Jonathan Leech – Woodturner

 

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A little while ago I made I was commissioned to make a film for Pippa Murray about a green wood moulding process she had been developing. The film would be shown as part of a her final show at the Royal College of Art in London where she was studying. I really enjoyed this project, the topic was new and interesting and it meant I could spend time in the woods. You can see the film > here <

Since finishing this I have embarked on a project with Jonathan Leech, a friend of Pippa’s and old friend of mine. Jonny is a woodturner, creating natural edge hand turned wooden bowls which he sells over the web and at local craft fares, you can see some work on his site > here <

Jonny has been commissioned to turn an enormous 3ft wooden light shade for a new deli bar in London that Pippa is project managing and I have been on hand to document the process.

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We began the project in a rainy wood yard near Kirkbride with an uncut lump of Ash which was gradually cut down and shaped, ready to be mounted on the lathe at a wood yard near by.

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The turning process took around two and a half days as the lump of ash gradually reduced in size and took shape. A specific piece of the tree was chosen so that the double grain would be visible in the finished piece, the shade became more and more beautiful as the grain of the wood began to show.

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We hope to carry on filming this week to capture the finishing touches on the shade and then I will be on with the edit. Once finished and shipped down to London we plan to film the shade in its new home and the whole process will be complete. Plucked from a wind blown tree in a Cumbrian field to be the centre piece of a contemporary urban deli in the big smoke, pretty cool I reckon. Watch this space!

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Sprint Mill Sessions

The Way You Used to do – Paddy Rogan from Dom Bush on Vimeo.

I feel myself drawn to document music more and more, it seems like one of the most fundamental elements of life. When we are born our bodies are set to rhythm of breath and heartbeat, and we continue to chase the rhythm of song and drumbeat as we grow, mastering instruments that can add melody and manipulate the rhythm all around us.

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The concept for the Sprint Mill Sessions was born out of many parties, gatherings, evenings in the woods with friends. I wanted to capture that moment, when out of the hum someone picks up their guitar, a hushed silence spreads and the melody rings out. I have many talented friends so this is a fairly regular occurrence when people get together. So I gathered people, many I knew and some I didn’t for a night of music around the fire in the hope I could re-create some of the magic of those nights. I think we succeeded.

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Alongside musicians and a willing crowd we had a 4 man crew. Myself, Tomo and Simon on Cameras and Ben recording live sound. I never hoped to achieve perfection, I wanted to create something real and live that could be easily edited and released gradually as the months rolled by. A live video album of talented local artists. It has been a joy, new friendships have come from it and ideas for more musical films, what could be more perfect?

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There are 8 Sprint Mill Sessions all together with one still to come, they are on a dedicated Vimeo channel and you can visit them here – SPRINT MILL SESSIONS

Enjoy and thanks for checking in!

 

The world’s greatest blogger?

Alas I am not. A lot has been going on since I last posted and things are beginning to take shape for the year ahead. After settling in to business I have found Facebook to be an easier platform to post my recent work and musings so if you are keen, head over there and stay updated. I hope to get back to the blogging soon.

Here is the Land and Sky Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/landandskymedia
and my Vimeo page – https://vimeo.com/landandskymedia

I will leave you with the finished Edgeland project of which I am very proud, it was a real joy.

Edgeland from Land and Sky Media on Vimeo.

School of Adventure – Alpkit Big Shakeout

Last year I was lucky enough to be part of The Big Shakeout at Thornbridge Outdoor Centre in the Peak district. I was there to document the event for the team at Alpkit, and to enjoy the film, music, outdoor activities and friendly banter on offer. I even ended up in a late night rock jumping competition with Johnny Dawes! I went with my 6 year old, Leo and my partner Hel, and we all had an amazing weekend, with activities tailored for everyone. The events and activities for kids were especially good. The highlight for me was standing round a roaring fire with a bottle of fine ale listening to this man, Rick Warren singing the blues – 

There is no way we would miss The Big Shakeout this year and I’m very happy to say I will be running one half of an Adventure film and photography school with Alex Ekins, a talented and well respected climbing photographer.

