Glass Painting

I finally opened up my supplies of glass painting. It’s embarrassing how long it has taken me to get around to it. But I have to say, it was a great deal of fun.

I see also why I need a light table.  I don’t own one, I have actually never used one. So I suppose I will be learning how to make one, which I understand isn’t too difficult.

 

Camel - Tracing black applied

 

 

The camel after I applied the tracing black.

Camel, Tracing black fired

Tracing black fired

Tracing black fired

 

Both the camel and the Sybil after the tracing black was fired. The camel’s tracing black came out really nice. The Sybil had a few parts that had flaked off. I had more trouble mixing the black the second time than I did the first time.

Tracing black and silver stain

Tracing black and silver stain

 

After the second firing where the silver stain has been applied.

Finished

Sybil – Finished

 

 

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Mid 16th Century Majolica Armorial Plates

 

 

 
Vienna's Platephoto

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Experiments in utilitarian objects

Sometimes I like to step down from the lap of opulent earthenware and try more basic items.

This summer I made a frying pan from extant examples and then tried it out.  I did put a lot of effort into it’s beauty because I wasn’t sure if it would crack the first time I used it.

It was a lot of fun.

 

14th Century Fry Pan

14th Century Fry Pan

 

 

 

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Mid 16th Century Flower Holder

Mid 16th Century Flower Holder.

Baroness Ysabella de Draguignan

 

 

Maiolica, or majolica, is a glazing technique employed to mimic porcelain. The tin glaze creates a white surface to which oxides are added to create a scene, often in vibrant colours. Islamic artists utilized the technique from the 9th century onward. It was introduced to Europe in the 14th century and collected by the wealthy nobility. Many pieces feature elaborate portraiture and heraldic displays.

 

Tin glaze was made up of sand; wine lees (dead yeast from the fermentation process) which contributed potassium carbonate (Pearl Ash; a colour modifier), lime (whitener), magnesium (glaze flow and adherence); and compounds of tin (whitener and opacifier); and lead (enhances colour at low temperatures).

 

 

A majolica vase, formed in the shape of a book, created somewhere between 1500 and 1550 in Northern Italy, maker and shop is unknown. It is unknown if this piece was created in the well-known majolica workshops of Montelupo.

 

At this time of writing, this is a unique piece. Most flowers found in manuscripts are being displayed in jugs or pitchers.

The vase has cover and binding as a book, and pages painted on the edge, but not the top. The top has several holes with flower petals painted around each where the stems of flowers would be inserted into the receptacle.

 

Both sides of the book are decorated with the same scene with a figure in the internal rectangle. The figure appears to be religious in nature, being dressed in ecclesiastical vestments and having a halo.  There is the head and wings of a cherub at the top and bottom of the floral border. The leaves are glazed a copper green, but the vines are left white.  The spine is decorated with stems and leaves similar to the border.

 

I created it by slab construction, measured out and cut pieces. I waited until the pieces were nearly leather hard, and then assembled the pieces using scoring and slip to glue pieces together. This piece was fired at cone 05 with an ending temperature of 1870 degrees F, with a firing time of 12.20 hours.

 

Although I have created my own tin glaze in the past, I do not do so now, due to toxicity concerns for my two young children. It is not worth it to me at this time. I used Amaco Opaque White (LG-11) as the base and a combination of amaco “majolica” glazes (GDC series), Duncan overglazes, and Mason stains. It gives an appropriate look, and is dinnerware safe.

 

I changed the central figure to that of Christine de Pizan, a 15th Century Italian-French author, a particular favorite of mine.

I also changed the cherubs to moon and sun, because I hate cherubs.

 

 

Bibliography

 

“Flower-holder.” Search the Collections. Victoria & Albert Museum, n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2013. <http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O129398/flower-holder-unknown/>.

 

Hess, Catherine. Italian Ceramics: Catalogue of the J. Paul Getty Museum Collection. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2002. Print.

 

Piccolpasso, Cipriano, R. W. Lightbown, and Alan Caiger-Smith. The Three Books of the Potter’s Art: A Facsimile of the Manuscript in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. London: Scolar, 1980. Print.

 

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Tourney Prize

Tourney Prize for St. Elegius, November 2012

 

Hand built pitcher with majolica glazing

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Mid 16th Century Mirror Frame

 

Mid 16th Century Mirror Frame

Baroness Ysabella de Draguignan

Victoria and Albert Museum, London
(from Salting collection)

 

A tin-glazed earthenware profile mirror frame created circa 1500, in Montelupo, Italy. Two earthenware extant pieces and kiln waste give evidence that it was a basic mold and produced at one of the ceramic shops in Montelupo.

