Monday, 27 December 2010

Better than Johnny Mnemonic

A carrier of secret digital information....

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

BTWC at bStore


b Store
24A Savile Row

OPENING Wednesday December 1st, 7 - 9PM

Whittling -- to reduce or eliminate gradually. The word applies as much to an action performed on wood with a knife as it does to some mediation between physical being and an abstract notion such as TIME. For over a year now, Bleeding Thumb Whittling Club has provided tools and wood, pickles and coffee, to those who wish to explore the realm of whittling.

Whittling is an intrinsically modest occupation, yet precisely as such, BTWC views it as a kind of de-alienation process; an effective way to engage with robust experiences of temporality and materiality. Starting out, you can obtain an excellent knife for the price of a pizza; you don't need much wood, so even exotic varieties are cheap (or free, as off-cuts from someone's fancy work-top (or you can go to a forest and whittle what you find there in light filtered through birch leaves and reflected off its white bark)).

Our broader interest in the role of craft versus alienation in the advanced industrial age has led us to look at a score of previous responses to this question. Following Appalachian self-sufficiency culture in pre-war America and the post-hippy "Back to the Land" movement which descended from it, one member has created a rudimentary banjo which will be played on the opening night. Another part of our exhibition touches on the early years of the Bauhaus school of design, where focus was on workshop activity as a way of learning. We are also pleased to present our second publication, where among other things, a utopian marriage of these viewpoints is discussed.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Cut of the Week

Jack´s most recent cut

It seems as though we had a dip in number of cuts for a while. Maybe because there has been less alcohol and more coffee, or maybe because we have sharper knives and more skill & patience. Who knows...

But you can never escape them really. Ever.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

10th meeting - Bauhaus

In later stages of its development, the Bauhaus school of design inculcated its students by having them recite the chant "das Quadrat ist rot, das Dreieck gelb, der Kreis blau" ("the square is red, the triangle yellow, the circle blue") every hour, on the hour. All forms not composed of geometric primitives were forbidden, thus everyone wore circular (or equilateral-triangular) spectacles.

Sorry! I lied; it's not true. However, this kind of misunderstanding is commonly trotted out at the mention of the Bauhaus. We at BTWC know better however, and wish to explore and recover the early years of the Bauhaus project: speculation, the role of craft in industrial society, even expressionism. These strands come together in the carvings at the Haus Sommerfeld near Berlin, a building by founder Walter Gropius in 1921. This is the stimulus for our next meeting.

Photocopy hand-out for 10th meeting. Whittlings roaming in Haus Sommerfeld


The meeting, our tenth, also marks a year of existence for the club (in fact it's been a bit longer, we just didn't keep track). Since it is a birthday, we will have cake. And we will always have pickles.

Mark is about to cut the cake with his newly made pear-wood utensil

Whittlings by Jacob

Comb by Pete

The Oxfam spoon by Mark

Jacob on the bandsaw. Cheating, but oh so simple.

YSL by Gery

Ben T started on his Bauhaus graveyard

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Cut of the Week - Square is Red


From 10th meeting; Gery´s cut of the week...