Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Oh oooer - too much underground in Charlton

The current issue of Subterranea (Sept 2013 contains an item on underground items in Charlton  - some of it a bit alarming. 

The item is headed '
Concern about a probable chalk mine under a railway tunnel at Charlton, southeast London " and relates to an enquiry from Network Rail concerning cavities encountered on the North Kent railway line.  They say "the tunnel had been driven between 1847 and 1849 by John Brogden (junior) [1823-1867]. This line was opened to Charlton Station on 30 July 1849, but the next section tWoolwich Dockyard Station (opened 1 November the same year) was evidently slightly delayed by the tunnelling and the unexpected cavity".

They then quote from the contempary Kentish Mercury " ......the workmen on the North Kent line ....tunnelling under the hanging woods, at Charlton ...... came upon a cave, of considerable dimensions, cut in the chalk and flint rocks.  .......four chambers have been discovered.... the  men .. found a knife and a spoon ........ and having lighted the whole of the tunnel with candles, and conducted visitors over ... charging them 3d for admission."

The article coments furtrher that Hanging Wood was 'quarried out oexistence by Edwin Gilbert' and goes on to give details of the position of the railway and the park. It concludes that  - "the feature discovered in 1849 seems most likely to have been a small drift mine for chalk"   and gives more details of chalk and lime workings wih reference to Lewis Glenton.

The article is by Paul Sowan who is coming to speak to GIHS again on 19th November. But otherwise read Subterranea for the whole story.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Curb A'Faire Trophy-done & delivered!

Finished up the trophy & delivered it just in time for the festival today :)
Complete with rhinestones, feathers, & custom graphic; I think this one turned out really well--definitely a bit different than trophies I have been making, lol, but I had a lot of fun with it.  I really enjoyed adding in some more whimsical elements to the design.
 I even did the graphic design work: I think it came out pretty nice : ) Actually getting the sticker onto the trophy was a challenge, but we made it work ; )
 From the base to the top; there is an old wheel, the top of an aluminum bottle, bronze faucet thingy, part of a chicken feeder decorated with keys, a silver bowl, & an aluminum gear-ish cup thing.  Copper pipe & hardware for the handles, & of course the feathers :)  


Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Hyde Park Curb A'Faire Trophy in Progress---chicken approved

This is what happens when I have the shop door open...there is also a cat in the corner, lol

Anyway; working on the trophy for this weekend's Hyde Park Curb A'Faire event; the first annual: taking place in conjunction with the long-running Hyde Park Street Fair.  The Curb A'Faire will be a showcase of performing arts & will include a chalk art contents on Sunday.
I'm really having fun with this one; going very whimsical & using all kinds of "junky treasures" in the design.  And I'm not even close to being finished: there will be colorful graphics, sparkle, feathers, & more; hopefully capturing the spirit of eclectic whimsy that is the Hyde Park Street Fair.

Chicken-Bird certainly approves, so I must be on the right track ; )

I'll be delivering the finished piece Friday or Saturday; stay tuned for the finished pics!


Sunday, 8 September 2013

World Trade Center Project makes the local news :)

 I was interviewed this afternoon for the 6:00 news here in Boise.  I met a lovely reporter at World Trade Center Sculpture Plaza at Riverside Park & did a short interview about the project.  The story aired at 6, & might air again at 10.   Here is a link to the video:
And this is what they had to say on the website :)

World Trade Center beam transforms to art in Boise

A beam left behind in the wreckage at the World Trade Center now calls Boise home.
Boise artist Amber Conger worked with a whole team for almost two years, to transform the damaged metal rod into a new sculpture in Riverside Park.
Just this week the finished sculpture, weighing nearly 4,000 pounds, was mounted in Riverside Park to honor those who lost their lives on September 11, nearly 12 years ago.
“It was scary, it was very scary, not knowing, you know, watching it all happen and not knowing what’s going to happen next, and where any of your people that you know are,” Amber Conger said.
We all remember where we were on that day in 2001, especially Conger.
“At the time I was a flight attendant actually,” Conger said. “And I was in Seattle getting ready to go to the airport and go to work, and I was watching the news and saw it all happen.”
Amber was honored to get involved with the project to give new life to the partial beam shipped to Boise from New York City.
“It’s just surreal to know what it is,” she said. “That’s really why I wanted to get involved in this project. It does hit home for me and I’m an artist and I feel like this type of project ,this is really what it’s all about.”
The beam itself remains in its original condition-exactly how it came from New York City- but metal rings now frame it, inspired by ripples in a pond.
The sculpture was mounted in Riverside Park alongside the pre-existing fallen firefighter memorial.
“That’s definitely the best part of the project when we were down here last week with the cranes and seeing it go into place,” Conger said. “It makes it all worth it, definitely, and I’m really happy that we got it done and in place in time for 9/11 this year.”
When the memorial is finished, names of the 343 first responders who lost their lives on 9/11 will be etched into a steel wall along one of the curved walkways in front of the sculpture; a way to remember those who risked their lives to save others.
On Wednesday a small ceremony will unveil the new artwork, and plants and final touches to the monument will be added in the coming weeks.

