Wednesday, 15 May 2019
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
Thursday, 3 January 2019
Wednesday, 2 January 2019
Tuesday, 1 January 2019
- Open Microsoft Excel (Word or anything that you can use to create a table should work)
- Work out your column and row numbers
- Insert dummy text
- Copy entire table and 'CTRL-V' it into the Compose tab of blogger.
- Replace the dummy text with images using the arrow keys to pan through the boxes in the table.
- Add a caption as standard text below the table or individual captions using 'Left click -> Add Caption'
This simple system works really well and beats having to play with HTML code. Unfortunately, this won't always work. Blogger will automatically resize your text filled columns to conform with it's presentation style. This can result in endless pages of single spaced letters creating an unreadable blogpost.
There are two ways to address this problem. This first is my new favourite brute force hack method which I use when the second method becomes too fiddly. The hack involves exploiting bloggers auto-resizing system. This can cause problems for people viewing your blog on different screen ratios so utilise carefully. To exploit bloggers auto-resizing system:
- Arrange your columns as you'd like to see them in the compose view
- Screen capture the headings of your columns as individual tiles
- Replace the titles of your columns with the new images
- Blogger will maintain the columns at the size of the image rather than shrinking to fit the rest of the text.
|2 - An example of image column headers. Blogger auto-formats them with a shadow so factor this into your chosen style. Note the faint line near Date - that's the end of the standard Blogger page.|
The final alternative is to play with the html tab. Some help blogs will recommend that you create your table in Word, save it as a .html file, open it in Notepad and copy the code across. This is a great quick and dirty method for creating a table however it'll often come with a load of code that relates to formatting that you simply don't need as Blogger ignores it. A note of caution: Blogger will also correct your html, changing some of the designations at times. You can manually correct this if you know where the issue occurs. Flicking between the Compose and HTML tabs helps a lot. You'll also need to know the following:
|3 - image of basic HTML required to create and modify your table|
Sunday, 30 December 2018
Blue on White ceramics: the reciprocal influence of Chinese porcelain on European and Middle Eastern ceramics - China
Like many countries, some of the earliest examples of cobalt glaze in China are dipped earthenware items (1). This later developed into earthenware covered in white slip and painted with blue designs (2). These items were produced during the Tang Dynasty and may have been inspired by simple figurative bowls imported from Iraq. From the 9th century China started to develop "Porcelaneous ware" the precursor and bridge between earthenware and porcelain. Similar to earthenware, these items utilise a fine white clay, kaolin, which is an alumina-silicate (3). Fired at higher temperatures, the quartz (silica) fuzes creating the product often known as Mingware. Many glazes aren't stable at the higher temperatures required to create Mingware thus the decoration on the porcelaneous items remained simpler while earthenware items produced at the same time could be coated in a riot of colours like this yellow and blue phoenix headed jug (4) or this blue, green and brown box (5). These green, yellow/brown and blues items are often referred to as sancai-ware and would occasionally feature cobalt glaze (6, 7, 8, 9, 10). The sancai-ware became highly developed, with potters incising their designs to prevent the glazes from running together (11). Alongside the sancai-ware, the potters of the Tang Dynasty start to produced painted items such as this bird bowl (12) setting the stage for the development of the finely painted BoW items associated with China.
(As a side note, the Tang Dynasty also produced lovely earthenware of marbled clay, which I'm quite enamored of (13) )
The Song Dynasty further developed the Sancai style producing complicated green and yellow motifs on incised earthenware such as Ganwa-ware from Mongolia (14) and Cizhou-ware from northern China (15, 16). These items however, do not seem to feature cobalt as the earlier style did. This was likely due to the difficulty of sourcing the cobalt for the glaze at the time.
In addition to lovely plain white porcelaneous objects, the Song Dynasty also produced distinctive items dipped in a light green / celadon glaze (17). Following the seemingly standard path of pottery development, the Chinese potters also experimented with under-glazing such as this light blue example with purple splashes dated to the 13th century (18).
