The Genesis of Computer Art-FORTRAN (Backus) a Computer Art Medium Creates a Mosaic Mona Lisa

Where did computer art, computer graphics and computer animation begin?

Written communication became sharable and pervasive once stone etchings were replaced with the mobility of paper and ink. Similarly once computer languages advanced from machine or assembly code to third generation computer languages, only then did computer output advance from simple alphanumerical (maybe mosaic) printouts to graphics and images with smooth curves and realism.

Computer graphical output got its humble start when alphanumeric characters hammered on TTY and line printers to represent X-Y graphs and even mosaic images. It was crude, but allowed for a more effective analysis of mathematical and scientific solutions. Computer programming languages like FORTRAN and BASIC made it easier to develop and program printers, plotters and CRT screens to display and print graphics and ultimately images.

The FORTRAN programming language – a personal and historic short review.

FORTRAN programming as an Art Medium?

So it was possible to create an alphanumeric printout picture of the famous Mona Lisa using FORTRAN print statements. This image of the Mona Lisa was done by printing and over-printing standard alphanumeric characters creating a mosaic art piece to form an image of that famous Leonardo da Vinci painting. Step back from this computer printout and you viewed a simple replica of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

Accomplishing this rudimentary computer art would be hours and days of tedious work involving the following steps:

1) You would need to take a copy of the original image and a grid (mapping to the 133 character width of a standard computer printout page) on a piece of transparency.

2) Place the grid transparency on top of the image and then fill in the grid cells over the image with alphanumeric characters that will depict a mosaic of the original image.

3) Highlight those grid cells that will be overprinted (bold type) to create shade and texture matching the original image.

4) Now you take each line of the grid and code it using FORTRAN print statements.

5) Like a brush to canvas the computer printout image of Mona Lisa will take form after many days of coding.

For a completed version of this process and a resulting computer mosaic of the Mona Lisa check out the Pisaca Web Albums images at: http://picasaweb.google.com/carl.chesal/MonaLisaComputerArtFortran

The search has begun for access to an 80 column punch card reader.

The FORTRAN code for the Mona Lisa Mosaic is on original 90-column punch cards. Getting access to an 80-column card reader could facilitate moving the Mona Lisa FORTRAN code from its analog state to a digital version. Using an online editor, I could once again deploy the power of FORTRAN to print copies of ‘computer mosaic’ Mona Lisa. Then ‘Mosaic Mona’ would be available for the world to enjoy.

My infatuation with FORTRAN programming might have stemmed from the fact that both FORTRAN and I were coincidentally created in 1954. Thank you John Backus for FORTRAN.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Carl Chesal

What Public Speaking Involves

How would you define Public Speaking? Let us examine some definitions of public speaking:

Public speaking is speech-making before a large body of audience in a formal situation wherein you, the speaker, display your talents for eloquence and oratory.

Public speaking is communication of ideas using words and actions to let others know what is happening in your head.

Public speaking is an art of facing a group of people and communicating to them your thoughts and feelings by means of effective speech.

Public speaking is direct communication with the audience — the creation of an idea in other minds through the stimuli of words, facial expressions, and movements.

Personality is one factor that makes up effective Public Speaking. Personality – It is impossible to make interesting speakers out of uninteresting people. Only people with interesting personality make good speakers. For this reason, personality is one factor we cannot overlook in the training of a person as a public speaker for his personality determines his speech.

If we are to define personality, we may say that it is the sum total of all our physical, mental, and emotional traits. Personality is not a matter of height, color, shape, etc., but a development of all traits of an individual.

Through speech, we express our individual personality, our total self. As we talk, others see, hear, sense, and feel our personality. What we say bears the imprint of our sympathies, prejudices, passion, fears and aspirations as it is filtered through our inner selves on the way to expression. Our spontaneous speech reveals our mental states and our emotional attitudes, our upbringing and our level of education. Hence, speech revels our personality.

For you to become an interesting and attractive personality, consider PERSONALITY factor essential in the cultivation of necessary characteristics or traits of a successful speaker:

Personal grooming. The speaker’s appearance has much to do with how well he will be received by his audience. Even in simple conversations, your external appearance affects your simple conversations, your external appearance affects your listeners. For this reason, you must pay careful attention to your personal appearance when you get involve with public speaking. Consider these questions as a guide to good grooming:

As a speaker, is your dress appropriate to the occasion?

