have been exempt from all the duties of cleaners, mess men Constables, which both married and single men have to take according to their turns. 

 I have to attend the burials and devine service on Sundays so that should the Captain be indisposed I should have to officiate for him. I muster all the children between 5 and 14 years of age of whom there are 60 every morning at 10 on the quarter deck and inspect them, if not clean etc etc I have to report them to the Captain or Doctor, after which we have 2 hours school, weather permitting, and 2 hours in the afternoon. It was all a spree the first time the ship begain to roll heavilly. To see the boxes, tins, pots grub etc flying about after a time the people got more wide awake and made things secure but many were the sore shins and heads before they got experience, up to this time we have only had 5 deaths, 2 men 1 women and 2 children. The heavy plunge of the dead body over the side into the deap sea impressed me with more solemn feelings than ever a funeral did on shore. The most serious accident we have had was in the second week of leaving England. I was sat in the Carpenters house on deck having a pipe with him, when the Pursers Mate came by just as the ship gave an extra lurch to windward the deck was slippery his feet flew from under him and he came down heavilly catching his knee on a heavy spar. We rushed out and got him into the Carpenters place. I supported his body during the opperation the knee cap was smashed clean in halves, his rips hurt and head cut. The doctor told me it was a much worse case than a broken leg as he will have a stiff leg for life poor fellow he is still in the hospital. 

 It was very cold the first 3 weeks but not near so cold as I had expected as we drew nearer to the equator it became warmer till at last we had it hot and no mistake and we were glad to lay about at nights on the tops of boxes or on deck we had the usual performance of shaving on crossing the Line, the ships crew and every one had the days holiday the sailors get up the drapes and the whole affair first rate as they prepare some time before hand for it. I will assure you it is much better fun to witness it than to be opperated upon, fortunately I was not on the ships books although considered to belong to the ship. The Captain gave strict orders beforehand that none was to be interfered with but those that had signed articles and he gave them the names of their victims these were the Cabin Cook, Cooks Mate, the Butcher and his Mate and two of the Chief Cabin stewards 1 sailor and one cabin boy these the sailors proved had never before crossed the line, but they all came up well to the scratch and then there was no help for it they gave their own shipmate to the worst of any his face being covered with scratches from the razor (a piece of rusty hooping iron full of notches ) both you can read in various sea tales better discriptions than I have space to give it ------------

The ship has been rolling so heavilly the whole time I have been writing that it is difficult to write at all, so you must excuse this scrall, all hands have just been called to shorten sail as a heavy squall is coming on so I will turn and finish this another time!

Since writing the above we have had almost a mutiny amoung the sailors some of the crew got drunk one of them would not obey orders and was insolent to the Second Mate upon which the Second Mate struck him knocking him down. He was then got away by his ship mates, about 2 hours after he came again on deck swearing he would have revenge and coming upon the Second Mate unawares he gave him a dreadful smash in the face knocking him senseless upon which after a determined resistance he was put in IRONS and put in close confinement where he will remain till the ship arrives in port when he will get 6 months imprisonment.

Next morning the whole of the crew upwards of 30 able seamen came aft in a body to the Captain demanding the release of their comrade swearing they would not work the ship till he was given up but the captain and officers were firm, he told them if they did not return to their duty he would have them all put in IRONS as he could by the assistance of the passengers some of whome are sailors and his officers carry the ship into port without them. The passengers were all with the Captain so they gave it up for a bad job our crew is composed of English, Italian, Spanish, Portugese, French, Germans, Americans, Dutch and 1 Negro, but of corse they all understand English.

