IRONCHIMP is the official international barrel of monkeys competition. The competition is friendly, the monkeys are anatomically correct, non binary, and cast in bronze. Players compete using one hand to link and heft the longest chain. The winner gets the Title Belt and Bragging Rights to IRONCHIMP. 

To date, IRONCHIMP  competitions have been held in New York City USA and Vancouver Canada.

Stay tuned to see when IRONCHIMP will happen in your city.


Wednesday May 22nd 

at Pangea 

178 2nd Ave 

8:30 PM




NYC 2023

The thrill of victory the agony of defeat

New York Champion  Andrea T

47 monkeys

First Runner Up Daniel Christman

Second Runner Up  Danielle Roberts

The Painter and the Impresario

Danielle Roberts and Sandra Botnen


 is generously sponsored by 

The Union House

YVR  2023

Vancouver Champion  Jeff Macpherson

51 monkeys

First Runner Up Ashley Vaillancourt

The Players

Artists and Heros

Jeff, Yaz, and Abe

Thankyou Yaz and Abe

For Making IRONCHIMP work !

Yasmeen Strang

Official Photographer of IRONCHIMP YVR





Sacred Heart of Artichoke - isbn 978-1-894897-23-5

Sacred Heart of Artichoke is a precious metal vegetable. The artichoke is a solid gold pin which can be worn as a lapel pin, brooch or tie pin. It is cast in 14 karat green gold. Colored gold is created by alloying gold with other metals, rose gold is made by alloying gold with copper, white gold happens when gold is alloyed with nickel, green gold occurs when gold is alloyed with silver. The Sacred Heart of Artichoke pin was inspired by my excellent friend, Barbara-Jo.  Barbara-Jo asked If I could make an artichoke, and this is what I came up with. I hope you like the artichoke as much as Barbara-Jo. Like much of my art, this work has a literary component; delivered upon a prayer card featuring the beneficent image of Jesus Christ , the prayer for The Sacred Heart of Artichoke , and published complete with it's own international standard book number. Delicious, free-range, organic jewelry, made by my hand, for all whom we love. Prayer: Sacred Heart of Artichoke Sacred Heart of Artichoke Guide me in contemplation of the beauty found in your divine proportions and Teach me to savor the ecstasy surrounding your immaculate consumption amen Photo Credit. Peter Lattimer This lovely pin makes a suitable gift for apostate and practicing Catholics, Protestants, Brights, Atheists, Buddhists, Confucists, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Jains, Zoroastrians, Vegetarians, Young lovers, Newlyweds, Old folks, and people of good will everywhere. If you would like to own a ‘Sacred Heart of Artichoke’ or buy one for a friend, simply contact me by email: robertchaplin(at)lightspeed.ca


Do You Know Canuck the Crow?

Canuck is two and a half years old, and already his exploits are the stuff of Legend.

As a baby, Canuck fell from his nest and was left for dead, he was fed by people and miraculously survived. He lives his life in-between the natural world and this city we call home. In many ways Canuck is wild, he is not a pet, he flies out to Still Creek to the big roost with all of the other crows every evening, in the morning Canuck commutes into town to conduct his business. The business of being the most famous crow in the world.

Canuck interfered with a murder investigation, no pun intended. Flew off with the knife ! Vancouver police had to chase him down to recover it. Canuck has been reported riding on the sky train, without buying a ticket. Canuck has a girlfriend named Cassiar and this nesting season Canuck interfered with the neighbourhood mail delivery as he was protecting his nest.  The main difference between Canuck and the other wild crows is that he has no fear of people, this makes Canuck one of Vancouver’s most vulnerable citizens. This spring Canuck was the victim of thoughtless human brutality and had to spend time in the hospital. While researching Canuck I met his friend and advocate Shawn Bergman, we agreed that as a city, we need to honour Canuck to protect him.

I have met Canuck on numerous occasions and can tell you he is a magnificent creature, a true wild animal friend. I want to dedicate a monumental bronze to Celebrate Canuck, I've begun to model him in epoxy clay and will update this post as I refine my model. I have applied to the city of Vancouver's public art commission to get this ball rolling, if you would like to see Canuck larger than life, you might send an email saying so to: Eric Fredericksen, eric.fredericksen@vancouver.ca. If you want to follow Canuck and his exploits go to Canuck and I on Facebook. Shawn updates this regularly and you will discover a world of wonder. 


