Hey you!


Hey Keira,

Do you reckon that people will be more likely to click through to your print shop if the first thing people see on your site is “I have prints and you can can buy them here!” rather than “I never update my blog and you might be able to buy prints at some unspecified time in the future,” like it is now? Maybe do something about that, huh?

So yeah, dear reader, you can buy prints of Poe illustrations 1-6 and a number of postcard paintings on my Etsy shop which is HERE IN THIS LINK.

And it will help me keep the lights on.


Poe, postcards… prints?


Yuh-huh, all of those things.

1. I recently completed the illustration for Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘Alone’ – a beautiful little poem which forms the lyrics for a song on one of my favourite albums, Arcturus’ ‘La Masquerade Infernale’. It’s quite a departure from my metalhead days though, as it has a self-consciously childlike colour scheme with the primary red-yellow-blue palette. The way I read it, ‘Alone’ isn’t about being lonely, it’s about growing up as a romantic dreamer, learning to explore and find beauty in a world which doesn’t exactly make that easy. That person in the middle, the only black element, she’s alone, and she likes it that way.

Have a look here: Edgar Allan Poe > Alone

Prints of ‘Alone’ will be available soon.

2. Not long after finishing Alone, which took aaages, I also finished another postcard which pays homage to my favourite landscape, the Peak District. I moved a little further away from it recently so I’ll need to go back soon, to check it’s still there. ‘The Slumbering Giant’ is my love letter to the hills and valleys of Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

Ey a neb reight’ere: Postcards > The Slumbering Giant

Prints are available here: Etsy store: The Slumbering Giant

3. What’s that? You sell prints now? Um… yeah, now that you mention it, I’ve been sayiong I’ll do that for a while now. They’re a thing. I have some. Quite a lot. Do you like prints? You can have some if you want. Yep, you can just have them. What’s that? What’s the catch? Oh yeah, you have to pay cos apparently that’s how you business these days.

Business my prints here: The Business End of a User Interface



Tomorrow I’ll be introducing Sheffield’s joint-second-worst poet of 2018 to the very scary world of Youtube. She’s a little nervous about it. Edgarella has previously performed at Sheffield and the Edinburgh Fringe’s anti-slam contests for bad poetry.

Watch the preview video here:

Coming Soon: Edgarella

She writes about all the stuff that makes us both giddy, nervous, anxious, depressed and all those other emotions it’s no fun to talk about, and she does it in the most grandiose and pompous way possible. She performs in honour of the Bard of Baltimore, Edgar Allan Poe and worships Roger Corman, Vincent Price and Hammer Horror movies.

Sometimes I wonder if I should ask her to tone it down… but she gives me a look. A serious look.

Oh yeah, I’m a proper website now, not just a wimpy blog.

Postcards: Ice Demon, Midnight Ruins


Here are a pair of postcard illustrations. They aren’t painted yet. That may take a while. I’ve just moved flats and, well, everything takes a while when you’re balancing a whole bunch of variables. They will be dark. But at the moment, they are  pencil on card.  The former is a gribbly monster inspired by a ridiculous pun. The latter is… well, it’s mostly darkness, but you have to imagine the darkness for yourselves.

It is easy to imagine the darkness.

13. Ice Demon

2019-06-20 Eyesickle pencil 1024

14. Midnight Ruins

2019-08-17 Midnight Ruins 1024



It’s an arboreal barracuda. But that’s a gobful, so just call it a forest demon.

Here’s the newest addition to the Postcard series, inspired by the Sandworms of Beetlejuice, and various other terrors that dwell in the deep, dark woods. There may be a story behind this, if I can ever be bothered to write it.

2019-05-16 Arboracuda fin scan 1024

Forest Demon 1 (Arboracuda), Black & Sepia acrylic ink, Titanium White acrylic paint on greyboard, 162 x 238mm.

I’m… er… also considering retiring the ‘Grindstone Art’ monicker, as it was originally a way to label my art without using my deadname. I’m more comfortable having that on work, so I might just start using the site that bears my proper name.

Not immediately, mind. But soon.

