Sep 252005

…even making artists’ brushes:

“The kolinsky is a small rodent which is found on the borders of Russia and China and its tail provides the high quality hair, soft, springy and expensive, that is used in making red sable brushes. Only the extreme tip of the tail is used in the best brushes as the hairs feather off naturally to form a point. The hairs must all be pointing in the same direction and are graded and selected before being tied together in a bunch, the longest hairs in the centre and the shorter ones ranged around it. The hairs are then glued to the ferrule. Red sable itself is also used, together with oxhair taken from the ears of certain cattle.”

— Painting in Watercolour, by Kate Gwynn

 Posted by at 6:34 pm
Apr 242005
courtesy of akim95 on stock.xchng

Ran across a photograph of the “Garden of the Cessation of Official Life” in Marilyn Stokstad’s Art History vol II. The garden was originally built during the Ming dynasty, and is located in Suzhou, China. (The detail on the left is from an unspecified garden in Suzhou, courtesy of akim95 on stock.xchng.)

Blahblahblah. It’s the title that intrigues me – an aesthetic recognition that “official life” is sufficiently onerous to justify a garden in which to enjoy its cessation.

 Posted by at 8:46 pm