Cosmologia Universalis : World’s Largest Book

‘Cosmologia Universalis’ 

isbn 978-1-894897-26-6 
‘Cosmologia Universalis’ 
By Robert Chaplin
copyright the publisher

Cosmologia Universalis

the universe and all we are, 
every galaxy and star
all the matter, all space-time, 
all the music, verse and rhyme
each and every moon and planet, 
every asteroid and comet,
each eclipse and each black hole, 
every critter, plant, and soul 
every molecule and atom, 
each electron, all the quarks
the antimatter, missing socks
the gravity, imagination,  
cosmic book 
that is,  Creation.

What more is there to say ? This stone, a Shiv Lingam from the Narmada River, was carved by my hand using diamonds and water. Arguably this is the largest book, ever. It has an International Standard Book Number and it fits nicely in your hand. As this was my intention, to publish the Universe, I’m obligated to put the isbn on it somewhere. So why not a stone ? I suppose I could launch it into outer space, but the earth is already in outer space so that would be redundant. 


One Tough Cookie

Revolution and art are practices done without consent. No one will give you permission to burn a city and kill your oppressors. No entity can rightfully permit the creation of a work of art. This, an Oreo Carved by my hand in Ebony and Ivory. On the surface It’s POP, but You and I know this is loaded, and really what good art isn’t ? What’s the life of an elephant worth ? what’s the value of a rainforest ? How long can we feed corporate greed ? How long are people going to hate and when can they please stop ? I was struck when I read, ‘Nothing Personal’ by James Baldwin, and came to the understanding that the social division caused by racism provides benefit to a small number of people in power. The Roman epithet,“Divide and Conquer ”, comes to mind. Sir Paul and Stevie Wonder make me wonder, why all these tough questions for such a little cookie ? 

There’s more, each oreo i make, has a secret inside. Some open and have scrimshaw inside. Others are permanently sealed with a silver word inside. It’s invisible, you can’t see it, but if you x-ray the oreo the word is there. I provide a signed x-ray print with each oreo so the owner can see what’s in their oreo. I sign the x-ray print, not the oreo sculpture. Regarding the use of ivory, i use recycled ivory, and in a world where people see the need to save cardboard, it seemed wrong to let a valuable material go to waste. 

For all its worth, Jerry Saltz said it was good art, and that’s alright by me! 
I’m horse trading oreos, so get in and play.


Protect Your Heart

Once upon a time, back in the twentieth century, I was fortunate enough to meet one of nature’s most gifted artists. Igor Santizo, he was a scrappy teenage spray painter, piecing the city with reckless abandon. In the quarter century I've known Igor, he has reinvented himself more than a few times, each incarnation wiser, more refined. I run into Igor from time to time, he has a way of making me see the sense of things. Today we talked about looking at the world, critically, not critically, how that relates to our perceptions, expectations, status,  art and craft. Igor said, it’s alright to get fired up, to think about all aspects of a situation, to acknowledge that some lines of reasoning lead to dark places. And that it’s ok to go there providing that, “you don’t let it cloud your heart.”

With that in mind I wanted to express some gratitude. Kieth Higgins gave me a solo show at Unit Pitt Gallery this past spring, we published an awesome chapbook and I exhibited the piece pictured above. I had a lot of help, it’s a wall safe, designed to be used as an occasional table. I pulled the safe out of a house that I helped Bruce Turnbull renovate.  I had the safe tapped and refurbished so that it was functional. After a conversation with Colin Johnson, he did the woodwork in ceder. The combination of brutal steel and the delicacy of ceder, is balanced by a chunky design. Shapes inspired by the bent wood storage boxes used by the original Pacific Northwest coast cultures. Inside the safe is a secret. Only two people know the secret. me and Scott Hawthorn. Scott owns this piece and one of the terms of it’s sale was that the contents of the safe would not be revealed until after the property had changed hands. I won’t ever tell you what was in that safe, at this point I honestly couldn’t say, time has a way of changing things, and some things never change.

