Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Glorious Library

The Library of Congress
Aerial View of Front Fountain
Entrance Longfellow Mosaic
Mosaic Near the Main Reading Room
Ceiling View
The Main Stairs
Another Ceiling View
Main Reading Room
Thomas Jefferson's Library
Mr. Jefferson's Library Catalogue
Inside the Spiral
Original Books and Replacement Books 
So Much to See




Saturday, April 19, 2014

Obelisk Experiments

Cutting out a pattern...
Parts and pieces out to dry...
Wonky obelisk sample...
Small scale bird and large scale...
Large scale bird obelisk...
Small scale bird obelisk...
Some relaxing chamomile after hours...



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The National Museum of the American Indian: Mayan Ceramics

Freestanding Sculpture...

Animal Jars...

Small Figure...

Black and White Jar…

Carved Bowl...

A Representation of the Carving...

Awesome Sprig Mold...

Animal Vessel...

Animal Jar...

Finished with Slip and Mineral Paint...

More Mineral Paint...

Ceremonial Bowl...

Animal Bowl...

Minimalist Vessel...

Footed Jar...

Texture Stamps...

Fantastic Enclosed Animal Jar...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mr. Washington's Residence

The entrance to Mount Vernon...

One of my favorite parts of a recent vacation to Washington D.C., was our visit to Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington. The house is located in a lovely, peaceful spot, surrounded by fields. It was a treat to see the simple, classic design of the house. It was built by a man who didn't like to live beyond his means. And, also by a man who cared about his surroundings, and about style. One of my favorite features of the home, was a small glass box on the wall by the staircase. It contained the key to the Bastille, given to Washington by his friend, the Marquis de Lafayette. Ironically, Lafayette himself spent time jailed by the mobs during the French Revolution.

The museum adjacent to Mount Vernon had a small display case holding Mr. Washington's famous false teeth. It hurt just to look at them! There was also a lovely bust of Washington made by Jean-Antoine Houdon. They say that it is a great likeness of Washington. His face is stern, and looks like the face of a person governed by a strong sense of morality. I remember reading about him, in a book for children, that when he resigned the presidency, people wept. But, how could they have kept him from his beloved home?

A weather vane in the shape of a dove bearing an olive branch...
The view from the doors of the Sitting Room...
Good design at every view...
Rounded red shingles...
Washington's secretary lived in a small outbuilding...
The view from the doors of Washington's Study...
Washington couldn't afford brick, so he faced the front with wood...

The wood was plastered with sand, to simulate brick...

One of the outbuildings, where wagons were stored...

Monday, April 14, 2014

"Is this to your liking?"

First sight of the Old World...

I learned some new things about Colonial America, when I visited Williamsburg. I had already known about how clothing was a reflection of social class. It was fun to see the re-enactors, and to decide their status, based upon their clothing. I also learned that no ceramics were made at Williamsburg. The British didn't allow them to be produced on site, so that the colonists would have to import their ceramics from England. I also learned that there was very little cash in the colonies. So, most people made purchases on credit. Anyone who was paying with cash, made all of the shopkeepers and tradesmen deliriously happy. All of the goods that were produced in the town, were purchased by wealthy folk, living in the town. The average person purchased goods that were made more cheaply in England, because the goods made on site were too expensive.

I would love to go back and spend more time in the town. There were some amazing guides and docents. I especially enjoyed learning about the process of brick making. The more bricks a house had, the wealthier the homeowner. Away from Williamsburg, all bricks were made on site, from the local clay of the landowner. Wood firings lasted for five days, and the master would "eyeball" the bricks, to know if they were done. As a kiln owner, I can appreciate the skill that must have been involved. The jars at the Apothecary Shop were lovely. They were made in England, and had spouts for pouring out the medicine, and paper covers instead of lids. There were glass decanters for the medicines that might evaporate. One medicine, kept in a drawer, that was in high demand was the bark of a rainforest tree that fought off malaria. When the shipping embargo began, this medicine was difficult to get.

I especially want to thank the docent at the Tea House.  It was a room where wealthy gentlemen could meet, in order to talk about business and politics. Our docent served us delicious hot chocolate. She said that sometimes it would be served with chile powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, or wine. It was wonderful!


The green, near the center of town...

The Dressmaker Shop, with a project in the works...

  A seamstress quietly works in the light of the window...

A silversmith demonstrates making a bowl...

Loved all of the hanging signs...

A magnificent entrance...

Supplies at the shop of the Apothecary...

The top shelves contained pourable medicines...

The middle shelves had medicines that would evaporate...

The wallpaper at the club for gentlemen...

A desk at the club...

The room where coffee, tea, and hot chocolate were served...

The discreet exit door to the Coffeehouse...

A strange room in the Governor's Palace...

And, it has birdcages, too...

Wild wall color at the Governor's Palace...

Decorative brick work on the exterior wall...

Figured wallpaper at the Wythe House...

Purple stripes in the upper bedroom...

A return to the New World...