Trigger Warning and What’s Inside

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I’m tired of work and bad news, so here’s some simple art.

I don’t normally treat all my books like this; but at some point I’ve realised I like it when a book has a story attached to it. Of course I’m aware that any book [naturally] has stories in it, but I like the ones who differ from the other copies of the same content. Once, I’ve ordered a novel that had an old flight ticket in it (from Boston to London). Or, I’ve bought a book that had a money bill in it. Or, my friends once gave me a book which was too old and had all those fancy scrawly writings on the front page…

tw_book

I also enjoy putting small pieces of paper with my sketches inside books in bookshops; I just can’t help it. I think of people who’d buy the tome with my sketch in it and who’d be surprised by it, and maybe it would make them smile. Maybe I just love surprising people, maybe I just love to share the stuff I can do, maybe both — who knows?

tw_full

Anyway: Neil Gaiman’s new book arrived at my snowy city these days, and I decided I just had to add something. Just for the sheer fun of the process. Just because one day one of my great-grandchildren might find this book and say: “Look, this one is different from all the others in our library, I wonder why!..”

…and start reading it.

Yes. That would certainly be a nice future.

- .doc

Precious, Metal, Addictive.

Well, apparently we’re back again; .doc speaking, as usual — yet with something completely new even for us.

It took me quite a while to finally try making something with precious metal clay (PMC for short), but since the very start I feel like this stuff is highly addictive; the more you make, the more you want to make. For some reasons, I absolutely adore silver at the stage of forging it, right when it’s heated and glowing red through its natural white shade…

In case you’re as new in this as I were, here are some tips for those who want to try this.

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I use PMC3; if your designs are as small as mine are, you forge them for about 2 minutes with a butane torch in order to burn away all the polymer parts. Fire makes PMC3 shrink, so the final result is about 10-15% smaller than the initial one.

I form the drafts for my designs with modelling clay, and then I use two-part moulding rubber to make silicon moulds for the final design. For me, that’s better than using patterns or something like that — and you can fix any irregularities with a wet paintbrush or any crafting tool, while your design is damp and flexible.

After the designs are forged and burnished (really, you can burnish them with pretty much anything!), I make them darker with the mixture of water and plain sulphur ointment one can get at any drug store. The more ointment you apply and the more the finished item stays coated in it, the darker it turns, which provides a nice antique look with dark patina.

…aaaaand here are some examples.

This one’s been a birthday gift to one of my colleagues; she wears it on a dark brown leather cord.

silvermoon

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Halloween Strikes Back: ExLibris, Moscow, 2014.

At the end of the Halloween Friday people at my office were genuinely puzzled.

“So… you’re going to walk the streets like this?” they asked.

“Yup”, was my eloquent answer.

“And what are you going to do???”

“Well, offer people light, warmth, and jelly monster sweets, naturally”.

properh

What they didn’t know was that I had company. Imagine a tall lady, dressed as a military witch and waving a candle lamp around, walking alongside with a small lady in monkey hat and a ginger beard. And that was only the beginning…

I’m going to let the pictures (moving or not) speak for themselves. Just keep in mind that most people in those pictures are the staff of a fairly normal tiny café, hidden within a building of one of the Moscow libraries. I can’t keep from madly grinning at the thought, really – pity I had no chance to properly record the jazz session with bass guitar, four harmonicas, and improvised Tom Waits-ish rumbling that also happened that night.

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On Doctors (Frankenstein Included) and Other Scary Things

Hello there, .doc speaking again.
Let me ask you this…

Have you ever been afraid of something you created?

No, forget that. Let’s start this over.
See, the worse I feel, the more I paint. I mostly do faces, just because it’s always interesting to explore the character, the emotion behind those masks of flesh and bones. The more complicated the face is, the better it works: painting something living, breathing and complex somehow soothes my soul better than any pills.

I paint A LOT these days. And I did need something to calm me down for a while, so I decided to try something new. At the moment I was listening to Peter Capaldi reading some incredibly sinister book, so…

doctorqui

…well. At some point the sketch looked like it was about to start swearing at me. That’s the angriest and saddest face I’ve ever painted, and it still frightens the Hell out of me. I was seriously stunned for a while right after finishing this, just because it felt like I’d never be able to paint anything more intense. ALL THE FRANKENSTEIN FEELS, you see. It’s either the best fan art I’ve ever created, or I’m still high on sedative pills.
I suspect it is both.

capaldipcvard

Anyway, I’ve made some postcards for my friends, just because it feels right to share this image. The glyph I included here is Gallifreyan for “hopeful”. And, just to conclude this entry and give you my reasons for choosing this glyph, here’s a quote from Clive Barker that describes… Well. It describes pretty much everything.

Hopelessness is reasonable.
But nothing of worth in my life came of reason.
Not my love,
not my art,
not my heaven.
So I am hopeful.

© Clive Barker, “Abarat III: Absolute Midnight”.