Will taught me the rudiments of how to sculpt metal by hitting it very skilfully.
He improved my chain-mail making-technique.
And he helped me make my first knife. Look …
I’m ashamed to see that these knives are no longer in perfect condition. As I write this, I realise these are the only beautiful things I own that I keep aside and dont use. They are so valuable! Somehow too valuable to use.
Look carefully at them both and you can see our Makers Marks:
– Will’s elegant ‘h’ for Hutt ; and my simple circle with a metal insert
– The marks are positioned on opposite sides of the blades. Since I’m left-handed and Will was right-handed, the placement means you can see the mark as you use your knife
Will let me use some of his horn supply for my handle – while he produced elegant wood for his own knife.
Will was always up for a creative idea.
So when – and this was decades ago – I wanted to try out making an animated film of the skin on my torso, he was – of course – keen to help. We spent a balmy weekend with me standing nearly-naked in a stable, and him trying to construct a jigsaw of detailed photos of palm-sized patches of my skin. That I could later, in some unknown way, glue together.
We should really have used a macro lens – to get the detail I was aiming at.
In exchange, he told me, he wanted to cast my spine in silicon. We had both enjoyed him trying me out as a body model for chain-mail: the shirt can’t help but cling to all your curves.
It’s fun, as well as cold and weird, being cast in silicon!
Then when, much more recently, Will had to move house, he told me that “I’ve still got the mould of your spine. Though it has rather degraded.”
And he hadn’t thrown away a pile of A3 hard copy photos of my skin. Unbeknownst to me, he had previously made a flat aggregate image. He sent me a small electronic version – but a bigger one existed. He emailed me: “The main image is 44MB so the follicles are well defined but I’m not really up on current bandwidths & laptop capabilities. I didn’t wan’t to bung up whatever computer you’re using. Besides it is OTT except for a high-quality print.”
I was EXCITED, to say the least.
What an opportunity for time travel!
I tried to persuade him to send me the prints – or let me visit. A meeting would allow a repeat cast of my spine – and some more skin photos too.
Recording the ‘degrade’ of my skin and spine was a huge attraction for me
Will wanted a creation meeting too
And he kept telling me he’d be up for something soon.
The last time I rang him about this was at the exact time he was discovered so unwell at home, before he was admitted to hospital for the last time.