Q: What is 234 pages long, with 11 foldout pages containing diagrams of the heavens, written in what appears (even to the most ingenious code-crackers in history) to be gibberish, adorned with pictures of impossible flora and “decidedly unerotic drawings of groups of plump naked women?”
A: The Voynich Manuscript!
Alas, that is all the answer we can provide. But, for more information and a history of the ms, see “Secret Knowledge – or a Hoax?” by Eamon Duffy, New York Review of Books (April 20, 2017).
Whether you’ve stabbed yourself in the thumb with an awl, tripped over a matte cutter that you left on the floor (guilty), or suffered a nasty paper cut (OW!), you know that art studios can be hazardous hellholes. However, many of these hazards can and should be avoided.
At a recent CBAS meeting (where, fortunately, the only potential hazard was an unstable coat rack), Judith reminded everyone to keep a first aid kit handy.
Those who work around chemicals — photographers, painters, ceramicists, etc. — should use particular caution.
The National Institute of Health and Department of Health and Human Services has compiled a handy list of resources called Keeping Artists Safe.
Be careful out there!
I picked this book up from a shelftop display in the children’s section of the library. While older children (and maybe a few elementary school aged ones) might enjoy this book, it seems to be more for adults who are serious about learning Chinese calligraphy techniques.
I’m not a calligrapher myself, so I’m probably not the best source to report back about this book. But, it is captivating, even for a non-calligrapher. The book is slim, but is comprehensive, covering everything from the origins of symbols to the intricacies of brush strokes and character composition. There is much Chinese history thrown in as well. Deceptively simple — maybe that’s how it found its way to the children’s shelf.
There are some great photos and illustrations of the materials. Most of what I know about Chinese inks and brushes comes from pictureless fiction, so these visual aids were helpful. While in black and white only, the photographs also show calligraphy on art — ceramics, paintings, tablets, porcelain, fans, metal, silk.
What’s the lesson here? That artists, like everyone else, need to study the past — not only the images, but also the methods, tools, materials, and origins. As a calligraphy bookmark “intended to encourage reading” (p. 38) puts it, “Studying old history helps in the learning of new ideas.”
Nearly 100 books were made at Sands Montessori. CBAS members Lou, Janice, and Anne helped kick off the family reading challenge. Here are a few photos, including a story about a ninja named Owen.
CBAS member Judith Serling-Sturm describes “the work of keeping things together” in this great piece on The Art Show.
Great local views of Suder’s, Bookworks, and the recent show at the Lloyd Library, too!
Watch more episodes of The Art Show online or on the tube. You might just see someone you know!
Judith with a new 2nd Amendment variation