Thursday, 31 December 2015

Interesting things that I have seen this year (since posting the 199th post) New Years blog post, thingy

Hello. Did you have a good Christmas? Jolly good! Well, 2016 is upon us- and 2015 (the future) is a rapidly coming to a close, and so its time to upload the last post of the year devoted to recounting the previous twelve months. As ever I’ve been busy in my studio working on several projects, publications and exhibitions (but this has nothing on what’s coming in 2016!) But what shall I close on though? I could write a retrospective of all my projects again or simply write keywords such as Doctor Who, Arfon, clockwork, fish, cursed tree, rivet, David Bellamy, potato, slaughterhouse, Jack the Ripper, Tempest and Blue Peter. Naturally I must acknowledge the sad passing of many talented people lost to us this year such as Leonard Nimoy, Yvonne Craig, Patrick Macnee, Sir Christopher Lee, Grace Lee Whitney, Keith Harris, Bob Symes. Wes Craven, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Gunnar Hansen, Rod Taylor, Rex Reason, Claire Gordon, George Cole, Cilla Black, Warren Mitchell, Terry Pratchett, Dean Jones, Cynthia Payne, Shirley Stelfox, Carol Doda, Omar Sharif, BB King, Sam Simon, Anne Kirkbride, Jackie Collins, Alex Rocco,Cecil,  Robert Loggia, Blaze Starr, Nicholas Smith, Anthony Read, Maureen O'Hara, Peter Baldwin, Hugh Scully, Stephen Lewis, Susan Sheridan, Pamela Cundell, Michael C. Gross, The Pizz and Lemmy. (Much like last year’s list it reflects people that ‘inspired’ me personally in some way or their work I have enjoyed over the years). I could name drop and tell you that I had Tweets from Roland Rat, Gaz Topp, Andy Peters and Pat Sharp this year and that I also had the pleasure of meeting Stuart Ashen, Richard Wilson and Buzz Aldrin in person but then I had another idea. Seeing as the 199th blog post that documented interesting things that I had seen since starting the blog had been so popular I thought I would make another! So think of this as a ‘interesting things that I have seen this year (since posting the 199th post) New Years blog post, thingy!

Guy the Gorilla, Crystal Palace Park.
I intend to follow up my ‘Prehistoric Pining’blog post about 'Dinosaur World' Colwyn Bay with one devoted to the Crystal Place dinosaurs (incidentally check out this site and see the amazing work that Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs are doing in restoring these magnificent Victorian sculptures to their former glory). But today I would like to direct you to a relatively new statue, since 1961 a marble statue of a gorilla has stood in Crystal Palace Park. Sculpted by David Wynne OBE (1926 –2014) the Gorilla in question was the late Guy the Gorilla (1946–1978) London Zoo's famous resident western lowland gorilla and up to his death he was one of the Zoo’s main stars. Although Guy can still be seen by the public at the Natural History Museum he has been commemorated by two statues in London, one bronze statue by William Timym (the artist responsible for Blue Peter's Petra the dog statue) at London Zoo and this one at Crystal Palace Park.

The Chinese Garage, Beckenham.
This former petrol station situated in Beckenham in the London Borough of Bromley was built in 1928 to a design by Edmund B. Clarke in the style of a Japanese pagoda built purely on a whim! Although actually called Langley Park Garage this Grade II listed building soon became know to the locals as “The Chinese Garage”. Now a Peugeot car dealership they no longer sell petrol and it was voted the most unusual garage in England in 2001.

Down House, Downe 
This grade I Listed building is former family home of world-renowned naturalist and hero of mine Charles Darwin. It was in this very house and garden that Darwin worked on his theories of evolution by natural selection. English Heritage acquired Down House in 1996 and is open daily to the public and it was truly inspiring standing in his actual study, beautifully restored with original furniture his writing board and books. We happened to visit on a quiet day and had a pleasant stroll around the garden looking for pinecones (souvenirs) stopping only for conveniently placed benches to take it all in. If you haven’t been yet, make the effort.

William III Close-Stool, Hampton Court
I shall assume you all know what this was used for… C.1650 and located in William III’s State Apartments we find King William III (1650–1702)’s ‘other’ throne complete with red velvet and brass fittings. What was once a private facility used by king and attended to by his senior courtier known as “the Groom of the Stool” is now gawked at by smirking tourists.










The Great Vine, Hampton Court 
The Great Vine at Hampton Court is over 240 years old and according to Guinness World Records has a circumference of 3.8m (12ft 5in) and branches typically measuring up to 33m (108 ft) long. The longest measures 75m (246ft) long as of January 2005. The Vine fills a purpose-built glasshouse erected around the original 1900’s structure and its roots occupy the outside surrounding area. Is still bears fruit too, the grapes are ripe after August Bank Holiday and are sold during the first three weeks of September (providing incentive to go back!).

There you go, I hope those were of interest! A very Happy New Year to all my friends out there old and new, a special ‘shout out’ to Mim, Kid, TwoHeadedBoy and Moira for regularly commenting on my posts/assuring me that at least 4 people are actually reading these posts (and I seriously recommend that you visit their blogs too! links provided). My sincerest of thanks to all that supported my work over the past year be it a commission or kind word (or both!) I look forward to catching up with you all in 2016!

© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

A sign of Christmas

Those with photographic memories might recall this photograph posted on my Roland Rat special last year. Taken on Christmas morning 1984 it features (from left to right) the author, my grandmother and brother showing off our brand new plush Roland Rats, please note the plastic 3D sign above our heads that reads “A Merry Christmas to you All”. Bought circa. 1983 my grandparents would hang that sign up in their home each Christmas for over 30 years. Every gift I received in that time be it plush Roland Rat, Snake Mountain, BMX or Game Boy that sign was in the background wishing us all a Merry Christmas. The years had not been too kind to it however, the plastic had started to perish somewhat, and the annual ritual repining to the wall had taken its toll. Others might have seen that the writing was on the wall for this sign and taken advantage of its cheap brittle nature and just thrown it out, not me! You just can’t buy this kind of nostalgia, I look at this and I am reminded of “Christmases long, long ago” and the people that made it special sadly, no longer with us.
Now, aside from my rather lovely set of 10 ‘festival lights’ and my gingerbread themed mug you wouldn’t think it was Christmas here in the studio, so I decided that I needed something that wished everyone a Merry Christmas every time they walked in. Having reinforced the original plastic I made a wooden frame that surrounded the sign (that should hopefully protect it too) and made it look ‘christmassy’ with a traditional candy cane red and white motif and of course I distressed it too. I made some repairs and applied paint to some areas and then finished it off with a new section that finished the sentence that hangs from a chain. So there you have it, a 30+ year old Christmas decoration steeped in memories, repaired and customised into a purpose built sign designed to extend a festive greeting it also serves as an appropriate closing for this post. “A Merry Christmas to you All… from arfon.net

© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Our Blue Peter Advent Crown


Well there’s only one more night to go before Christmas and so its time to light the last candle of our Blue Peter advent crown! Children of the 70s and beyond will of course remember this classic Blue Peter “Makes” and seeing as tradition and nostalgia are the key elements of a good Christmas for me I thought it was about time I made one. Armed with John Noakes’ instructions in the fourth Blue Peter book along with flameproof tinsel, coloured glass balls, thin wire, plasticine, some lids and some wire coat hangers I set about creating our own crown. I am not for a moment suggesting that I could improve on a classic but I did however opt for making some slight adjustments namely replacing regular candles for flickering LED tea lights and replacing the jam jar lid for milk bottle caps (because the candles fit them rather conveniently). To quote John Noakes, “People find it hard to believe that such a splendid decoration started off as four wire coat hangers!

© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Monday, 14 December 2015

arfon.net’s first Christmas staff party

December is here and the annual tradition of the office Christmas party seems to be in full swing with photos from ‘office do’s’ trickling onto social networking sites but what if you are self-employed like me? I worked hard during what has been a productive year, yet because I work alone and from home I seem to miss out on these big (potentially tax-free) knees-ups!  Apparently it’s widely regarded to be crucial for staff morale so why cant I reward this single worker with one? Why can’t I let my hair down at the company’s expense? Well this year I decided to do something about it so I treated this lone workforce worker to the first arfon.net Christmas staff party!


Traditionally these parties are held in the office/work place but I don’t have a stationary cupboard in the studio and the photocopying machine is under my desk and inaccessible for seasonal shenanigans so the decision to go out for a meal was opted for instead. A Christmas party for one might seem strange but it really makes prefect sense, no minibuses to arrange and no quarrels or ill feeling over the location selected. That in mind I nominated myself to choose the location for the first ever arfon.net festive shindig and the location I selected was Hooters of Nottingham. The “Delightfully tacky, yet unrefined” Hooters is an American restaurant chain that first opened its doors in Florida in 1983 and have since branched out (and at the time of writing this) have 430 restaurants located in 28 countries. Hooters of Nottingham are located at the Hicking Building on London Road and are the only Hooters in the UK. When it opened in 1996 a further 36 UK Hooters had been planed but only two opened  (Bristol and Cardiff) only to close not long after, meanwhile Hooters of Nottingham continues to thrive. Best known for their waiting staff comprising (primarily) of attractive women, known as ‘Hooter Girls’ supporting a uniform of a white vest top with Hootie the Owl logo on the front and short orange runner's shorts.

Perhaps not for everyone the Hooters franchise is often under attack from various groups, a shame really as Hooters pride themselves on making the restaurant accessible to everyone and to not discriminate. Kids eat free on a Sundays and they offer a 10% discount to those in the armed forces and the NHS. Speaking of discrimination many companies restrict their functions to employees only or make spouse or partners pay for their meals and drinks. Not this one! A warm welcome was also extended to this employee’s "plus one"!



Having arrived, we were shown to our table by one of their lovely, Hooters girls, the wood panelled premises had been appropriately decked out in festive trimmings providing a delicate balance of Hooters memorabilia and Christmas decorations. The music was a mix of classic tracks both Christmas and otherwise and as we awaited our meal a Christmas cracker was pulled which contained one plastic frog, a joke (“what does a clock do when it’s hungry? It goes back 4 seconds”) and one paper hat of which I wore. Our food arrived, Hooter’s speciality is chicken wings so I had the 10 piece boneless wings served with Hooters own recipe spicy sauce and the BBQ glazed rib and curly fries for my plus one. Although not exactly festive they do however offer 2 giant mince pies served with warm whipped cream and butterscotch sauce! Food aside it was time to engage in the Secret Santa present-giving ritual. Wikipedia defines Secret Santa as, “A Western Christmas tradition in which members of a group or community are randomly assigned a person to whom they anonymously give a gift.” Colleagues that don’t know each other terribly well buy each other mismatched gifts. Another win-win situation for me I know exactly what I like! A new Fred Flinstone 'Wacky Wobbler' for my collection!

