The ART of Mining© is an illustrative look at the working life of coal miners and their daily working environment in the coal mines.
Combining digital technology with legacy knowledge fusing both together to create a visual world of coal mining heritage.
The idea for “The ART of Mining” came about from a nostalgic sense of my early days working in Coal Mining as a mechanic (Fitter). The industry as I knew it has all but gone. The landscape has changed and the majority of miners have moved on to new jobs and new lives.
All projects involve the creation of original digital media content related to coal mining including Pit Mouse himself. Within this subset a whole load of tasks happen from design to creation. I do this solely without financial support.
► Pit Mouse Website
► ART of Mining Website
► YOUTUBE CHANNEL
WHY SHOULD I FUND THIS PROJECT?
If for nothing else than to ensure Coal Mining Heritage is retained for future generations. Times have changed but it is important to remember that without such an industrious history our future technologies would not have progressed.
As an independent visual artist (or should I say"starving artist" ) and retired miner I have invested my time and money for the past several years in developing a range of media projects dedicated to coal mining heritage. These projects include every facet of the production line from design to creation working tirelessly and single handedly to develop my work.
Sadly I am now challenged with the financial need to continue my work and pay my bills. My funding goal(s) is to be able to continue another year (and beyond) in order to improve and build upon my projects. These include Virtual Reality, Interactive 3D applications, Film and Animation, Digital & Traditional Art and more ...
Please help support this don't let the 1000's upon 1000's of hours go to waste it's just getting started !!
PRESERVING HERITAGE - "Once it's gone you can't get it back "as they say.
The ART of Mining intends to create a visual world of mining history for future generations to see.
WHO IS PIT MOUSE?
Pit Mouse© is a vicarious little creature born from a happy accident. In December 2015 I visited the march to commemorate the closure of Kellingley Colliery, the last deep mine to be closed in the United Kingdom. Many coal mines had mice and they survived off miners scraps of food. I got to thinking what will happen to the poor little creatures once the men have gone? I made a little animation of a mouse asking where everyone has gone. This struck a chord with many so I thought OK what if the mice run their own pit ! Voila .. Pit Mouse was Born Christmas 2015 !
PIT MOUSE COLLIERY
Pit Mouse Colliery is a 3D virtual coal mine .. Or Is It ?
Well yes of course the colliery is a virtual coal mine but its virtually real. Pit Mouse and his "Muccas" (mates) run the Pit with "Gerald Blastard" the mine manager.
EDUCATIONAL - IMMERSIVE - INTERACTIVE - ENTERTAINING
Using various technologies including Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and CGI we can recreate environments that no longer exist.
My future plans for ART of Mining and Pit Mouse involves the full cycle development of the following items :-
► 360 Interactive Tour system and Model Viewer - New and currently in development
► Pit Mouse Strikes Again - the show/movie - Currently a collection of short videos intdended to be produced as an online show
► Pit Mouse Computer Game - Mining Simulator - Longer term goal, with small demos available
► Oaks Exerience (complete, needs porting to mobile VR)
► Virtual Reality Tour(s) - Existing and to be extended upon
► Other new and exciting media projects - Content TBD. Your support steers the content
Throughout my developments I often release small versions of apps and media free for public download
HOW WILL THE MONEY BE USED?
Over the past several years I have invested 1000's of hours of personal time and money to slowly shape the brand known as ART of Mining© and Pit Mouse©. I do this out of dedication however there comes a point where projects of this scale become more demanding. In order for me to dedicate my time to such goals I need to furnish my living costs to continue for a further year at least.
Surviving on a meagre pension dictates that I need to gain financial support to fulfill my goals. I am not looking to get rich from these projects however they must be valued in terms of time and effort already invested and continuance of such. The bigger picture is to gain much greater support to move my projects to the next level. For the time being I need to be able to continue to shape the road ahead.
STRETCH GOALS and INCREASED FUNDING
Things can only get better if funding continues and climbs above target. Anything that comes in will get used to better improve the work already done. You the supporter can help steer where it goes!
The reality of making a quailty film or computer game can easily extend the costing into 10's of £1000's. A simple estimate for a 1.5 hr quality made animated movie is circa £50K, a fully functional game approximate cost is around £30K. With goals reached to these kind of figures it would be my full intention to produce such. As a fully qualified Project Manager (past career) and other technical managment roles I'm highly confident that great results can achieved given the opportunity.
As an independent developer I maintain a realistic check on what is feasible based on available fund.
A MASS OF CONTENT
Building the "PIT" one bit at a time is literally the challenge. From Mining machinery to the structures and its architecture each model has to be carefully designed and constructed using 3D modelling applications. Bringing an environment to life requires further effort in terms of animation and software development & automation.
All content developed for use in ART of Mining projects consist of original works created by myself including models, art work and interactive applications.
With time it will get bigger and better! Below is VERY LIMITED display of the 3D models constructed over the past 3 years. Further showcases will be released as funding grows.
At this time I have not set any rewards scheme however it is my intention to add benefits to supporters of my work as it evolves. This may be in form of Prints, T-Shirts, Credits & Dedications for such. Lets see what happens!
About Me - Alan "Archie" Andrews
Most of my childhood (early 1970’s) I grew up in the Dearne Valley area amidst the mining towns of the South Yorkshire coal fields. Whichever direction you turned, the view of black pit stacks and black pit heads donned the landscape. The dark masses of coal tips and the distant sounds of heavy machinery 24/7 were the lifeblood of the area and built around these landscapes were the homesteads of many that worked above and below the ground.
Leaving secondary school in 1979 just turning 16 years old I got a job in mining. I had some average school qualifications and a pretty bad attendance record but managed to get offered a placement on the NCB Mining Mechanical Apprenticeship Scheme. BEST THING I EVER DID!
My Dad was a miner and so was my Grandad after he served in the WW1 campaign. It was very common to see families and relations working at the same pits.
Incidentally it was at the pit where I inherited my nickname “Archie”. Older folks might remember “Archie Andrews” on the radio ?
Archie Andrews was a ventriloquist dummy his owner Peter Brough hosted a “Radio” show with Archie. Yes that’s right a radio show with a talking dummy! Seems ironinc that Pit Mouse was born from this legacy.
I spent 13 years in mining before finally getting out of the industry and making my way into the world of computers. I.T. as it’s commonly known! That consumed another 25+ years of my working career.
I eventually decided to drop my career and return to school to study for a degree in Illustration & Concept Art . The Arts in one way or another had always been a hobby/interest for me so why not?
I did manage to get a BA 1st Class Hons in Illustration & Concept Art - Mission accomplished!
The projects themselves have really evolved from a combination of things. My college work, my artistic interest and my pride in mining heritage.
- Gareth Hughes
- D. Peter Townson
- Colin Lainchbury
- Billy Walker
- Kenneth Redfern
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