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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn

magic window


cropF2tY sent me the link to this delightful piece of Japanese environmental/performance art —also, xylophones are technically made of wood, which explains the similarity to one of those almost-forgotten highschool botany terms, xylem.

What I found interesting was the visual illusion that the striker—a wooden sphere—looked not especially round as it rolled downwards; but when it came to rest, it clearly was.

Also somewhat evocative of green forests is today's giftwrap, courtesy of the raffia (rather than usual emerald green curling ribbon). Enjoy.


cropOh, the joys of boring government. It's like having your lungs work, something I barely notice until I get a cold, then I vow to appreciate my breathing more, which I do until it works so well that I take it for granted.

So now we're back to worrying about crap like whether Biden's peloton is a security risk, or the fact he wears $5000 rolexes instead of a $50 or $500 watch, or that he has an unattractive (to the fashion mavens, anyway) fringe of hair at the nape. Why anybody cares (I guess I do, I read all those articles) gets hot and bothered about some dude's sartorial choices or exercise methods is beyond me, but, whatevs.

Which is not to say that we don't need to address more serious issues in the press not to mention larger issues contributing to people's vulnerabilities to conspiracy theories which—surprise! —tend to run rampant in times of uncertainty, economic inequality, and a lack of access to good quality education in both the sciences and the arts, the latter of which, I'm becoming ever more convinced, are the key to promoting empathy, critical thinking and a deeper, richer, more rewarding life for individuals (as well becoming ever more valuable social capital for societies.)



cropThis seems to be the week for featuring photography related tips and links, so I'll finish up with this list of tips for stop motion photography. The boingboing poster said he was most impressed with the lighting techniques, which I immediately recognized as what my old studio photography teacher calls painting with light—you set the camera with, say, a thirty second exposure and than shine a focusable flashlight on the bits you want to highlight. (I used metal-working skills to make brass-tube snoots for the flashlight.)

It's not a technique I've much pursued, possibly because it requires a very dark room in order to eliminate any stray light pollution, and which I don't have; also, the image editing skills to combine multiple exposures, something else I only sorta have. But hey, mebbe shooting inside a box...?



cropWhoops, sorry this is so late, but I actually (gasp!) spent most of the day, er, making art. (Well, and Indian food.) But now the beads have finished annealing, the food is eaten or put away, & I finally am getting to the site.

Today's is another gift that I really enjoyed wrapping, and was small enough to be able to photograph it in the studio:) But if gift decorating ain't your jam, how about these trippy effects that are a sort of analog-monitor-camera-performance art interplay. I specially like the finial-spiral ends, which have been popping up a lot in my own doodles:)

Will try to be a little more beforehand for tomorrow, but as I haven't even photographed the item, let alone created any pages, it may also be a bit late. In the meantime, here we are.



cropToday's giftwrap is my favourite of the lot, so I'm showcasing it, cuz I'm wanting to mark the day. Yeah, for a significant number of USian citizens, today is truly a holiday; the wizard plans to hoist a (very rare!) noontime beer.

As he has, Scalzi of whatever has captured, much better (& more punchily) my feelings—both about the incoming and outgoing administrations.

Honestly, I don't know how to get across to

...the white folks out there, the perfectly nice, oh-sure-we-vote-Republican-but-we-thought-Trump-was-a-bit-much folks, and also the perfectly nice, oh-sure-we-vote-Democrat-but-let’s-not-get-ahead-of-ourselves-here folks, who even after an actual white riot at the Capitol still don’t grasp how their own privilege and assumption got us to a place where we almost chucked away our republic for someone who represents the worst possible version of our union. White people in their obliviousness almost “both sided” our country into authoritarianism and, yes, fascism



cropToday's photography is pretty lazy, but here's a delightful tutorial by Don Komarechka on shooting snowflakes (technically snow crystals) using fairly minimal equipment, to go along with that other dpreview link for shooting frozen soap bubbles.

I could've sworn —was absolutely convinced that I have featured that gorgeous snow crystal photography (by a different photographer, Mark Cassino) before, but evidently not.

O hai, here's the website I was thinking of...

In addition to being made of beautiful six sided crystals, snow also makes a handy, neutral & (during cloudy weather, which is the norm here during winter) diffuse background, as for this gift wrap that was really too big for my studio setup.


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