28 December 2011
27 December 2011
This silversmith is using very simple tools to raise very dynamic forms ( up and in and out etc)- starting from a flat sheet. The vessels in the back have very high sides. To achieve this, the sheet metal will be contracted ( ie thickened)- its pretty tricky- requiring skill, patience and hand strength. ( I recall several fellow students with jarred wrists- perhaps more than hand strength, a balanced, clever way of holding the work and striking needs to be developed)
Yes, these days such forms can be pressed or spun on big CNC machines, but the qualities of a hand-raised vessel are wonderous, with subtly modulated surfaces.
26 December 2011
This is by Hiroshige isnt it?
Pretty sure. Made in the 1800's I'd guess. This hanga really astonishes me.
The gradients are pretty typical for Hiroshige, usually he used them for the sky etc- but here they sing;
in the sky and sea (cut obliquely by the shore) and in green-white-red rainbow; and rhymed with the watermelon rinds- plus the arc of the cart-wheel
To say nothing of the broken sandal and shy puppies!
(man, why didnt I buy it!)
14 December 2011
13 December 2011
The lady in the pith helmet is my great great aunt Violet. She was among the first women drivers in Australia- here she is off on a jaunt to the outback. No air-con, in 40+ degree heat (100+Farenheit)
Still, "The Wanderer" looks like a pretty cool van! She collected some amazing Aboriginal artefacts on this trip- which I did marvel over- like amazing spearheads flaked from glass- most were donated to a museum when she died.
Examples of Bottle-glass spear heads now in the Oxford collection (here) So carefully made!
Not as dashing as Aunt Violet in her safari kit- but possibly more comfortable- Alice and I in the Outback.
It is Vast and Far Away ( the clue is in the name)
8 December 2011
7 December 2011
3 December 2011
Saw this wild beehive at the Royal Botanic Gardens, thanks to Esmé and Joseph for showing me.
Not a good pic- its that yellowy blob in the middle of the pic, which is the wax combs with bees crawling all over it. This is pretty unusual- usually the bees would find a hollow tree or building to nest in, but this colony is just flapping in the breeze. Sadly, the other side of the comb has been harpooned with several different projectiles- thoughtless louts! Some think that beekeeping is cruel- but it certainly provides the bees with an ideal home...
(though perhaps the rent—payable in honey— is high !)