Ming Dynasty (13th - 17th century)
It is generally accepted that the methods of creating porcelain had been well established by the 14th century in China. Porcelain had been endorsed by the Emperor who theoretically controlled all production and the export of porcelain items. The kilns of Jingdezhen produced all the imperial porcelain however there were private kilns creating imitations concurrently. For a good rundown with comparison images check out the Imperial Palace Museum's website here.
The kilns at Jingdezhen produced items both for export and domestic use. To appeal to the export market, the Chinese artists imitated design motifs from a variety of sources. A 1520's jug (20) is the earliest item identified as being deliberately created for export. It features the classic key design around it's rim seen on earlier porcelain items (21) as well as an upside down copy of the Portaguese arms. This plate from 1580-1600 featuring a Portuguese coat of arms for Captain Don Joao de Almeida (22) exemplifies the early attempts at leveraging the export market. The tiny coat of arms featured is framed by plumes and crested by a very awkward attempt at a helmet suggesting the artists had a weak grasp of the subject matter.
Item 21 - Ming-ware made for export featuring an upside down Portuguese coat of arms.
As trade along the silk road flourished and the European market increased, the export designs become significantly more refined and targeted. For example, this bottle made between 1662-1722 is very Persian with it's use of void space and stylised floral geometric patterns (24). The shape is also reminiscent of Iranian bottles popular at the time.. The imitation wasn't one sided, with the European and Middle Eastern ceramic centers creating their own imitations of Ming-ware. For example, these porcelain bowls created in 1600-1620 (25) spawned Iranian fritware copies (26). in the 16th-17th century, Chinese artists appear to have started adopting the Middle Eastern and European penchant for inscriptions in their work (27)
European countries weren't the only market or stylistic influence on the Chinese export trade. number of Ming-ware items also feature Mongolian style cloud designs which are a dominant feature in Turkey's Iznik design style (15th - 17th century) 28, 29, 30, 31. It seems that the Mongolian / Persian influence was quite extensive. This jar features archers wearing Persian style garments and is decorated with various vegetable motifs as well as images of European houses (32). This 17th century asymmetric dish shows the Chinese artists were also incorporating Japanese styles into their work (33).
Identifiable Chinese Design elements
The number 8 is considered lucky and linked to prosperity and wealth. This may be the reason why there is a distinct subset of Mingware incorporating 8 lobes of panels around the main decorative element (34, 35, 36, 37). The lobes very often feature auspicious symbols like a double gourd, a fan, a drum or a scroll. This subset of Chinese porcelain is occasionally referred to as Kraak after the carrak's of the Portguese traders who brought the goods to Europe. Porcelain is light and significantly stronger than the earthernware available that was available in Europe. This, in addition to it's link to the Chinese emperor, increased it's appeal as a status symbol. A number of renaissance paintings contain a blue and white porcelain bowl or ewer as a background feature. Rarer are those that celebrate the porcelain itself. The bowl featured in Treck Jan Jansz's (38) painting can be identified as Chinese in manufacture due to a combination of it's thinness, the sheen captured by the artist and the decorative lobes in the glazing.
The production and export of porcelain by the Chinese was the most significant factor in perpetuating the blue on white colour scheme as ceramic art became more sophisticated through the Renaissance and the range of colours available increased. Cultures which had well developed ceramic industries either renewed or built thriving local markets for the BoW goods. Chinese Kraak items were imitated by the Dutch (39), the Japanese (40), the Portuguese (41) and the Japanese (42). BY the 17th century, even the Spanish, who had several manufacturing hubs and a number of celebrated artistic trends were producing blue on white items for local consumption.
Valenstein, S.G, 1989. A handbook of Chinese ceramics. Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Friday, 28 December 2018
The previous parts of this research have discussed Tallerbarret's and Split Brim hats, Star fish and upright brim hats, and multiple ideas on constructing the hat crowns. The fourth, and final part, will examine the decorations on the hats featured in The Virtues. This discussion will also examine the art work within the cultural context to ensure this artwork is reflective of wider society and the information can be extrapolated beyond this context. This part of the analysis is important as many allegorical hats (and clothes) are not representative of what was worn at the time, being either a fantasy creation of the artist or an artists impression of 'ancient' clothing. I'm of the opinion in the SCA, that if you can find it and make it, you should wear it. You should also be aware of its history and context so when asked why you're wearing a beautifully absurd hat, you can explain it's origins and inspire others.