Are you neat and comfortable?

Do you choose clothes that will establish basic similarities with your audience so that you make them feel at ease and comfortable with you?

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Makler Heidelberg



Source by Carl N.

Art Collecting Tips for Profit and Pleasure (A Six-Part Series): Part 6 – Leaving a Legacy of Art

PART 6 – LEAVING A LEGACY OF ART

What a waste when wonderful collections of art are decimated upon the collector’s

demise! This happens all too often because of the lack of records and instructions

left behind concerning the art pieces.

Ignorance results in the art being relegated to a dusty and moldy storeroom or,

worse, being consigned to the trash. More conscientious ‘beneficiaries’ may give

away the pieces to thrift stores and charities. Commonly, haulers are summoned to

dispose of the pieces. Some shrewd haulers have learned to consult art dealers on

their ‘finds’, as they have discovered that there can be gold in dirt.

Imagine paying someone to take away priceless art! Sadly, this scenario is played

out year after year around the world, because too many art collectors fail to plan for

future owners of their art. Have you planned for posterity?

Who would you like your art collection to go to some day? A loved one? A charity? A

foundation? Or perhaps a museum? Who will be the beneficiary of your much-loved

and treasured art? If you don’t want your art pieces to fall into undesirable hands or

be destroyed, you’ll need to start keeping detailed records and make clear

provisions NOW.

The Importance Of Documentation

Some years ago, while clearing out my parents’ rambling old house which had just

been sold, I came across 10 glass beer mugs, stored away in a small musty

storeroom under the staircase. The mugs were plain and ordinary-looking, except

for a circular, thumbnail-sized design an inch below the rim. No documents

accompanied them.

For a moment, I contemplated keeping the mugs, as I thought they could serve

some practical use around my own home, although they were rather unattractive.

That moment passed very quickly, as I still had much clearing and packing to do.

After all, the mugs appeared very pedestrian. I knew that I could always get more

appealing-looking mugs whenever I wanted. So I left the mugs behind in the old

house. I don’t know if anyone ever took them before the demolition crew started

their work.

Less than a month later, there was a newspaper advertisement looking for beer

mugs just like the ones I had seen in my parents’ old house. The company which

had placed the ad was willing to pay $500 for each mug in good condition turned

in. Those 10 mugs I had left behind were practically in mint condition. I could have

cried.

From Treasure To Junk

Have you ever seen the sign “We buy junk and sell antiques”? While this may sound

humorous, there’s also a lot of poignancy and irony intermingled. Don’t let your art

treasures become junk. Do your utmost to ensure that they are treated with respect

and go where you wish them to go.

List Options And Directions

Whatever the size of your art collection, do provide a list of options and directions

to go with it. Besides the usual documentation which should accompany every item,

this should include the contact particulars of parties who can assist in the valuation,

sale or dispensation of the art pieces.

Choose Beneficiaries

Do also mention any parties you may like to give your art to. Remember, you may

know the subject and its market like the back of your hand, but others probably

won’t. Don’t leave your beneficiaries at the mercy of opportunists or others who

may not be able to appreciate the value of your art collection.

Provide Values

It’s a very good idea to include the insurance or replacement values of your art

pieces. You might even wish to provide suggested wholesale values, so your

beneficiaries will be more prepared should they decide to sell your art pieces.

Ideally, if you haven’t already begun, let the people closest to you understand the

importance of your art collection now. Once they develop a healthy respect for it,

the chances improve that your art collection will be in good hands and go where you

want it to go.

Be an artful collector – plan like a pro all the way.