A screen-related thing…


So there’s this character from that film, Avengers: Endgame. I like that film. And there’s this character from that TV show, Game of Thrones. I like that show. Here’s a  picture I painted involving those characters. It’s linked rather than straight-out posted, in case you haven’t seen either of those things yet.

“It’s ok, buddy. I understand.”


So! It’s been… um…


..three years since my last blog post. I am not good at this informing-the-people-of-the-things lark. Since my lat post, I’ve totally finished one album cover, which was a while ago, and finished an EP cover a couple of weeks ago, which is part of a much larger work whcih I’m not showing you yet cos it ain’t finished. Catch up with that by going to the shiny Hamerex page and having a gawp.

I’ve also been working on a bunch of illustrations based on Edgar Allan Poe stories and poems, starting with ‘The Masque of the Red Death’ in december 2015 and having just drawn ‘Ulalume’ in the last few weeks. Wearily wander over to this page for a look-see.

Also also, I’ve satrted working on a bunch of smaller illustrations of whatever I fancy, which might one day be sold as postcards or lil’ prints. Cute little gribbly monsters, aliens, landscapes and all sorts of this, that and the other. There isn’t a page for that, but there will be… soon.

Everything will happen soon. The scary part is what happens after.

KJ004 Shoemaking part 3


Blimey, it’s been a while! I’ve been working on and off on the Keira James Mark 4 shoes for nearly 6 months now, due to available materials, tools, confidence in my own skills and constant experimentation and refinement. It’s a turnaround time that will need some improvement if I’m to start doing these for other people. On the plus side, they’re going well, so I have plenty to report.

I realise I never posted the original design for these – so here is the full-scale plan I have been following:

KJ004 Design 1024

I have made a few modifications to the heel area but on the whole the desogn has stayed consistent throughout the process. I used tracing paper to transfer the shapes from the design to the wood, repeating the process when the tool work rubbed or cut away the markings. I used a range of chisels and gouges to cut the grooves all around the heel, switching between them regularly to help keep the grooves consistent. Here’s hwo they looked when I’d finished chiselling out the grooves, before starting on the carved vine details:

KJ004 Side Carved 1024

I used tracing paper again to transfer the vine pattern from the drawing. The need to flatten the paper inth the curved groove means the shape is slightly distorted as the drawing is narrower when viewed head-on. This isn’t a big deal as the carving process can compensate for it.

The vine tracings themselves were carved with a range of fine chisels and scalpels, occasionally using a curved needle file to smooth some of the groove edges. They’re somewhat wider than the narrow tracing in the design, about 6mm in most cases, as the softness and age of the wood meant it doesn’t hold its shape when carved. I am pleased with how the carving has turned out in spite of that.

Here’s a late-stage WIP of the vine carvings:

KJ 004 Side Vines 1024

I’ve done more work on the soles since then, the woodcarving stage is almost complete, and I’m in the process of carving the footbed to suit the shape of my feet. After that they’ll be filled, sanded and sealed ready for painting.

I haven’t said much about the upper shoe components so far. It takes a while to work out the measurements and cut the patterns and it’s hard to find much to write about there. Still, I worked it out and cut the raw fabric to shape. The black fabric is a thick, strong cloth I originally bought to make a banner about 11 years ago, and has been more or less idle for that long. I wanted a much finer finish on this pair than on my previous efforts, so no scrap car seat fabric this time (though I will be using the thick seat padding to make the insoles later).

The white lining is from the same quilt cover I’ve been using since I started shoemaking, as it’s comfortable and plentiful.

KJ004 Ankle Straps Raw 1024

Here’s the upper set as it stands at the moment – the sewing is complete on the outer ankles and D-ring fastenings, but needs finishing on the long straps and bottom hems. I had originally planned to tack the uppers through just the outer layer of fabric, which is why the bottom hems haven’t been stitched so far, but it would make more sense to use both layers of fabric for added strength.

KJ004 Straps Sewn 1024

And for pure vanity, here’s a close-up of the stitched detail on the rings:

KJ004 KJ Logo

I’m almost at the end of these parts of the project – once these are done, I’ll be making the insoles, cutting and attaching the tread and finally affixing the uppers to the sole. Then I can make my long-awaited Shoe Debut in the glamorous Yorkshire rain. I’d better make sure they’re properly sealed and waterproofed.