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Marriage Customs Of Ireland
AMONG the peasants in many parts of Ireland the match-maker conducts all matrimonial preliminaries, both affairs of the heart, where the messages she conveys are dictated by true love, and affairs fostered by calculating parents, who consult rather their children's interest than their inclination.
Marriage Customs Of Gipsies And Mormons
In justice to the Mormons, we may add, in conclusion, that they have other codes which appear less open to objection than some of those we have alluded to above. Their polygamy has lately been made illegal by the United States Government.
Restoring Old Houses
If it is bad to put new wine in old bottles, it is equally bad to restore an old house with new materials. There is a shouting disharmony between the impersonal monotony in the surface of machine-made wall-board and the mellowness of genuine hand-hewn beams and hand-planed panels.
Furniture Construction
There is incomparable satisfaction in making your own furniture, especially if it is from wood that you have cut down and seasoned yourself, or from old precious pieces of mellow pie, maple or cherry salvaged from some old barn or house.
The possessor of a lathe has it in his power to make out of wood all manner of round things; bowls, lamps, chair and table legs, potato mashers, carving mallets, candlesticks, breadboards, cake-trays, nap-kin rings and tea-pot stands.
Finishing and Refinishing Wood, Oil Finishing, Staining and Weathered Effects
The beauty of furniture and woodwork is revealed by removing its old paint or varnish and exposing the natural wood. Apply the paint remover with a brush, let it soak a few minutes and scrape with tools that fit the surfaces. Finish with steel wool dipped in remover.
Cutting, Engraving, and Printing Wood and Linoleum Blocks
The first wood-blocks were methods of reproducing an outline drawing. This was subsequently developed to include shading, the method always being to draw on the block with ink and have the formschneider cut away all the wood around the lines, so that when the block was inked only the lines would print.
Finding Local Clays, Preparing Clay, and Slip-Casting
Making pottery is one of the most fascinating pursuits for the countryman. There is adventure in seeking clays; in creating with them, and in developing glazes. There is suspense in the firing; and thrill in opening the kiln afterward; and pride and satisfaction in the useful and beautiful products.
Simple Methods of Making Pottery
One of the oldest methods of making pottery is with rolls or coils. Roll out between the palms of your hands, a ball of clay about 1/8 the diameter of the bottom of your pot. Lay it on a block of wood or a plaster bat, and gently pat it with the outside edge of the palm of your hand until it spreads into a circle just the thickness and diameter required for the base of your pot.
Pottery Kilns
A ceramist can build his own oil fired kiln, firing it with a Hauk kerosene torch (operates like a gasoline torch). The torch is mounted so as to throw its flame against baffle plates that support the floor of the kiln. The floor and the baffles are made of 1 inch splits (firebrick 1 inch thick).
The Potter's Wheel
The potter's wheel is the most fascinating machine in the world. The rotary movement it imparts to the clay almost partakes of the character of a spiritual force. The two-dimensional, horizontal plane is annihilated or metamorphosed into a single dimension which, returning on itself because of its rotation, has no measurable length and thus may be said to approach infinity.
Decorating Pottery
Apart from the essentially decorative qualities of the forms of the pottery itself and the colors of the glazes, decoration of pottery may be classified roughly into two kinds.
Making Pottery Glazes and Slips
The potter should make his own glazes. True, he can buy them ready-made, just as he can also buy the pot ready-made, ready-glazed and ready-fired; and if all he cares about is to get a perfect pot as soon as possible let him go to the department store and buy one, and forget that ever he wanted to learn the potter's art.
How To Make Tiles
Tiles may be decorated by pressing on them little dies carved out of wood, or made of plaster or terra cotta. Unless they are very dry it is best to lubricate them with oil, talc, or powdered mica. You can fill in the recessed part of the tile with colored or opaque white glazes, and leave the surface of the tile unglazed.
Working with Metals
Tin (which is really sheet steel with a thin plating of tin) is the traditional New England material. Itinerant tinsmiths used to travel through the country, peddling needles, thread and buttons as well as doing tinkering and repairing. They made sconces, candlesticks, pie and cake tins, spice cans, etc.
