Fruit and Carving Art - "Amazing"

I just can say "amazing", when i saw the fruits was carved like this (image). In Thailand, iy is an honoured tradition. It originated as a court art form but largely died out.

It was kept alive by a few house wives from the noble families and is now becoming popular again. Even if you do not progress to the finest stages of the craft you should not find the examples below beyond you.

Imagine how dramatically they will improve your presentation.
The image show fruit carving made from carrot - pappaya - gourd.

tobe continued..

Boomerangs - Aboriginal Traditional Hunting Weapon Handicraft

Boomerang a bent or curved piece of hard wood - usually mulga wood, used as a missile by the native Australians, the aboriginals. They were very profuse in the use of the boomerang, depending on this for capturing wild animals for food.
One form of the boomerang can be thrown to return to the thrower.

Hunting boomerangs, much larger in size, were crafted out of one original root or branch and were specifically used for hunting for food. Traditional Boomerangs for ritual use were usually much smaller in size and handsomely decorated.

Credited with inventing the boomerang, many Aboriginal groups used this tool mainly for hunting but also in religious ceremonies. The weapon can easily kill a small animal or knock down a larger one.
Hunters all over the world have used spears but the 'woomera', a type of spear thrower, is a unique Aboriginal invention.

A boomerang must be held vertically and thrown with spin. They can travel distances up to 200m. Boomerangs used for hunting are heavy sticks with a slight curve, which means they can be aimed and thrown in a straight line at high speed. These are termed non-returning boomerangs. The spinning motion of the boomerang gives it stability as it flies. The more familiar returning boomerang is light in weight and has a more curved shape, which causes it to fly back to the thrower.

The way that boomerangs work is very complex. Part of the explanation is that boomerangs are flatter on the lower side and more curved on top in a shape called an aerofoil. When a boomerang is in flight, the shape of the boomerang wing and its angle relative to the flightpath (angle of attack) deflects air downward and creates an upward force called lift.

Why do bent boomerangs come back? When a curved boomerang spins in flight, the two wings experience different amounts of lift. One wing always enters undisturbed air, while the other wing is faced with air that has been churned up by the first wing, causing less lift. Also, as the boomerang spins, one wing moves in the direction of the boomerang's flight and has more lift than the other wing which is spinning back. The boomerang tends to flip over but the spinning motion changes this flipping over action into the curved path of the returning boomerang.

Nok Sculpture (Africa) as Oldest Sculptures in Black Africa

The Nok culture originated in a valley in West Africa between the Niger and the Benve Rivers about five or more centuries before Christ. They have produced the oldest sculptures in black Africa. Although the culture died out around 200 AD, they continue to influence other West African cultures and art traditions.

Nok sculptures were made of terra cotta or fired clay. Many of the sculptures found are only of heads. It is possible that these heads were once on full figures, presumably destroyed by erosion. These sculptures were often life size, possibly resembling a worshipped individual. The terra cotta or earthenware sizes range from one inch to life size. The human sculptures are stylized, while animal figures are naturalistic; showing that the producers of these magnificent pieces took pride in their work by taking their time.

As with this head figure, many of the Nok culture's heads are elongated. This head starts from an ornament on the top to just beneath the chin. The lips of the mouth are full, and when together, resemble an oval. There is a small, oval hole in the center of the mouth. Not far above the mouth is a nose in the shape of a triangle. The eyes are large, up-side-down triangles with a circular hole in the center of each. Above the eyes are long, thin, and arched eyebrows. This figure has an extremely long forehead with an ornament on the top. There are no visible lines to represent hair, nor are there any forms to resemble a head ornament such as a hat or crown.

Scholars do not know what function these sculptures had in the Nok society. Based on what we know, that African art has traditionally had a socially-useful function, we are able to form an hypothesis on their uses. It is known that they worshipped ancestors and had many gods. The elaborately detailed figures could represent a god, or a highly prized ancestor, while plain figures could represent a lesser individual; showing social status.

Traditional Japanese Footwear

Traditional Japanese footwear is not seen that often these days as is usually only worn with other traditional clothing.

Zori are sandals made from rice straw or lacquered wood and are worn with a kimono for formal occasions.

