Rudy And The Rowan Tree

July is almost over (how did that happen?!) and things have been on the quiet side regarding Hooperhart; July is always a slow sales month what with summer holidays etc, so I’ve been trying to get as much stock made in advance of the autumn/winter season as possible to avoid panic stations later on. I’ve also been somewhat distracted by our purchase of a campervan at the start of the month – a 27 year old Talbot Rambler called Tallulah complete with cooker, fridge, loo, shower, a full set of crockery, and most importantly, a wine rack!

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I’d been hankering for another campervan since our beloved Bridget (aka the smallest camper in the world ever) had to be retired from service four years ago; having the freedom to head off whenever you fancy (and in Scotland whenever the weather allows) has such a strong appeal. The thought of being on the road, heading to a remote beach or catching a ferry to an island for a few days is always in the back of my mind, so I was pretty happy to find a suitable replacement in Tallulah.

Anyway, besides tootling along the B-roads of Scotland, I’ve also started making little houses from reclaimed wood under the name Rudy and the Rowan Tree:

Rudy and the Rowan Tree

When I’m making my dioramas it’s quite a precise process – there’s a lot of design and planning involved to make sure the finished piece physically and aesthetically fits together. As the work has developed I’ve moved further and further away from the printed pattern aspect (which is where it all began really). So I thought it would be nice to return to that again –  and to make something which was quite free and celebrated the random patterns created by screenprinting layers onto a surface, without planning how the finished piece will look. This, along with the fact I had built up a fine collection of random bits of wood in the outhouse (as you do) let me to making these pocket-sized house-shaped works of art.

I’d long admired other makers’ little houses on Instagram and Pinterest, be they ceramic, glass, concrete or wood (and had bought a few too!). So this is my own individual take on the miniature house. Each one is completely unique, and the nice thing about them is they are small, affordable and very collectible. You can build a street or even a whole village!

If you like the look of these wee cuties I’ve opened a separate Rudy And The Rowan Tree Etsy shop which currently has free UK shipping over £30, so feel free to have a little browse. I’m also going to be debuting them in the flesh at Southside Artist and Makers Market on August 30th so if you’re in the Glasgow area pop along. More details on this to follow so keep an eye on my SHOP page 🙂

Well, got to go now as it’s time to feed the dog (the original Rudy)

Thanks for reading!

 

Cabin in the Woods

 

Well, as expected, 2018 is zipping by. Unbelievably we’re already into February; January was the usual struggle of getting back into the swing of things after a very busy festive season; happily, there was plenty of replenishing to do and new things to try out (along with a list of DIY jobs and trying to learn French on the side!) which got me through the darkest month.

When there is snow on the ground (like today), I like to daydream about living in a secluded wooden cabin, cosy in front of a wood-burning stove. It is no surprise then, that one of my favourite pieces to make is a cabin diorama!

 

I live in a mostly urban area, albeit in a relatively quiet corner of the town flanked by woods and river. Walk for a few minutes though, and the busy roads and new housing estates start to encroach on our peaceful enclave. The lack of foliage in the winter also leaves us a bit exposed, and I’m thankful for the line of tall evergreen leylandii at the end of our cul-de-sac, protecting us from the roar of the motorway. This might all go some way to explaining my ‘cabin in the woods’ fixation! I’ve made quite a few of these now, each one slightly different, and the most common response they illicit from people is ‘Oh I’d love to live there!’ . I guess it’s a fundamental desire in a lot of us to find solitude amidst the hectic pace of modern living, an antidote to our busy lives.