I have a few pieces of British Arts and Crafts jewellery in my shop right now. When I started selling jewellery I had hoped to sell nothing but Arts and Crafts jewellery, but it proved far harder to come by than I had naïvely thought – it is very collectable and so pieces get snapped up quickly and often at prices that are beyond me. I have been lucky to get my hands on a few pieces, though.
Some of the British Arts and Crafts pieces in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery. Click on photo for further details of Arts and Crafts (and Arts and Crafts style or inspired) pieces I have for sale.
Arts and Crafts amethyst ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).
Lovely Arts and Crafts ring, for sale in my Etsy shop. Click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).
Zoltan White & Co. Arts and Crafts bloodstone ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.
Arts and Crafts Liberty or Liberty-style blister pearl brooch. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photos for details.
Huge seven stone amethyst Late Arts and Crafts ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.
Arts and Crafts blister pearl and sterling silver necklace. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).
Late Arts and Crafts sterling silver brooch in a letter P, by William Hair Haseler, and hallmarked in 1930. (NOW SOLD).
Late Arts and Crafts art glass and sterling silver floral ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).
I was in Salisbury this morning for a dental appointment, and was very excited to notice the unusual skies: the high-altitude small cobbler-like clouds (I know they have a name but I don’t know it) had four or five oval ‘gashes’ in them, each of which was filled with a fluffier, whiter cloud. These are called fallstreak holes.
Not one of my fallstreak holes from this morning – this one was over Oklahoma City in the US in January 2010. It is very similar to what mine looked like though. Photo by Paul Franson.
‘A fallstreak hole (also known as a hole punch cloud, punch hole cloud, skypunch, cloud canal or cloud hole) is a large gap, usually circular or elliptical, that can appear in cirrocumulus or altocumulusclouds. Such holes are formed when the water temperature in the clouds is below freezing but the water, in a supercooled state, has not frozen yet due to the lack of ice nucleation. When ice crystals do form, a domino effect is set off due to the Bergeron process, causing the water droplets around the crystals to evaporate: this leaves a large, often circular, hole in the cloud.
It is believed that the introduction of large numbers of tiny ice crystals into the cloud layer sets off this domino effect of evaporation which creates the hole. The ice crystals can be formed by passing aircraft which often have a large reduction in pressure behind the wing- or propeller-tips. This cools the air very quickly, and can produce a ribbon of ice crystals trailing in the aircraft’s wake. These ice crystals find themselves surrounded by droplets, grow quickly by the Bergeron process, causing the droplets to evaporate and creating a hole with brush-like streaks of ice crystals below it. Such clouds are not unique to any one geographic area and have been photographed from many places.’
But sadly not in Salisbury this morning by me, because I didn’t have my camera with me. Buggeration. At one point I could see five holes. When I came out of my dental appointment 45 minutes later they had gone, and in their place were fluffy cumulus clouds.
I love Strange Weather Days. I still remember the excitement when Chap and I saw our first (and still only) ever mammatus clouds, in New Zealand in 2008. Well, we have to get our jollies somehow, don’t we?
Blackbirds (Turdus merula) are one of my favourite birds. So any time they are celebrated, I’m happy. Here’s a brief look at three very different groups of musicians from the UK who have been inspired by one of our loveliest native songbirds.
A male blackbird, Turdus merula. Photo by Sannse.
In early May this year Radiohead released ‘Burn the Witch‘, the much-anticipated first single off their first album in five years, A Moon Shaped Pool. The song was teased by the band with a short, enigmatic snippet of footage, of a stop-motion bird singing to the sound of a blackbird’s song.
When ‘Burn the Witch’ was released, we could hear that the blackbird’s song was the introduction and the coda to the song, and that the lyrics ‘Sing a song on the jukebox that goes / Burn the witch’ and ‘Sing the song of sixpence that goes / Burn the witch’ referenced the traditional British children’s rhyme, ‘Sing a Song of Sixpence‘, a rhyme that refers to four and twenty blackbirds being baked in a pie, and later to a blackbird pecking off a maid’s nose. Jolly stuff, these traditional rhymes, but aptly fitting with the grim subject matter of Radiohead’s song.
Just the other day I discovered that what I had long-thought to be an image of a range of evening sunlit limestone peaks reflected in still waters of the Thai coast on the cover of Kate Bush‘s double album Aerial is in fact a waveform of a blackbird’s song. (Observation was never my strong point).
The cover of Aerial by Kate bush, featuring the waveform of a blackbird’s song.
And birdsong, predominantly blackbird song, is featured throughout the album. ‘Prelude’, the first track of A Sky of Honey, the second disc of the album, starts with a male blackbird singing, followed by a wood pigeon‘s call which Bush then mimics; the track ‘Sunset’ refers to blackbirds singing at dusk, and features the song of a blackbird at the very end of the track and merging into the next track, ‘Aerial Tal’, where Bush mimics the call of one in the style of an Indian taal; and the final track, ‘Aerial’ features more blackbird song (and a blackbird alarm call) while Bush laughs.
And of course the most famous use of a blackbird’s song in modern music is in ‘Blackbird‘ by the Beatles: in the latter part of the song a male blackbird can be heard singing.
Here they are, without accompaniment. In all cases, this is the spring song of the blackbird. They do sing later on in the year, but the spring song is the best.