Copyright © 2006 Carol Chua

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Carol Chua

Tokyo Reflections

The setting sun cast a shimmering hue of gold across the cerulean sea as I made my way past the outcropping of rock that dotted the pristine shoreline. I was making good time, though thoughts of why and where I was bound seemed inconsequential as I luxuriated in the exquisite feeling of weightlessness that enveloped my body. Inexplicably and without warning I was suddenly drawn into a vortex of sound dominated by the shrill chant of a woman armed with a microphone, who standing ominously over me as I slept repeated the same incomprehensible name over and over again…. As I abruptly sat up in bed it took a bleary eyed moment to realize the madwoman who had somehow managed to enter my room was in reality driving past my apartment in one of the numerous vans that I and the rest of the populous would be subjected to for the next several weeks. General election campaigns in Tokyo were in full boom. From the early morning hours to late evening fleets of these horror-on-wheels invade the city, emitting messages from high powered loudspeakers atop micro buses consisting entirely of an endless repetition of their favorite candidates name.

As in most cities in Japan, Tokyo suffers from lack of regulations concerning noise pollution, and those that do exist are rarely enforced. A leisurely stroll down the bustling streets of Shinjuku is guaranteed to assail the senses with the scores of CD shops, game centers, and electronic outlets all insisting on sharing their latest hit song or promotional come-on at peak volume by mounting speakers on their storefronts. Entering one of the department stores that line the teeming avenues in hope of gaining a reprise from the commotion, you’re confronted instead with a series of glaring announcements promoting any number of bargains to be had that day. As you step upon the escalator a sonorous voice that appears to descend from the celestial sphere instructs you in no uncertain terms to “stand on the center of the step” and to “watch your children carefully”. Merging once more with the cacophony outside, you meander aimlessly down a narrow alleyway when the seductive voice of a woman hidden from view beckons to you with the alluring phrase of “I’m backing up, I’m backing up”, only to discover as you round the corner expectantly she resides within the garbage trucks automatic recording machine.

Noise has always been a problem in Tokyo, and in a city that is home to more than two million cars, the dilemma is reaching alarming proportions. Adding to the confusion is the infamous ultra right wing group known as Uyoku, whose modified trucks and buses painted black and armed with massive loudspeakers patrol the inner city broadcasting thunderous propaganda and martial music at glass shattering levels, transmitting a form of high decibel intimidation that can be not only detrimental to your political views, but to your ears as well. Much less rabid in their intent but also exasperating are the mobile vendors, whose distinctive prerecorded songs played non stop and without variation can be heard blocks away as they slowly traverse the thoroughfares selling anything from grilled sweet potatoes to laundry poles. Late night suburbia is also not to be spared the onslaught. Packs of young marauders known as Bosozoku terrorize the sleeping multitudes with swarms of motorcycles devoid of mufflers which buzz mercilessly through the slumbering streets in a collective revving of motors striving successfully to simulate the sound of jets approaching the runway.

After wearing out a myriad of earplugs in an attempt to squelch the perpetual clamor, I decided one afternoon to take the long due vacation I’d been promising myself. Over the course of the next several days I made the necessary arrangements, and was soon waking up each morning to the sound of chirping birds at my friend’s countryside home in Oregon. The time spent in my haven of tranquility passed pleasantly enough, but I found myself yearning to return to the excitement of the big city. Arriving at Narita airport a few days later I gathered my bags and made my way to the train counter, where purchasing a ticket I passed through the entrance gate which suddenly erupted in a peal of clangs and whistles, as in my haste I had activated the machine’s alarm system by entering the wrong entryway. Moments later as I stood on the platform the blurred flash of a bullet train sped past into the darkness, the surging rush of air it expelled followed instantly by the deafening blast of its horn. Wearily negotiating the last remaining steps from the station that led home I could hear the plaintive refrain of sirens in the distance, their interminable lament momentarily superseding the din of traffic that serves as a permanent backdrop to the city. Fumbling with my keys, I paused at the door as the incessant bark of my neighbor’s dog quickly evolved into a primordial wail that marked the proclamation of my return. A wry smile of resignation crossed my lips as I stepped into the foyer that led to my apartment. There could be no doubt about it.

I was back in Tokyo…

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Jim Sherard

The End of One Manga

OneManga.com, the largest source of Manga Scanlations (scans of translated manga) on the internet, is to remove all manga content from their site.

The announcement was made suddenly on Thursday (22 July) on the site homepage, by One Manga’s webmaster, Zabi. He mentions the changing stance of publishers on scanlations, and his decision to comply with their wishes.