If you are a young artist, if you are just starting out, look at everything, take influence where you may. Synthesize new ideas, juxtapose old ones, build a culture, build a life. Walk light and dark paths, exercise your demons, go drinking with angels, make wise friends. Stare into your belly button, read some good books, draw a picture every day. Examine the systems which surround you, be critical or not. Stare into the abyss, detail a myriad of subtle darkness’s, think about them, obsess if you must, but never ever let it cloud your heart.



look carefully at THE LOVEBIRD & you will see the letters L. O. V. E.  Written Large across the breast and tail. The Lovebird comes in many colours for you to wear,  collect & trade with friends, share a love that never ends. Consult THELOVEBIRD.CA to see some of the colours of Love.


The Band-aid Solution

“  Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
 All the King’s horses
and all the King’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.”
                             - anonymous nursery rhyme
A nursery rhyme’s the perfect crime, Treason ! For what could be more subtle than to teach the following generation about the injustices which surround them, coded in clever rhyme and allegory ? To plant the seeds of dissent that they might flower in political upheaval. After all, what were all those kings, horses, and men good for anyways ? The powers that be can do nothing in the face of the ravages of time and calamity. Some have postulated that Humpty Dumpty might have been a satirical portrayal of The last Plantagenet King, the hunchback. Richard III. Despite his willingness to trade the whole damned Kingdom for a horse, they found his twisted remains in a car park some few years ago.* Academic discourse not withstanding, could it be an allegory for a broken heart, a broken home, a love long gone, or some sad song ?  Could it simply be a riddle about an egg ? Perchance to smile, as there is often humor found in  literal interpretation, a situation running parallel to the absurdity of 1:1 scale representation**. And like questions regarding the quantification of the stickiness of adhesive bandages over time,  a discourse best left to philosophers and theologians. 

It is with pride this presentation is made for your perusal! ‘The Band-aid Solution for Humpty Dumpty’, carved by my hand using diamonds and water. A permanent solution in Hematite, a band-aid is forever  ;)

Photo Credit: Peter Lattimer

* the exhumation of Richard III
 ** 1:1 scale representation


United Artists

 35 mm, sterling silver, film/bracelet. A Love Story...

  16 mm, sterling silver, film/bracelet. A Spaghetti Western...

There’s something special about you, star quality. As such you were born to participate in a magical story, an action adventure, romantic comedy, documentary, sci fi, period drama, musical or spaghetti western. whatever the genre, you pick, it’s your life. In the late teens of the 20th century, the brightest stars of the silver screen formed United Artists * in order to maintain artistic control and decide for themselves what movies they would make.  So too might you, write, direct, produce, and star, in the story of your life. As we slide through time and shoot digitally to create movies, the celluloid and magic lantern recedes into the remote location of memory, some brilliant, bittersweet, flickering mystery.  Life is like that, fleeting fast. Making it last is the trick, and so I created these bracelets, to commemorate the adventures of my dear friends, Sneeky Pete and Sandra. These sterling cuffs, were carved by my hand and made in the form of film stock. That we might cast you for the starring role in the story of your life, please do, be in touch.

*Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and D. W. Griffith formed the United Artists Corporation in 1919.


Heads or Tails

Last weekend saw the leaves in color,  clinging fast to the last vestiges of summer. 
The fog rolls in and taking half the day to clear, the sun reveals autumn...
It is time for letting go. 

It took a while to finish this one, I started it in 2004 then put it aside, published some books, started a snowflake collection, played some chess, traveled, visited with friends and relations. I would work on this carving whenever I had a spare moment, and in those moments had the time to reflect on important matters such as the Elizabethan notion of artifice; transformation, and the relevance of les objets de virtu in the age of the smart phones. And so this piece is finished, made in hematite, carved by my hand using diamonds and water.  Heads, tails, its your call. Things happen gradually in nature,  invisible processes working away in their own time. Then, in the flashing of an instant we notice,  everything is different. Context is variable.

 robertchaplin (at) lightspeed (dot) ca
-Copy Cats are Dirty Rats

Photo Credit: Peter Lattimer


Royal Canadian Snowball

This snowflake tessellation incorporates principals of geometry to randomize the surface of a sphere. Carved by my hand using diamonds and water, this piece was commissioned by Deana Grinnell for Jim Smerdon's 40th birthday. The latest addition to The Royal Canadian Snowflake Collection, lead crystal completely carved, a Royal Canadian Snowball. Heat resistant to 600 degrees centigrade because context is variable.

