(About Tom)





DIY Currency

1 Big Effort

commonweal cashcommonweal cash


This '1 Big Effort' is made of wind blown beech, planked on Robin Larkhams mobile Cretan windmill, painted with my own ink made from chimney soot. Each 1 Big Effort takes a big effort to make, so I value it at a half day of work. This currency is not invented by tapping a computer 'enter' key, it took as long to craft as I claim it is worth. I shall be releasing a second round of quantitive easing from Robin's windmill at the Green Gathering Festival and Sol Fest 2017.

450AD relates to a globally unique event in British history. When the Romans left taking all their money with them no one bothered to make any more money for another 300 years. It is the only known rejection of currency once it has been established. What will happen when London sucks all of the money out of the UK and sends it overseas again and there's none left? Will we live in poverty, make our own money or return to barter?

Robin's windmill www.windcraft.org.uk,

Bank of Ideas

I went to the Occupy London's Bank of Ideas, Dec 2011, a squatted UBS bank. It troubled me that there was no cash in the bank. I'd liked to have organised a community money making project, making hand made souvenir/publicity notes but I didn't have the time to see it through. While their though it was said it'd be good to make a new currency, so I designed a note and left it to circulate

occupy currency designoccupy note design b sideFront and back sides of my proposed Occupy London note.


I strongly recommend to everyone taking a trip to or staying at Occupy London, meeting/joining the residents and the defecting bankers. London's bankers and corporate financiers are plundering our nations cash, according to any sense of justice many of them should be prosecuted, jailed and their assets seized. Many are criminals. But this govt aren't going to do it.

I've always liked the idea of being the local mint and making a local currency, but now it appears it may become a possibility, the bankers are taking all our money, soon we'll have none left, so I guess we may have to make our own. If you need any assistance in design or minting I'm ready, contact me.

1 Eco

Down at my local 'Transitions' meeting (2008) some people were discussing making a local currency, similar to the Totnes pound


So I set myself a design challenge, how do you make a lot of money quickly, which is also hard to copy?

The note I designed uses A4 recycled paper, the size of a tall credit card so it fits in a wallet without a fold, fitting 12 notes in the A4 sheet.

It has 3 or more painted stripes down one side of the note. Two of the colour strips are emulsion paint which dries a different colour than when wet and is therefore difficult to copy, and 1 stripe in gloss paint. Each colour is made up of 4 or 5 standard colours, making trying to match them very difficult, and ensuring it is quite expensive as any fraudster would need a lot of tins of paint. The note can then be easily verified by holding against another note or a test strip, any slight colour variation, or surface texture (gloss and emulsion paint have a different surface sheen from even acrylic paint) should then be easy to spot. (As a mural painter I could use left over sludge colours - cheap, ethical, and effective)

The central currency title, denomination, and date would be a lino or woodcut print. The advantages being that the print has a 3D texture quite different from any computer print outs, immediately identifiable by touch, and not many people would have the tools or the skill to copy the design in wood or lino. The printer could load three unusual colours on the roller so as to get a rainbow print, again making it more expensive for any casual fraudster as they would need to buy an entire print colour range of inks. (Again I have old leftovers in my cupboard).

I'm sad to say that my local Transitions isn't quite ready for its own currency after all, so my minting days will have to wait, but I'm ready for when it is.


One day I shall be the mint.


Respect to Jean Michael Basquiat.