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


19/11/2011

Amuse-Bouche De Roi- the Kings Dinner

Queen Elizabeth I
Let us celebrate the Crowned Head of Gastown.

Funny there’s a municipal election going today, and it matters not at all. For on this last Thursday evening in Gastown, a monarch was selected by Amuse-Bouche, followed by a coronation dinner. I mean really, who said democracy has to be achieved by something as mundane as an election. In the City State of Gastown things are a run little differently, it’s Government by lottery. Our head of state is selected by Amuse-Bouche, from among a court of 20 dinner guests. Each guest receives an Amuse-Bouche/Objet d'Art, one of these treats contains a sterling silver Ruckle bean. The Person who receives the Ruckle bean is then coronated, ascending to the position of Ruling Monarch.

THE LUCKY GUEST WHO GETS THE BEAN
BECOMES THE RULiNG KiNG OR QUEEN

Queen Elizabeth I and the consort King Ravi

There are two crowned heads at the table. The Ruckle bean selects the monarch, the monarch chooses who may wear the other crown. On the King’s crown is inscribed this verse, Long live our King, lets celebrate, Gastown is a city state. Sing and Feast and Celebrate, Our King is Good Our King is Great.The Queen’s crown is inscribed with a very simple truth “However The King may rule The Queen runs the show. I designed these crowns, first by sculpting components for casting, after the components were cast and finished, I brought them to a goldsmith for assembly and stone setting. The Amuse-Bouche/objet d’art were loaded each with a sterling snowflake from the Royal Canadian Snowflake Collection.

will post more pictures on this one...






Crown Commissioner : Scott Hawthorn
Goldsmith: Karen Morrow
Casting: Jess Sarber
Leather Work: Ravi Pankhania
Photo Credit: Landon Marie
robertchaplin (at) lightspeed (dot) ca
-Copy Cats are Dirty Rats

04/10/2011

Sheep Graffiti


Ireland is a green place, and that’s been said in different ways by many great writers. Further, there’s been much academic attention paid to the importance of street art and its rise, from late twentieth century graffiti, through to a kind of museum quality death. Perhaps something that’s not been discussed enough is sheep tagging. Farmers used to the history of grazing their livestock on common land, get into branding their sheep in this manner. It makes the sheep easy to identify and reveals a savage beauty; in stark contrast, to all those bucolic eighteenth and nineteenth century genre paintings, depicting country life.


Serious beauty, I was lagging behind my hosts on this walk and saw a lovely cow, grazing on grass which I’m certain had been infused with absinthe. I fell in love here, this land and it’s beauty, the Irish are inspirational. I participated in Clifden arts week. My dear friend Joanna Galloway operates Hair Gallery on Bridge street and she sponsored my exhibition. And so for one amazing week I was able to meet and greet people, read my stories and show my work. In the evenings I went to gigs in the pubs of Clifden and was treated to a musical feast. Electric Jazz, Country, Folk and Irish Traditional, It was truly an honor to participate in this event and I had a super time.

This is one of the pieces I exhibited, it is a representation of a deer being hunted by wolves, it’s a synthesis inspired by the form lines of pacific northwest coast art, celtic knot work, mathematics and retinal color theory.

Also for the first time ever, I exhibited the complete collection of scanning electron micrographs, of the worlds smallest book. ‘Teeny Ted from Turnip Town- a success story’ was written by my brother, Malcolm Douglas Chaplin and designed and published by me. I'm glad that I saved the premier exhibition of this for Ireland, as the most significant part of the story happens on Blooms Day.





On the Last Friday of Clifden Arts Week there was a fantastic parade. It's a celebration and the craic's almighty! The parade is a kaleidoscope of color and imagination. I hope to return to Clifden as soon as possible, to stay for as long as I can. Shout out to Joanna, Simon, and Catherine. Word.


Copy Cats are Dirty Rats



07/07/2011

An Object Lesson in Macro-Economics


what is this mysterious object ? this sphere of hematite carved by my hand using diamonds and water? The designs are inspired by the backside of a Greenback, American dollar bill and circumscribed with magic text. “Made round to go round”, Something my Father used to say when he gave us our allowance. An object lesson in macro-economics, perchance to help with quantitative easing?

My Grandfather said, “ you can’t spend yourself rich” and, “ the next depression would be high priced ”. He was right of course, the elderly very often are. The US government is printing money faster than anyone can spend it. The effect is that it costs more to buy anything. It’s not that things have increased in value, rather that the money is very very cheap. Fiat money never survives long, a symptom of a regime in decay.

This stone is a crystal of iron oxide, yet it will never rust. When Hematite is carved it makes blood red dust. It can be magnetized and it’s hardness is about 5 1/2 on Mohs scale. It is a durable, hard stone, carving and it will remain intact until the sun consumes the inner planets. Metaphysicians believe this stone has grounding properties. With money and metaphysics, grounding has value.