Geta are raised wooden clogs that are worn with the informal yukata. Geta are most often seen these days on the feet of sumo wrestlers. You will most likely hear them before you see them as they make a distinctive clacking noise as the wearer walks.

This is sometimes mentioned as one of the sounds that older Japanese miss most in modern life. You may see the occasional buddhist monk wearing wearing waraji, sandals made from straw rope that in the past were the standard footwear of the common people. All three designs allow for free circulation of air around the feet, a feature that probably came about because of Japan's humid climate.

As in many other areas of life, the fashion of the early Japanese nobility was greatly influenced by Chinese culture and so they wore shoes or boots. Geta and zori originated in the Heian Period (794-1192) a time which saw the evolution of a more "native" culture. Geta are made from a flat piece of wood on two slats (called ha, or teeth) that raise the sole part 4-5cm off the ground. his is enough to keep a kimono from getting dirty, though ashida (rain shoes) have slats about 10cm high. Some sushi chefs even wear geta with ha that are up to 17cm high. These "platform" shoes were reincarnated in a brief late-90s fashion trend, where young girls could be seen staggering around on atsuzoku (thick heels).

Both geta and zori are held on the feet by a hanao (thong), which is usually black for men and red for women. Zori are usually worn with white, split-toe cotton socks called tabi. Construction workers, who can be seen in brightly colored overalls with very baggy trousers, often wear jika tabi, heavy cotton tabi "shoes" with rubber soles.

While traditional Japanese dress has been largely replaced with western clothing, some of its customs still survive intact. The most common is the practice of removing one's shoes when entering someone's home. The custom is a combination of cleanliness and the fact that traditional flooring is made from tatami, straw matting that is easily damaged by footwear. There is a story of the first American consul to Japan, Townsend Harris getting off to a bad start with his hosts by walking straight into the shogun's presence in Edo Castle without removing his shoes.

While geta have become pretty rare, the shoe cupboard in every home's genkan (entrance hallway) is still called a getabako (geta box). When you enter the genkan, you must remove your shoes and the formal etiquette is to leave them neatly aligned and to the side, facing inwards. The host turns them around and puts them in the center before you leave. Younger people tend not to worry about these finer details anymore. But when entering shrine or temple buildings and many Japanese-style restaurants, you will be expected to remove your shoes. Many restaurants and homes provide slippers for guests, though these should be removed when entering a room with tatami mat flooring. Also, there will be a separate pair of slippers to be changed into in the toilet.

The Japanese have a very deep-rooted though largely unspoken understanding of the difference between spaces. The genkan is a kind of border post post between the outside world and the inner sanctum of the home. Delivery men may quite casually step into your genkan but that's as far as they'll go without you inviting them in. There is almost always a step up into the home and the Japanese word for entering a home is literally to "step up". Even when entering your own home (uchi, meaning inside), the act of removing your shoes is symbolic of casting off the worries and troubles as well as the dirt of the outside world (soto). "Dosoku de agarikomu" (literally, go inside with soiled feet) is a metaphor for meddling thoughtlessly in someone else's affairs.

The Art of African Ethnic - Boa Mask Carve

The Boa ethnic group comprises 200,000 savanna-dwelling people living in the northern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Each village is headed by a chief from the most prestigious clan.

The Boa are mainly farmers and are in frequent contact with Mangbetu and Zande.
The Boa are known principally for their masks, believed to be used in war-related ceremonies, to enhance the warrior's courage or to celebrate victories.

These masks have set-apart, prominent, round ears, suggesting alertness, and are covered alternately with dark and light pigments. They have been described as belonging to warrior or secret associations and are considered to be war masks or disguises used in hunting although the precise function of Boa masks is not known.

The Boa carve statues with apotropaic functions. They also produce harps with human heads carved at the neck; sometimes the harp body is completely sculptured as a male or female figure.

Chinese Silk Painting

From sometime in the Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.) and over a long period of time in ancient China, plain silk of various descriptions joined bamboo and wood slips as the material for writing or painting on. Silk had advantages over the slips in that it was much lighter and could be cut in desired shapes and sizes and folded, the better to be kept and carried.

