A lot of wandering about thinking of all the stuff i will need, that i can ram into my baggage; 3000 rivets,1000 self tapping screws, 300 wood screws, 100 little brackets, 100 metres of cable, 240 LEDs, two lighting controllers, toggle switches, 400 crimps, tins snips, edging tool, jogglers, ratchet, tapping hammer, pliers and my trusty 80 year old rivet gun….

Oooh, and some socks.


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The ‘spaceship’ is too big for the garage so i am outside in the hot sun whacking aluminium to make it fit. Storms keep passing, dumping inches of rain in minutes. 1300 screws, nearly 2000 rivets, 5 sheets of birch ply, 240 LEDs, 340 feet of cable and 11 sheets of 0.025 aluminium. I rarely see the city except to visit Walmart, or Home Depot to buy more screws, or hinges. I am happiest each morning sitting in the cool garage at sun up, with a bowl of granola plotting the day


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Five sheets of birch plywood, 7 sheets of .025 aluminium, over 1000 rivets and 400 screws later and ‘Ming the Merciless’ spaceship is coming together, from 8 till 8 every day, measuring and cutting panels and wrangling them into place, making the sheets do what they really don’t want to. Its very satisfying, sitting in the garage each morning, with a coffee working out what to do each day. I like the steady rhythm, and the goal of getting it done.


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On a hot day, in Erics garden i demostrate the fine art of taking a perfectly nice vehicle and ruining it, to local artists. Charlie keeps finding shiny, space-age vacuum cleaners, lamp fittings and vintage headlamp bowls for me to weld on. The plywood frame upon which the aluminium skin will be screwed is almost done. 5 fat sheets of birch ply, 90 steel brackets and 300 screws, one bottle of glue. Two fibreglass patio vases have become ‘jet thrusters’.


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The days settle into a rhythm, coffee, muesli, sit in the chair and work out what to do next, Home Depot/Walmart/M&M lumber, saw up sticks, glue and screw, measure, wish i was better at maths, coffee, eat, go out for bolts and screws, studiron and nuts, put on sunblock, the sweat makes it dribble in my eyes, swear, glue, cut, screw, wait for the stupid battery to charge, more coffee, wait for the shadows to grow long, sit in the chair and make a list, burn the ply offcuts, eat cereal bars and read 1984. Sleep…and repeat


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Using really shitty d-i-y tools is making my life miserable,chinese tools are so dis-spiriting, jigsaws that cut at an angle, drill bits that are blunt even when they are new, and angle grinders that vibrate despite being new. Plywood formers are being hung ona frame, and a golf caddy motor to drive a propellor.Tomorrow will be a better day….


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