The food is of all good quality excepting the beef some of it is so hard and salt we cannot eat it so that on beef days which are twice a week we have to go without, the pork is better, that we have twice a week the other 3 days we have preserved meat made into soup and it is very good we have very few biscuits to eat as we get almost sufficient flour to make us bread all the week round and our supply of water is sufficient if used with economy we have now been 90 days at sea, every body seems to be getting sick of it, and tired of each other every now and then there is a good fight among the single men which helps the time on a little. It is just 40 days since we have seen a ship of any kind whatever. Sky and water! Sky and water! till the eye sickens of them, I have just left the Captain who says about 6 more days he thinks will put us out of out misery which I am not sorry for as I dream every night of beef steaks, mashed potatoes and Cooper -- Ale and Porter 1 1/2 pint bottles 1 shilling, Brandy 4 shillings, Rum 3 shillings, Old Tom 3 shillings, tobacco 3 shilings a pound, in fact you can get anything whatever on board but of course much dearer than on shore!

I was much disappointed at not seeing Baldwin or Farral as we laid in the basin several hours after leaving the dock and we did not leave Gravesend till Saturday morning. I hope these lines will find all my friends and shopmates well, Farral, Baldwin, Banister, George Abbot, Rundle, Old Frank, Overall and of course every body else I shall be very glad to hear from any of them or be glad to send any information in my power. Any letter or news paper will find me, to be left till called for, at the Post Office, Christ Church, Canterbury, New Zealand ----- I trust this will find you all well as it leaves me I have reason to be thankfull as I have not had an hours sea sickness since I left the docks but I am not so strong owing to having no vegatables or fresh meat and but little exercise ------------

We have just got in Tuesday night Feb 16/64. Am sorry to say the mail steamer left for England on the Sunday before, so it will be a long time before you get this letter.
All well and a good passage so for the present I will bid you all good bye"

Mr William E Hay

(transcripted from family documents-verified via
It appears the boat was shipwrecked 8 months later off the Queensland source: Coast:

The imaged used is a photo I took of another settler boat "The Dunedin" which active also at this time.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Worlds' biggest 3D extruding printer

Student built massive 80x80x80 cm darwin style printer that prints porcelain in a continuous way using a commercial moineau pump and a refilling plunger type extruder.  

Friday, May 25, 2012

Buy your Art with stolen credit card

Another scam email worthy of inclusion:

This one offers to buy my art work with a stolen credit card.

"----- Original Message -----
From: "tom" <>
To: Graham Hay
Sent: Friday, 25 May, 2012 2:47:20 AM GMT +08:00 Beijing / Chongqing / Hong Kong / Urumqi
Subject: request

my name is Tom  i will like to purchase some of your product to one my new
store in japan  i will  like to inform you that the method of my  payment
is credit card if this is accepted by you please kindly get back to
me with your website address so as for me to choose the item needed by

One of my security measures is too always google these email addresses with the word "scam"  added.

What to do if you have already posted a work off: (I know it's for tractor parts :), but the solution is the same).

It seems they also tried to buy ski equipment! :)

What is interesting is that they want my web address (already in my email address) so it appears my email address has been sold as part of thousands of others.

I post these emails on my blog to alert  other artists to the risk.

(image copied from

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Is New York your artistic destination?

I received this email today.

Anyone received a similar email?

My email response is below...

----- Original Message -----
From: "Raquel Contreas NY ARTS" <>
To: Graham Hay
Sent: Thursday, 24 May, 2012 6:38:06 AM GMT +08:00 Beijing / Chongqing / Hong Kong / Urumqi

Dear Graham Hay,      

My name is Raquel Contreras and I am a freelance curator working with Abraham Lubelski organizing a July 2012 group exhibition and publicity package as a part of the International Artists at Home & Abroad series at Broadway Gallery NYC in New York. I am inviting you to take advantage of a unique publicity package that includes participation in the NY exhibition, as well as the opportunity to benefit from a full years’ worth of publicity/exposure on the web and in print. 

Our partnership with NY Arts Magazine and Art Fairs International will provide you with international exposure to galleries, curators, collectors, dealers, museums, and art patrons reaching a readership of over 20 million annual hits. This offer is the best publicity package available in today's contemporary art market and the artist will retain 70% of any sale made during the exhibition. The fee for this complete one-year publicity package (including the NY exhibition) is $1,900.