But owing to its much greater cost, silk was never so popularly used as the slips. The most valuable find of ancient silk writings was made in 1973 from an ancient tomb known as the No.3 Han Tomb at Mawangdui, Changsha, Hunan Province. It is in the form of 30-odd pieces of silk, bearing more than 120,000 characters.

They consist largely of ancient works that had long been lost. For instance, Wuxingzhan describes the orbits of five planets (Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars and Saturn) and gives the cycles of their alignment, all with a precision far more remarkable than similar works which appeared later. Also found were three maps drawn on silk, showing the topograpghy, the stationing of troops and the cities and towns of certain regions of China.
They are the earliest maps in China, and n the world as well, that have been made on the basis of field surveys.

Contrary to their modern counterparts, they show south on top and north at the bottom. The topographic map is at a scale of 1:180,000, and the troop distributton map at about 1:80,000/100,000. Their historical value may be easily imagined when one remembers that they are at least 2,100 years old.

Silk was considered in old China an exquisite material for writing on; some were pre-marked with lines in vermilion. During the Tang Dynasty (618-907), it was the fashion to weave the lines into plain white silk to be used exclusively for writing.

Many artists of today have carried on the ancient practice of painting and writing on silk.

Masks in Chinese Culture

Masks in Chinese culture are part and parcel of the world culture of masks. Masks first appeared in China during the Shang and Zhou some 3,500 years ago as a major element in Chinese shamanism.

The worshipping of the god which drives away pestilence, the exorcising dances and operas, and many of the Shamanist rituals, cannot do without masks, Even today, masks are still being worn during religious rituals, weddings and funerals among nearly 40 ethnic peoples who inhabit some 20 provinces and autonomous regions. Masks are, indeed, vehicles of a wealth of historical and cultural information.

Chinese masks are generally made of wood, and worn either on one's face of head. Through colourfully painted images of people, ghosts, demons and celestial animals, they are purported to convey certain meanings. The Chinese masks fall into the following categories.

Exorcising Dancers' Masks. These masks, used at religious sacrigicial ceremonies among certain minority peoples, are designed to dispel ghosts and pestilence and ask gods for blessings.

Masks for Festive Occasions. Such masks are worn by people when they join exorcising dancers during festivals or memorial services. The purpose of such masks is to pray for long life and rich harvests and keep evil spirits at bay. In many places such gatherings have become a marry-making activity.

Masks for New Born Babies. These masks are used when members of society attend ceremonies marking the birth of a baby.

Masks for Keeping Houses Safe. These masks are developed on the basis of those worn by exorcising dancers and hung on important positions of a house to scare away evil spirits.

Masks for Theatrical Performances. In the theatre of many ethnic minorities, masks are an important means to portray the images and personality of the characters. Because of this they are of high cultural and artistic value.

Fostoria American and Jobling 2077 Patterns Glass

Fostoria American and Jobling 2077 patterns are very similar, as Emily Seate, co-author of the book "Fostoria Stemware" pointed out. There has been some confusion which I hope this short piece helps to sort it out. John Bell, a glass specialist from the North East of England (the home of Joblings) has helped us by providing a photograph of his Jobling's bowl and many other people have contributed to the information now on this page.

The English company James A. Joblings & Co Ltd., produced a "3-handled salad bowl" and a "3-handled small bowl" in a very similar "icecube" pattern to Fostoria "American". This was part of an experiment in expensive quality pressed glass that Jobling's introduced in the mid-1930's, but discontinued in 1939 because the depression and the Second World War put an end to production.

The Jobling's catalogue form the mid 1930's shows only these two shapes in this pattern, and only in this colour (jade). However, an earlier catalogue shows these two three-handled bowls and in addition a large jug and small jug (each with one handle) and tumbler and low sugar bowl both without handles. There is a flint glass version and I have seen a deep turquoise version in John Bell's shop in the North East of England. These were probably made before the 1930s. Below is a photograph of the turquoise bowl belonging to John Bell and my clear glass set with one jade bowl.