The course will be tailored for keen amateurs who hope to take their skills up a notch or two. Together we will capture the many activities that will be ongoing thoughout the weekend. As well as many ‘on the go’ topics that come up, we will look at:

~ What kit?

~ Using and protecting your kit in harsh environments.

~ Basic capture settings and frame speed.

~ Composition.

~ Dynamic shooting – movement and style.

~ Engaging your viewers! Subjects and stories.

~ Behind the edit. What the viewers don’t see!

Participants will be expected to bring their own equipment along, preferably a DSLR or high end compact and lightweight tripod. As we all know though, it isn’t the technology, its the person using it. So if you don’t have a spangly camera, just bring something that records video and plenty of creativity and adaptability.

Here is an example of my work – 

My Own Hands from Land and Sky Media on Vimeo.

You can see a list of available courses at this years Big Shakeout here -http://www.alpkit.com/bigshakeout/schoolofadventure

And here is the video I made  from 2011, hope to see you there this year!

The Alpkit Big Shakeout 2011 from Land and Sky Media on Vimeo.

Charity climb of Sharp Edge with Eden Sight Support.

On the 1st May I will be filming a very special ascent of Blencathra’s Sharp Edge.

Please see details below. You can make a small donation in support of the event

by contacting me directly – landandskymedia@googlemail.com

         BLIND CHAIRMAN OF EDEN SIGHT SUPPORT

                         TO CLIMB SHARP EDGE

Henry Miller, the blind Chairman of Eden Sight Support, will attempt

a sponsored climb of Sharp Edge on 1st. May, 2012.

 

Henry will be accompanied by professional climbers Guy Lee & Dave Ridley.

 

Henry lost his sight at the age of 16, the result of a road accident when 7, and

   simultaneously his hearing began to deteriorate.

 

“Today, I am totally blind and use two hearing aids, but

      there is nothing wrong with my sense of humour”

 

“As Chairman of ESS I would like to combine my ambition to climb Sharp Edge,

as I approach 65, with my wish to raise awareness and much needed funds for

                              EDEN SIGHT SUPPORT”.

                       http://www.evsb.org.uk/index.php

 

 

My Own Hands

I climb as often as I can now that I am an adult, I still feel that child like urge to explore what’s above me and look down on the world. When I was a kid I think the urge to ascend was primal, and having had a child of my own I have seen that in him too. Perhaps it is our genetic connection with Apes that compels some of us to be up high, for me, I feel a very special clarity when I climb up through the melee and metaphorical fog of complicated life. I have spent many an hour perched on a chimney or gable end, able to observe but not having to interact with the world below. Just for a little while at least.

I’ve wanted to make a film about trees for a long time, mainly because this is where my first experiences of climbing took place, but also because trees are beautiful, symbolic and important to our world. This film cropped up out of nowhere really, inspired by Ben and his vision. I feel it has parts of both of us in it, and I am so pleased with the end result. I’m also very pleased to say that it won third place out of 24 entries in the SHAFF Shorts film competition. Me and Ben are keen to get this film seen by as many people as possible, so share it with others.

Fancy exploring the canopy and experiencing a different kind of climbing? Ben is keen to hear from others who feel compelled to get up in the trees. Get in touch – absolutetreedom@yahoo.com

So here is the film. Enjoy!

New chapters

In can safely say that I have recovered from the Kendal Mountain Film Festival now, it was a great event and so much fun. I had a number of conversations over the weekend with people that  genuinely loved my film, and it was so nice to hear so thanks guys. My film was pretty niche, and its so cool that it had a big positive effect on people. By monday it will be up on the front page of UKC for the world to see, which is a little scary, but hey…I made it to be watched!

Now that Kendal is behind us, its onward and upward, and time to get new projects underway. I can’t wait!