Category: process

this reminds me of something…

… warping a loom 😀

static and silence #2 | work in progress

this lightbox project is really testing my textile skills. how to combine large quantities of moving picture film (often with a mind of its own) into a coherent fabric, a single piece. the same issue applies to my combination of imagery and sources. i’m trying to completely flatten those seamlines between one and the next. quilting also comes to mind…

the first piece in the series – static & silence – is too fragmented to my mind. i was mostly doing this to avoid leaning too heavily on a single source for my 35mm materials. but there are ways – through placement and colour choices – that i can tie disparate sources together, intermesh them effectively.

static & silence #1 | 2016
static & silence #1 | 2016

#2 is currently relaxing under a pile of hefty books. i’ve cleaned the 16mm film but much of it’s buckled where it’s sat on a spool wound slightly askew. i’ve no way of telling how much or easily i can unkink it, but i forsee a world of pain getting this thing assembled…

having selected source material relevant to my overarching project (getting to mars, more of which another time…) i’m trying to focus in on the visual qualities of the print as the main thing; the geometry and lines, the colour and shade, how they play against each other as i assemble on the wing.

the editing process is reassuringly time-consuming 😉 for 35mm i have a set of wonky eastern european rewinds and a large led light panel, but my 16mm editing is all done by literally winding reels by hand over a small light panel. all the film passes me by pretty slowly, i have a chance to notice something beautiful in a random shot. my filing system for cuttings is already creaking at the seams 😀

16mm reel and small lightbox
16mm reel and small lightbox

the name of the project comes from a song by the sundays that captures for me the real romance and wonder of space travel 🙂

turn on with the movie greats

today: sharad of atlantis, on a diminutive academy editor. the cut-down super 8 edition dates to 1966, but the original film, undersea kingdom, was made in 1936.

robots with ducting legs? check!

i’ve brightened up the screen images in photoshop – like my other editors it’s plenty bright on freeze-frame, but running the film dims it dramatically. i’m trying to find out which editor i like least so i can take it apart and give the optics and mechanisms a good clean.

just my type…

chez makersoph’s turned into a veritable typewriter workshop in the past couple of days.

round one was a practice on my freecycled brother deluxe 900, that saw me through my degree. with its filled-in letters, sticky keys and dodgy ribbon lift it was a fair challenge. here it is half way through cleaning (right to left), niiiice chrome 🙂

cleaned the type slugs up a treat, fixed almost all the sticking, and found the “unstick my sticky key”-key to deal with any recalcitrant letters 😀 ribbon lift is still a little temperamental, but the improved quality of the keyboard was obvious with a thorough deep clean. and only one “spare” spring to show for the part-dismantling and cleaning process 😀

rather than selling this more-than-half-decent machine off for a pittance i’ve given it to my 9 year old daughter 🙂 her journey to hipsterdom starts here 😀


next up, venturing into the world of the “ultra-portable” (ymmv :D) – an olivetti lettera 22. an ebay purchase (natch), i wasn’t expecting much, but the condition is fantastic – fully working, down to the ribbon, just a clean needed.


the already pleasant action is even snappier after a thorough clean. there’s a type regulator under the ribbon cover, now switched to its lightest setting. this model feels miles ahead of the brother in terms of engineering and ease of use.

the killer on this one is the case – ultra stylish, but both zips missing teeth and unusable 😦 i’d planned to refurb this as a travel model for my brother, but without a case it doesn’t cut the mustard. i’ll be looking in more detail at case renovation next.

having read fairly widely on typewriter cleaning procedures – and checking my supplies – i settled on a simple regime:

  • dust and hoover all loose material from inside the case (the lettera came with its original cleaning brush)
  • all internal/moving parts cleaned with white spirit (“mineral spirits” in the us)
  • all external paint and keys cleaned with windolene/flash cleaner
  • no additional lubrication applied. my understanding is that typewriters run best “dry” – it’s the accumulated dust, gunk and dried-out oil that cause most sticking. there are still *key* parts that need lubrication but i guess i’ll find out what those are pretty soon… 😀


i’m getting keener on instruction leaflets and manuals lately. producing a simplified map for the MADE show from architects drawings was fun (if a rush job).

toying with the idea of taking original instruction manuals like so:

and using them to produce manuals or signage to accompany the 8mm books. trying to encourage engagement and participation while having stuff not break!

in related news this little beauty came today 🙂