Saturday, 26 October 2013


     These are more of the things rescued when we cleared my late parents' house early this year.
      They are chessmen - the red baboons at the front are pawns.
      My father made them. He modelled originals from plasticine, then painted them with latex to form moulds, into which he poured plaster of paris.
     The castles, or rooks, are self-portraits. Dad must have made them before he decided to grow the beard he always had in his later years.

      The kings and queens are lions and lionesses.

     The knights are horses, of course, holding shields. The bishops are sly foxes, with wine bottles in the pockets of their robes.

     They live with my younger brother now, which is apt, as Adam is as likely to carve or model as he is to draw or paint. He always was. I remember, when he was four, he carried a lump of plasticine around with him all the time, and once showed me a model he'd made of our budgie. It wasn't the stereotypical 'bird-shape' I expected, but an acutely observed replica of a budgie. The flattened face, the long tail - umistakeably a budgie.
     It was the first time I'd seriously thought that such talent might be inborn rather than taught - because what he saw all around him, in our family, was 2-D drawing and painting. No one had taught him, at such a young age, to observe and model like that.
     He continued to show a gift for 3-D work - he would build model aircraft and, when he'd finished them, use the spare parts and bits of sprue to build strange little robots armed with lances. So I think Dad's chessmen have found their rightful home - and thanks to Patti for the photos.


Joan Lennon said...

They're gorgeous! I think kids definitely come with stuff - and then the creativity that was obviously EVERYWHERE in the world of Price nurtured like crazy! Thanks for showing us these.

madwippitt said...

These are lovely! So clever - and don't the memories that come with 'made' objects like this mean so much more? I have a couple of carvings my Dad made which I cherish.

Jenny Alexander said...

Yes, like Joan, I think this story suggests nurture, or at least a creativity-nurturing environment may play a big part. And I completely agree with madwippitt - made objects are very precious. I love the pictures, Sue - beautiful!

=Tamar said...

What a wonderful memento. Some kids definitely have leanings, which nurture can help bring out.

Sarah said...

These are beautiful. How clever of your Dad to have made them!

Susan Price said...

Thanks everyone. My parents certainly nurtured creativity. Later, as an adult, I met people whose parents had told them that their photography, drawing or writing was 'a waste of time' and I was shocked. It had really never occurred to me that any parent would say that.

Anonymous said...

I really love these, they are so utterly original and beautiful. You could consider getting them produced - I would certainly buy a set!

My sons go to a school where they get grades for art - I don't know if that is the way all schools approach art, but it makes me very sad and angry as the effect is entirely negative ("I'm really bad at art").

That was my experience too, and no-one in my family had (or has!) any interest in art or in my work which I am sure stifled my potential, and it has taken decades for me to reach full awareness of my capabilities.

It is lovely to hear about your family and experiences growing up.

Susan Price said...

Thank you 'Anonymous' - I'm sorry I don't know your name, but Blogger has chosen to make you 'Anon.'

I'm surprised to find a new comment on this old blog, but very pleased! Getting Dad's chess set produced is a new idea - I don't think that's ever occurred to any of us. But in this new digital world...