Well, here we are the 400th post AND on its tenth
year! Ten years of wittering about things from the past and my humble career. At
the time of writing this Blogger informs me that there have been 164,400 views
made to this page in the past ten years- working out at around 1,133 Page views
a month- so if you are one of those 164,400 thank you for visiting! I would
like to especially thank everyone that has taken the time to write a comment (and
it wasn’t SPAM) so thank you! So... the 400th- what shall we devote
this post to? It’s normally an excuse to discuss events from my past that I
almost certainly would have documented had I a Blog at the time, and then I had
an idea- My trophy/curio cabinet. I thought I would share a few choice items
and their back stories with you (some of which have been covered before but
this might be your first time here...) So first up...
Front row left to right
1st prize Urdd art competition 1990
The Urdd is a Welsh youth movement that organises a range of
different activities across Wales. Established in 1922 the Urdd was formed to give children and
young people the chance to learn and socialise through the medium of Welsh. I
was a member for several years and in 1990 I submitted a drawing of Godzilla
fighting King Kong to their art competition and won! Sadly the drawing was
never returned but I still have the trophy (complete with wonky plaque) which
was presented to me on a bus as we returned home from an Urdd outing and was
the first trophy that I had ever won for art, happy days.
Objects that my mother forbade me from owning has been a
topic of conversation before but I’ve never mentioned this before, a carved
wooden elephant. When I was eight my family and I visited some friends spending
their summer in a caravan, as we played outside I made an unusual discovery,
just behind one of the breeze block supporting the caravan was this small
black, wooden elephant. Curious about this small animal I took it inside to
show my mother, the owner of the caravan recoiled from it and told us to not
bring it inside, telling us that she had been given it as a gift and that it
was cursed! Seems she had convinced herself that this object was cursed and
thrown it under the caravan to be rid of it. Intrigued I asked if I could have
it but my mother, being equally superstitious, if not more so forbade me to have
it! The woman’s not so superstitious husband took it out of the caravan, and
play resumed. However later on that day as we were leaving the husband,
obviously playing a joke on my mother handed me a carrier bag with the elephant
inside and told me to take it home with me but not show it to her until we got
home. I did, and my horrified mother took the elephant from me and put it in
the bin telling me to leave it be, and never touch it again…. Here it is, now
on show in my curio cabinet.
Back row left to right
Pwllheli Agricultural Show Yale & Hemmings Cup and 'Special' Rossett 1990
The town of Pwllheli in North Wales has an agricultural show
each year filled with the usual elements one comes to expect at such events,
animal competitions, jam competitions, produce stalls and so forth but in 1990
I entered the children’s art competition (which was sponsored by Yale &
Hemmings a local Estate agents) submitting drawings for three categories and
did rather well achieving both the Yale & Hemmings 1990 cup and a ‘special’
Pwllheli Agricultural Society rosette.
Highly Commended rosette, The Asylum 2010
Awarded to me at the Asylum event in 2010 when I entered the
Patented Cryo-preservation Curiosity Cabinet into their contraptions contest.
Mounted Furby Trophy
For ten years I managed to steer clear of the sold-out Christmas toy scenario reminiscent of Jingle All the Way but one Christmas my preparation plans went somewhat awry and I found myself trying to locate a Furby two weeks before Christmas. It seemed to be that year’s ‘must have’ toy and as I searched the Internet I was struck by how many refered to the process as “hunting”. I would look through eBay sales and most of the sellers taking advantage of the rush would write “happy hunting” underneath their extortionate asking prices. In one instance I visited a toyshop and a staff member wished me “good hunting” as I left! So, I gladly excepted the challenge and went ‘hunting’ for a Furby and managed to successfully “bag” one of the beasts. Although it was in no way as comical as Jingle All the Way I did however manage to successfully secure one a week before Christmas at a fraction of the cost and frankly I was quite pleased with myself. This feeling was highlighted and underlined by my daughter’s happy face on Christmas morning when she found Furby under the Christmas tree. True the memory of her happy face was reward enough, but I decided to mark that December ‘hunt’ the only way I knew how.