Just weeks earlier 36 major Japanese manga publishers and several American publishers had formed “a coalition to combat the “rampant and growing problem” of scanlations”. Among them are publishing giants Square Enix, Viz media and Tokyopop.

The coalition worries that scanlation sites “now host thousands of pirated titles, earning ad revenue and/or membership dues at creators’ expense while simultaneously undermining foreign licensing opportunities and unlawfully cannibalizing legitimate sales.”

The coalition has also reportedly threatened legal action against 30 scanlation sites.

Square Enix have announced that it is to launch it’s own online manga site in the fall, which will be made available to visitors from North America and France. However, it will not be free as they aim to set up a “paid digital distribution channel” to “better serve the varied needs of its global customers”. Square Enix is best known for the popular game series Final Fantasy.

One Manga has been listed #935 in Google’s 1000 most-visited sites, which sourced its data in May of this year. It states that One Manga received 4.2 million unique visitors and 1.1 billion page views that month.

So is this the end of One Manga? Unlikely. Though the site will no longer offer visitors the translated scans which made them so popular, they do already have a thriving community forum with over 100,000 members. They are also ranked very highly in many Google search results, which offers massive potential to develop a site aimed at the same target audience.

Among the titles which were enjoyed by One Manga readers are Naruto, One Piece and Bleach.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Sarutobi Sasuke

How to Start Collecting Anime Merchandise

Japanese anime is hugely popular with many people, from teens right through to those in their twenties, thirties and beyond, and with many great new series being released each and every year there is always a new obsession waiting to happen for many anime fans.

There are also many modern anime favourites such as Fullmetal Alchemist, Cowboy Bebop, Death Note and Gintama which continue to gain new fans on a regular basis. For many fans – regardless of their favourite anime genre – investing in anime merchandise is one great way to contribute to the industry as well as fully enjoy their hobby.

For those looking to get started in collecting anime merchandise, there are several important tips to keep in mind in order to get the best value for money and ensure that your budget goes as far as possible. With some goods being hard to find outside of Japan, it is important to have a strategy on how you are going to spend your money.

Firstly, it is important to find as many merchandise stores as possible that ship to your country. There will likely be a few great stores that are based in your home country, and these are often an excellent choice. The reason for this is that customs duties and expensive shipping may be applicable to products ordered from overseas.

Therefore, your first step is to find out which stores are available in your region, as they are far more likely to offer the best prices for you personally. You can find out about these stores through friends’ recommendations, online anime communities, online marketplaces such as Amazon, or simply by using an internet search engine.

The next step is to figure out which kind of anime collector you want to be. Do you want to only collect figures of your very favourite characters, or do you want to obtain a complete collection so you can have an entire set of figurines from a particular series? Do you want to collect figures, or instead wearable merchandise such as t-shirts and key rings?

Many people are dedicated collectors, and will make sure that a proportion of their monthly budget can go into amassing all the figurines and items associated with a particular series. Others will instead just prefer to spend a little money on their very favourite items; in either case, deciding what kind of anime collector you want to be will help you make the best choices.

The next thing to bear in mind is that certain items are far more costly than others, and this may be important to you or not depending on the size of your budget. Some of the best – and least expensive – anime merchandise to collect includes DVDs and key chains, and you are guaranteed to get a lot of use out of these items too.

On the other hand, some people love to collect figurines of their favourite characters, even though they may not serve any practical purpose. Consider what you are drawn to and what makes you the happiest, and then adapt your budget around it. If you want to collect figurines, consider exactly how much you can afford to spend on these items every month.

Some other options can include photos of the cast of your favourite series, or posters of your favourite characters. If you do not think that you can afford your hobby alone, ask for the more expensive items as gifts from family and friends in order to complete your collection.

In conclusion, several steps that will help you get started in collecting anime merchandise include making sure that you find out the best places to buy from, setting yourself a budget and ensuring that you know what kind of collector you want to be. All of these tips can help you get focused and make your money go a lot further.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by John Grande

Near Eastern Painting – Bengal School – An East Indian Splendor

Bengal School – The History

What began as an artistic ‘reaction’ to the identity crisis, the Indians faced under the British rule, soon became a major movement of national scale, which every Indian could identify with. Abanindranath Tagore, nephew of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore co-founded and aggressively promoted the Bengal School of Art during the early twentieth century.

