A year to the day…

I’ve neglected this little blog for so long!
But no more! So much has happened, and I want to talk all about it.

And I will soon enough. But first, a teaser or two. Explanations later.

Firstly, I have a spiffy new Honours degree (!). Secondly, an exhibition (my first outside of school!). And a critique (!). I am so excited! Far too many exclamation marks!

– Lydia


A look at little things.

Getting back into it…

I like small things. Tiny things too. So I thought I’d share a few artists working with the small and tiny that I’ve found (actually, I knew them all before making my own miniatures, but that matters not).
There is Slinkachu and his “Little People: A Tiny Street Art Project. He appropriates and makes teeny tiny people and other objects (I think some are train-set models) and places them in the real world – as he says “Little handpainted people, left in London to fend for themselves.”. There are many, many works shown on his blog. And being street art, he only sells prints of them. This work is called “Cash Machine”,

Cash Machine by Slinkachu

And this is where it’s located:
Cash Machine by Slinkachu

I love his work so much! He says that he wanted to place it underneath an ATM, but they were too busy. I don’t really think it matters too much in this case – I like the idea of a cash machine in a dodgy alleyway, and the man not wanting to get mugged or something. Slinkachus works make me consider how a miniature fits into the real world, rather than sitting apart from it. The next tiny works are Snowglobes by Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz. I have no idea whether they actually make the globes, or whether they are just photographs, but either way they are bizarre and funny. This work is called ‘Traveler 135 at Night’. (Again, there are many more at their site)

Traveler 135 at night by Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz

Ricky Swallow makes absolutely amazing wood carvings, and also uses other materials with a great amount of skill. He has a series of miniature works with moving parts, using portable record players as motors and housings, named “Even the odd orbit”. This one is called “Rooftop shoot out with chimpanzee”, which is at the NGA, Canberra. The Chimp is in the orange jumpsuit, and he turns around, pointing his gun.

Rooftop Shootout With Chimpanzee by Ricky Swallow

These works make me think about how miniatures are set up in a gallery situation, and the use of found objects combined with built (to scale) environments.

I am thinking about making miniature people. And then the only miniature art I can find is predominantly about people, often using train set models like these:
Virtual Village - Pack of 100 Painted Model People 1:75 Railway Train Set

Which can be easily painted or modified (I assume, haha). But so far I have only made miniature objects myself. I’m not sure if it’s worth making my own people and objects – to keep my own “style” I suppose – and also to be able to choose my own scale. I might have to get some people models, and maybe some sculpey, and have afew tests to see which ones I like better. In the mean time, I’ll leave you with the cutest tiny food-related things I’ve seen in a while from Re-ment (which I actually found on Bake and Destroy – I admit it, I love food blogs!).

1. High-End Sushi from Re-ment

Gourmet Market in Department Stores at Re-ment

Sooo cute!

– Lydia



It’s been a long time. And I’m about to go back to school for…. honours!
A lot has happened since my last post. I finished all my teeny tiny artworks, finished third year, had my graduating exhibition and sold my first artworks ever! I really have to post pictures of finished stuff!

And Nigel posted a picture of one of my works in ArtWranglers!*
Detail of 'Japan Series 2' by Lydia Ashe, taken by Nigel Lendon.
I love the name he put to it.

So excitement! Thanks Nigel!

– Lydia

*note: please ignore the nasty comment. I tried to, but then the idea of being married to Visual Art made me giggle a lot.


More Purty Pictures.

Okay, so this is an image-heavy post, because I’m doing enough writing as it is, between Art Theory essays and Honours Proposals…
Anyway, this is some more of the work in ‘Japan Series 1’ – the Gashapon/Capsule Toy work. They will be set up in these steel ‘chute’ devices coming out of the wall, evenly spaced. The chutes are yet to be painted – either black, gunmetal grey, or silver. Didn’t get them done in time to chrome them :(.

Detail of Japan Series 1 by Lydia Ashe on Flickr.

This one is a costume-themed hentai manga. Pretty much a ‘dirty bunny-girl comic’, haha. I made all these out of air drying clay, and hand painted every detail on the damned tiny things. For a size reference, each capsule is about 6-7cm in diameter, and maybe 8cm tall.

Detail of Japan Series 1 by Lydia Ashe on Flickr. Detail of Japan Series 1 by Lydia Ashe on Flickr.

In these two there are some absolutely rad earphones with stars on them – we saw some pink versions of these on a very cute girl and a friend of mine picked some up as a souvenir – and there are also some sandwiches. Ham, cheese and lettuce with wasabi mayo on one, and an egg ‘salad’ for the other. With no crusts on.

Detail of Japan Series 1 by Lydia Ashe on Flickr.

And here is some sushi! Yay! And a slightly better view of the chute. My goodness this one was tiny.

Sushi by Lydia Ashe on Flickr.

And some more sushi! Yaaayy! These are actually a work continuing from my inflatables. Though instead of being inflated, these ones are stuffed with polyester filling. And comparatively, these are much smaller. For example, the ebi/prawn is about 20cm long, and the square one is about 15cm.. uh, square. These should turn out to be a series, less than 10 pieces, probably on plinths or something, haha.

There are some more details and afew more pictures of  all these things on my Flickr site.



My new work.

I talked in the last post about my new work, involving Gashapon. Well I’ve finished a couple of tiny tiny works, and I had to photograph them for the graduating catalogue, so here’s a quick looksee, and afterwards, a lot of Wikipedia articles to explain things, haha:

Japan Series 1 photo from my Flickr account.

