Back to my all-time favourite post - concrete dice! They're a French thing and you never know when you're going to come across them - often when we're driving down a country road I yell 'dice alert' and we have to screech to a halt so I can take some snaps. II collected quite a few more this summer and I've integrated them with the others.
CUBES! the ultimate embodiment of all things 3-D, sculptural and abstract
I love dice because as cubes they are such an elemental geometric form. The spots imbue these particular cubes with a special meaning, representing ideas of chance, luck and skill to some people. But for me, the appeal is in the simplicity of the form combined with the precarious balancing act these dice do on the gatepost. A dice isn’t really a serious object but some of them look very solemn and monumental mounted on their plinths. I like the asymmetric patterns of spots – spots being one of the most minimal uncomplicated forms of decoration.
Concrete dice seem to have been all the rage in France during the 1960s and you can find them in all corners of the country. They’re usually black and white in which case they definitely have a kind of 60s op-art feel which I assume was the design reference at the time – if unconsciously.
These are painted metal - maybe these people were going for a more up-market option.
If I see the home owner when I take my snaps I always ask about the dice and I’ve found out that people just cast them up for themselves – sadly it turns out there wasn’t a dice shop!
The upkeep of some dice isn't quite what it should be!
I think they look great too without the spots - more weighty and sculptural, especially in this weathered concrete.
It's interesting how the size of the spots varies - chaq’un a son goût!
Check out these giant dice! Made by artist Marc Kawana in New Zealand who kindly sent me pictures. I mislaid the first snaps he sent me so asked him for some more - this is what he wrote (I had to laugh!):
'We had very heavy rain in September last year which resulted in the Manawatu River flooding, so the dice went for a swift ride down the river somewhere so I'm going to try and locate them at some stage. They were between 1 and 1.5 ton but water can move most things I suppose!'
Oh dear - someone should have put a bit more effort into their spot painting practice!
I think these people in the Jura Mountains got a bit carried away...............!
These dice aren't actually concrete - they're wooden - but I couldn't resist them with their charming low-key painted spots!
Spied on a fence in Normandy - the owner of the house gave me permission to snap his dice but was clearly bemused as to why.
Update: I drove past this house again in the Christmas holidays and horror of horrors - my dice were GONE!!
I couldn't resit casting a dice for my own gatepost! People are absolutely fascinated by it, they stop and have a good laugh and I’ve often seen cars screech to a halt. One thing that drives people mad though is that the spot numbers aren’t on the correct sides - I just put them wherever I thought they looked best!. We often get asked if we won a lot of money in the casino!
If you are ever lucky enough to spy a dice please send me a snap for my collection!!