 

 

 

The Extant Pieces
Earthenware

 

Musée National de la Renaissance,
Écouen (Parigi), acquisto 1852

Victoria & Albert Museum, London
(from Salting collection)

 

The tin glazed earthenware mirrors were created from basic plaster molds that were created in order to speed up the sculpting process. The Archaeological group of Montelupo found the molds and kiln scraps during an excavation of a well in 1977. The well was located inside the castle and was called “pozzo dei lavatoi” (tr. the well of washing). It was filled with fragments of pottery from the kilns of the town.

 

After the base was created, ornaments and personal affects such as slight deviations in jewelry were added after to complete a commissioned piece.  After it was bisque fired, the artist would increase the personal nature of the piece by customizing the hair colour, clothing, and in the case of the example from the Victoria & Albert Museum, the name “Isoretta”.

 

The dimensions of extant earthenware piece in Victoria and Albert museum:

Height: 37.5 cm

Width: 29 cm

Depth: 4 cm

Weight: 1.94 kg

 

Papier Mâché

It is similar in design to a papier mâché piece also at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, England:

The papier mâché mirror was created by the workshop of the artist Neroccio di Bartolomeo de’ Landi in Sienna, Italy. Instead of hands surrounding the mirror, there are heads of Putti (cherubs) facing downward with arms outstretched on either side of the mirror.  The bodies of the Putti turn into winding vines at the top of the frame.

 

Marble

Another mirror frame is sculpted from marble by the Italian sculptor Mino da Fiesole (1429-1484).  Created between 1460 and 1470, it is the earliest of the extant profile mirrors. It is very similar to the other profile mirror frames in that it contains a richly dressed young noble woman with expensive jewelry and hair styling, with a demure visage. The principle difference being, instead of having hands holding the mirror, it has angel wings, which were gilded.

 

In both the marble and earthenware pieces, the mirror is the pendant of a thick and opulent chain necklace. The marble piece must have been for an extremely wealthy client.  The timing of the creation of this piece corresponds to the time that Fiesole was working for the Medici family, and their notable associates.

 

Compared to marble, both papier mâché and the earthenware are lesser materials, and at least in the case of the earthenware, these can be considered copies from the marble piece. Although these other pieces were not nearly as exorbitant as the marble sculpture, they are by no means inexpensive pieces and were likely commissioned pieces.

 

Maiolica

 

Maiolica, or majolica, is a glazing technique employed to mimic porcelain. The tin glaze creates a white surface to which oxides are added to create a scene, often in vibrant colours. Islamic artists utilized the technique from the 9th century onward. It was introduced to Europe in the 14th century and collected by the wealthy nobility. Many pieces feature elaborate portraiture and heraldic displays.

 

Tin glaze was made up of sand; wine lees (dead yeast from the fermentation process) which contributed potassium carbonate (Pearl Ash; a colour modifier), lime (whitener), magnesium (glaze flow and adherence); and compounds of tin (whitener and opacifier); and lead (enhances colour at low temperatures).

 

My Construction

 

I rolled out a slab of terra cotta and began with a general outline of the shape I wanted to create. I added clay for the head and body, and took away clay from the background, which helped produce a border that appears behind the subject.  This piece was fired at Cone 05 with an ending temperature of 1870 degrees F, with a firing time of 12.20 hours.


Although I have created my own tin glaze in the past, I do not do so now, due to toxicity concerns for my two young children. It is not worth it to me at this time. I used Amaco Opaque White (LG-11) as the base and a combination of amaco “majolica” glazes (GDC series), Duncan overglazes, and Mason stains. It gives an appropriate look, and is dinnerware safe.  It was also fired to Cone 05.

 

Opaque white (tin glaze) is applied over the entire piece.

Using mineral based stains I colour in the figure.

The piece after the glaze has been fired.

The mirror would have been either a highly polished piece of metal, or a piece of plate glass that was covered with mercury.

Since I did not want to work with mercury, I found a modern substitute that I had seen crafters use to create mercury glass. The spray paint is made by Krylon and is part of their Looking Glass Mirror Like Paint series.

 

I cut a piece of plate glass to fit the border on the frame.  After cleaning it of oil, I applied the Krylon paint as directed. I then affixed the mirror into the frame with E-6000 self-leveling adhesives, which is an industrial strength adhesive that bonds non-porous surfaces in order to prevent the mirror from coming loose.

 

Bibliography

 

Berti, F. Capolavori Della Maiolica Rinascimentale: Montelupo Fabbrica Di Firenze, 1400-1630 : Firenze, Palazzo Medici Riccardi, 31 Maggio-27 Ottobre 2002. Montelupo Fiorentino (Firenze): Aedo, 2002. Print.

 

“Capolavori Della Maiolica Rinascimentale.” Capolavori Della Maiolica Rinascimentale. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2013.

 

Hess, Catherine. Italian Ceramics: Catalogue of the J. Paul Getty Museum Collection. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2002. Print.