The plain "icecubes" pattern (without the Jobling's star) was known in England as "Georgian" and was imported in large quantities by Charles Pratt's National Glass Company (which had showrooms in Charterhouse Street, London) along with another popular design "Chippendale" (patented in the USA in 1907). In 1931 the British Government introduced a 50% import duty on glass, and at that time the moulds for popular designs from overseas were bought and imported so that the glass could be made in Britain.

We know that the moulds for the Czechoslovakian design known as "Jacobean" were imported around 1931, and British firms then made that design, notably Davidsons. The moulds for "Chippendale" were imported from the USA and made at Davidsons. So it would not be surprising to find that the moulds for "Georgian" were also imported and the glass made in England during the 1930's. Davidson's did advertise a design they called "Georgian" at that time, but I have not so far found a picture of that design. The picture below shows two English versions of the ice cube design. On the left is a small Jobling 2077 bowl in jade, and on the right a sugar bowl which is marked on the inside "Made in England" in jade glass typical of Davidson's. This is probably an example of Davidson's "Georgian" pattern.

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Maori Musical Instruments, the Koauau and Putatara

Maori musical instruments, the koauau (wooden flutes) and putatara (trompet).

The koaua - and the longest Maori placename: Tetaumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu (Te taumata whatatangihanga koauau o tamatea uraehae turipukaka pikimaunga horonuku pokaiwhenua ki tanatahu) .

It is the name given by the local Maori people, Ngati Kere to a prominent hill to celebrate the achievements of Maori ancestor, Tamatea Pokai Whenua. Tamatea was a famous chief and warrior of his time. His son Kahungunu was the founder of the Ngati Kahungunu tribe, which extends from Gisborne to Cape Palliser.
Maori musical instruments, the koauau (wooden flutes) and putatara (trompet. Tamatea was so grieved over the loss of his brother in the Matanui battle, he would sit on the hill and play his lament on what is called the koauau or Maori flute. The name means 'T
he hilltop where Tamatea, with big knees, conqueror of mountains, eater of land, traveller over land and sea, played his Koauau (flute) to his beloved'.

Maori koauau

The koauau of old were produced by individuals, tohunga whakairo, Master Carvers, out of various materials. Wood, bone and stone koauau being predominant.

The rakau (wooden) koauau allowed the carvers to produce often intricately carved and decorated pieces that would often pass down through the generations….

Carve your niche in the sculpture market

What makes sculpture a unique art experience is the fact that it must be observed over time to understand. Sculpture is a freestanding work that's intended to be viewed from a continuously changing vantage point to observe how the form evolves. The interplay of light on and across the surfaces accentuates forms and textures.

Sculpture is also different from wall art in the process of creation; materials used and methods of casting require collaboration between an artist and technician. Knowing the process, therefore, is as much a part of the sculpture experience as viewing.

Understanding these factors ultimately will ensure a gallery's success with sculpture. "Selling sculpture is not much different than selling paintings," said Daniel Winn, c.e.o. of Masterpiece Publishing. "It's important to understand the process and to communicate that knowledge to collectors."

In some ways, Winn added, sculpture is easier to sell than wall art. "You can take advantage of sculpture's tactile properties," he said. "If customers can touch and handle sculpture, they experience it in a more fundamental way."

A major advantage to selling sculpture is its ability to convert more square footage into valuable real estate. "Sculpture can be displayed in unused or walking space," said Karen Johnston, president and c.e.o. of Fingerhut Group Publishers. "It's a practical way to make the most out of a gallery space."

For gallery owners who want to delve into the sculpture arena, here are some tips to consider:

Highlight the display. Many novice sculpture dealers make the mistake of shoving three-dimensional art into an empty corner and calling it a day; when time goes by without a sale, they decide that investing in a sculpture inventory doesn't pay off.

The best sculpture displays take two facts into consideration: first, the display should show off the characteristics that make sculpture different from wall art--its multiple dimensions, textures and forms. Said Winn, "Sculpture must have the right light. This is the area where I see the most mistakes. The light must focus on the sculpture.

"Customers also must be able to walk around it, look at it from various angles. You shouldn't use three-dimensional art as an accent, but as a focus."

