Wednesday, September 30, 2009

the ukulele orchestra of great britain

click here for some free happiness, in celebration of the end of this crap September... (can I say "crap" on blogger?)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

camilla engman

Has anyone else had a rough September? Mine has been one of the toughest months ever. Today I am only looking at things that make me happy, and Camilla Engman's work is exactly that. I am a fan of her "Collections" series, but there is so so much more on her website,

From Camilla's bio: "Camilla Engman grew up in a small Swedish town named Trollhättan. This is where she began looking at life from a perspective that most of us see only momentarily, and just a few are able to record."

Camilla's blog is also a treat.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

nymphenburg series:
model and mold archive

At the Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg's model and mold archive, 30,000 original shapes are stored. Shapes going back hundreds of years, some no longer reproduced regularly, but can be made again by special request. The Nymphenburg craftspeople pull only 15 shapes from a mold before it is discarded. That is incredible to me. I pull over a hundred shapes off my molds, but I don't mind the variation in form that happens as a result of wear on the mold. I welcome the differences.

It's inspiring to see so many molds all in one place, they are so sculptural. I appreciate how much work went into each mold, it takes hours to create a precise one. I have to go for a visit.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

nymphenburg series:
cumberland pattern by joseph zächenberger

In 1765 Joseph Zächenberger, a skillful painter, created the lush Cumberland pattern for Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufacturers. Zächenberger's pattern was meant to replace fresh flowers at table. At the time, fresh flowers were frowned upon as table decorations as they could wilt during the event.

"In his incredibly lush tableware pattern, one finds slightly off-center bouquets enriched by beetles, butterflies, insects, caterpillars, smaller strewn flowers, with larger single flowers decorating the rich gold border. Always in his painting Zächenberger employed the use of strong hues and deep shading to give the flowers a naturalistic vibrancy." ~from moss

Today, painters require up to three weeks to complete a single plate.

All images from Nymphenburg

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

pippin drysdale

Pippin Drysdale is a ceramic artist living in Western Australia. An exhibit of her work will be on view in Washington DC at the Australian Embassy in February, 2010.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

karl blossfeldt treasure trove

An amazing source of Karl Blossfeldt's images reproduced in photogravure, click here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

tasty treat from cannelle et vanille, on a gleena plate

The lovely Aran Goyoaga has posted her beautiful photographs (as well as recipe) of a gluten-free chocolate cake on canelle et vanille. In the image on the right, the cake is served on a gleena butterfly plate, with the currants in a small gourd bowl. Thank you, Aran!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

vintage botanicals and their history

all images are from slinkymalinkicat

Not only is slinkymalinkicat a lovely shop on etsy that sells original antique natural history prints, it is also a valuable source of information about the naturalists and botanists that created the illustrations. Click on the images to go to the listing and to learn about its history. (the prices are very reasonable)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

cassini-huygens spacecraft

Photograph by Cassini spacecraft, courtesy of NASA

The Cassini spacecraft has been documenting Saturn and its moons for the past five years. Above is an image of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, revealing its halo-like ring formed in the upper hazes of the moon's extensive atmosphere. This image reminded me of my astronomy plates.

If you have not yet visited NASA's website devoted to Cassini's mission, do so now. It is a visual, and an educational, treat.

Cassini's raw images

Sunday, September 13, 2009

astronomy, math & weather: at farm

Now showing at farm in Wellfleet, MA.

2009 has been declared the International Year of Astronomy by the UN. In 1609, Galileo Galilei first recorded astronomical observations made with a telescope. Also, Astronomia Nova was published in the 17th century, in which Johannes Kepler examines the motion of Mars. I am forever fascinated by this science, and how the movement of celestial bodies affects us in our daily lives.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

astronomy, math & the weather: No. 1

Something new I am working on.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

a clever wedding gift

My friends Ben and Susan commissioned a set of eight wee t cups for a wedding gift. The cups are stamped with the couple's initials, C and J, and the words all relate either to the wedding day: Celebrations and Joyful, or to the couple's characteristics: Creative and Jaunty. Through the words Ben and Susan selected, I feel like I got to know a little about the couple. It seems like the cups are going to a wonderful home.

Monday, September 7, 2009

one more to add to the collection

Cynthia Treen finished another illustration for our plate collaboration. I love the delicacy of this fern, look at all the fine little thorns along the stem (click on an image for a larger view).

When I first saw it, I thought I needed to make an oval plate for it. But then I placed it on a round plate in Photoshop, and really love it. Centered? Off to the side? Two ferns? Three little ferns? What do you think?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

still life saturday with butterflies

photographs courtesy of Bug Under Glass

Butterflies collected after they have lived a full life on a farm, available on etsy at Bug Under Glass.