Friday, 31 December 2010


Well, it's not glass but it is rather spectacular, so I thought I'd share it! On my way back from Christmas in the Cairngorms (and yes, even though everyone has been claiming they couldn't get to work because of the snow, we actually drove there from the south coast and back again) - I stopped off in Edinburgh to see the huge Confession of St Peter in St Peter's, Falcon Avenue. Amazing church in itself, designed by Robert Lorimer, paid for in the main by Andre Raffalovich, and the first incumbent was Canon John Gray (think Silverpoints and the inspiration for Dorian Gray no less) - Raffalovich and Gray both being part of the Oscar Wilde set before converting to Catholicism.

FBSG the book!

OK, for those luddites amongst you who aren't sure how to print from PDF files or haven't got good colour printers, I've published the book separately. A4 size, 112 pages, loads of full colour illustrations and details of the windows. £20 including post and packing, OR a special bargain offer - if you buy the book and the DVD you can get the bumper bundle for £30 including p&p. As before payable by cheque or PayPal - just contact Libby.

Saturday, 10 July 2010


After a long week editing, compressing, all sorts of techy stuff, the world's first DVD Catalogue Raisonne is finally finished. It's been a long haul, I'll never recoup my money, but I'm proud to have done it! Apart from Charles occasionally tweaking a button or staggering under the weight of his light meter, it's all my work - the research, the writing of the book (12 chapters) and films (11 films with a total running time of 210 minutes!) and the design.
Anyone interested in purchasing a copy, it's £20 including post and packing, payable by cheque or Paypal. Just contact me.
PS I could not have produced this without Charles - so THANK YOU!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Techy Stuff

Charles and Mike at Martini Towers ...
The music written by Mike Westbrook and performed by the Miscellany Choir was recorded using a Soundfield SPS422B surround sound microphone system feeding a B format signal into four tracks of a Sound Device 744T multitrack recorder, with a stereo feed also going into a Tascam DA-PI portable DAT recorder.
During the initial period of the FBSG films, we have been using stereo recordings of Mike Westbrook's 'preferred complete takes' of the seven pieces of music. However, the choir had also recorded numerous pick-ups and patches of several parts of each recording, and it was now time to edit these together to form a B-format surround master.
Mike Westbrook lives in Dawlish and I (Charles) live in Lincolnshire so we agreed to meet up in London at my colleague David Martin's edit suite (David is a feature film editor with titles such as Sid and Nancy, The Chamomile Lawn and School for Seduction under his belt).
Fortunately Mike had made and kept copious notes from his initial listening to the session tapes, so was well prepared for the edit. We played each recording element in the required order, Mike following the music on his score bar by bar and telling me precisely at which point we should cross over to the next recorded element. These joins were then played back, adjusted if necessary, and usually a quick mix was applied so that the reverberation sounded convincing. Some of the music pieces had half a dozen or more cuts, whilst just one was a complete take.
Now that we have a four track B-format master of the seven pieces of music, the next challenge is, using suitable software, to convert the music to 5.1 surround sound and then to edit it back into the completed films, replacing the initial preferred complete takes which we have been using as temporary markers. This may require some small adjustments to the picture if the durations are not exactly the same. Then we will have to do a final sound mix on each of the films.
(Ed) Tell me about it ... !

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Done and dusted

Japan trip very successful, wonderful exhibition, very well hung, opened with aplomb (see photos) and had a great (and relaxing) trip to Mashiko afterwards with my friend Teruko (Mashiko being the pottery centre of Japan if not the world!).
Back to reality and to editing at Film Farm (8-10 March) in which time we managed to complete the MUSIC section and do some tweaks. So now all that is needed is my proof readers do come up to scratch, change PDFs accordingly, check the DVD myself, Charles and Mike Westbrook to edit sound recordings, and then Charles has to re-author the entire work. So the end really is in sight!
Libby and Teruko at Slow Time Mashiko, a wonderful minimalist Shaker inspired hotel in the town (recommended)

Saturday, 20 February 2010


Snow drift - see Thursday below - that's supposed to be a hedge in the background!

