The Clipperton Project & Ondine Updates

I fly away to Vágar on Friday morning to start my journey with the Clipperton Project around the Faroe Islands for just under 4 weeks.

Why? I hear you ask… well…

I’ve talked a little bit about The Clipperton Project before… but that was a long time ago! So, Ill remind you…

This is The Clipperton Project’s Mission Statement…

The Clipperton Project began as an idea in 2010. Now in its sixth year we are an independent, not-for-profit organisation that navigates a global programme made up of journeys, residencies, exhibitions, exchanges, workshops, talks, festivals, symposia, and much more; using exploration to energise and empower active citizens.

We use movement, both physical and mental across water (oceans, rivers and canals) to explore and discover new possibilities that enable direct action for change.

Our mission is to broaden horizons; to empower people to trust the unknown; to move beyond themselves and what they think they know.

Our vision is of a world where people actively engage with the space around them for the good of all.

Doesn’t that sound perfect?

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My trip is around the Faroe Islands, and I’ll be away for just under 4 weeks!

To keep up with my progress, and a few updates, make sure to follow this blog, as I’ll be posting everything here… hopefully! I’m relying on local wifi to access my blog, but hopefully I’ll be able to get a few posts here while I’m away… if not… I’ll have LOTS to tell you when I get back!!

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram too, and you’ll be sure to see some watery updates from me :D

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I signed up a year ago with the idea to use this project to further my Ondine project. That, is very much, still the case… but my Ondine project has changed it’s outcomes from it’s original conception.

I introduced my project as this…

An Undine is a category of elemental creatures associated within the domain of water. The array contains many species, including nymphs, nereides, selkies, morags and mermaids, to name but a few. Although resembling human details in form they lack a human soul, so to achieve immortality they must acquire one by marrying a human. Such a union is not without risk for the partner, if the human partners are unfaithful they are fated to die. 

I want to capture the essence of what a watery elemental soul would look like if preserved in the human world. Water has a great expanse of visual imagery and folktales to draw upon as inspiration for a collection of jewellery. Inspiration I plan to share with you as this story unfolds.

While that is all still very much true, my original intentions have changed, and although the underlying concept remains the same, I have expanded my outcomes for this project. This is now what I expect to accomplish from my Ondine project…

 

1. A written faerytale based on traditional undine mythology.

– I have already started writing this, and have built a good foundation for a story. It has some issues that need fixed, and it needs edited a few (hundred) times, but I’m getting there.

– I now want it to contain some environmental message woven into the narrative. Fairytales often voiced concerns for real life worries in the past, and I would like mine to be able to do that now. This latter point will be great to explore on The Clipperton Project journey, and I will hopefully glean a great wealth of inspiration and knowledge on how to weave this into my tale, and into my collection.

– There are also a few bits in my story I’m “stuck” on, so, I’m this little adventure will help me find the inspiration, and solutions I’ve been looking for!

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2. A commercial collection of jewellery.

– I, of course, want my jewellery and artwork to mean something greater, but I would also like to make a living from art. Therefore, I want to create a commercial collection of jewellery, but at the same time have all these other aspects to the project that tell the story.

– Although this collections is commercial, it is still an integral part of my story, and it’s meaning is still great in connecting everything together… I don’t want to tell you why, because… *spoilers* and I’d rather keeps those surprises until I’ve launched it… but I think I’ve come up with a pretty cool idea.

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3. A handmade mermaid’s tail.

– yup. I’m gonna make a full-scale mermaid’s tail!!!

– I’ve started this, and I think it’s going to turn out quite well… but it’s a fairly expensive undertaking, so it might take me a while to collect together all of the materials I need.

Exploration Drawings (28)
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4. A collection of art jewellery.

– this is a new idea.

– I would like to make a fully handmade collection of jewellery to go alongside this collection, as well as to make appearances in the film.

– I’ve not quite decided what this collection will consist of, and I’m going to fully use all my research and resources from my journey to the Faroes to figure out what I want from these pieces.

– I’d like to tie in reality with fantasy. Using visual imagery from whales, water, sailing, etc. I will create this collection to bring together the reality of life on the waters, with the mythological undines…. what that will look like is a little fuzzy in my mind at the moment… but, as it develops into clarity, I’ll be sure to share it with you all here!

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5. A short film and series of photography.

– I would like to make my story into a film, that features everything I’ve made.

– I happen to know a very talented filmmaker, so I have a little help with this already… but as this task is a little out of my frame of expertise I need all the help I can get. If you are, or know, anyone who would be up for helping out making a mermaid film… send me a message! I’d be only too happy to get you involved.

– I see this stage taking me the longest, and I don’t want to rush it. I also think I don’t want to make the film until I’ve (got in!!!!!) and finished my Masters… so, this is still a few years off for completion.

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6. A book.

