My father, Robert Henry Walker, was an engineering designer and leading draughtsman in HMDockyard, Rosyth. He also ran his own architectural business during the 1970s from home, employing 2 or 3 draughtsmen at a time depending on the commissions he received. Drawings were made for houses, boats and yachts which he designed, but he also attracted a lot of work from Redpath Dorman Long who built oil-rigs in the North Sea. This is where I came in! I worked in the home studio with my Dad during my school holidays. I was assigned repetitive work on a huge technical drawing board using Rotring pens and rulers which clicked into place every millimetre to create cross-hatching for handrails or lift shaft designs for offshore rigs. I am sure that this impacted on my drawing style today: I still use the Rotrings (some of them date back to the 1070s) and I still work line upon patient line to build an image.
When my Dad passed away in 2017 and I began the move back into my old family home I turned out his study. I found plans, drawings, notebooks, templates, and HUNDREDS of pencils and pens, plus some lovely architectural drawing film. I knew at the time I wanted to make some posthumous collaborative work using the tools of Dad's trade. In latter years, he would look at my artwork and ask: "why do you draw like this?" - and I would reply it was all his doing, for apprenticing me to draw all that cross-hatching!
The photo above is of pages scanned from my current sketchbook, which is an old duplicate notebook of my Dad's. It has printed on the jacket: "Supplied for the Public Service, HMSO Code 28-600 Duplicate Manifold Book". The Duplicate Manifold aspect no longer works, but I can put carbon paper in and replicate its original function if I want to. I like the colour and aged quality of the papers in the book: some are white and some beige. Right now I am mixing ideas of my own together with technical templates my Dad used in his plan drawings - it's like throwing ideas into the wind and seeing where they take me!
Thanks for visiting, see you next week!
Welcome to my blog, where I share what I have been doing during the week.
I have copied blog entries created under my nom-de-plume Binky McKee to their own blog. It can be found on my illustration website, Binky McKee.
Heather Eliza Walker
Artist in Edinburgh, Scotland
My Illustration Work:
Binky McKee Website