Monday, February 29, 2016

Hombres del Mar

I thought I had seen most of the works of John William Waterhouse. Much to my surprise I found one I had not ever seen.  I was inspired and then began a multiple hour search for …..


Yes, those allegedly mythical creatures who are counterpart to Mermaids.  They are all man from the waist up but from there down they are fish-like. One long fishy tail or… 

There is a sculpture Fontana del Moro, in Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy 

that shows a Merman with two long fishy tails.  The logo on the Starbucks

cup was inspired by sirens which have two tails.  

f                                                                                    rom 'Naturalis Historia' (1565)

Mermen are mentioned in Greek mythology, Babylonian mythology, and Irish mythology, in Amazon lore and in several other cultures.

They can conjure storms at sea, sink ships, lift curses, cure illness, are very wise and enjoy seducing humans.

This week look in wonder at Hombres del Mar.

Monday, February 22, 2016

A Knitting Tale

I want to knit for you a tale of the month of February. It involved a little ironing.
                                                         Woman Ironing -  Edgar Degas

I have recently moved and as many women before me have done I wrapped up precious items in tea towels and table scarves, table cloths and napkins. Some were recent purchases so I just washed dried and put them away. Others, my most precious, have been passed down from my mother, and her mother, my grandmother and her mother, and my grandfather’s mother. Some of these linens are over 130 years old. 

After using them I washed them, air dried them and spent the weekend ironing them.

It involved a little sewing.  
                                                    Young woman sewing - Georges Lemmen

The oldest of the linens had their edges and hems completely hand sewn. A table scarf my mother made is all hand sewn.

It involved a little dish washing.
                                               Giuseppe Maria Crespi - the kitchen maid

After moving all these items some of which were handled by family members I washed them all. Dishes, glasses, bowls and silver.

This week you can take a peek into the domestic art of knitting.
                                              Peasant Girl Knitting a Stocking - Filipp Malyavin

Enjoy A Knitting Tale

Monday, February 15, 2016

Art of the Dish Washer

If you cook something you usually have to clean something. 

Pots, pans, baking sheets, broilers, bowls, spoons, knives and in my kitchen it can be a seemingly endless parade of all of the above. 

Then add in the plates and glasses and serving platters.  Cleaning it all can take longer than making it all.

Some goes in the dishwasher and some (my grandmother’s crystal goblets) I wash by hand. I have been washing dishes since I was 7. My mother washed dishes until I turned 7. 

My children may have washed dishes once or twice. I used to sing as I washed. I made up songs like only a creative 7-year-old can. Songs about what we had for dinner, what I wanted to be, farm animals and my mother.

Dish washing must not be very glamorous to paint because finding works with women or men washing the dishes was hard to find. Lots of dishes and many paintings of dirty dishes with bits of food on them that needed washing. 

This week enjoy the Art of the Dish Washer. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Sewing Up Art

Needles were once made of bone, 

                                                        Bone needles Museum Dorestad

antler or ivory and thread was made of sinew, and veins.  And the LORD God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife, Genesis 3:21.

                           The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise. Painting by Benjamin West, 1791

He must have used something for needle and thread and so they learned to sew.

The art of sewing, attaching objects using stitches made with a needle and thread. It is the oldest textile art.

                        The first functional sewing machine was invented by Barthelemy Thimonnier, in 1830

Sewing machines were not invented until the 19th century so all sewing was done by hand. Every lace trimmed, jewel encrusted, smocked and pleated dress in the court of Marie Antoinette 

                                     Marie Antoinette, Versailles, France by Heinrich Lossow

was sewn by hand. Every tunic, codpiece and breeches worn by Henry VIII 

                                                       Hans Holbein, Portrait of Henry VIII 
was sewn by hand.

Every quilt my granny made, every button my mom sewed was done by hand.

This week enjoy Sewing Up Art.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Ironing Out Art

This week we will explore women ironing.

                                                     1882 Edgar Degas - Woman Ironing

Ironing is the use of a heated tool to remove wrinkles form fabric. The flat piece of metal on the bottom of the iron is called the sole. Basically heat relaxes the fiber while the weight of the iron presses the fiber flat and it stays flat as it cools. Some fibers such as cotton requires moisture to get the fiber to relax.

Irons which were flat pans filled with hot coals have been used in China for centuries. In the 17th century thick slabs of iron, which were delta shaped, were heated in fires and applied to fabric. They were called sadirons. 

                                       Sad Iron By J W Lufkin of Boston Massachusetts Mass

Later iron delta shaped boxes were filled with hot coals which were re-heated with a small bellows.

In the late 19th century you could find irons heated by whale oil, kerosene, and natural gas.

Gochsheim Castle 

                                                                  Gochsheim Castle
in Germany which not only houses over 100 works of art by local artist Karl Hubbuch 

                                                         Karl Hubbuch
but also a museum with a collection of over 1300 historical irons on display.

This week enjoy Ironing Out Art.