Along with the British art instructor Ernest Binfield Havel, Tagore advocated the Mughal Painting style as truly ‘Indian’ that was capable of encapsulating the spiritual prowess of the Indian culture. Tagore honed his artistic abilities under the guidance of Charles Palmer and Olinto Gilhardi, but remained loyal to the Indian sentiments and aesthetics that the British regime curbed and neglected.

The Details

The art style of East-Asian countries like Japan, inspired Abanindranath Tagore and in turn, the Bengal School. Tagore’s works were the beautiful blends of the Mughal Paintings, European Naturalism, Ajanta Frescos, Pahari & Rajput Miniature, and the Japanese ‘Wash’ Technique. Watercolors found great use in the Bengal School and facilitated the characteristic ‘Wash’ method of painting. Paintings from the Bengal School also carried the elements of Symbolism and the linear designs of Japanese Art.

The Artworks

One of the signature works of this school of art was ‘Bharat Mata’ by Abanindranath Tagore, dating back to 1905. ‘Bharat Mata’ was painted predominantly in the varying shades of orange, saffron, and yellow, all being the colors of spirituality, sanctity, and Hindu religion. This work signified a personification of the holy spirit of India, ‘Mother India,’ whom the Indians revered and worshiped as a Goddess. She is depicted holding a paper roll (referring to knowledge), sheaves of rice (symbolizing sustenance), a mala (portraying sacredness), and a white cloth (denoting purity). ‘Bharat Mata’ therefore, became the goal and symbol of the freedom movement in India.

The Artists

Sanat Chatterjee, Ganesh Pyne, Devajyoti Ray, Bikash Bhattacharjee, Jahar Dasgupta, Sudip Roy, and Paresh Maiti are among the modern torchbearers of this revolutionary art.

Conclusion

The golden days of the Bengal School of Art lasted until around 1930s, when other styles began taking its place. With the growing impact of the Western Art movements, including Impressionism, Post-impressionism, Cubism, Fauvism, Secularism, and the experimental Neo-Primitivism, it started losing its sheen and mass appeal. It drew dissension from the modern artists, like The Bombay Progressives, who termed it as overly idealistic, regressive, and indistinctive in character. It was regarded as an art that relied heavily on history, events, and written text, rather than on artistic imagination of distinguished kind. Nevertheless, the Bengal School continues, even in the present times.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Annette Labedzki

Why Not Start Your Own Photography Business?

If you want to start your own photography business, it is a good idea to check what competitors you have in your area or the competition in your style or subject of photography. Have you ever noticed that people’s photography skills shine when they take photo’s of things they really love and are interested in? A clever way to go about building for yourself a photography business is to start by taking photographs of things you really love, and create your own niche market and perspective in that area, that way you will stand out in the crowd.

All good artists, whatever format they use, project through their art, things that interest them, things that have impacted on them in some way, and they aim to share that same feeling with others viewing their work. It is the differences in art styles, the attention to different details that makes one artist appeal to you more than others. It is these differences that created fame for the artists Monet and Picasso, who painted as they themselves viewed the world, and not as someone else views it.

The most interesting photographs are those that reveal to the onlooker something that they have not seen, felt or heard of before. People are interested in learning how others see the world and that can be achieved through photography. An experienced and talented photographer is able to communicate the feelings that certain landscapes, architecture and events conjure up inside of them through their photos. Many famous photographers have gained popularity from photographs they originally thought wouldn’t be that interesting to other people, and have ended up with a photography business from enjoying their hobby rather than from something they had planned. It is both the unusual and the common, that makes an interesting subject for photography, and it is up to the artist to place a particular perspective, or make a statement on that subject through their work.

Many great artists, who are or have been famous, were not born famous; they achieved their position through hard work, by following their inspiration, through perseverance and expressing their passion. People who want to break into the photography business must believe in themselves and their work, they have to think of themselves as an artist, and although they might not be as well known as other artists it does not mean that their work or their talent is of any less worth, it simply means that they are not well known yet.

