Tag Archives: art

On not doing Christmas shopping

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I have left the snowflakes behind, supplied the mice in the attic with a treacherous Christmas dinner (O please not rats), and may or may not have locked the back door.  The shops in Salisbury are much better than those at home, but there are ways of not shopping, thus:

First go to the local library to look at the Kathe Kollwitz exhibition, and look very carefully at her looking very carefully at herself.

Then go to St Thomas’ and contemplate the Doom painting.

After this, proceed through the darkening crowded streets and brightly lighted shops, solitary, disorientated, and immune to temptation, and purchase one spoon.

Returning, I finished reading a book which in some places became a time machine

and now I have to choose the next title from a selection.  One for night and one for day.

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The march of the blue labels

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They have reached W now.  Hurray!

In another vein, I found this little treasure.

I expect everyone else knows about Tan, but I didn’t.  Grandpa’s story had great charm, and Night of the turtle rescue was brief and bold (and tough).  But I think my favourite was Distant rain, about the reciprocal gravity of unread poems; close to my heart.

Lumpy

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We only have the edge of the storm, and the sea has often been more spectacular; however, there was plenty of white water and the horizon was lumpy and vigorous.

1-lumpy

Someone had been having fun.  I pottered in a convocation of beach art.

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The moment of sun expired and the reed beds heaved in the freshening gusts, and the spindly trees leaned and moaned and thrashed.

3-groaning

Full day

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Today I had enough to do.  (Click a thumbnail for the gallery)

First, make your terra sigillata

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Still in denial about the date, especially as we have scarcely seen daylight.  However:  no resolutions, but one can make an action of intent.

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First try.  Inlaid with beach clay medallion, bought animal bead, glass beads.  The white candles came slick from the moulds, the smooth finish making them look more incompetent (I thought) than the woggly hand-dipped layer I subsequently added.  Don’t like the maroon (hand did literally slip) and it was also full of tiny bubbles, due to maker ignorance, I presume.  That left me fooling about with the white beads, so as not to quarrel with the bubbles.

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Has a claim to be the earliest SF story going, as an imagination of gravity and Copernicus’ theory form part of the story.  Also has in a slightly immature form the classic SF twist:  the lunar civilisation seems utopian, with food, shelter, ordered society without friction, no need for legislation or punishment, until you find out that the newborn are inspected for signs of incipient deviancy and, if dodgy, are deported briskly to planet Earth.  This neatly places a query over utopia, while marrying new science with the mediaeval world view in which change and imperfection reside in the sublunary world.

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Also a particularly enjoyable title page, especially the verso.

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And then there is this one, which is rather like being given a cordon bleu cookery book, though much more interesting.  Instructions about how to modify your propane burner or construct a flue with your angle grinder place most of this beyond my skills, and I didn’t much care for the casual references to vaporised hydrochloric acid.  I have used a top hat raku kiln, though, (supervised!), and have done naughty raku from my electric kiln, and made bonfire clamps to fire beach clay pots, so a good deal of it spoke to me.

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So start where you can:  make some terra sigillata.  In theory it is a perfectly simple levigation process, requiring only water and patience.  If emulating the ancients, I won’t even need a rubber tube to siphon, as it should be possible to decant the layers.  Luckily beach clay is free and plentiful for experiments where you don’t know what you are doing.  As I, of course, do not.

A case of travelling hopefully?   Happy *** ****, fellow bloggers.

Suspense

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Knew I was ailing by the way the blobs were outnumbering the things with holes in the top

1-throwSo I had lunch with these

2-owlyand other birdyness.

3-birdnessIt’s tricky to do simultaneous handles and sneezing, even for these pusillanimous pots

4-handledSo with hail storms thundering down outside I settled for puzzling.  I was repelled by these emasculated unicorns and etiolated females and their very questionable symbolism (a gift – sorry, giver) but was too obstinate not to finish.

5-unicornCash from the charity shop was ok and had all its pieces, which was a surprise,

6-cashand it was interesting to review the Ladybirds, making me remember the comics of childhood, conspicuously post-war even twenty years on.  Also a complete puzzle; good source, if I could remember which shop it was.

7-armedSo I burrowed in the cupboard and found an old favourite, top notch all round, which I do every five years or so, holding my breath to see if any of the pieces have leaked out and been lost.

8-suspenseWill find out soon.  And outside the weather is building.  Hail, I think, again, out there in the buffeting blackness.

Five go to an island

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In the hot grey morning, the boat was our best idea of the day. Puttering sedately over an almost motionless blue, we coasted past porous limestone, were inserted into one of the caves to admire its knobbly depths, and pottered on to land briefly on the island.

On the ridge of this small eminence a little air moved, and we looked up the coast past small sandless beaches and bays.  A few bugs and butterflies moved through the beige rock, dusty brown skims of soil, dry stalks and stems, and surprisingly rich green and juicy-looking tufts of new leaves, rather like hyacinth (alas, failure to botanise properly).

It was too soon to leave but time was up, and we motored away under the arms of the saint.

13th November:  the gallery