So that was it, the first arfon.net Christmas staff party where a good time was had by all, the food was delicious and the staff there were great! Apparently these workplace celebrations help motivate employees by encouraging hard work and offer a break from monotony and make them more focused and better able to tackle projects when they return to work. Lets see if it works, many thanks to everyone at Hooters of Nottingham for the warm welcome and for making my first staff party, a great one! Merry Christmas!


© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

The Tempest Poster

Last week I finished creating the artwork for this poster for 'The Tempest' which will be premièring at the Morecambe Winter Gardens on Friday the 22nd and Saturday the 23rd of April 2016. Here’s a bit of blurb from the booking page, “The Winter Gardens will become imbued with the spirit of magic and the supernatural as an embittered conjurer seeks retribution on his usurpers from this theatrical prison. A storm is brewing and the spirits are awake as love and revenge play out in this iconic building and the past collides with the future in Shakespeare's comic tale of forgiveness, generosity and enlightenment. It's the stuff dreams are made on....
Presented by Attic Door Productions this production will be part of the Bard by the Beach Shakespeare Festival that marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. The festival will be celebrating the Bard's life and works through theatre, music, poetry, song, dance, art and a historical renaissance market. Promising “performers and artists from across the region and beyond will converge by the beach and bring the world's most famous playwright's work to life in a variety of exciting projects over a weekend full of events for all the family.” This is just a 'heads up', I’ll remind you all closer to April but in the meantime find out more by visiting their site www.bardbythebeach.co.uk or join their Facebook page to keep up abreast of news and information! To book your tickets for 'The Tempest' click here.

© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Haunted Magazine #15 out now!

Issue #15 Haunted Magazine is out now! Haunted Magazine is a free digital magazine that can be downloaded at this link. This Jack the Ripper special issue also features an article about Ghostwatch and features a certain image that yours truly did on the same subject…  It’s worth mentioning that although the magazine is an online read the magazine has yielded to popular demand and opted to also make a limited edition printed run of 500 copies available (complete with unique numbered certificate of authenticity!) Follow this link to download the magazine or if you fancy a printed edition e-mail print@deadgoodpublishing.com





© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Arfon’s Sponsored ‘Friday the 13th Movie Marathon'

Friday the 13th is almost upon us and it’s almost time for me to start my Friday the 13th Movie Marathon challenge! I will be watching all 12 of the Friday the 13th movies (working out at roughly around 18 hours and 31 minutes) back to back in one sitting for Children in Need!
Many of you out there have been incredibly generous in your sponsorships but I’m sure we can do better so click on the ‘donate’ button and nudge the total along! All proceeds go to Children in Need! You can even make a donation with your mobile Text JASO80 £1 to 70070!
Once you have made a donation please share and anchorage others to do the same! Every bit helps!
I will post updates on my progress throughout the day on Instagram! Thanks for your support!





UPDATE 2017: Find out how it went here Arfon’s Sponsored Friday the 13th Movie Marathon: CONCLUSION.

© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Screaming Lord Sutch's Coat

A little story. Back in 1987 I noticed that people had been putting coloured paper in their windows and cars, baffled and intrigued by this I stuck a neon green flyer that had been put through our letterbox the previous day in my bedroom window. I was 8 years of age, unaware of what a General Election was and had just (unwittingly) pledged my support for Plaid Cymru, simply because I liked the colour of their flyers… This was to be my first introduction into the word of politics. Fast forward to the 1992 General Election, Undeterred at still being too young to vote I became interested in politics (I was like that). Bruce Dickinson & Mr Bean’s Comic Relief cover of (I Want To Be) Elected was in the charts and thanks to countless hours of television, along with regular doses of the News and Spitting Image I was (much to my parent’s amusement) able to name most MP’s and their respected parties. I would gladly talk to anyone about politics and recall one such time when a friend’s mother making conversation humoured my 12-year-old self asking whom I would vote for. Having listed the pros and cons of voting for a Conservative or Labour government I concluded that I would vote for Screaming Lord Sutch of The Official Monster Raving Loony Party. Once again flashy colours had won me over…

The Official Monster Raving Loony Party was established in 1982 by the musician David “Screaming Lord” Sutch the 3rd Earl of Harrow, whom armed with his ‘bizarre’ policies became a familiar face come election time in the United Kingdom. As much an electoral tradition as campaign rosettes and empty promises he served as leader until he tragically took his own life in 1999 during which time he held the record for losing all 41 elections in which he had stood. Throughout all the times I took an interest in politics there was Lord Sutch either standing in the background or just to the side, filling the screen with colour in his trademark top hat, leopard skin coat, campaign badges, giant rosette and megaphone. When he died I would almost say that my interest in the electoral process and the build up to Polling Day died with him, as elections didn’t seem the same afterwards.
Had he still been with us, he would have celebrated his 75th Birthday today and so I use this poignant day to say that a little bit of Screaming Lord Sutch has been added to my collection of Wonderments and Atrocities!  What self-respecting museum doesn’t have a piece relating to an important political figure? So here we have an original Screaming Lord Sutch leopard skin coat! Lord Sutch wore this very coat when he first ran as a Monster Raving Loony party candidate at the 1983 Bermondsey By- Election and wore it at numerous Monster Raving Loony party campaign trails and ‘victory’ celebrations across the British Isles through to 1989.
Before being added to my little private museum the coat resided in Florida, United States with Sir Andrew - Lord of Shawcastle. A lifetime member of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, the Rock 'n' Roll Loony Party and honorary member of Der Deutsche Rock 'n' Roll Und Loony Partei. Sir Andrew not only Co-Founder of the US National Official Monster Raving Loony Party, but was also the US delegate to the Loonited Nations and former backing musician for Lord Sutch himself.
The coat not only provides its own provenance it also tells a story that can be pieced together from clues that have remained attached to the coat all this time.