In the little capsules there are toilet slippers (at the Dohokan we had some of these exact slippers shown below, except they were red and blue!). There is a bucket from the Onsen, with a ‘modesty towel’. There is some Green Tea (Matcha) ice cream (picture below from Dining Bar Musashi in Sydney).

Japanese Toilet Slippers (from Wikipedia) Green Tea ice cream from Dining Bar Musashi in Sydney

There’s a loaf of bread – which is now bizarre after looking at this post by Tokyo Times – you see, I now realise that my bread is completely the wrong shape. Memories are indeed funny, and selective – I remembered the ‘important thing’, being the number of slices (that being six), but I forgot about the shape, so I must have substituted my traditional ‘symbol for bread’ into my memory, haha (wow, I’ve been thinking too much about my theory class – ‘Memory’). Anyway, there are some navy blue Jika-tabi (two-toed workman/farmer shoes) off to the side. And lastly, you can just see the fingertips of some white gloves that all drivers – taxi, bus, shuttle bus, and train drivers – wear.

A Japanese loaf of bread (from Tokyo Times blog) Jika-tabi from Wikipedia

Soo, yeah. That is my current work. Next up, I believe, is a series of scenes – for example, inside a train, a road crossing, a shop, a temple, etc. – either set up in bigger versions of the capsules, like toys not put together, or set up in sushi/bento boxes, stacked on top of one another. And lastly, I think there will be an inflatable capsule, maybe with a chair inside? We’ll see eventually.

– Lydia


Japan! It happened!

I got back from my Japan trip one week ago. It’s amazing the habits you pick up in less than three weeks of being away from home. I’ve gotten used to my loo’s flush button again, as well as eating with a knife and fork. I haven’t stopped nodding my head when I thank people or excuse myself, and I have been feeling the need to take off my shoes indoors.

One good thing is that I’ve gotten ideas for my work back here. You know capsule toys, or Gashapon?

Giant line of Gashapon machines.

These are Gashapon machines. You stick your ~100-500 yen in, turn the knob, and out comes your capsule toy! I never saw this many in one place, but Cabel at Cabel’s Blog lol did. I wish I had!

Image of Capsule Toy by mock-turtle

This is what the capsules themselves look like (picture taken by mock-turtle on Flickr).
Anyway – the capsules – I loves them. I got a lot of them as presents – mostly Evangelion, Legend of Zelda, and Mario ones. Ok, a couple of Hello Kitty ones too.. So I ended up with quite a few of the actual capsules sitting around. Pretty much, I decided to make tiny things to put inside them. The objects will be things I noticed in Japan, that were either ‘different’, or just interesting. Like the loaves of bread, white gloves, parasols, and toilet slippers. I think another series will be scenes I remember – such as the trains, temples, and bathrooms.

I’m going to have to write a few entries to make up for not writing while I was away. We stayed at Kyoto Seika University’s International ‘dorm’ called the Dohokan. The computer there was almost a dinosaur – technically not from this century/millennium anyway. It couldn’t deal with wordpress, facebook, ipods or most cameras. So my photo-contingency plan of offloading them onto something else didn’t work. And my blog-post-every-few-days plan didn’t work either. Oh well. Soon enough I will have lovely photos to talk about. But here’s a video I found of rain, from a view at the Dohokan (taken by a previous student staying there – Nick, aka Kiloburn). I think my room was the one directly upstairs. I remember that view, and stairs! How nostalgic for me!

Will be backtracking, and writing more posts about the Japan trip in the near future.

– Lydia



So, last year I had my first Independent Work Proposal, and (without the fear of needing to make something amazing and, um, permanent) came up with this lolly art. I got an iron, a toaster, a pot, a teapot, and a beater, and replaced parts of them with repilcas made from toffee. For the iron I made the metal part, there was lolly bread for the toaster, lolly tea in the cup and teapot, and handles for the pot and beater. I used rubber, metal, and plaster molds, as well as just pouring and hand molding the lollipop mixture (that being sugar, glucose syrup, water, vinegar and food colouring). Sometimes I used hundreds and thousands or sugar to reference the material.

Lolly Iron by Lydia Ashe

Anyway, a friend of mine was telling me about this rapid prototyper that uses sugar as its medium!
(Note: a rapid prototyper is like a 3D printer – it takes a 3D model from a program, and makes it out of plastic, by laying down melted plastic strings, and moving back and forth, eventually making many, many, many layers.)
So this rapid prototyper is called the CandyFab, and is created by the Evil Mad Scientist Laboratory. And it makes things out of sugar!!! Look at it go!

Rapid Prototyped Sugar Screw by Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

Instead of laying down melted sugar itself, it starts off with a layer of sugar, and a small nozzle blasts heat that melts the sugar below. Then more sugar is sprinkled in a layer, and then more layers are melted. The end product of caramelised, solid sugar, is fished out of the rest of the sugar I suppose, and there it is!
I know it’s not the same kind of effect – for them it’s a question of affordability, and also a bit of novelty – but I really love the idea of making things out of sugar. If only I could use this to make completely awesome sugar cubes!

And speaking of lollies (and Japan being only afew days away) – in Japan i want to visit this lolly/dessert shop called Toraya. It sells traditional confectionery called Wagashi, and has done for centuries! How beautiful are they? I wonder if they taste as good as they look… I guess I’ll find out soon.
Toraya image header


Flickr Photos

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