Again, a lengthy and picture heavy post which can be found under the jump cut.
Saturday, 24 November 2018
Tuesday, 20 November 2018
Allegory of Virtues and Vices at the Court of Charles V by Hans Daucher 1522 (The Met Museum accession no. 17.190.745)
Further analysis is under the jump cut.
Sunday, 18 November 2018
When delving into a new area it's important to have a few prime images to fixate on otherwise you'll get lost down the rabbit hole. Often people use an image of something they've seen someone else wear and they try to find references to reference it, make it fit a costume or make it more period. In this case, I started by collecting a Pinterest board of Landsknecht, Cranach and general German-ish hats. This gave me a good reference base for the variety of hat types available within my scope. I then narrowed the field by focusing on one item and using it as the basis for my research. If you want to do the same, there's a large collection of hat references collated by Jeanne de Pompadore here. It'd be nice if they're hyperlinked to a primary source but they typically contain sufficient information in the caption to help you find the original without needing to use Google image search.
Details are below the jump cut as this the first of three long research posts
Saturday, 17 November 2018
Turns out, it's almost impossible to take a selfie of the crown of a hat if its brim has a diameter of 50cm. Though, if you stuff a bike helmet in it, and place it on the floor, the dimensions are about right.
I suspect Tyr is really proud of this codpiece. He designed and made it himself. As one of two token American's he didn't really need to advertise but it garnered no end of appreciative smiles. Unfortunately, it was washed in warm water and the red ran so the codpiece is no more.
Friday, 16 November 2018
Late last year I made some hats for the upcoming B&B of St Florian. The hats needed to be appropriate to their German garb and tie into the St Florian device which is a purple buttony cross on a white background.
I thought I'd share my process for the geometric dinosaurs I've been playing with this last year. It's quite straightforward if you follow some basic rules:
- No curves
- No partial terminations.
- Triangles must orientate with the direction of texture flow
Thursday, 15 November 2018
|Front, unfired.||Back, unfired.|
An experiment with hand painting geometric dinosaurs. I'm not 100% happy with the feet but the idea is sound and I'd like to apply it to a variety of other dino's.
The pale yellow halo is actually talc powder which I've used to transfer the outline of my design onto a black polo shirt. The method works really well but has the possibility of gumming up the paintbrush if too much powder is free to move. It brushes off easily once the paint is ironed though.
Sunday, 17 June 2018
Monday, 30 April 2018
Use: Stop loosely woven fabric from fraying.
Helmar is an Australian company
Easily available from Spotlight.
Does absorb into fabric but some sits on top of the cloth
More of a glue texture, so it creates 'strings' which can be really annoying when working with silk etc.
Thursday, 1 March 2018
Friday, 16 February 2018
Sancai refers to a glazing tradition from China's Tang dynesty (~600-900 CE) which utilises green, purple and brown glaze. The glaze is lead based laid on white earthenware items. Due to the mobile nature of the glaze, if often has carved borders to assist in retaining the glaze. Some scholars suggest the Chinese dishes influenced the sgraffito work of Europe.
The final image in this post indicates that even when the art forms of glazing was highly refined, the translucent green was utilized despite it's dubious nature.
Sunday, 28 January 2018
I've just finished upgrading this UFO. I made this dress from a tennis dress pattern in 2004/5 (specifics are faint). The fabric came from a reclaimed bedsheet and as you can see, I was more concerned with conserving fabric than matching the print.
I love this dress but I had made the hem a little short. Luckily, in my fabric conserving spirit I had made the hem very wide. So, I was able to unpick it and lengthen the dress by a good 10cm. Unfortunately, wear on the hem had left pale lines in the print. I solved that through the application of trim (which probably cost more than the original fabric). The green trim covers the original hem line and the blue covers the fold.
If I had a do-over, I'd pattern match and maybe flare the skirt a bit more. That said, I still have the other bed sheet in the set, I could make another once my UFO stack is down to a more manageable size. It'll have to wait though, my two UFO complete per one new project is going well and I'm looking forward to tackling some ceramics next.