A badge on the lapel of the jacket that not only has Lord Sutch’s name written on it but also Newcastle-under-Lyme. His Lordship was a candidate at the 1986 Newcastle-under-Lyme by-election on 17 July 1986 upon which the Official Monster Raving Loony party collected 277 votes.

A Liberal SDP Alliance sticker representing Max Payne declaring that “Max Payne Can Win” is from the Chesterfield by-election held on 1 March 1984. Max didn’t win but instead came second to Labour with 18,369 votes. The Loony Party received 178.




A sticker representing another Payne, advising us to “Vote for Cynthia Payne X” Kensington July 14th. This Cynthia Payne is in fact THE Cynthia Payne (1932- 2015) that made headlines during the 1970s and 1980s when it was revealed that she was a madam running a brothel in the south-western suburbs of London. The tabloids were awash of tales of her ‘special’ parities attended by elderly men dressed in lingerie paying with "Luncheon Vouchers". She was sentenced to eighteen months in Holloway prison in 1980 but only served four months. Her home was raided again for the second time in 1986, although she was acquitted that time she vowed to change Britain's sex laws by becoming an MP and (unsuccessfully) stood for Parliament as a candidate for the Payne and Pleasure Party in the Kensington by-election in July 1988. Lord Sutch and Cythia Payne were very close friends and both competed in the election Sutch received his lowest ever count of 61 votes falling behind the Payne and Pleasure Party who received 193.

Two other labels that read, “YUSU Entertainment Concert Official” YUSU stands for ‘York University  Students' Union’ a regular performer at student union events it would seem that Sutch had been booked for 'Goodricke Summer Ball’ (Goodricke college). He was also a candidate for the Richmond (Yorks) by-election held on the 23rd of February 1989 acquiring 167 votes (William Hague won, gaining 19,543 votes) but he was supporting a new leopard skin coat at this point!

So there you have it my piece of political memorabilia from the very early days of the Monster Raving Loony Party. As I previously mentioned work has begun on a creating a permanent exhibition devoted to Screaming Lord Sutch in my museum of Wonderment and Atrocities and I will post an update as soon as its completed. Normally I prefer to post images when the project is done, but this time I thought I would give you all a little sneaky peek at a time when friends and followers remember the life of the wonderfully unique man that brought colour to elections and led the raving loonies of this land.


Dedicated to “Screaming Lord” David Edward Sutch (1940 –1999)
My sincere thanks to Lord Toby Jug for the photographs.
© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Two Headed Thingies reviews Slaughterhouse Farm #1,2 and 3


The release of Helbound Media's Slaughterhouse Farm # 3 at this year's Cardiff Film and Comic Con was a great success! Ryan Davies over at Two Headed Thingies has written a rather nice review of all three issues- check it out! Viewer discretion some of his scans show images that I wouldn’t post on this site…

© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Jack the Ripper by Sir Joshua Francis & The Eccentrics feat. Lord Toby

Good evening! Just thought I would catch you all before you crawl out for your All Hallows' Eve festivities! I have just the thing to get you into the Halloween spirit! Sir Joshua Francis, Lord Toby Jug and The Eccentrics cover of the Screaming Lord Sutch classic "Jack the Ripper"!
Jack the Ripper by Sir Joshua Francis & The Eccentrics featuring Lord Toby Jug is available now, completely free on Soundcloud follow the link and check it out!
Oh, yours truly did the cover for their cover! Enjoy! And Happy Halloween!


Credits:
Written by Clarence Stacy, Charles Stacy, Walter Haggin and Joe Simmons
Produced by Sir Joshua Francis and Richard K Montgomery
Engineered and mixed by Adrian Biggs at Sham Studios
Vocals & Rhythm Guitars - Sir Joshua Francis
Bass - Lord Toby Jug
Horns, Drums, Guitar Solo and Backing Vocals - Richard K Montgomery
Lead Guitar - Steve Reynolds


Join the Eccentric Party of Great Britain Here
© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Believe it or Not: A Day and an Evening with Richard Wilson

