30 December, 2008 at 6:24 am (art) (, , , , , , , , )


Finally, an explanation (although incomplete) for the oddness of Jacopo Tintoretto’s ‘Nativity’ – what is now a horizontal painting of the beginning of Jesus Christ’s life used to be a vertical painting of the end of his life.  Still unexplained is why Tintoretto cut up such a large piece and reworked it, apparently a couple decades after completing the original.

Here is an article about the discovery and film of a moment of restoration (or almost a moment anyway, isn’t a moment 40 seconds?).

If you click here you can see the parts of the crucifixion that were remodelled into ‘Nativity’ by comparing the painting to the x-ray.  If you zoom the slider up to the x-ray end and click ‘show lines’ then push the slider back down to see the paint you can see how he cut and re-arranged the pieces of canvas into the current, very different composition.  Now, to find the missing pieces!


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29 December, 2008 at 9:53 pm (art, blue-eyed crow, life, local, work) (, , , , , , , , )


I’m forging leaves and swirls for some jewellery and an assemblage book.  The bits of wire sticking out will be removed as the rivets go in, and I am starching pieces of lace to be stretched between them.

Cutting up the lace, even though it is damaged, is hard – I love making things but have a very hard time breaking something rather than restoring it.  Friends have told me I’ll get over that someday, but it hasn’t happened yet and occasionally I think about going back to school (again!) because I’d love to do restoration, especially on textiles.

Finally I got to see who has been dropping clouds of pigeon feathers from the jacaranda and leaving wings to flutter down at odd times.  This is the first time I have seen one of these in the fountain, he had three watery baths plus a sun bath because that water is cold!


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26 December, 2008 at 6:47 am (life) (, )


As a kid I heard many different explanations of what Boxing Day was, here is all of what I was told, plus some.

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24 December, 2008 at 7:21 am (art, blue-eyed crow, work) (, , , , , , , , , )


Recently finished.  It was originally much larger, but I liked it much better cut down to this.

A date palm symbolizes planning for the future because it grows very slowly so the children of the person who planted it are the ones to harvest the fruit.

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23 December, 2008 at 1:04 am (art) (, , , , , , )

While I was trying to fit some pieces for an assemblage book together this morning without altering them much I was reminded of how Andy Goldsworthy challenges himself to use materials he finds on site and with minimal modification.  I love that he intends many of his creations to be ephemeral, like Tibetan Buddhist mandalas.  The mandalas in person are so different from their photos, the visible height of the layers and the sound of the scraping on the sand delivery cones, seeing Goldsworthy’s work in person must be even more different, the sounds and smells and breeze would add so much to the experience.  Except the the smell of the dead heron he plucked the feathers from for one piece, I don’t mind missing that.

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seriously, who robs a tomb at 10 in the morning?

18 December, 2008 at 8:55 pm (not so ancient devices) (, , , )


Mystery as century-old Swiss watch discovered in ancient tomb sealed for 400 years

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clock beetle

17 December, 2008 at 6:23 am (art, blue-eyed crow, friends, life, local, work) (, , , , , , , , , , )


I’m letting this piece sit for a while until I figure out where to go with it.  I spent much of today drilling tiny, tiny holes in wire which I will rivet tomorrow, also experimenting with odd-shaped rivets of various materials.

Last Saturday was a day of coincidental meetings.  At the show (which was in another city) I ran into the lovely woman who was my neighbour for the last seven years until she bought a house this summer.  Later, at dinner in a Peruvian restaurant, it turned out that the woman sitting next to me had been in the same Chinese (language) school that I was in, for the same three years, but we had never met before this.  Two friends on my left told us they ran into each other on a sidewalk in New York last month, neither knew the other was planning to be there.

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must have

16 December, 2008 at 1:04 am (not so ancient devices) (, , , )

Science Museum/Science & Society Picture

Science Museum/Science & Society Picture

This is the best tea-maker I have ever seen and, dangerous or not, I wish this was a photo from my kitchen!  Here is the blurb from the Science Museum, where I will have to visit it until someday I make my own:

The original design of this machine was built by Albert E Richardson, a clockmaker from Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire. The patentee of the machine and maker of this example, Frank Clarke, a Birmingham gunsmith, purchased the original machine and all rights to it from Richardson for an undisclosed sum. It was heated by methylated spirits which would be lit by the automatic striking of a match. This action was initiated by the sounding of the alarm clock, which rang again when the tea was ready. A wooden base holds the alarm clock, kettle tilter and methylated spirit stove. Although ingenious, the heavy reliance on the match being lit at the correct time made the machine potentially dangerous. Made by the Automatic Water Boiler Co.

Quick, get the teapot:

Science Museum/Science & Society Picture Library

Science Museum/Science & Society Picture Library

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yet more Antikythera Mechanism

11 December, 2008 at 5:50 am (ancient devices) (, , , , , )

Since I linked to Tony Freeth’s video on the Antikythera Mechanism a couple months ago, and it was so lovely, I assumed I wouldn’t be revisiting that bit of ancient technology here so soon, but between Michael Wright’s reconstruction on Youtube (I am weak for that kind of thing), and the release of  Jo Marchant’s book (I’ve enjoyed her articles in ‘New Scientist’ and ‘Nature’), here we are again.  Ms Marchant’s book will be available in the U.S. January 2009, or you can order it now from

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6 December, 2008 at 1:07 am (art, blue-eyed crow, work) (, )


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