Monday, 2 August 2010

When we were six


My eldest son James is my step son, he's thirteen and I've brought him up since the age of 3. Nowadays we are just father and son, no need for the step thing, but it's been a long road we've travelled together. 7 years ago when I was on the dole and he was approaching his sixth birthday life was pretty tough and I was still insecure about our relationship, so one day when he and I were dragging bits of wood out of a skip to recycle as shelves I had the idea to recycle some of his toys along with the wood and make a 'thing' that included lots of stuff we'd enjoyed together. There's no way I could compensate for absent genes, but if it was possible for an out of work cartoonist suffering a breakdown to build a gene replacement step fathering device then this was probably it.

I built it for his sixth birthday and it's lived on his bedroom wall most of the time since. Currently it's in my studio awaiting repairs. The Fiffer Feffer Fef* (2nd in from top left) has long gone and it needs a bit of work.

It ended up looking very Peter Blake. Many parts of it function - there's a lever for Jerry to pop in and out of his hole, the tiny Earth spins, the football is on a spring, the racing driver helmet visor lifts to reveal my son's face, the target is two opening doors, the guitar (that I made from cardboard, match wood, fusewire and fishing tackle) does actual strum etc..

Hope it's of some interest to you folks.

*He had trouble reading and this was the first thing he learned to read, thank you Dr Seuss.

(and if it looks a bit odd and wonky it's because I pasted together two old photos of it a photoshopped them a bit to try and show what it actually looked like.)

7 comments:

David Baillie said...

This is absolutely brilliant, Rob.
And a lovely story behind it.

Dan McDaid said...

I don't want to overstate this Rob, but you are actually amazing. And this is beautiful.

Simon said...

What an incredible object and labour of love this is. A truly great blog post, Rob.

Also: it seems you're big in China...

ANDY KUHN said...

beautiful work, sir!

Jo Bling said...

Flabbergastingly beautiful thing to do, Rob, let alone behold! Bravo!

Rob Davis said...

Thanks for all the kind words about this, folks. I'm humbled. I really ought to get and repair it now. Mind you, the idea of making another Fiffer Feffer Fef fills me with a certain dread.

DÅ‚uga said...

I'm lovin it

 
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