Pretty cool : )  There will be a dedication on September 11th; I'll post details as I have them; anyone is welcome to come.  For more information on the sculpture, dedication, and the project; please email me at or contact me on my FB page.


Thursday, 5 September 2013

Boise World Trade Center Memorial--Sculpture Install

In between rainstorms today, we installed the finished sculpture at Riverside Park.
Thanks so much to everyone who came out to help; including ICS Cranes, Blake Trailers & Fabrication, Lochsa Engineering, Jensen-Belts Associates, & many more.
The install went very well; no real issues: we had to re-adjust the mounting bracket for level a few times, but other than that, everything went smooth.  It helps that we have all worked together on projects like this before: this project in particular is really special. 
Everyone out there today has earned my trust & respect:  &  I knew that the sculpture was in good hands; I really was not even nervous for this install: which is a first for me, lol :)
It's always a bit surreal to see the finished piece go into place, but especially so for this one: to have the opportunity to make something out a such an important piece of history is overwhelming--& I'm very grateful to have been part of the project.
There are a few more details to finish up, but you can see the finished piece anytime at Riverside Park in Boise.  There will be a dedication on 9/11 in the afternoon--will update details as I have them.
 I'm really happy with how this project turned out; really curious to hear some of the feedback--hoping everyone likes it as much as I do : )  


Monday, 2 September 2013

Hyde Park Curb Affair Trophy in Progress...

This trophy was commissioned for a new event in Boise; the Hyde Park Curb Affair---a showcase of performance & chalk art; happening in conjunction with the Hyde Park Street Fair.
Keep in mind, the photos are just sneeky-peeks: there is a lot more fun stuffs to add, this is just the beginning.
For this trophy; I wanted to go completely different; with lots of antiques & artifacts--so far I have galvanized tin, bronze, aluminum, copper, stainless, steel, silver & brass... To be honest; this one has been challenging already, & I still have a long way to go...  Joining together all these different elements is crazy; I have had to redo things 3 times already to make it work; some welding, nuts, bolts, rivets, drilling, polishing, scratching my head is dismay, etc... lol
But, I know it will all come together eventually---I have plans for adding some wings, crystals, full color graphics & more: the thing is already over 2 feet tall & probably will grow over the next week :)
These organic/assemblage pieces are interesting; to say the least...  the amount of tools I have had to dig out just to get it this far is amazing, lol... as you can see--my work table is full of stuff---lots of hunting for just the right piece to make it a bit taller, add a color, etc.  
 These sort of pieces really are an experiment: I have had to take the thing apart & put it back together to get it right so many times, lol.  Re-welding, re-bolting, re-drilling; because it didn't go together quite right: but it's all part of the process--I'm happy with where it is right now: tomorrow I will begin experimenting again :)

I wonder what it will really look like when it's done?  We shall see...


Pollution - the gas industry view 1929

A Threat to London's Health.
It is not surprising that strong protests have been made in influential quarters against the proposal to erect at Battersea one of a chain of super-power stations,to be set up all over the country. In these utilitarian days it is probably no use being  squeamish about the addition of six chimneys, 255 feet high, to the less popular sights of our city; but the addition of two or three hundred tons of sulphur fumes to its atmosphere every week is in a category that the most hardened materialist cannot but regard as disturbing. And, apart from the cost in health, it would accelerate the decay and besmirching of public buildings and parks in the City and West End-by the agency of the   prevailing south-west winds-thus entailing heavy expense to the ratepayers for extra cleaning and repair work.
It appears, moreover, that at present no satisfactory method of eliminating these fumes from furnace gases exists, and that residents in the vicinity of power stations still complain bitterly of the quantity of smoke, dust and grit emitted. It is worth while recalling here that no charge of air-pollution can be brought against the gas industry; the general use of gas in home and factory, on the other hand, would almost entirely put an end to the smoke evil.
We can only hope it will be realised that the well-being of the public and the maintenance of the amenities they at present enjoy are objects even more worth striving for than the superficially more practical ones the promoters of this scheme have in mind.

Copartnership Journal South Metropolitan Gas Company June 1929