By paying close attention to the intuitive works of each artist, we are hoping to construct an exhibition of works that truly speaks to our audiences. I am particularly excited and interested in your work "Carved Information as Object"  and I believe it would be an important addition to our program. The use of color and technique makes this work appealing and eye-catching. Please review the two components of this proposal: Part One: Publicity Package / Part Two: NY Exhibition. Feel free to contact Abraham Lubelski or myself at any time to discuss this proposal further.

We look forward to a great and constructive collaboration.

All the best,

Raquel Contreras
Associate Curator
Abraham Lubelski
NY Arts Magazine
473 Broadway, 7th floor, NY, NY 10013 | 212-274-8993

Dear Raquel

Thank you for your email.

Would I be correct be describing your service as a "vanity service" (neither a good or bad thing in my opinion)?

I respond to all cold calls and emails such as yours by Googling any organisation and staff names, and include the work "scam":

While I do discount some comments as simple rationalising, it does seem you do have a PR problem, particularly as some comments are from past staff members.

I welcome your comments with an open mind.



(image sourced from

UPDATE: Two months later...still no reply from them

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A picture is never just a picture?

I've been trying to represent social structure/organisation in 3D (Sublime Sculpture?).    

A parallel challenges faces painters representing their personal concerns, through painting.  

Rather than a pictorial record of something seen, the painted representation is often a proxy for what the image symbolises to the artist.  

It is an attempt to represent what cannot be illustrated.  

How can we paint "love", "nostalgia", "desire", "angst " and so on?  

Instead artists paint a loved one, old things, a nude, or other subject matter.

So too in sculpture and in ceramics, there are subject matter that is traditionally used, instead of making something which cannot be seen or illustrated. 

This is the essential problem with representation in the arts.

I'm currently reading a book that explores this problem which both the arts and sciences (yes, them too)  face.

 "Six Stories from the End of Representation" is by James Elkins.  

What is commendable in this book is it's surprisingly clear and concise analysis of this problem.  

These are two properties not normally found in discussions or texts on this subject. 

 I'm enjoying the read....

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Printing Super-Surface Sculpture

A group are using open source software to mimic naturally growing surfaces, within a 3D software, then printing the results out on a 3D printer.

While the code is not particularly interesting, what is interesting the commands/or assumptions they use for each section of the sculpture. i.e. how each "grows"

A example of the printed out structure/pattern)

Interested in learning more: Python scripting and fabrication workshop organized at Architectural Association London for the Emergent Technologies and Design (Emtech) 2011-2012. Organized and Tutored by Marina Konstantatou, Vincenzo Reale (, Giancarlo Torpiano and the help of Evan Greenberg

Friday, April 20, 2012


Is beauty just a biological function?

Want some rules for making "beautiful" art?

Neuroesthetics is the study of the electrical activity of the brain while looking at "beautiful" art.

I'm going to call it paint by dial!

In simple terms, does that mean we just wire up an EGG machine to an art critic's Prefrontal Cortex and watch the dial while we show them our work? :)

Alternatively, nature has already done it for us, we just need to mimic nature, where beauty comes from function i.e. where beauty is used for sexual purposes! For some background on this look at the writings of Associate Professor Michal Gibod.(google translation).

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ops, I've been sneaky ... 3D printers

I'm Sorry ...

I've been regularly adding to my blog on 3D (clay) printing for the last two years, but at the end of my first blog of 11 Sept 2010 - but just realised that readers may have missed it.

To catch up, jump to here and scroll down to the bottom for the most recent postings.

For a formal update on recent develops see slideshows and listen to speakers at a January 2012 symposium of leading experts in 3D printed ceramics at the V & A Museum in London click here.

Friday, February 17, 2012

What should I pay an artist?

For those outside the Arts, it's hard to figure out what to pay an Australian artist. In fact, even those within the Arts often have no idea!

Here's the short answer:

Download this 2004 schedule of artists hourly rates, read the whole thing carefully, and then multiply all values by 1.353 to get hourly rates for early 2012.

The 35.3 percent increase is the increase for Australia 2004-Dec 2011, calculated from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website.

Hope that helps!

Remember, using experienced artists will in the long term save you time and effort, and give you a much high quality result.


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