1990 I switched on the small portable telly that I had in my bedroom, keeping the volume down to a bare minimum so, as not to let on that I was secretly watching television on a school night. I left it on BBC 1 as a new sitcom started. It stared the actor that played the doctor in Only When I Laugh playing the part of a man laid off from his job and his attempts at finding  new work and the madcap things that happened to him, I became an instant fan of the show. That actor was Richard Wilson and the programme was of course One Foot in the Grave. Throughout the 1990’s Victor Meldrew and his catchphrase (of which I shall attempt to refrain from using in this post) become a part of British culture and a constant fixture for me. I would constantly re-watch recorded episodes, quote favourite lines and even had the Adesso remix of the theme featuring Eric Idle and Richard Wilson that I would also play continuously! Of all my favourite 90’s sitcoms Red Dwarf, The Brittas Empire and Bottom, this show had an advantage, my parents liked it and so we would all sit down to watch it together downstairs, as a family. But after six series and nine specials latter, writer/creator David Renwick decided to call it a day and killed the character off. I never stopped watching the repeats and with each viewing my opinion of how much of a great actor/comedian Richard Wilson was would be strengthened. I love everything he has done, and remember being delighted when it was announced that he was to be in the new series of Doctor Who. So imagine my thrill at finally having the opportunity to meet the great man this year at the Autographica event in Heathrow and thank him in person for all his great work. As I expected he was a warm, friendly and very funny man and our meeting was the icing on a cake made up of the layers of the before mentioned memories, simpler times and evenings in with my family.
On the way home from the Autographica event I rambled on about how much I would love to see a One Foot in the Grave episode being recorded. Something along the lines of… How fortunate I had been to (eventually) attend a Red Dwarf recording back in 2011 but how sad it was that Rick Mayall’s untimely death in 2014 put an end to the prospect of ever seeing an episode of Bottom being recorded. How much I hoped that The Brittas Empire would return (at the time of writing this there were rumours!) coming back to One Foot in the Grave I underlined my brilliant idea… Seeing that it would never return as a series (with main character being dead and all) how brilliant would it be if Richard Wilson played Victor in a one-man show?

Chatting with Richard Wilson and
Daniel Evans, Sheffield Theatres’ Artistic Director.
One week later, it was announced that Richard Wilson would be playing Victor in a one-man show for one night only at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre on the 23rd October! (If only there was a popular catchphrase that I could use to sum up my disbelief!).
So on the 23rd October; Mrs Jones and I attended ‘An Evening with Richard Wilson’ a special fundraising event organised to raise money for Sheffield Theatres (of which Richard Wilson is Associate Director). He stepped out to a packed house and performed ‘The Trial’ (one of my favourite One Foot in the Grave episodes!) A solo episode that sees Victor on call for jury service trapped at home on a wet day enduring boredom. Having seen this story countless times, seeing him performing dialogue I have committed to memory it was a wonderfully surreal experience. Hearing people all around you laughing at a Yucca plant in a toilet and Toupée in a loaf elevated the story for me. Mr Wilson was brilliant, we had a fantastic time. A Q&A about his career and his most famous character conducted by Artistic Director at Sheffield Theatres, Daniel Evans (who also appeared in the Doctor Who story  ‘The Christmas Invasion) followed after. The script used for the performance sold for £700 in a silent auction with all proceeds going towards the preservation of this wonderful theatre that prides itself on being as they rightly put it, a “thriving cultural landmark in the heart of the city”. The event managed to raise around £17000!
We rounded the evening off at the VIP after show drinks reception and once again had the opportunity to catch up with the great man and tell him how brilliant he is. We had never been to the Crucible Theatre before, perhaps better known as the home of  World Championship snooker. Both Mrs Jones and I were suitably impressed by this magnificent Grade II listed theatre. I can’t stress how much you should visit this place, they have a wide range of performances and pride themselves on making them available for everyone to enjoy. Check out this link and see what’s going on and show your support, we may very well see you there as we fully intend on returning.
So that was the time(s) I met Richard Wilson. To finally have the opportunity to meet him was amazing, but seeing him twice in one year? well I just don’t believe it…

My sincere thanks to everyone at the Crucible for arranging such an amazing evening and Claire Murray for the photos.

© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Arfon’s Sponsored ‘Friday the 13th Movie Marathon'

Its almost Children in Need time again and this year pledge night falls on Friday the 13th of November so I have decided to watch all 12 of the Friday the 13th movies (working out at roughly around 18 hours and 31 minutes) in one sitting for charity!
I will post updates on my progress throughout the day on Instagram.  So how about sponsoring me? I want to raise as much as humanly possible for this charity, as every penny raised goes towards helping disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.
I have a donate page on JustGiving a simple, fast and secure method. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity. You can even make a donation with your mobile Text JASO80 £1 to 70070!
Once you have made a donation please share and anchorage others to do the same! Every bit helps! Thanks for your support!

The Movies:
Friday the 13th (1980)
Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
Jason X (2001)
Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
Friday the 13th (2009)

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

October 21, 2015, 4:29pm...


Pardon my indulgence, I’ve waited some time for this day, the future has finally arrived!
According to my time circuits its 08:29pm here in the UK making it 4:29pm in Hill Valley, California!
That means that at this precise moment in time one of my favourite movie scientists Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown, will have travelled forward from October 26, 1985 to October 21, 2015! Accompanied by his friend Marty McFly and his girlfriend Jennifer in tow "Doc" will have landed his DeLorean time machine ready to put his future altering plan into effect!  Marty will switch places with Marty Jr. in an attempt to save his kids’ future by going into the Café 80’s to meet Griff and telling him “No!” Shenanigans will ensue, several inaccurate future predictions will be made, and a Grays Sports Almanac will be purchased before our heroes return to an alternative 1985! Great Scott! It just dawned on me! From this moment on, all of the Back to the Future movies will be taking place in the past!
Many, many jokes have been made about Back to the Future part 2’s predictions of what the future would be like and I remember speculating what 2015 would be like after first seeing it circa 1990. I wondered what advances we would have made and what my life would be like. I freely admit that I never imagined that on that very day I would be writing about one of my all time favourite movie franchises and ‘uploading’ it to the ‘Internet’ for anyone on the planet to read…

© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Slaughterhouse Farm #3 Cover unveiled

Helbound Media will be officially launching the eagerly awaited issue 3 of Slaughterhouse Farm at this year’s Cardiff Film and Comic Con! Until then here is a little something to wet your appetites, the cover! As always it’s written by AJ Ballard and Matt Warner, cover and sequential art by me with colours by Steven Denton and lettering by Nikki Foxrobot!

