Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lithophane Legerdemain In Vain

Zephyr Stones

In old times, paper was made by hand, and parchment from sheepskins. The ink was made using the galls or bolls on oak trees.

The colors on this replica ceramic bead remind me of the dark, rich colors of ancient ink. The interesting thing about ink made from oak gall is that the color of the writing, instead of fading with time, actually deepened and got darker, as the oak gall oxidized with age.

Ancient maps and historical documents have this sense of antiquity in the color, like the swirls, knots and columns in this chestnut brown zephyr bead.

That's what I decided to call them, in spite of the facinating suggestions in the comments to the previous post. Love the ideas and the rhythmic sounds of some of them - lithophane legerdemain being one of them.

I was walking down a hallway thinking of nothing in particular, when I thought about the word 'zephyr' and wasn't certain of the definition. Zephyr - Something that is airy, insubstantial, or passing [Middle English Zephirus, Zephyrus, from Latin Zephyrus, from Greek Zephuros].

That seemed appropriate for the idea of the image stone that a lithophane is - the image is fleeting, insubstantial, only visible when backlit. Lithophane \Lith`o*phane\, n. [Litho- + Gr. fai`nein to show, reveal.] Porcelain impressed with figures which are made distinct by transmitted light, as when hung in a window, or used as a lamp shade; ceramic piece with intaglio design; a piece of thin translucent porcelain or china with an intaglio design

An insubstantial design, revealed in the depths, enhanced by the color of chestnuts, the color of oak gall ink on parchment. Zephyr Round Chestnut Stone.


LiisaAnn said...

Cool! I really like your ideas. I like the name you chose, it makes sense. I like words with the letter Z in them too. :) The beads look really beautiful.

LLYYNN said...

Glad you like the name, it just floated in on the breeze - which is another definition of zephyr, by the way

Also like the way it sounds, sort of exotic but one syllable, rolling off the tongue

And 'Z' words stand out for some reason when you are scanning over text - Zebra, Zero, Zephyr


Amanda said...

I definitely love the "zephyr" thing! There's something very catchy (and easy-to-remember) about calling them "Zephyr Rounds."

Because really. As much as I love the sound of "Lithopane Legerdemain," I have to question my ability to remember what those are called a few weeks down the road. "Zephyr Round" is quite marketable!

This post title gives me a chuckle too. It sounds like a news header.

LLYYNN said...

So glad you agree about Zephyr - there will be rounds and ovals and square zephyrs too

And the colors, merlot and champagne, paprika and bisque