 

“Mirror Frame.” Search the Collections. Victoria & Albert Museum, n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2013. <http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O161874/mirror-frame-unknown/>.

 

“Mirror Frame-Landi, Neroccio De.” Search the Collections. Victoria & Albert Museum, n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2013. <http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O93438/mirror-frame-landi-neroccio-de/>.

 

Piccolpasso, Cipriano, R. W. Lightbown, and Alan Caiger-Smith. The Three Books of the Potter’s Art: A Facsimile of the Manuscript in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. London: Scolar, 1980. Print.

 

Sebregondi, Ludovica, and Tim Parks. Money and Beauty: Bankers, Botticelli and the Bonfire of the Vanities. Florence, Italy: Giunti, 2011. Print.

 

 

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Sometimes bad weather happens to good pottery

I had been diligently working on a very large 16th century wine cistern last fall. It was nearly finished, but because of it’s very large size required additional drying time before I fired it in the kiln. Then there was a hurricane. The weather fluctuated so drastically that it cause very large cracks to form in the basin, part of the foot cracked off and so did the garland on side.

Oh the frustration!  Eventually I fired it anyway and I will use it in the back yard for planting mint.

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Gaston Phoebus: He Uses Antlers in All of His Decorating.

 

 

Gaston Phoebus’ “Book of the Hunt” is familiar to many of us as a source for illuminations. However, how many of us know what type of person Gaston was? The Count of Foix from 1343 until his death in 1391, Gaston Phoebus was a handsome man, hence the addition of “Phoebus” which means “shining one” and is used to denote the Sun God Apollo, to his title. Gaston’s court was in the south of France, and because of him Foix became one of the most powerful domains of France.

 

Gaston had a notable temper, even when concerning his son Gaston.

Jean Froissart writes that the son Gaston had been given a powder by his Uncle, King Charles II of Navarre, brother to the Countess. He was deceived into thinking it was a simple powder that would create a longing in the Count for his wife, but in actuality it was a deadly poison. In a fit of anger Gaston killed his own son, for he thought that he was attempting to usurp Gaston’s position as Count. Then, in repentance for this act, he wrote “Livre des Oraisons” (tr. “A book of Prayer”).

 

Gaston began work on the “Livre de la chass” (tr. “Book of the Hunt”) on May 1st 1387. Two years later it was finished, and he dedicated it to Philippe-le-Hardi, Duc de Bourgogne.

 

The original book is lost; however there are a total of forty-four copies.

Edward of Norwich, 2nd Duke of York, translated it into English between 1406 and 1413.  A copy is located the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York.

 

 

The book is separated into sections

 

  1. Animals
  2. Hunting Dogs and hunting dog care
  3. Preparations for hunting
    1. Readying dogs
    2. Hunting horn calls
    3. Laying traps
  4. Hunting of animals previously discussed

 

 

 

Animals

 

Chapters 1-14

Fol 16-37

Gaston concerns the first section with animals that he describes as “Bestes Dolce”.  These are animals that do not prey or stalk other animals. Deer, hart, hares.

He then discusses animals that do prey on others such as wolves, lynx, and the fox.  Animals are physically described, and their habits discussed, along with how best to hunt the animal.

 

 

 

Hunting Dogs and hunting dog care

 

Chapter 15- 24

Fol. 37v -53

“For a hound is the noblest and most reasonable beast that God has created. He loves his Master loyally and unconditionally”

 

Gaston lists types of hunting dogs (Spaniels, Greyhounds, Mastiff, etc) their behaviors and quirks and which hounds are better for which type of hunt.

He explains how to take care of hounds, bitches, and puppies.

He then discusses the typical sicknesses or maladies that can affect the dogs. In the last Chapter concerning dogs is the proper Kenneling of the animals and upkeep by the grooms, and how to allow the dogs “play time”.

 

 

Preparations for hunting

 

Ch 25-44

Fol. 53v-75v

 

How to make traps and snares. How to bow the hunting horn and to set the hounds to hunt and how the Huntsmen should react to the various types of landscapes in which they find quarry.

 

Hunting of animals previously discussed

 

Ch. 45-85

Fol. 77-120v

 

 

Components of the illumination can be broken down into

  • Quadrangle “window”
  • Background
    • diapering
    • Blue sky with buildings, also know as the “Perfect day”
    • Gold vinework
  • Landscape
  • Animals

 

  • Border with white work.

 

Size of page 357 X 250 mm

Size of painted area approx 150 x 160 mm

An appropriate calligraphy hand would be Gothic book hand script.

 

 

Background

 

Background consists of diapering, gold vinework, or what I like to call “A perfect day”. I call it this because the sky is a lovely clear blue, with not a cloud over hanging: a lovely day for hunting. You can see the faint outlines of buildings in the background.

