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Suella asked about the tools Andy made to hot knife/scorch work. If you look at this box, he has used a few tools, the thin edge of a fish knife to draw the straight lines, the curved point of a fish knife to make the thickened ovals, and a blade cut to a chunky serrated edge for the centre spirals of the chrysanthemum sun and the conifer trees on the left hand side in the top image. The trees on the right are made with a knife cut to a five point star.

He was very fond of a rainbow palette and meticulous at varnishing to keep the vivid bolds of the pencils and watercolours he used. Till I met him I’d never seen anyone paint opaquely with watercolours, and I found it a bit perverse, but it does make for glowing colours.

If he’d lived, it would have been his 58th birthday…so I am a bit sad, not overwhelmed, but a bit blue…He was such a great artist/craftsman and poet, his performances were so funny, with the odd eco-warrior piece or mental health survivor piece thrown in to shake people up….such a box of delights all in one person 😉

He made this box as an anniversary/birthday gift for me and I keep my engagement necklace in it and some other treasures, including a note he wrote to apologise for being a grumpy old man in the morning! 😉 He mentions doing penance by washing up (which was his chore, I cooked!!!) so it always makes me laugh. I was reading a blog where a woman was sad she doesn’t get presents from her partner on Valentine’s Day, even though he is a lovely guy, he just hates commercialism. I commented that it’s not the presents, it’s the presence…and I don’t mean just because Andy’s dead, I mean that when he was alive we laughed and teased and gardened and made art and fell out about chores/tidiness (both at fault!) and were very present to each other in the everydayness of life…sharing your days makes life richer, much more than expensive holidays or bought jewellery. Time together is the great luxury, and the special moments are often the simple ones…

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