There are many helpful websites that give tips on photography, and how to start your own photography business. There are even websites that give you ideas on how to sell your photos on different products to people or businesses around the world. If you want to start your own photography business, it is a good idea to begin by researching online on how other people just like you managed to create their business, what they have learnt from their mistakes, and their tips and advice for beginners. Placing your photography on a website will also give you a much greater advantage in being recognised either as an artist or as a business compared to other options that are available.

Passion is contagious, if you are passionate about certain people, music, animals, or foods in life, capture this with your camera, try and express your feelings through your photos, doing this is bound to stir up an interest in and draw people to your work. Maintaining your passion for photography must be sustained throughout your business endeavours because passion is visible, and your work will reflect your attitude. It is wise to seek the help from business coaches, or by following set business plans when you are starting out in a photography business, as this will enable you to concentrate on maintaining your passion and artistic flair for photography throughout the initial challenges

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Roy Barker

The Art of Approaching Review: Should I Buy?

By far the biggest obstacle to overcome when learning how to pick up women is the approach. This ‘The Art of Approaching’ review is for you if you can relate with finding it hard to approach and are wondering if this book can offer you a solution.

The author of this book is a guy called Joseph Matthews. He is well known throughout the dating community because of how well he teaches complex information in an easy to understand manner. This book is now considered an all time great because of how quickly it helps men see results. So, is the book any good?

The Art of Approaching Review: Impressions

This book was written almost ten years ago and has risen in popularity year by year. As Josephs experience grows he likes to update the book to reflect this; this is a fantastic feature. The first release of the book was based entirely around the time when you first set eyes on her up until you begin talking.Everything inside this book was absolute gold!

However, year after year updates have included additions and revisions which have improved the book significantly. There are now sections on body language, vocal tonality, approach types, opener types and even conversational examples of what to say! The information in it really is that good for both beginners and advanced men.

Some people claim that the book is solely for the beginner who has never approached a woman, however I’d argue that the fundamentals to any skill are the most important skills. Therefore, you could read this no matter how advanced you are as a refresher and still gain new insights for the rest of your life.

The Art of Approaching Review: Best Bits

Joseph Matthews is the magic behind this book. I say this because he is living proof that you don’t have to have model like looks to be extremely successful with women (no offense Joseph). The content in the book blows you away when you read it. This is because you see Joseph, and you see the kinds of women he has dated and you realize that it wasn’t his looks that got him those girls. You realize that it was the fundamental concepts he has shared in the book that has got him so much success.

The story of how Joseph came to be and his journey is worth the price of the book alone; many of us can relate. Usually our lowest points are our best because they often motivate us to push through any obstacles no matter what they are to succeed with gorgeous girls. Joseph share his inspirational story going from zero to hero with the ladies.

The Art of Approaching Review: Conclusion

No matter how experienced you are this book is definitely for you; you will learn a ton and it may even change your life. The book does cost money but the rewards you will reap from putting it into practice are worth so much more. You can own this book in a few minutes but it took Joseph years of trial and error to get the results so please take the time to purchase it.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Dave J Jones

Bobbin Lace – A Vanishing Art

Due to the mechanization of life, traditional arts and crafts are fading away. There was a time when accomplishments like sewing, embroidery, crocheting or lace making, were assets in any girl of marriageable age. It enhanced her value as a homemaker.

Today, “Time” is one commodity, which no one seems to have – neither the harried housewife nor the office-goer who must juggle her time between job and domestic chores. Besides, returns for hours of intricate work are meagre.

I was therefore pleasantly surprised to meet an old lady of 82, in the Midlands, who was eager to pass on her skills at lace making, before she departed this earth. However, her students were in their sixties and seventies, their vision not so good, nor their fingers as nimble as they used to be. But what they lacked in dexterity was compensated by their enthusiasm. It was not only an opportunity to learn, but a time for socializing and camaraderie.

I had never seen bobbin lace made in India, (though one of the ladies said it had been introduced by the Colonial wives) and was intrigued by the skill and patience that went into its creation.

Bobbin lace or Pillow lace differs from other kinds of lace because multiple bobbins of thread are used to create the gossamer patterns. Bobbins used can vary from 30 to 1200, depending on the skill of the lace maker, and the intricacy of the design. Bobbins can be simple wooden ones or fancy pieces with coloured beads and decorations. Some of these are very expensive, and have become collector’s items.