A basic background of light blues to simulate a clear blue sky achieves this. A light haze near the horizon by blending the blue with a little white and I water it down.

Watering down either gold gouache or shell gold creates buildings.

 

Diaper is when a small geometric pattern is repeated.

 

 

Gold vinework is a collection of gold vines or acanthus leaves in shell gold or gouache on a red or blue background.

It appears that the background was painted first by artists who sole job was to paint backgrounds.  There are some instances where it is evident that the figures were painted directly onto the background. I have not done this myself

 

 

Landscape

 

Typical forest scene consisting of trees, bushes, streams, rocks and crags for mountain climbing varieties, burrows for rabbits, etc

 

 

 

 

 

 

Animals

 

Animals or other figures are depicted in their natural settings or in various stages of the hunt.

 

Border

 

Border is consistently part red and part blue with white work, intersecting corners and edges are painted gold.

A border can be all one colour, as long as the other colour is used in some fashion on any of the other borders.

I have used Windsor & Newton Permanent white mixed with Ox gall to a consistency like cream works well. However, I now use Dr. Ph. Martin’s, Pen White with great success.

 

 

When we pull this manuscript apart into its component parts we have numerous resources for varied and very individual scrolls for our society awards.

 

 

 

 

 

Online Resources

 

Gaston Phoebus, Book of the Hunt, 15th Century. (BNF, FR 616)

These have all illuminations from the book at a fairly good resolution, although it could be better.

 

http://www.bnf.fr/enluminures/manuscrits/aman10.htm

 

 

From the Morgan Online collection

Making Snares and Feeding Dogs

I like this because you can zoom in quite a bit and are able to really see the shading. It also gives you an example of a full page, which the above site does not give.

http://www.themorgan.org/collections/collections.asp?id=86

 

 

 

bib

Book III, ch. 9 (Johnes, v. 2, pp. 95-99) chronicles of Froissart

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Scrolls

The first is a chivalry scroll in the style of a Russian icon for Sir Ivar.

 

Source: Saint Alexander Nevsky

 

 

I changed the weapon to the one that Ivar uses, and added the cross and the calla lily to represent his faith and his wife which are both very important to him.

 

The second is a Pelican scroll for Frigga in the style of the Franks Casket

 

 

he wording:
Ic seah wundorlice wiht: wita cyninga,
Stan cynerican stæðfugel is,
god in mihtwyrhtum, micel in hire arfæstnese.
Ne mid moðermeolce muðas sind afeded hire

ac bearnas æt lufbreost lifbroð habbaþ.
Dufedoppa
Kenric Cyning and Avelina Cwen Freygerðe in Storraðe Halladottire (Freygerð in Storraða Halladottur) ræredon to Gesiðe Dufedoppan æt Beadusetle Norðlandscipes in Glenlinscire, in ____ dæge æfterra Liðan AS XLVII.which in Modern English means:I saw a wondrous thing: the wise-one of kings,
the boulder of the kingdom, is a bird of the shore,
good in mighty deeds, great in her piety.
Not of mother’s milk are mouths fed by her
but bairns at love-breast have broth of life.
Pelican
Kenric King and Avelina Queen raised Freygerð in Storraða Halladottir to the Companionship of the Pelican at the War-Camp of the North-Region in Glenn Linn shire, on the 30th day of June, AS 47.

Source: Franks Casket

 

 

Words: Toki Redbeard

Old English: Mistress Fiana of Clare

 

 

The rest of my scribal work can be found here

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A clay figurine with the “Kruseler” headdress, Upper Rhine, 14th-16th Centuries

 

 

14th century extant Kruseler headdress Püppchens Nuremburg, Germany

 

Medieval dolls or “babies” as they were called in period, are found in various shapes, sizes, and materials.  They are as simple as a piece of flat wood and as complex as a wire frame with elaborate beaded clothing and hair.

 

 

Many examples of clay figurines have been found in Nuremburg, Germany and date from the 14th-16th Century and among these are the Kruseler headdress Püppchens.  These figures are made from white pipe clay, which is a clay that contains little to no iron resulting in a white or pale cream colour.  The clay was then pressed in molds, so that the majority of decoration is on the front and the back is mostly flat.  These Püppchens exhibit the Kruseler headdress, which was popular for wealthy women to wear.

 

I used a low fire earthenware clay hand sculpted, and fired to cone 05.  There is no evidence that these were painted in any way, so I left it bisque fired.

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

King, C. E., (1977) A Collector’s History of Dolls, New York, Bonanza Books.

 

Schmudlach, Dieter.(2007,  December 10). Zurück zu den Kruseler Püppchen. “Retrieved October, 10, 2009 from http://www.landschaftsmuseum.de/Seiten/Lexikon/Spiele-Puppen-2.htm

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