Thursday, 18 January 2018
Cleaning up images my phone and I found this critter - a Trichiocercus sparshalli. This fuzzy caterpillar turns into a white / silver moth. Apparently they can be found across Australia but the eastern states are more likely to have the red sub-species.
With water in the Pilbara being so scarce, if the local hive finds a readily available source, they all turn up for a drink. I strongly advise capping all drinks and using sippy straws to avoid the bee-in-the-mouth issue.
Tuesday, 26 December 2017
Wednesday, 1 November 2017
The party was fantastic and the company delightful. I especially liked the colour-coded cocktails in their lovely teapots and the test tube glasses. The propaganda posters were also most excellent.
Thursday, 14 September 2017
Monday, 28 August 2017
Thursday, 10 August 2017
Stay tuned for experimental updates!
Wednesday, 9 August 2017
More details, and early learnings on my next update!
Monday, 24 July 2017
I wondered if changing the paint thickness might help with resolution and repetition. The results of my experiments are as follows:
Monday, 17 July 2017
As a side note, the presence of copper-gold in the area would have provided minerals for glaze and lustre while the nearby lead-zinc deposits allowed for the transparent lead glaze that resulted the beautiful underglaze ceramics (6).
Why Kashan rather than Ghamsar?
When creating blue glaze, cobalt commonly composes <5% of the overall blend (8). The low concentrations required make transporting the washed cobalt the short distance to the source of clay highly viable.
1: A new tectonic scenario for the Sanandaj–Sirjan Zone (Iran) 2005 A. Ghasemia, C.J. Talbotb Journal of Asian Earth Sciences.
2: Porphyry Copper Deposits of the Urumieh-Dokhtar Magmatic Arc, Iran. 2005. A. Zarasvandi, M. Zentilli, S. Liaghat.
3: The Ay Qalasi deposit: An epithermal Pb-Zn (Ag) mineralisation in the Urumineh-Dokhtar Volcanic Belt of northwestern Iran. DOI: 10.1127/njma/2015/0284
4: Geology of the Sari Gunay Epithermal Gold Deposit 2006 Northwest Iran. by J.P Richards, D. Wilkinson and T. Ulrich. Economic Geology. .
5: Ore Mineralization at Qamsar Cobalt Deposit:Skarn and Metasomatism Evidences . Hadi Mohammaddoost, Majid Ghaderi, Nematollah Rashidnejad-Omran The 1st International Applied Geological Congress
6: Islamic pottery, a brief history. Metropolitan Museum of Art.
7: Soils of Iran 1961. M.L Dewan, J. Famouri. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.
8: Ceramic Arts Network, accessed 31/12/2018.
Saturday, 1 July 2017
Not this blog post! Nope.
Today my criteria for a craft activity required not leaving the house and the ability to stay in my PJ's all day. So I had to come up with a project that used supplies already on hand. Rather than teach you how to block print, I'm going to discuss different methods I'm trying over the next couple of posts.
Block printing with rubber stamps.
You will need to:
1 - acquire a friend who sends you rubber stamp when she thinks you'll like them. Alternatively, head to Art Riot or your local scrapbooking store and buy up some rubber stamps sold for embossing card and whatnot.
2 - acquire some fabric. (Or save some from being thrown out). Wash, dry and iron it flat.
3 - scrounge up some paint. I'm using left over Pebeo fabric paint from a previous project. You can also blend JoSonya's fabric medium 50x50 with acrylic paint.
4 - grab a foam brush or sponge. You need to apply a thin even coat of paint to the block. Having no sponge, I cut down one of my silk painting brushes. Apparently you can use a paint roller and paint pallet too.
Place your fabric on a towel or wool blanket covered table. Back it with newspaper to prevent bleed through. Dab a thin coat of paint on the block. Press firmly to the fabric and peel off carefully. Repeat many many times. Rinse all tools. Iron as directed by your paint. Done!
Next I'll try a clear plastic stamp kit I found at Kmart to see if that fixes my alignment issues.