Smaller sculptures can be protected from theft by being placed on a pedestal with a Plexiglas cover or behind locked glass shelves. Some galleries also use metal detectors.

Show how sculpture complements wall art. In keeping with the idea of making sculpture a focus, rather than an accent, gallery owners need to inter-mingle sculpture with other art. Some artists even produce sculpture designed to complement their own published art. By showing customers how a sculpture fits in with other art, you can direct their collecting in new and exciting directions.

Don't skimp on promotion. Since sculpture requires a substantial investment, gallery owners may be tempted not to put more dollars in sculpture beyond the purchase price. The fact is, sculpture can be more profitable than published art. Once gallery owners realize this, they're more willing to spend money on pedestals, lighting and advertisements.

Most major publishers realize the importance of promotion; you can lower marketing costs by using the promotional materials publishers offer their representatives. Go with a publisher who supports its artists. That way, you're not doing all the work. It decreases your costs and increases the artist's exposure.

Consignment versus purchase. Consignment seems, at face value, like the way to go; gallery owners can offer sculpture without adding to their overhead costs. When deciding whether to accept a consignment or make a purchase, consider two points: first, will you give the same commitment to selling a piece that doesn't represent the same kind of investment as your other art inventory? You and your sales representatives must be passionate about a piece of consignment sculpture, or the incentive to promote it will lag behind the other pieces you've poured money into. Second, is this an artist with a proven track record? Taking on an untried artist may give you the satisfaction of launching a new career; however, if you continually offer artists' works on consignment that consistently don't sell, you may find yourself without a solid base of return collectors.

COPYRIGHT 2002 Advanstar Communications, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

India - A Shoppers Paradise

India, the country which boasts of its rich culture has to its credit the diversity in its, costumes, traditions. India has a wealth of knowledge and skills, which have been passed down from generation to generation. Rajasthan and Gujarat stand out above other states for their colourful embroidery, mirror work, quilting and fabric printing. The variety of art and craft in India can be attributed to it's variety in climates, geography and culture. Different states and regions predominate in art and craft, which is unique to that area. Kashmir is widely known for its Pashmina wool shawls as well as carpets, silverware and ivories, while engraved and enameled meenakari brassware can be found in Rajasthan.

Certain regions are famous for crystals and semi precious stones. You can witness the richness of colours in Indian textiles in the seven-meter silk sarees and the intricate detailed work in small silk brocades from Varanasi. Every handicraft sold in the country is made by tightly knit communities.
Agra's marble workers whose shops look out on to labyrinthine bylanes in the area around the Taj Mahal, for instance, are the descendants of those who lavished the Taj Mahal's walls with pietra dura. In Ahmedabad, Gujarat, narrow alleyways still bear the names of those guilds that once lived in them. It is possible to actually watch craftsmen at work in any city or town in INDIA.

Each state in the country has something different to offer. The theme shopper who wants to collect only paintings can buy miniature paintings on silk, marble tiles, parchment or ivory from each of the several schools of miniature paintings in the country; religious paintings on pressed rags from Orissa and simplistic tribal graphics from Madhuban in Bihar and Warli in Maharashtra. Textiles, wooden dowry chests, embroideries - all these produced in various corners of the country, each being unique in its design element and in its motifs. Sarees are the best known subjects of daily wear. Widely used by much of India's female population, sarees range from gossamer thin Chanderis woven in silk to the thick Kanjeevaram silks of Tamil Nadu.

Both types are distinguished by the restrained use of motifs, but ikats from Orissa, in hand spun cottons of earthy colours, are woven with traditional motifs of a highly distinctive blurred appearance, obtained by precise dyeing and weaving techniques. Indian sarees take as their theme parrots or elephants, seashells or stylized flowers, and sometimes an architectural motif - geometrical patterns or Muslim architectural details are also echoed in sarees.

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Koru - New Zealand Bone Carving

The koru shape is a scroll shape and is linked to the New Zealand fern plant. The shoot of the fern has a curled-over tip which unfurls and becomes a fernleaf.

The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new positive beginnings...

The koru, represents the unfolding of new life, that everything is reborn and continues. It represents renewal and hope for the future.

Spiral, geometry of life, sacred creation...