08/12/2014

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.





23/11/2014

THELOVEBiRD.CA



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 find the meanings of the special hallmarks on the back of each lovebird.

28/10/2014

Regarding the Benefits of Caffeine



The Creative Mornings Vancouver team have me talking about Chance at SFU, on November 7th. What are the odds ? :)Awesome thing is they made this great teaser video. It’s a true story about overcoming personal disability by way of socially acceptable chemical dependency.

30/09/2014

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

29/09/2014

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.

20/10/2013

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

29/08/2013

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

17/07/2013

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.


21/05/2013

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.
 

14/02/2013

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.

22/09/2012

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



29/08/2012

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. 

13/08/2012

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.

09/08/2012

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

22/05/2012

CHAPLiN’S SNOWSTORM


There is an underlying geometry to this random flurry, a system for defining the minimum amount of negative space between snowflakes of various sizes, I figured it out by drawing. Without getting too specific it makes use of the fact that equilateral triangles of any size, each and all together can tile a plane. Further, each and every shape divisible by equilateral triangles, can be tiled together in this way. Since hexagons are made of equilateral triangles they can tile a plane in the same manner, leaving sections of equilateral triangles which can, in turn be occupied by more hexagons, leading the mind to infinity.  I’m not sure If I discovered this all sized tiling, but at least for the purposes of this design I will call it ‘Chaplin’s Snowstorm’. Carved by my hand using diamonds and water, this sterling silver pill box fits in the little pocket of your jeans and is ideal for carrying pills of all sorts, medicinal, recreational, and vitaminical. 

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

12/05/2012

SO HAMLET PRiNCE OF DENMARK...


What's this I hear you can't make up your mind ?  Time moves us to death, inevitable. Yet we may jest and play, and each man in his time wears many hats. This jokers cap and bells was made for court in Gastown. Perchance that we might laugh at death, and in the moment when we hear the bright tone of these bells,  feast in celebration of this one and only life.

I sculpted these bells in sterling silver, and of course I needed help. Sarah Strange has a millinery mind and after a brief discussion, and some loose sketching,  returned yesterday with this fantastic chapeau. After attaching the bells we set up this shot.
 
Crown Commissioner : Scott Hawthorn
Goldsmith: Karen Morrow
Casting: Jess Sarber
Milliner: Sarah Strange
robertchaplin (at) lightspeed (dot) ca
-Copy Cats are Dirty Rats

27/03/2012

RETURN OF THE SNOWBiRDS


Spring is quickly approaching and with it, the return of the snowbirds. You may be one, you may know some. Canadians with means sensible enough to spend their time in warmer climes, come fall and winter they migrate to Arizona, Texas, Mexico, and Thailand, anywhere equatorial, somewhere warm and dry. But as springtime approaches the lure of friends, summer drinks and rustic weekends, call the snowbirds home. To celebrate we at the Royal Canadian Snowflake Factory have produced the snowbird patch; embroidered and made to iron on to your favorite camping clothes, glad rags, and ceremonial vestments. The snowbird patch lets everyone know that you may exercise the option to enjoy the sun, and have fun. Snowbird Patches are included free with sponsorship in the Royal Canadian Snowflake Collection.

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

09/02/2012

Something Good About Publishing


You know when you are a kid and someone hands you a copy of 'The Guinness Book of World Records' and you feel like it just might be the most important book ever published? The sum of all knowledge, arcane facts, photographs and histories, an entertainment simultaneously wondrous and spellbinding... and you think,“just maybe if you never cut your fingernails, or if you hold your breath, or live a really long time, or grow extremely tall, or strike it rich, or gain a lot of weight, then maybe, just maybe you could get a Guinness World Record”. Then you go outside and play, you go to school, grow up, fall in love, and work. Responsibilities take your life in its own direction and the dreams of childhood get put on the shelf. In this adult life each day seems much like the next, and you think things might never change. Well sometimes they do change, like one day in January my friend Bruce called and told me that an art project I worked on made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

To find out more about the project see 'Teeny Ted From Turnip Town'
To see the Guinness World Record see Smallest Book

I enjoy the privilege of sharing this record with my brother, Malcolm Douglas Chaplin, and the nano-imaging lab at SFU. One day someone may beat this record, and they will be lucky enough to know how I feel right now.

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