Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Ceramic 21 - Escher plate (beth's plate)

This plate came about when I was searching for medieval ceramics with a fox motif. Oddly enough, the image below popped up in the google search and I thought it'd look great as a plate. So, I printed it and the image sat in my stack for a while. Right before I moved house, I wanted a non-blue project and thought it was time I started on this image.

I started by using a 6B pencil in a compass. I quartered the plate, and tried to draw circles of the appropriate sizes. I then sketched in some of the fish and got to painting. Getting the balance right on the fins was the biggest challenge on this plate (and I still didn't quite manage it). I kept having to switch between colours so I could see how the fish fit together. Because I didn't consider the complex mathematical background to this piece, I ended up getting the diameter of some of the circles wrong. This caused the potential for colour overlap in some small places. It wasn't until I was almost finished that I found THIS paper, which discusses the geometrical construction of this image... ah well, I'm still pleased with the plate even though it isn't medieval.

This one will be gifted to my sister for the occasion of her 27th birthday which is why this post is out of sequence with the rest. I've scheduled it to self post on Christmas day.

An angled view shows the wrap of the fish motif up the curve of the plate better.

On earrings

Jain art - Celestial performer Kapasutra manuscript folio Gujarat 1490

I found an interesting blog that has some musing on late period Indian garb. I'm not sure when I found this blog. I'm pretty sure I got there through a tab explosion one night while researching choli patterns. Due to my bust exceeding my rib cage by a significant value, I am on a never ending quest to find a period choli that a) I can sew and pattern myself, and b) supports my bust, or at least doesn't look saggy/sack like. But I digress, the blog in question is written by a Laurel type from Meridies (I think) who appears to be into cooking, and late period Indian (16th century, heavy persian influence).

While browsing her back catalog of posts, I found one on late period earrings. Her main focus was the revelation regarding the pointy ones you see in the upper ear. (read it here). During her discussion, and within a different post about garbing for a feast she ran, she references hoop earrings. She also has a post about some lovely hoop laurel earrings she made out of femo and beetle wings. She offers two explanations for the shape; first they may be stretching hoops, or second they may be loops that depend from the ear. She seems to favour the second type.

I have been researching jewellery myself and I would suggest the earrings in question are stretching hoops. In the images below (yes, I've posted it before) you can see both wealthy women and nuns. The nuns, who have limited worldly goods, have earlobes that are clearly stretched and dangle loosely without the bulk of the earring seen in the women in the right.

Detail from a folio from a Kalpasutra Manuscript. Gujarat, 1350. Ink and opaque watercolor on palm leaf. Page 86 in Indian Painting, 1000-1700, by Pratapaditya Pal. ISBN: 0810834655 

The stretched earlobes could be explained by the weight of gold loops exerting pressure on the skin over time (recall seeing overly stretched and grotesque old 'lady' ears?) however the ascetics don't appear to be that old. In the next image from the Ajanta caves, you can clearly see the earlobe stretched around the hoop on the lady on the left.

Also, this group of statues from Khajuraho shows a beautiful lady wearing disks served by an attendant whos ears droop.

I do not plan on stretching my earlobes anytime in the near future, so I will stick to the more dangle type of earring such as those below.

 Earrings Object ID: B86M6.1-.2 300-500 Gold and Garnets These earrings came from Gandhara, the ancient kingdom located in what is now southern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. A famous school of Buddhist art flourished there from the 1st to the 4th century A.D., characterized by sculptures carved in a mixture of Graeco-Roman and Indian styles. Although Gandharan sculptures are included in most museums' collections, jewelry from Gandhara is rare. Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Cherry onsie

I made this one for Berengar and Rachel's first. I don't know if they're having a boy or a girl, but I thought this'd be a little different. And yes, I did make them a kthulu onsie as well...

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Persian block printed scarf II

From closer examination of Persian head scarf images from the previous post, I think the argument for square / triangle is actually misdirected. If we examine no.5 from the previous post and assume a regular pattern in the fabric, the head scarf  is deliberately cut in more of a brontosaurus style, that is to say, skinny at the head/tail ends with a sort of Gaussian slope towards the wide center. The length of the tales appears to be a little over a quarter of the overall width. I propose the headscarf is cut more as a T shape:

Where A is the width of your head from temple to temple, B the measurement from your temple to your shoulder and C the measurement from your crown to your cervical vertebrae. So that's my next accessory project... after I finish moving house anyway.

Ceramic 22 - Tile 8

This is the last tile I'm going to post for sometime. There's nothing really new to say about them except post a picture of the finished tile, and the reference tiles. GIven that I plan on making 25, that's going to get mighty boring mighty fast. So I might post update photo's of the tiles together from time to time.

Tile 8, row 2.

CENTRAL IRAN, LATE 13TH CENTURY This design appears as the central design on a number of Kashan lustre star tiles bearing dates of the second half of the 13th century. It is however very unusual to find it without any inscription border at all. This tile is very similar to the centre of one of the large star tiles made for the Imamzada Yahya at Veramin, dated 1262 but painted on a smaller size tile and thus excluding the inscription border. Sold by Christies in 2004. Link and Image found on Invaluable.com, an auction search engine.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Ceramic 20 - Pheasant plate

Lobed plate featuring a bird (peasant?)

Why: Because I could, and because I had a spare lobed plate from the Sultanabad Dove project and wanted a design that would transfer to my predetermined shape better. Also, I've been doing so many tiles, I thought I'd take a break and use up some of my bisque stockpile.
I'll sell this one, and the dove plate at Rowany Festival next year. I might even enter the Laurel Prize Tourney (which isn't a tourney, only involves Laurels in a feedback sort of way, and has no prizes) with the tiles.


Original plate is 17cm in diameter, while my copy is 24.5cm. The original plate had 10 lobes, while my plate has 14. Due to it's increased size, my version is a dinner plate rather than a saucer and the lobes are still reasonably in proportion to the rest of the design.

The original was fritware with the decoration in overglaze luster, while my design is created in underglaze with no luster. This is because I am currently working primarily with underglaze, as they are the resources I have access to. I haven't mixed my own glazes and I am restricted in what methods I can attempt until I invest some money in supplies, and find a work space that isn't my bedroom.

Lobed saucer, fritware with overglaze lustre painting, 12th C, Kashan, Iran Ashmolean Museum.

Some modern lustre resources I've found:

Good youtube video showing the process and result.

Ceramics monthly article on Lustre, brief introduction with medieval reference to Iran

This is the first thing I'm going to experiment with once I get a workshop and the kiln working properly.