So don’t forget to pick up your issue at Hellbound Media’s stall! Haven’t read issues 1 and 2 yet? No problem! Both issues will also be available at the very same table! Tell them Arfon sent you!

Join the Hellbound Media Facebook page for more upcoming news and updates!








© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Arty Farty PoTATEo Party: Mail Order Mutant Potato

Artist Sigmar Polke (1941- 2010) has been heralded as one of the most significant German artists to emerge from the 1960s, making art from a various materials from painting, drawing and film to potatoes, snail juice and meteor dust. The Tate, regard him to be one of the most exciting and experimental artists of the last 50 years describes him as, “ an artist he responded to consumer society, confronted the memory of the Nazi’s, and took hallucinogenic drugs.” They recently had one of his more famous creations on display, his Kartoffelhaus (Potato House) (1967). Once again to quote the Tate, “This potato house grew in Sigmar Polke’s head; now it travels the world. Designed to flat-pack for easy transportation, the potatoes are provided at each port of call. It is not a cage, for no cage ever had one wall missing. This is the house of the ‘dissident dweller’; a temporary shelter from which to view the world, or the circling worlds of Polke’s imagination.” After the exhibition had ended at the Tate one of my creative comrades* Julie Gritten had the incentive to collect all the potatoes left over and put them to good use, namely plant them and give them out to fellow artists for them to do with them as they saw fit. On Sunday we all met up at Julie’s studio and had an 'Arty Farty PoTATEo Party', we showed off our work, discussed art and had some delicious home made Leek and PoTATEo soup, made from the Polke potatoes that Juilie had grown in her garden. I had a fantastic time my sincere thanks to Julie for inviting me.


So what did I bring to the Arty Farty PoTATEo Party? When Royal Mail delivered my potato it had already started to take root and almost seem to resemble a spider. A few weeks later it looked like a scorpion, and as the newer potatoes started to grow and the original potato shriveled up I decided to make it into a Mail Order Mutant potato!  Inside the shipping box (complete with branding and postage labels) we see the mutant potato protecting its ‘eggs’ in the corner, feeding on the 'thank you' note enclosed in the box that reads, “Dear, Julie Thank you for your order. Enclosed is your Mail Order Mutant Potato I hope you will be very happy with it, other Mail Order Mutant vegetables are available please reefer to our catalogue. Many thanks for your custom we hope to deal with you again in the future. Sincerity, Arfon Jones.”


* Creative Comrades: Lisa Hudson, Lindsey Colbourne, Julie GrittenHarri Carmichael and Eleanor Brooks
© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Ogwen River Festival 2015: The Green Man 'A tribute to Professor David Bellamy OBE'

Has it really been a year since the lastGwyl Ogwen’? Incredible! Once again the Sculpture Circle (very kindly) invited me to join their River Ogwen festival/ exhibition at the Parc Meurig woods in Bethesda and much like last year, the event (very effectively) promoted the natural environment and the creative arts in the Bethesda area. Last year I unveiled ‘The Arm of Swamp-Thing’ this year I displayed The Green Man: A tribute to Professor David Bellamy OBE. The portrait is a painted version of Professor Bellamy’s likeness used in my Bellamy Eco-Postage Labels mounted in a ‘living’ frame made up of branches, moss and plants.
I thought the woods would be the perfect location for such a piece that celebrates my favourite Botanist and not look completely out of place amongst all the fresh foliage and greenery. Once the portrait was hung on a oak tree, I had a look at everyone’s work and was able to catch up with my creative comrades Lisa Hudson, Lindsey Colbourne and Harri Carmichael who had their amazing work on display too! As the day progressed, the curious made their way across the footbridge and along the footpath soaking the tranquillity of the surrounding trees, occasionally stopping to closer examine the works of art dotted throughout the woods and discuss art with other visitors. I had a lovely day there, and it would seem that so did everyone else. I left the festival filled with new ideas and I look forward to the next one (if they will have me) my sincere thanks to Lisa for arranging this wonderful event.





© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Hello! Is it me you're looking for?

The 'contact' page (located at the top of this page) is now operational and offering you, the public, a plethora of ways to get in touch. Be it by direct e-mail or social networking sites if you have any questions, want to discuss a commission or just say “hello” drop me a line!
Are you on Facebook?
arfon.net’s home from home, aside from keeping me informed of the latest internet fads, Facebook has brought me in contact with hundreds of likeminded, creative people and I am happy to add more! Find me here and see what ‘crazy’ shenanigans I’ve been up to.
Or perhaps you might also consider joining the Arfon Jones Information Club Facebook page? A useful way of keeping up to date with project news and updates. Your support would be greatly appreciated.

If not that how about Twitter?
Aside from informing every one of updates I also use Twitter as the means to wish Mr Gareth 'Gaz Top' Jones a Happy St David’s day each year. Back in the 1980’s Get Fresh and How 2 were firm fixtures in my week and so I was pleased to discover that he had a Twitter page, it just so happens that was on St David’s day so I wished him a “Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus!” ("Happy St David’s day") and have continued to do so every year since 2011. Once you are done following me on my Twitter page check his out and see what he’s up to!
Curiously, on the subject of my Twitter account this year I was confused with another Arfon Jones on Twitter, specifically Arfon Jones of the political party Plaid Cymru. I rarely discuss politics online and I was suddenly Tweeted by a party supporter asking where he could get a supporters badge…  I pointed out that he had the wrong Arfon Jones and that I was in fact the artist and NOT the politician. Mr Jones the politician joined in the conversation telling me that he fancied a career “swoop” (I think he meant swap) and asked if I fancied being “a thorn in the side of the establishment?” I asked him what the hours are like… Its all go on my Twitter account, follow me there I will in all likelihood follow you back! I can’t say fairer than that!