Photo Credit: James Manning Smerdon


Incendiary Literature

‘ The MatchBook- a fireside fable ’
is perhaps my most incendiary creation. It is a pack of paper matches, published complete with poem, illustration, copyright, and ISBN. I made 10,000 copies without creating a warehousing problem. It can be found in public and private collections and is most recently available in The Paper Hound Books. Since I never do consignment Kim Koch the proprietrix, was generously disposed to acquire a box for the store...they can be found in this little drawer on 344 West Pender.


The Brussels Sprouts of New York

Phillips established in 1796
Papaya King since 1932
Manhattan fire hydrant
The Cloisters
in Cesare’s Sprouts
Near Joe‘s
I was surprised by an exquisite gift, a short notice trip! so I brought my silver sprout to do a little research on this question, is context everything ? Picture the Brussels sprout in New York City,  seen with an Ellsworth Kelly at Phillips, which by the way sold for a very respectable price. Picture the silver sprout in spaces sacred, profane, street, and mundane. It is my postulation that a work of art creates it’s own context and surrounds itself with magic, transforming the world, leading us to state of wonder...context is variable !

For Brussels Sprout in Bronze or Sterling
current Price $1050.


Happy Valentines Day

With all due respect this heart I've  made in solid copper, it warms up quickly in the hand. I hope that you enjoy this picture, a great piece is good no matter where you find, gallery, museum, library or pocket, context is variable.


Worlds Smallest Book- A large print edition

These are Raw SEM images of the tablets which comprise the World’s smallest book

I  launched a kickstarter campaign to raise money to do a book project. The campaign was successful and I was able to publish the fifth book in my library editions series. ‘Teeny Ted From Turnip Town’ is a tale of scale, a wild rhyme and a book of science for young readers, aged 5 years and up. Thanks to everyone who helped with my Kickstarter campaign and thanks again!

Wittgenstein’s House

You took me to Wittgenstein’s house and on that day my world changed, happiest day ever ! and I've the pictures to prove it. Duck meet Bunny, Bunny meet Duck. Same and different, state dependent, duckbunny. On this concept Wittgenstein footnotes Jastrow, but I expanded it from head to whole figure. Cast in rose gold I had the eye set with a diamond...because  you're worth it, context is variable.

 robertchaplin (at) lightspeed (dot) ca
-Copy Cats are Dirty Rats

Photo Credit: Peter Lattimer


Something about a PHd

You always wondered what it would be like to have a PHd on your wall, and now you can, it’s easy. The advantages of my unaccredited PHd program are many. My PHd does not take valuable years to achieve, costs much much less than one from a university, and qualifies you equally for employment. Due to the power of rotational symmetry my PHd makes just as much sense when you hang it upside down, and is suitable for the tasteful decoration of any home or office. This example was commissioned by Peter K Ohler at Masters Gallery and produced as an excellent contemporary painting in Lego. 


Sardine Tessellation

These Sardines Jammed into a can, like people in a city too close, like people in a small town up in each others business. I Just like the math in it all, sweet tessellation! I drew this fish which tessellates, my excellent friend Sian Pairaudeau did the computer magic. And so together we made an excellent wallpaper which can be enjoyed, with the culinary stylings of the incomparable Andrey Durbach, at ‘Sardine Can’ in Gastown.


Hang On Strong And Carry On

When you’ve got a dream, plan to hang on. Hang on strong and work to see it happen. This goblin I have made in bronze can hold up a jewelers file all by himself. He can hang on and hold it up all day long, every day and not get tired. I pray that I can do this, to hold on to my dreams and plans, to see them realized and live a larger life. I hope that you can too. Work hard and focus, deal with things all at once if possible, or a little at a time if necessary. Don't let it slip through your fingers, work hard and be happy. I believe in you I hope that you do too.

Photo Credit: Michelle Sproule