– alongside all of this, I would like to collate everything into a physical book.

– it will contain: the making of the work, as well as design drawings and samples, written up and illustrated research, a diary-style chapter of my journey with The Clipperton Project, photography and illustrations from the making of the film, the final photography, the story itself, with illustrations, and final photographs of the finished jewellery… +more.

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This is all still a few years off from completion. It’s a project I’ll consistently work on alongside my other endeavours. I have ideas for another small, and easier to get off the ground, commercial collection, as well as ideas for drawings and paintings that need to escape from my mind. I’d like to do more craft fairs and markets, as well as getting my work into galleries. I’ll hopefully *SO MANY FINGERS CROSSED* be doing a masters degree next year, so that will take priority over my ongoing projects. And… I have a proper job as well!! And, I’m always open to opportunities that stumble my way.

I’m basically trying to tell myself not to feel bad if work takes me longer than I’d expected. It’s better to take my time with it, and get it done right, rather than setting deadlines, making myself ill, and not making the best work… do you agree?

 

On another note… I’m REALLY excited about all the mini-projects I have planned, and I can’t wait to get swimming with the mermaids again, and pursuing this project all the way to completion… and I hope you’re excited too dear reader, as I’ll be sharing all my progress with you :)

That was quite a long post, so if you’ve made it all the way to the end… congratulations!! and thank you so so much for being this interested in my work. It means a lot to me :)

Much arty love.

See you on the other side….

Chloe out.

I’m on Patreon!!!

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I’m really excited to tell you that I’m now on Patreon!!
I’m in my second month, I have 20 wonderful patrons, and I’m over halfway towards achieving my first goal!!
I’d really love it, if you like my artwork, and want to keep up with all the happenings in my artsy life and development, if you could support me over on there… even if it’s just $1 a month, every little helps, and your support means so much to me.
Visit my Patreon here, and for a little more info. keep scrolling…
Hi there!
My name is Chloe Henderson… nice to virtually meet you.I’m using Patreon to fund my creative business. I’m from, and currently live, in Edinburgh, Scotland where I create highly patterned artwork, and jewellery based on stories, mythology, and the nerdier things in life.

I’m happiest when I’m in front of my drawing board doodling furiously away, or sat at my bench sawing and hammering pieces of metal. If I could do this all the time I would, but it doesn’t quite pay the bills yet… but hopefully with your support I can get there!

What will you be funding?

Workshop and Studio Practice
I draw every day, and I try to get into the jewellery workshop at least once a week. Your pledges will cover the day to day creative expenses, such as: art supplies, workshop bills, jewellery materials, ordering prints and postal supplies, etc.

Ondine
This will be my first commercial jewellery collection. It will be based on a faerytale I’m writing that brings together traditional undine mythology with our modern world, with added jewelled twists. I’m also aiming to make a film of this tale, and make a tail out of this tale… but you’ll have to get in on the Patreon-only posts to find out more…

   

My stall at Edinburgh Comic Con 2017
Next year, I would love to have enough artwork to get prints and merchandise made up to sell at Edinburgh’s Comic Con. I went to the event this year, and it was fantastic! The whole time I was there looking at all the glorious nerdy things, I couldn’t help but envy the indie artists selling their wares, and I knew I wanted to be them next year! The convention is usually in April, which gives me a whole year to achieve this goal of creating more nerdy artwork, and to save the money needed to book the table, and buy the stock to sell.

Thank you for reading, and thank you even more if you decide to support me :D
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Chloe out.

Ondine Updates

Well Hi there little mermaid.

So sorry I haven’t paid any attention to you for quite some time.

Life is odd. Things have happened. I had a five-month long moment. I think it’s passing now. I’m back to my relatively normal reality.

And with that I’m back to focusing on my beautiful undine and all her sparkling finery.

I’ve finished my first draft of the story. That was really exciting. If anything it’s what brought me back. I’m in love with Ondine all over again, and I can’t wait to pick up my work again. It needs working through, adding bits to, taking bits out… but it’s there. It’s a story. It’s real.

And now I’m back into my beautiful creative bubble, of course, I’ll start filling up this little blog with lots of updates and images of what’s going on too!

To start with… a few sketchbook pages of late.

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I’m going back to the beginning almost. Re-familiarising myself with her tale, and her tail. I’ll be at the drawing board for a while, trying to figure out where to go with my collection samples, what to do with my knotty tail ideas, and all the while tailoring her story to it’s finest… and talking it through with a wonderful filmmaker to figure out how to transform her tale into images. If you’re crushing on my project, and have any filmy/acting/music/anything experience, please hit me up!

Ooo and here are a few knotty samples…

Rope Samples (10) Rope Samples (13) Rope Samples (14) Working (9) Working (13) Working (14)

All pretty exciting, huh?