I can also be found on Youtube,
Although I am more of a Youtube viewer I hope to change that in 2016 by uploading more content. Until that happens check out my Customised talking Roland Rat plush toy, Musical Engagement Ring Box and Singing Sparrow Post Box videos…
Have an eBay account? Unlike other creative types that place a ‘donate’ button on their web site I want you to have something for your money so from time to time I place items for sale on eBay. These range from original works of art to all manner of collectables with all proceeds funding my work and creative endeavours. Why not check out my page and see if you can bag yourself a bargain that supports art and creativity in the process?!
Other sites that I frequent, are LinkedIn, even though opinions are divided on this one with some people believing that it’s a good way of maintaining a professional online work profile while others regard it as a waste of time. If you are on there, and a keen supporter of it and you would like to be “Linked-In” you will find my profile here.
I have joined the 21st century and started using a mobile phone to access the Internet and so use Instagram allowing me to post photos as I go about my day, are you on there? Say “hello” and I’m also on Pinterest I find it a rather nice way of sharing and showcasing inspiration with others. Find me there and see if we like the same things!
And last but not least, this site, my since thanks to everyone that regularly comment on my posts I appreciate your interest and support. If this is your first time to this site don’t be shy, say “hello” and thanks for making contact!

© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Monster Memories: ‘The Loch Ness Monster’

Back in July of 1983, my grandparents (frequent visitors to Scotland) visited Loch Ness. Having travelled up with their yellow Ford Capri II 2000 with a caravan in tow they celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary before returning home with a Scottish souvenir for me, a plastic Nessie (made in China). That souvenir started me on a life long fascination with Loch Ness and its legendary beast, the interest was spurred on by Peter Maddocks’s Family- Ness cartoon series along with any other Nessie monster related movie or series I could find. Shows such as Michael Aspel’s Strange But True? repeats of Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World and Reverend Lionel Fanthorpe’s Fortean TV. When I wasn’t watching those programs I would read any book I could find on the subject (my favourite being The World of the Unknown: Monsters by Carey Miller) along with The Unexplained magazine. Thirty years later I would finally visit Loch Ness for myself with Mrs Jones, we cruised the loch seeking out the monster on our honeymoon. Looking back on it all it started with that one plastic toy that my grandparents gave my four-year-old dinosaur loving self. Sadly, the toy went missing (I suspect my mother gave it away to a jumble sale appeal- but I couldn’t prove it in a court of law) and since becoming an active eBay user I have sought out to track down another monster… But in a manner of speaking I did find another, I found this brass one… It is the exact design as the one I had before, only it has been cast in brass. The seller gave little to no information on its origins only that her father would cast items in brass and had done so with this toy back in the 1980’s. This being the case I treat it as a unique piece of artwork. A piece that reminds me of that plastic toy I once knew, the grandparents that presented it to me and the journey it took me on.

My grandparents at Loch Ness, July of 1983
Some more 'Monster Memories' and 'Prehistoric Pinings'…

Monster Memories: ‘Monsters in my Pocket'

Monster Memories: 'Spooky Chews'

Prehistoric Pining: Dinosaur Books and Publications

Prehistoric Pining: Dinosaur World, Colwyn Bay

© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Friday, 25 September 2015

The Eccentric Party of Great Britain

Back in January of this year Lord Toby Jug formed The Eccentric Party of Great Britain and announced that he would be standing as a prospective parliamentary candidate at the general election. A former long-standing member of the Monster Raving Loony Party and clearly inspired by the late, great, Screaming Lord Sutch (a friend of Lord Toby he backed Lord Sutch at numerous gigs!) frankly, I like the cut of his jib and joined the party. His policies included putting super-glue in lip balm to reduce obesity and fitting a coin slot meter to mobile phones to reduce their use. Photos of Katie Hopkins, Jeremy Clarkson and Russell Brand would be placed at all UK entry points putting anyone off from staying for longer than is strictly necessary reducing immigration woes. Lord Toby promised that if he were elected he would only claim teabags as expenses and only take half of his MP's salary giving the rest to charity. He stood against Boris Johnson (DON'T BE A MUG.... VOTE LORD TOBY JUG!) and polled 50 votes.


Last weekend St Ives in Cambridgeshire hosted the first ever Eccentric Party of Great Britain Conference. Sadly I couldn’t make it but I have it on good authority that a good time was had by all and many a pot of tea and fruitcake was consumed. Amongst the various activities of the day the alternative aristocracy was formed when Lord Toby brandishing a sword that once belonged to Lord Sutch, knighted various members of the party! Members of a shadow cabinet were also appointed and one of them was yours truly being elected Viceroy of Wales and Minister for Monsters! A genuine honour that I gladly accept!