That is the only way to describe the past 2 weeks - Libby becoming more hyperactive than normal!
Saturday I delivered my Piper lecture (my first on this topic) to the SGFA and it seemed to go down pretty well and I returned with a lovely bunch of flowers which are still doing very well thank you.
Sunday tried to catch up with mail etc, then got down to writing the lecture for Japan because they need it urgently for translation.
Monday finished the lecture, timed myself, exactly an hour if I don't speak too quickly.
Tuesday started the PowerPoint show, carried on with this Wednesday (most of the Brangwyn lectures I've given to date have been slides, so much extra work involved scanning slides and books and working from CDs of FB images Paul has supplied me with in the past).
Thursday woke up to a white out, and it continued snowing throughout the day, also very windy so the snow has once again drifted across our little country lane and I'm marooned! Realised that it would be more sensible to finish the PowerPoint next week and start supplying Charles with the information he needs for the DVD, so re-read all my catalogue, changed some photos and formatting, made some new logos for buttons on the DVD, designed the disc and sleeve.
Friday everything seems to be going wrong, the PDF files are arriving on Charles' desk without images, logos pixelated etc etc. By nightfall I was completely stressed out - the deadline for getting the DVD finished is 2pm Sunday because Charles is then going to a techy conference in London and the DVD needs to be sent away to Crash Test Dummies or similar to be processed. And the more stressed I became the more mistakes I made. A sleepless night.
Saturday I was due to go up to London for Patrick Reyntiens Open Day in the studio. More or less decided I couldn't spare the time, but since I was making so many errors (still) determined to go - despite the snow. Did get stuck and had to be pushed out of a drift, but somehow managed to get through the village and on to the main road which was clear. London did me a power of good (see sister blog) so returned revitalised. In the evening made a break-through - very simple really, if I used Adobe PDFs instead of PDF factory it all arrived on Film Farm's crowded desk looking hunky-dory!
Sunday - wow, what a day! Much sending to and fro of PDF files, discussions on sleeve and disc design, then my email crashed, the laptop crashed twice, I got it restarted but had to use a different mailbox to send everything to Charles. By 3pm he'd got the DVD finished and then let Mr Mac make a copy before he had to dash off to London. First time ever he hasn't had time to check that everything worked properly. Cross fingers.
Monday no connection on the interweb - tends to do this when it snows or the weather is unseemly - one of the joys of living in the sticks. Concentrated on my slide show and more work on the little booklet I'm making to give as gifts in Japan - it's to show details of FB's stained glass, will be titled Quiddity which means the essence of something, its distinctive qualities, will be printed on hand made Nepalese Lokta paper and contain a design abstracted from one of FB's glass panels duly coloured in by hand in bronze and gold paints. And I've decided to make a limited edition of 50, all signed and numbered by myself. I must be barking!
Tuesday finished the slide show thank goodness. Whizzed down to Guildford to a fantastic shop called Fibrecrafts to buy the Lokta paper - actually whizzed is the wrong description, because it poured, cats and dogs by the kennel full, spray coming up from the road almost blinding at times. Frightful conditions.
Wednesday had a look at the sleeve design and found a mistake - when I went to alter it in In-Design discovered that I'd deleted that file! Ugh. So had to re-design. Meanwhile the printer is gobbling up inks like there's no tomorrow and there isn't time to order ink over the interweb so had to drive down to Ashford and buy more inks for Quiddity and sleeve.
Thursday and Friday organised our next 2 Reyntiens outings. Finished Quiddity, wrapped them all in different coloured tissue papers, Japanese style, sealed with one of my Moo stickers. The 20 processed DVDs for Japan arrived, checked them out, wonderful! Congratulations Charles! Put sleeves on boxes. Packed. (Don't order your copy of the DVD yet - because we're going to make some additions before publishing the final version)
Saturday wrote this blog - in 3 hours time I'm off to Japan! Yippee! I think I deserve a break - I'm thoroughly exhausted just reading this!

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Are we nearly there yet?

Well, hold your horses, have patience and you'll find out in due course!
Saturday 30th the packers collected a couple of works for the Japan exhibition, then I drove up to Bluewater for a rare shopping expotition - mainly because my sheets and towels are so old they are full of holes. Precious little remuneration in this art business, don'tchaknow! Thence on to mea mater for a couple of nights. Same old, same old, don't get me started.
Monday 1st drove down to Film Farm. Charles appeared to have survived the Bear's visitation, so we got straight on with work - first thing to record Libby outside for the beginning and end of the Overview sequence. Not the warmest of weather, Zooty started off wanting to be the star of the show but then decided to chase Pepper instead, so that involved a number of takes, then the local dog began barking at me. Having decided I wasn't an alien he then also wanted to be filmed but walked off in the middle of a take. We finally got the chat in the bag, Libby warming herself with a glass of red. Cheers! Thence to the edit suite.
In the evening Ray Leigh of the Gordon Russell Museum rang - looks like we've landed ourselves another joblet! Although we don't appear to have sufficient hours in the day as it is - still the money will be useful (think of those sheets).
Tuesday: Some old maps I'd ordered arrived, a 1924 one of the UK and a wonderful yellowed one of Bruges, undated. We're using these as chapter headers for each church in the Overview. More editing but by the close of the day were nowhere near completion and Wednesday was a Reyntiens meeting in Cambridge (see Reyntiens Revels blog) and I was planning to return home Thursday.
Wednesday: Charles woke up with the Bear's cold, which worsened exponentially as the day progressed, so by the time we returned home in the evening (snow on the ground) he was in a dire state and fit only for red wine and Lem-Sip (a delicious combination). So no work that evening.
Thursday: The man felt somewhat better this morning so we decided to plod on with the editing, finally giving up for the day at 9.30, after which we ate and wrote up yesterday's minutes.
Friday: Up to the edit suite first thing. By 1.30 we'd more or less finished the Overview, apart from sound tweaking etc, so, after a quick espresso, I started the drive home (which took 6 hours this time). Then cooked, then checked Saturday's lecture, massive headache and worried I've caught the dreaded cold.
So, in answer to the question - sort of! The Japanese would like me to take some copies of the film to sell in the shop, but we haven't done the Music sequence yet and there are some minor chapters I wanrt to add to the written catalogue. We've decided to crank something out - which means poor Charles has a dreadful job ahead of him this next week, checking all the sound levels, going through each sequence making sure there are no errors, then making the menus, authoring the DVD etc. I feel hugely guilty landing him with this, especially when we'll have to author a final DVD in due course. :-(