Stay tuned for tales, and tails, and pearls of wisdom, and some actual pearls too!

Oh, and I’ll leave you with this oh-so-glorious song from Laura Marling, it’s appropriately titled Undine, and shares a similar thread to my own story.

Hey Laura, fancy writing me a soundtrack for my film?!

Chloe out.

Ondine Tail Weaving Samples

As well as my collection samples I’ve been working on designs for Ondine’s tail. First I tried out some knitting samples…. they didn’t go so well!

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My woollen ones weren’t bad… but I am no expert knitter! Knitting Lessons with Shelia (sample)Machine knitting sample (3)

And when I started off knitting with wire… it just wasn’t the kind of effect I want my tail to have. Don’t get me wrong, I quite like these samples…. I just want Ondine’s tail to have more density, more fluidity, and more substance.Machine knitting sample (4)

So I moved onto weaving! My fluffy rainbow woollen sample went quite well… so well I think I might whip up some more of these woven branches… and perhaps pop them up in my Etsy store!Weave Samples (1)

Now a small rope weave…. this is it! This is the tail…. just much larger and with added silvered inclusions.

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Oooo excited now! Can’t wait to make up my loom and get to work!

Chloe out.

Ondine Collection Exploratory Samples

Yesterday, I shared some glimpses into my Ondine sketchbook, so, today I’m moving out of the sketchbook and into the land of 3-Dimensional samples! Yay!

Firstly…. a few rope-tying tests.

I’ve been a little cagey and secretive with plans for this collection, because I want to reveal a big surprise at the end when it’s all finished… but I also love sharing my process… so, for this collection all you need to know is that it’s about an undine and a human who fall in love…… and from that I’m making a rope-tied collection of jewellery and a full-sized tail fit for the lovesick Ondine.

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After tying myself up in knots!!! I’ve started forming my knotwork into pieces of jewellery and solidifying them into workable models….

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…I’ll share a few wee sneak peeks of the samples I’m not using as final models, so you can see what ropes have been trying themselves around my brain… and at this very moment I’m working away tying up my final models (*fingers crossed*).

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Rope Samples (8) Rope Samples (7)

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Stay tuned for the next stage!

Chloe out.

An Ondine Sketchbook Update

If you follow me over on Facebook/Twitter you’ll know that I promised a few Onine updates…. so here is update no.1!

I collected up some oceany photography that I had on hiding in my desktop, some from France, Russia, Sweden, Denmark and the rest I took while out on a little inspiration gathering trip to Musselburgh. I’ve printed, and traditionally cut and paste these photos into my sketchbook and added some exploration drawings around them. From these, I’ve sketched lots and lots of design drawings for my collection, and for my tail piece! Yay! Plans for each are coming along wonderfully… now if I could just stop being ill I could work harder!! Will share lots of photos of my samples with you in the next post, but for now, here are some of my sketchbook doodles…..

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I’ve written up my first draft… I’m just going through it with a corrective eye at this very second! and I’ll be re-writing it a few more times over the next few months to make sure it is as perfect as it can be!DSCF1129smallMight share a little excerpt with you…….

Stay tuned!

Chloe out.

First Excerpt from The Story of Ondine

I’ve been so busy these past few weeks writing away. It feels like a giant explosion of words has just melted out from my brain. I’ve not written much of anything but the odd one-liner, blog posts and journal entries for such a long time. I’ve missed it. I really must write more.DSC_0186

I don’t know if it’s any good yet. I’m still in the first draft stages and still need to write a huge chunk of middle bit, but it’s oh such a glorious process.DSCF1080small

If Ondine is as successful as I hope it will be, I’m definitely going to write a story for every single collection I do. Oh joy!!

Anyway….. thought I’d share with you a little sneak peek at part of the story.

She nodded, tears spilling down her cheeks.

“Yes.”

He rummaged around in his pockets and pulled out a strand of white string. She laughed through sparkling watery eyes and held out her hand. He tied the little rope around her finger. She looked down at the string, flexed her fingers, brought them up to her mouth and licked her new ring. He watched in astonishment as the glistening bubbles in her saliva solidified around the knot and the string set in silver.

“Okay, you really have to tell me all your secret now!”

Still a first draft, so it will most likely change! But, what do you think? Would love some advice?!!

Ooo and here are a few more full-scale tail samples. Must write that knitting blog! and maybe a weaving one too!Silver Coned (14) Silver Coned (12) Silver Coned (9) Silver Coned (8) Copper Clawed (1)Copper Clawed (10) Copper Clawed (6) Copper Clawed (4) Copper Clawed (3)And the first pretty page in my sketchbook (will upload some more images of the other pages soon).DSC_0060I’ve also been working on some knot-work for the main elements of the jewellery collection… all will be revealed soon.DSC_0046 DSC_0047 DSC_0059

Stay tuned…..

Chloe out.