Shadow Cabinet Appointments 
Boney Maroney - Chairman
Lord Bungle - Deputy Chairman, Membership Secretary and Minister for Beards
Sir Joshua Francis - Vice Chairman and Minister for Rock 'n' Roll
Peter Berni - Minister for Didgeridoo's
Miss Pugh - Minister for Mental Health
Heather Korbey - Minister for the Disabled
Dame Celia Mole Strangler - Minister Without Portfolio
Lady Prompt - Minister for the Environment, Agriculture and Rural Affairs
Arfon Jones - Viceroy of Wales and Minister for Monsters

I very much look forward to meeting up with these fine people at the next conference. Be sure to look out for future eccentric goings on and check out the party website, better still why not join the Eccentric Party of Great Britain? Remember to vote for the Eccentric Party of Great Britain we dance to the beat of a different drum!

© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Buzzing!

In a preceding post marking the sad passing of Neil Armstrong in 2012 I mentioned that I am actually a post moon landing child and that man has not been back to the moon in my lifetime. Yet despite missing this important event I still understood its importance and held a life long interest in those early missions and the brave men that took those first important steps into space. That is why I was thrilled and delighted last weekend to meet a hero. Last Saturday I met Edwin Eugene "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 11 and the second man to walk on the Moon on that historic July 21 back in 1969. I would list all of Buzz Aldrin’s achievements, awards and honours but I am going to try and keep this post fairly brief but suffice to say meeting him at this years Autographica event in Heathrow was a genuine honour (in fact I told him so). He was over in the UK promoting his new book Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet. He hopes that the book will inspire children to travel to Mars when they grow up underlining his hope that we will have colonised Mars before 2040 (a vision I also share). Before I end up writing another paragraph with ‘hero’ in it I will close it here by paraphrasing that that last weekend I met Buzz Aldrin…hero.

© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Prehistoric Pining: Dinosaur Books and Publications

My previous Prehistoric Pining post related to my love of fibreglass dinosaur parks, specifically the now defunct Dinosaur World in Colwyn Bay, North Wales. This time I would like to feature the dinosaur books that I read as a child that both answered questions and raised several more. They fired the imagination and broadened my understanding of the far distant past and the animals that roamed within it. I’ve always been fascinated with educational books particularly ones aimed at younger readers and the part illustration plays in creating interest in a subject and conveying information. I have many books about dinosaurs but this post is devoted to the dinosaur books I had growing up that both maintained my interest in the subject and played a small part in my artistic style. Be warned, as you may expect by now this post contains nostalgic ramblings…

The Mysterious World of Dinosaurs, 1980.
Written by John Heritage and illustrated by W. Francis Phillipps and “other artists” this book was published by Treasurepress and educates the readers about, “the mighty animals that ruled the world of prehistory described and illustrated in all their ferocious grandeur!”. That it did, this was not only an integral part in my interest in prehistory but also one of the earliest books that I ever owned. If memory serves the book was a Christmas gift from Santa who must have noticed my interest in dinosaurs... As is often the case with books written about early life that are older than one year it has some errors in it. But not that it matters it has resided on my bookcase for the past 35 years and I have looked through it several times over. Not that I needed to as each one of the illustrations of dinosaurs fighting or eating each other have been forever etched onto my subconscious, the cover especially so.

Collins Guide to Dinosaurs, 1983.
Dr Angela Milner and Dr Ralph E. Molnar served as general consultants on this “comprehensive field guide” intended to serve as a “concise, up-to-date key to the dinosaurs- their physical characteristics, behaviour, evolution, extinction, fossilisation, discovery and display”. Nobody could argue with that the book is illustrated throughout and packed full of information, facts and diagrams and of all the dino related books my younger self borrowed from our local library this was my favourite. That is why I was delighted to find the exact same library book at a jumble sale a couple of years later complete with library stamps and sticker on the spine! I turned a blind eye to this crime and added the book to my own private collection and it has been with me ever since. I refuse to name the guilty culprit that neglected to return the book to the library, I know who it was…she wrote her name inside…  

The Natural History of the Dinosaur, 1989
Back in around 1992 my grandparents having been away on holiday returned with gifts for my siblings and I. My sister had a toy horse, my brother a pair of football boots and I received this book confirming that our grandmother knew her grandchildren well. Originally published under the title The Day of the Dinosaur in 1978 John Man’s book was reprinted ten years later and it too possessed the same qualities that I have described in the other books regarding information and pictures. Of all the books I had read this one had a wealth of photographs in it as well, I was particularly fascinated with the photographs of the people responsible for finding dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs! Magazine #1 – 45 1992-
From 1992 to 1994 I collected these magazines published by Orbis that not only expanded my knowledge of all things prehistoric but also provided me with the vital parts need to construct my glow in the dark T-Rex skeleton (and plastic outer skin)! I delighted in each issue packed with information broken up into various sections like the 3D-gallery centre spread that could be viewed through my T-Rex 3D glasses (free with issue 1). The beautifully illustrated ‘history in pictures’ strips illustrated by Pat Williams that brought the stories of palaeontologist such as Gideon Mantell and Mary Anning to life. I held Dr. David Norman of Cambridge University who handled the ‘Ask the Expert’ back page as the absolute authority on dinosaurs. When I finally visited the Natural History Museum in London in my 20’s I lost count of how many times I pointed out that I had only ever, “seen it photographed in Dinosaurs! Magazine”. A fantastic publication, filled with facts, figures and beautiful illustrations complete with glow in the dark skeletons, collectors cards, posters and 3D glasses- this is how you teach your subject to children.

Update: I seem to have subconsciously ‘pinched’ this idea from TwoHeadedBoy follow this link to his post about the Ladybird Dinosaur book from 1988 (Incidentally I had that book too). 
© Arfon Jones 2015. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

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