Saturday, 13 October 2007

Farm craft

I never realised that there were so many art/farm projects 'til moving to Devon. I thought my two worlds were at a permanent distance one from the other, until landing in this agricultural and cultural stronghold showed me otherwise. If it hasn't yet been done, someone should produce an art farm map of the county, making sure to include: The Art Farm Project, Occombe Farm, Aune Head Arts, Organic Arts, and all the rest of them.
There isn't much art at home base though. Just some hamfisted craft. Nothing like the amazing quality of the stuff you might find here, more of the kind on display in the home-craft tent at the village fete.
Just the thought of pyrography makes me chortle; it's tattooing for the sensible, or the naff hobby you can do hunched over the kitchen table when there is nothing good on the telly and you don't fancy reading. I don't think I have ever seen an example that suggested this was a means to achieving good or interesting art. Perhaps it will be the medium for a future Turner prizewinner.
But I was desperate to label the trees in the orchard. After going to all the trouble of asking a pomologist to identify the existing varieties, and carefully doubling the number with new plantings of old Devon fruit trees, I didn't want to scratch my head in a couple of years time wondering what on earth was what. The posh version as used by the National Trust, arboreta and probably her Maj's gardeners were much too expensive and anyway entirely daft for a farm orchard. I improvised temporarily with stapled dymo tape, but the sheep rubbed them off quick smart, and with more than sixty of them I wanted a fairly permanent solution.
Pokerwork was the only cheap idea I came up with, and after a swift ebay purchase and a bandsawing of ply offcuts, there I sat, hunched over the kitchen table, being naff.
It worked though.

16 comments:

mountainear said...

That's proper 'folk art'. As long as you steer clear of burning biblical texts into your plywood offcuts I think you'll be OK.

KAZ said...

Damian Hirst - eat your heart out!

mutterings and meanderings said...

Pomologist.

I shall treasure that word!

Mopsa said...

Thank you M'ear - but I could hardly claim that for my efforts!

Kaz - do you think I'd get him to encrust the labels with spare diamonds?

M&M! so nice to see you! And yes, wouldn't it be great to call oneself a pomologist.

paula said...

Very fine. Ours are waiting for you.

Big Chip Dale said...

moops you are a lovly lovely loveyl person. i had a bloody good birdthday but wished you were there. thank you very much. goind to bed now.

Eurodog said...

Yes like M&M I shall treasure the word pomologist. I guessed it was related to apples. Mot français pour pomme but have never heard it used before. A pomologist is a pomologue in French. I had to look it up, I must admit.
I think the woodburnings look great.

Mopsa said...

Paula - you can borrow the wee wand. At least I can do decipherable.

Chip - it was obviously a bibulous affair - that's good. Cider by any chance?

Eurowoof - you flatter me!

Winchester whisperer said...

Do you have any recipes for quinces, apart from quince jelly?

Mopsa said...

WW. See here:
www.historicfood.com/Quinces%20Recipe.htm
www.foodlovers.co.nz/features/quince.php
Also stuff a peeled, cored and chopped one into the cavity of a chicken or pheasant before roasting.

Flowerpot said...

I also love Pomologist. So will my sister in law - I shall direct her to this post now!

Swearing Mother said...

How very arty! I shall expect to see similar in the National Trust shops countrywide, i.e., tiny little labels for herbs etc.

Or you could do DIY pomologist kits, who knows?

Winchester whisperer said...

Thank you for that! By the way - have you seen these pigs - they look so cute!
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/devon/7044897.stm

Mopsa said...

FPot - that word seems to have struck a chord! If only I had more like that up my sleeve!

Ohh - SM - what a good idea....just wait til the next round of shows next summer.

WW - there was a delightful picture of these weenie piglets in this Saturday's Western Morning News - sadly they dont do on-line so I can't link to it!

Kathleen said...

Just happened on your delightful blog in my research. Your idea of using pyrography seems the perfect solution and looks very nice. Re your comment about its being naff (?) rather than having any potential for real art (although the 'hunched over' part is pretty much right on), I can only suggest that you visit the E-Museum of Pyrographic Art and have a look at the fine art, decorative art, folk and traditional art in that technique that you will find there. I hope you'll be pleasantly surprised!!

Mopsa said...

Kathleen - I had a look and your work is wonderful - the Valencian oranges, the cockerel and the pandas are lovely! In a different league from the stuff I have seen on amateur craft stands.