I have stared at this painting for quite some time. There is a lot to unpack from this one if you have any interest in hand tools. This image is of a very organized workshop of a master craftsman plying his trade in the early 19th century. I feel he is consulting with a client about a commission they are undertaking and discussing the finer details. Click the image for a larger version and enjoy.
Here is a painting by the Scottish artist John Burr (1831-1893) of an itinerant fiddler playing for a family in a Scottish lane probably trying to make enough money to eat or maybe even receive some food for his entertainment. I can’t help but think the father looking out has a skeptical look; possibly wondering what this will cost in the end.
Music and storytelling were a very different commodity in an age of widespread illiteracy and 24 hour media. It’s hard to even imagine a time when all music was handmade and intimate and not an item to be mass marketed.
I rarely (I mean almost never) go out of my way to endorse a product of any kind but while considering the upcoming holidays I came across this link I saved a while back. I think it would be perfect for the workshop and is a work of art in its own right.
I can imagine it over my new workspace or even hanging on the wall in the den to be pondered while dreaming of building something worthwhile. It’s called the Chart of Hand Tools from the Pop Chart Lab, “printed using 100 lb archival recycled stock certified by The Forest Stewardship Council, this poster is pressed on an offset lithographic press in Flatlands, Brooklyn.” Sounds good so far and I love how they are actually grouped in logical sets by basic function. That satisfies the analyst in me.
Here’s some information from Pop Chart Lab’s website:
“With over 300 meticulously illustrated tools this chart celebrates the tinkerers and the doers: those who build, repair, and create. Breaking down all manner of hand tools by their basic function, this sprawling print covers the most basic, such as the humble yet mighty hammer, to the most highly specialized, such as the 24 types of files depicted here. A hand-crafted compendium of ingenious and essential devices, this chart is a complete cut-list of the tools that empower makers and artisans. —And the chart is printed with brass and aluminum metallic inks to give it a shop-ready sheen.
Size 24″ x 36″
Each print is signed and numbered by the artists, and comes packaged in a Pop Chart Lab Test Tube.
At $37 U.S. it seems like a great addition to any Maker’s house. I hope my own Santa Claus or Krampus drops one off at the shop this winter. I better start being good for the Yule-tide season.
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
Wise words from William Morris.
This is the mantra that drives the entire vardo project. I try to keep this in mind for every thing I add and every part I build. Otherwise, isn’t it just junk?
A ‘tender, post-apocalyptic love story’…
I want to revisit this minimalist performance art piece with you for the weekend. Extremely clever, “acrobatic virtuosity,” street performance.
from the Acrojou website:
“A tender post-apocalyptic love story…”
– Kate Kavanagh, review, The Circus Diaries
A gently comic dystopia, set in a different time where everything has a new value and survival relies on sharp eyes, quick hands, and, above all, friendship. Stunning design, theatrical acrobatics, and breathtaking moments of risk, all housed within an exquisite, hand-built structure. The Wheel House is a narrative show which unfolds inside and around a circular set as it rolls, with the audience walking alongside.
Acrojou’s flagship show, The Wheel House, has been toured and developed by the company for the past 7 years.
In this time it has been seen live by more than 100,000 people, been booked for events in 13 countries, and it’s online video has had more than 90,000 hits. It is steadily gaining the company recognition in the national and international media and has so far been featured in The Times, The Evening Standard and Freestyle Magazine (all UK), and newspapers and magazines in Asia, Holland, Switzerland, Russia, Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic. The show has been written about in over 300 blogs and online magazines, including Trendhunter, Design Taxi, Moscow Times, and ABC News, in at least 15 different languages. It has been MSN ‘Picture of the Day’ as well on the Flickr homepage. The image has been used for cover art for an edition of ‘Mr Pip’ by Lloyd Jones. It is still touring and is already penciled to visit Australia, New Zealand and Portugal all for the first time in 2015. It is currently the most widely toured of all Without Walls shows.
Commissioned as a walkabout by Without Walls (2008) and funded for development into a full show (2011) by Applause. With Direction from Flick Ferdinando.
Promotional film by Cristobal Catalan
Satire on archery from 1794. More at the British Museum.
More images of travelers and wagons can be found here: The Caravan in Art.
I was thinking last night about a remarkable artist I first read about in The Blinking City, Luigi Prina. I posted about him before but his work never ceases to amaze me. Mr. Prina has been an architect for over 50 years but his model building is a real combination of inspired art and fantasy. He’s been building flying models from paper and balsa wood since he was very young shows his amazing and artistic genius.
Many look like images from Leonardo DaVinci’s workshop and are beautiful to look at, much less to see fly.
Have a look at the article (I’ve reprinted some of the images below) and watch the short video of this remarkable Maker of dreams. The Blinking City has a load of other great articles very worth reading.
And click this link to see even more: Luigi Prina
My strange tendency, as an art-admirer, is to sometimes over-analyze a painting, not only as the Art itself, but also as a documentation of time and place. In historical paintings, it’s fun to look for the details and pick up some lost history along the way. There may be interesting clues in what the artist chose to depict … or not.
Anybody else notice the left-handed set-up? Makes me wonder if the artist or model didn’t know the violin well. Although I expect it would be rare, I think it’s just possible a self-taught individual might learn this way. It’s a great picture and study but looks like a mirror image if you are intimate with the violin. Maybe the clue is in the title Left and Right.
This got me thinking about another of his excellent works, The Banjo Player. I had to look again but I seemed to recall it as a lefty too. And sure enough, a lefty.
The Sweeney style banjo strikes me as legitimately left-handed as the drone string is reversed. As a folk instrument it’s easier for me to imagine some variety in design and setup. But really, there’s not much point in this discussion other than some odd notes about two paintings I’ve thought about for some time now. If his art appeals to you, a lot more can be found by clicking the self portrait of Mount below.