Front row left to right
Galaxy’s Best Father
A Father’s Day award that I humbly accepted, Generally, I’m
not overly keen on modern Star Wars merchandise as I feel that there is far too
much of it and that we have seen it all before. But I rather like these Funko
Wisecracks awards that not only appealed to my fondness of classic W&R
Berries Co. figurines but also my sense of irony.
The Not-100-Videos-Contest Lego Samurai
Back in 2011 Ashens set the Not-100-Videos competition. Inviting viewers to submit artwork that celebrated his videos and I submitted ‘Stuart Ashen’s Poundland Peril’ which won first prize in the fine art category I won a fake PSP an Ashenthology dvd and (as he put it) “Bully's Special Prize” a Lego Samurai figure. Since winning this contest I have uploaded the image to my deviant art page and have since been asked on several occasions 1) did I actually receive the Lego Samurai? And 2) Have I still got it? I answer 1) Yes I did and 2) Yes I have, and here it is. Looking somewhat out of place among the trophies I decided to make it look more trophy-esque by constructing a trophy like base with Lego.
1st prize for the year 10 art category Eisteddfod
Ysgol Botwnnog 1993
Although this particular prize was awarded for coming first
in a school art competition I have long regarded it as a double victory. Let me firstly
explain to those of you not familiar with such things, Wales has a national
Eisteddfod an annual festival of literature, music and performance that dates
back to around the 12th century, a sort of Art Olympics if you will. When I was
at school they used to hold their own version of this Welsh institution with the
three Houses trying to achieve as many points as possible and becoming the
outright winner for that year. Pupils would convene in the assembly hall and
watch the various performances, cheering for their respective House and during
this particular year I and a few of my friends found ourselves sitting in the
front row. After a few hours this had became somewhat tedious when one
particular pupil stepped on and was, to be perfectly honest, ATROCIOUS indeed
laughingly so, so much so that we couldn’t help but giggle, (childish yes but
then we were children) and once his performance was over a teacher (remaining
nameless for obvious reasons) whom had observed this ran over to us to put us
in our place telling us “how dare you! At least he’s trying! What have you
done? You haven’t contributed anything towards the Eisteddfod!” No sooner had
she returned to her seat the headmaster took the podium and announced the
winner of the year 10 art category... me. As everyone clapped I couldn’t resist
glancing over at the teacher and exchanging a smug smile which was met with a
scowl. 1-0 to me.
Fred Dibnah Rivet
I never actually knew Fred Dibnah but felt that I did having
watched his documentaries over the years and when he died in 2004 I was sorry
to hear of his passing, it was the end of an amazing life. When he was alive,
Dibnah had hoped that his home would one day become a museum, where his life’s
passions could be preserved and that’s just what happened, it is now the Fred
Dibnah Heritage Center. Although I am yet to actually visit the famed yard for
myself I do own this a genuine boiler rivet from his workshop! Adapting an
existing vintage glass display dome with rivets (some with light rusting) and
finished off with a miniature locomotive style nameplate created by Andy
Dingley of Atelier Fabry-Pérot. A small tribute to the great man in my own
studio/base of operations!
Brunel award for Ingenuity, The Asylum 2009
Awarded to me at the Asylum steampunk event in 2009 when I
entered the Cellular Condenser Ray- Gun into their contraptions contest.
Left to right
I am not getting into that.
Cub Scout Artist Proficiency Badge
I was once a part of Robert Baden-Powell’s legacy and proud of it.
To achieve the Art badge a Cub Scout had to choose 3 of the 7 set proficiencies
laid out in the Cub Scout Handbook, one of them was to “make a model from clay
or plastic material” and I made a Plasticine model of Roger Rabbit.
That was fun, I might do another sometime. Missed anything?
Curious about another item- leave a comment at the bottom! Thank you again for
reading my posts these past ten years!
© Arfon Jones 2019. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.