In The Days of Our Lives we meet some fascinating and creative folk and take a look at what their typical day holds. Far from being about the mundane, it is a celebration of what it takes to juggle the day-to-day with big ideas, a successful business and a full home life. It’s about keeping all the balls in the air – what is important and what isn’t. It’s about (extra)ordinary moments that fill our every day.
This week, I’d like to introduce you to Neil Morrison – a truly creative maker. For the last 10 years, this Scotsman has made Melbourne his home and worked as a furniture maker and prop builder. But it is the one-off pieces of lighting that he makes out of his home workshop that Neil is best known for.
Driven by the desire to explore different materials, tools and techniques he has a great interest in up-cycling, salvaging parts from old items and is strangely drawn to anything rusty and heavy!
This is a day in Neil’s life.
Neil Morrison, Maker
At the risk of sounding like a spoilt/archetypal male – my wife generally wakes me with a coffee and homemade toasted museli, rhubarb (from the garden) and sheep’s milk yoghurt. I’m happy with cow but Victoria’s stomach prefers sheep (it’s really quite nice though).
I skim through emails and social media to see if anything incredible has happened overnight. For inspiration I check in on a few prop maker and designer web pages.
Shower and mental planning of how I’m going to go about today’s creations.
Have another coffee if there’s anything left in the pot.
Head out to the workshop. I like to lay out all the projects that I want to work on that day in front of me – I tend to have 2 or 3 on the go to keep things interesting. I try to visualise what might work together and then look for parts. I probably get most of a kick from hunting around in my workshop trying to find bits that will fit together. I’m a hoarder so it’s a little like rummaging around in my own private car boot sale.
1:00 – 1.45 pm
Lunch, read the paper online and watch a ‘behind the scenes’ featurette on something like Star Wars or Indiana Jones. I can’t get enough of viewing classic film sets, props and special effects.
2.00 – 3.00 pm
I’ll quite often go on an afternoon retail therapy excursion. Whether that’s to my local independent hardware store to rummage through his dusty boxes in search of anything that I can use, to Bunnings for a meander or to antique and salvage warehouses looking for parts. There’s inevitably something during the day that I’ll need but don’t have and sometimes if I don’t find it on my excursion I have to dig around for it online.
3.00 – 6.30 pm
Continue building and try to clear up a little in prep for tomorrow
6.30 – 6.40 pm
My wife arrives home and we have a “Come home hug” – an essential part of the day, and then a quick catch up before I head back outside for a hour if I’m on a roll and wanting to finish something.
Dinner, we tend to eat quite late, possibly as we both work a lot and my wife is an avid cook who finds it hard to just nip into the kitchen and make something ‘simple’ – there’s always a dessert or a pastry being made or an 8 hour roast on the go but I’m incredibly lucky to be married to someone who loves cooking beautiful food so much.
9.30 – 10.30 pm
Bed…but maybe after watching a quick monster-making tutorial on YouTube!