Making Tools
The craftsman wishing to work in iron has a good start if he can use the tools and forge of the local blacksmith until he knows just what he needs for himself. Where this is not possible, he must build a forge, or buy one.
How To Build An Efficient Fireplace
A fireplace is more efficient if it is wider than it is high. It should not be too deep. A deep fireplace wastes its heat on the side-walls and chimney. The nearer the fire is to being built right out in the room, the more heat will be radiated directly into the room.
Stone-Carving, Direct Carving and Sundials
Of all the stones used by the colonists for grave markers none has better resisted the weather than slate. The neat inscriptions on slabs of polished slate show even the light scratches that served as guides to the letterers. Artists should consider this when selecting stones on which to work.
Lime and Cement Mortars, Stuccos and Plasters
The countryman often needs to touch up stone-work, brickwork, or plaster walls. He may also build a kiln, forge or furnace or lay a stone terrace. For any of this work he should know how to mix lime, cement and sand.
Working With Color
THE most satisfying color schemes in the arts are those which tend to approximate the natural ones to which our eyes have been accustomed for untold aeons.
How To Paint In Fresco
THE increased interest in the beautiful and ancient art of fresco painting is a particularly encouraging sign. The medium is of the highest artistic value, requiring a greater degree of judgment and organizing ability than any other forms of painting.
Art of Dyeing, Dyeing Wool, and Dyeing Linens
DEERFIELD, Massachusetts, was famous a few years ago for its Society of Blue and White Needle Work, producing beautiful patterns of applique and embroidery from materials dyed with vegetable colors.
Printing On Fabrics With Wood-Blocks
THE art of textile block-printing is so simple, and capable of such variety that it is a pity it is not widely practiced here, as in more primitive countries, as a home craft.
Interior Decoration in England Prior to the 18th Century
When all the resources of fixed decoration just enumerated were fully utilised, the interior of many an Elizabethan or Stuart room was so replete with decorative variety and interest that it gave the impression of being furnished, even before a stick of movable furniture was put in place.
Interior Decoration in England and America During the 18th Century
Besides all these well-defined influences, there was the Chinese taste, which recurred again and again in one form or another throughout the century, adding its charm to the manifold factors that contributed to make the eighteenth century one of the most opulent as well as varied decorative epochs in English history.
Interior Decoration in Italy Prior to the 18th Century
The golden age of Italian wall decoration, furniture making and furnishing began about the middle of the fifteenth century and continued through the sixteenth and seventeenth. It was veritably a golden age in point of virility, freshness and fertility of conception and the national genius was manifested in the vigorous design of the furniture, in the way in which it was disposed and in the preparation of the background as well as in other important branches of art.
Interior Decoration in Italy During the 18th Century
The diluted Baroque manifestations that had been observable in the latter part of the seventeenth century continued into the early part of the eighteenth, to be succeeded, in due season, and in circles likely to be affected by new fashions, by the lighter, more playful and more involved Rococo influences.
Interior Decoration in Spain Prior to the 18th Century
The one important lesson in arrangement to be learned from Spanish interiors is that their restraint in the number of objects employed, and the consequent necessity of wide open spaces for pieces to stand alone, contributed to dignity and served also to enhance the decorative balance of each object when there was nothing to detract from its individual effect.
Interior Decoration in Spain During the 18th Century
Eighteenth century ideals of arrangement, being borrowed along with all the material properties, failed to exhibit that erstwhile happy trait and Spanish rooms unfortunately often fell into an unedifying condition of tawdry formality.
Interior Decoration in France Prior to the 18th Century
The fabrics employed during this period, besides embroideries and tapestries, numbered silks, satins, brocades, damasks, brocatelles, velvets plain and figured, and printed linens. Copious importations from Italy were later supplemented by the excellent products of the French looms. Throughout the period the colours were rich, full and varied, and the patterns were, for the most part, vigorous and large.
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