Flora Fauna Faces Font Friday

From the Public Domain Review

This 17th-century alphabet seems to show grotesque vegetation, animals and even humans in its forms, reminiscent of DeepDream imaging.

An Alphabet of Organic Type (ca.1650)

 


A series of stunning prints – titled Libellus Novus Elementorum Latinorum – designed by the Polish goldsmith Jan Christian Bierpfaff (1600-ca.1690) and engraved by fellow-countryman Jeremias Falck (1610–1677). According to BibliOdyssey blog, where we first learnt of the images, Bierpfaff worked as an apprentice at the Mackensen family of metalworkers in Cracow, a group “who introduced the Dutch auricular (‘shell or ear-like’) style of ornament into the Polish gold and silver workshops”. We see the influence of this auricular style in Bierpfaff’s letterforms but also the unmistakable baroque stylings of the grotesque. The result is wonderfully surreal, the writhing forms hovering somewhere between the monstrous and floral.

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Kintsugi: The Art of Broken Pieces

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Wikipedia

Kintsugi (or kintsukuroi) is a Japanese method for repairing broken ceramics with a special lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or platinum. The philosophy behind the technique is to recognize the history of the object and to visibly incorporate the repair into the new piece instead of disguising it. The process usually results in something more beautiful than the original.

The video above was filmed at Tokyobike in London which recently had a Kintsugi workshop. If you’d like to try the technique yourself, Humade offers gold and silver DIY kintsugi kits. See also: When Mending Becomes an Art. (via Kottke and The Kid Should See This)

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Tokyobike

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Humade

Video about the Kintsugi process

A pristine ‘temple of the dead’ has been uncovered in Peru

Earthenware Wari bottle

By George Dvorsky from Gizmodo.com:

A pristine ‘temple of the dead’ has been uncovered in Peru

A massive royal Wari tomb has been unearthed in Peru — and it’s full of mummies and artifacts made of silver and gold. Remarkably, the 1,200 year-old site has never been touched by looters, which is a rarity as far as these things go.

Above image: A pair of heavy gold-and-silver ear ornaments featuring a winged supernatural being. Credit: National Geographic/Daniel Giannoni.

The tomb was discovered in northern Peru by Polish archaeologist Milosz Giersz and his team many months ago. But to avoid looting, they kept it a total secret. Digging quietly for months, they unearthed 63 individuals, including three Wari queens. The archaeologists suspect that some of them were human sacrifices.

A pristine ‘temple of the dead’ has been uncovered in Peru

Photo: Daniel Giannoni.

The tomb, which dates back to sometime between 700 and 1,000 A.D., contains over a thousand artifacts, including sophisticated gold and silver jewelry, bronze axes, and gold tools.

A pristine ‘temple of the dead’ has been uncovered in Peru

Photo: Milosz Giersz

The find will undoubtedly help archaeologists and anthropologists understand the life of the Wari, a vibrant civilization that lived in the Andes centuries before the rise of the Incan Empire.
National Geographic describes this “overlooked” empire:

The Wari lords have long been overshadowed by the later Inca, whose achievements were extensively documented by their Spanish conquerors. But in the 8th and 9th centuries A.D., the Wari built an empire that spanned much of present-day Peru. Their Andean capital, Huari, became one of the world’s great cities. At its zenith, Huari boasted a population conservatively estimated at about 40,000 people. Paris, by comparison, had just 25,000 residents at the time.

Just how the Wari forged this empire, whether by conquest or persuasion, is a long-standing archaeological mystery. The sheer sophistication of Wari artwork has long attracted looters, who have ransacked the remains of imperial palaces and shrines. Unable to stop the destruction of vital archaeological information, researchers were left with many more questions than answers.

[Full article]