A circular pillow stuffed with straw or polystrene is used as a support. In Europe, rectangular shapes are used. The pillow has to be properly “dressed” before work can begin, meaning that the surface must be smooth and creaseless. Another piece of material is spread over the lower half of the pillow, over which the bobbins rest.

A paper pattern is spread over the pillow, and the outline of the design pinned down to its surface with multiple pins. The loose ends of the threads on the bobbins are hooked around selected pins. Then by plaiting, twisting, turning over or under, backwards or forwards, one can produce the most intricate patterns. “Throwing the bobbins” as this procedure is called, is an art acquired through practice. It is time- consuming and cannot be rushed. Carelessness could lead to a tangled mess of threads, creating frustration rather than relaxation. It could take almost three hours to make an inch of lace.

The thread used is mostly white or off-white cotton or linen. Coloured threads may be used, provided the colours don’t run. Silk or metal threads have also been tried.

Bobbin lace first originated in Italy in the 15th century. It was from Venice and Milan that the art spread to Germany in the 16th century. It also spread to Great Marlow in England, at the same time, where it flourished for three hundred years. It took almost a century to spread to other areas.

Because the pins were very expensive, lace making was popular only among the rich and upper classes. But poor, resourceful women used fish bones instead of pins. The expression “pin money” is probably derived from the custom of giving marriageable girls money, so they could buy pins as part of their dowry, to enable them to make lace.

Pattern books on lace making were first printed in Zurich in 1561. The intricacies of knotting techniques were graphically explained. They were available only in the German language. Though the author of this book was a woman, she could not write under her name, but only use her initials, as women held such a low place in society. Gradually, special books were printed for the Nobility and Royalty, while simple instructions were available to the common people.

Italy, France and East Belgium (Flanders) became famous centres of lace making. This provided a source of income to many women who were house-bound. Lace was used to decorate clothes, cuffs, scarves (mantillas), and even on the edges of socks. Men loved to wear lace-trimmed stockings. Lace was also used for household linen and church accessories. Certain garments used by the clergy were also trimmed with lace.

Nuns were the first to recognize it as a good source of income, and labour was cheaply obtained from the orphans and children in their care. It was certainly a profitable industry, and “Convent lace” became famous all over Europe.

In France, Louis XIV promoted lace making, by heavily subsidizing the industry. He even prohibited the import of lace from other countries.

In the Lauterbrunnen valley of Switzerland, I met another old and experienced teacher who is desperately trying to keep the art alive. She works out of a small room cluttered with her paraphernalia, and samples of intricate lace.

“Interest in bobbin lace is fast dying out,” she laments, “The advent of machines has sounded the death knell for handmade lace. And yet, this art flourished in Lauterbrunnen for three centuries starting from 1669. A pastor was responsible for turning it into a cottage industry, seeing the poverty of his parishioners. In 1830 special courses were started, and many joined because they could earn 30 cents per hour of work. All the patterns were original and intricate. Our lace was as renowned for workmanship as that produced in Brussels and Saxony.”

She showed me samples incorporating oak leaves, acorns and flowers in the designs. She even gave me a pair of wooden bobbins as a souvenir.

Patterns have varied over the centuries. During the Renaissance, geometrical designs and symmetrical patterns were popular. But in 17th and 18th centuries, under Baroque influence, they became more decorative, with intricate patterns of leaves and flowers. The most admired patterns were “English Point” a six- sided mesh, the Machelin and Valenciennes.

The end of hand-made lace began in 1820, when John Levers invented the Levers machine. The machine combined bobbin techniques with weaving techniques, and churned out lace in bulk. After 1920, machines took over completely. Socio-economic changes after World War I put an end to lace-making as a craft.

The art of Bobbin lace is in its last throes. In the few old lace-making centres like Bruges, Brussels, Neuchatel and Lauterbrunnen, one can buy samples of the lace at exorbitant prices.

Because a few old “kloppel” makers refuse to let it die, and are eager to pass on their skills to a reluctant younger generation, Bobbin lace may yet survive as an amateur art!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Eva Bell

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