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I had a real weekend! No events, no studio work, well, quite a bit of house work, but it felt very good to have a two-day break, like people who have office jobs. My publisher has the thumbnail roughs for my latest picture book with him (the one I'm doing with David O'Connell), so Dave and I are poised, waiting for him to approve them; then it's going to be all engines blasting til the rather tight deadline. All good stuff, but it does set one's pulse racing.

But in the meantime, look at the bits and bobs I found by the river today!

I went for a run and realised it was low tide, so I climbed down some stairs and found all these clay pipe stems on the beach. While mudlarking you're not supposed to pick up archeological stuff and keep it if it has any historical value, but no museum wants these because there are hundreds of thousands of them lying about. They're basically the equivalent of old-time cigarette butts. People used to smoke clay pipes, then break off the bit of the stem their mouths had touched, so the next person could use it, and chuck the broken-off bit into the river. It's much easier to find the stem pieces; the bowls break more easily and are harder to spot amongst the pebbles. Most of them are plain, but these ones had some writing and designs on them. I wonder what the full words were, and if they were the names of the manufacturer, or the tobacco, or even the pub.

I also found a lot of these and pocketed a couple, but I have no idea what they are. They're about the same size and shape as the pipe stems, but they don't have a hole through them. Do you think they're maybe like those furniture dowels you get at IKEA? Hmm... (Here's another picture I took of the pipes if you're interested.)

Okay, moving on! Last night I went to a party at the home of Francesca Cassavetti and Nick Tesco, as a goodbye for their housemate Dan Lester, who's going to teach English in Korea. Here's one of my fave indie comics people, Oliver Lambden, with his ever-evolving mini comic Curtis and Terrorist. He draws all the covers individually and he's always changing the look, so each one is a real work of art. Often when I'm doing comics workshops with kids, I'll take in a box of mini comics and they always make a bee-line for Oliver's, and start trying to make their comics like his.

Here's Sally-Anne Hickman with our host, Francesca. I did a big blog post last spring about Francesca's comics work, a look around the cool stuff at her and Nick's house, and some of Nick's music videos from when he was lead singer of The Members.

Here's me with Nick; with that expression, I think someone must've been joking that we'd run out of ice cream and he wasn't going to get any.

Another thing I did was meet up with some members of my old illustration critique group. We went for dumplings at my favourite place in Chinatown. Here's Heather Kilgour with her husband Perraine and Kim Toohey, who had just flown in from Dubai, where she's teaching right now.

Here's Layn Marlow having a strawberry bubble shake and I'm having a lychee crushed-ice green grass jelly drink, mmm.

And here's one last pic of Stuart and me, catching the very last tube train home on Saturday night.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:53 am (UTC)
OMG! All those pipes are unbelievable!

In an unrelated note: Do you and Stuart ever watch "The IT Crowd"? It's got to be my favorite show. Leeann and I watched a few in a row last night and I laughed until I was wiping away tears.
Jan. 3rd, 2012 11:59 am (UTC)
Clay pipes
Hey, great stuff!.
I just found you whilst do more research for the history section of my site:
Just yesterday I loaded up some images of the interesting and stamped sections.
If you are ever in Spitalfields market, do come and say hello.
Jan. 3rd, 2012 01:26 pm (UTC)
Re: Clay pipes
Hey, that's so cool! I was thinking about making a pipe necklace - not to sell, just for myself - and it's fun seeing yours. I've bookmarked your page to go and explore more, thanks for leaving the link! :)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah McIntyre

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