Tapestries: An Exploration of World Maps

Reprinted from an article directory. I couldn’t resist posting information about maps in history.

Article by: Angela Dawson-Field

People have always been curious about the world around them and the development of maps has echoed this historical fascination. Maps were once considered to be valuable objects and were treasured by their owners and regarded as works of art in their own right. These objects attracted the attention of artists as well as skilled draughtsmen and maps became quite ornate and decorative items, capturing the imagination of those who wondered what lay beyond the horizon.

Early maps tended to reflect what people knew or remembered and were largely topographical in nature. Often, these early pieces depicted myth and lore, combining to create “living maps” that were passed form generation to generation. Formalising the topography into early maps, knowledge became standardised and sowed the foundation of early cartography.

By the Middle Ages cartography had slowed in that accuracy became replaced by religious depiction through maps. Examples of strong belief can be seen in some maps where the Holy Land is shown to be at the centre of the earth. Another example is Europa Regina by Johannes Bucius which shows an early and elongated map, depicting Europe as the Queen of the World.

The Age of Seafaring during the 16th and 17th centuries saw new interest in map making, particularly the British and the Dutch taking to the seas and exploring new lands. At this time maps became increasingly artistic. An East Indies map in tropical colouring with pineapple trees and other exotic flora and fauna, designed to capture the imagination and evoke the scent of spice in the air is a typical example. As the demand for cartographers grew in the 17th century the artistic nature of maps from a purely functional item to a work of art began to evolve.

Maps were often decorated elaborately with sea creatures or mythical characters. Many of these very accomplished draughtsmen created quite unique works of art from map making. Maps designed by Petrus Plancius (1552-1622) or Abraham Ortelius (1528-1598) were frequently found embellished with intricate pictorial content. A successor to Abraham Ortelius was the Dutch cartographer Jan Baptist Vrients (1552-1612) who designed Obis Terrae Compendosia. The world is split into two hemispheres and surrounded by ornate and detailed pictorial decoration. The map brings a perception of how the world looks and a plethora of exotic creatures and landscapes from the far flung shores of the globe.

Another famous example is Nova Totius Terrarum, designed by Henricus Hondius (1597-1622), a Dutch Cartographer. This 17th century map is an ornate depiction of the world and is surrounded by detailed nautical scenes, perhaps reflecting the age and drama of exploration by sea as mythical creatures rise from the ocean and men are seen contemplating their journey.

Antique maps are increasingly popular in the modern home and make elaborate tapestries in home décor. There are a number of ways in which an antique map can add charm and elegance to the home, whether in poster, print or tapestry format and are much appreciated by connoisseurs of good taste.

Copyright © The Tapestry House, all rights reserved.

About the Author: Angela Dawson-Field writes extensively on home
decor and tapestry & textile art. The Tapestry House
http://www.thetapestryhouse.com/products/index.html
http://www.thetapestryhouse.com/

Source: Reprint this free article (318215) by Angela Dawson-Field at Isnare.com Free Articles Directory

Indians in a Snow Storm

I will have to look up more about John Innes and see what else he painted. I like this one. Just happened to notice it for sale on Etsy.

My Grandfather told my Mother about meeting Canadian native people on the Saskatchewan prairies when he was a young man and the family were just off the boat from Austria. It’s too bad she doesn’t remember more about it. He (my Grandfather) thought very well of the native people and dealt with them often.

The art is called Indians in a Snow Storm. I’m not changing it to reflect modern political correctness. It is, as it was. johninnespostcard

This art postcard features the work of Canadian artist John Innes and was published by W G Macfarlane for Linton Brothers of Calgary. It is part of the Troilene Indians series and shows several Indian riders bundled up and making their way through blowing snow. “The blizzard is not a snow storm. The snow frozen by the intense cold to the consistency of sand is picked up by the fierce Northwest hurricanes and travels at terrific speed. Many lives are lost during these blizzards yearly”.
The card has an undivided back although the sender thoughtfully created one. The card is postally used and cancelled in 1906. Good overall condition makes this a wonderful addition to a collection.

via – Canadian Artist John Innes Indians in a Snow by TheOldBarnDoor

From Michael MacRae

The short story only adds to the image. I just want to know more. It seems to be post apocalypse, but it could be something else.

“The days are regimented here and though you should expect him to leave me in the tundra if I were to fall behind, you could say I am well fed and energized, so do not worry. All that he provides in the way of foodstuffs is deer meat. I’ve relied on my rations of tin vegetables and and have taken up the hobby of fishing to satisfy a varied diet.
We hunt most hours of the day, he kills the animals leaving me to fix them to sleds and drag the carcasses, sometimes miles at a time back to the cave where he does not permit me to enter. I’ve been used as little more than a pack mule in these trips but from what I understand he brings me along to observe. It is difficult discerning him as he does not speak, or chooses not to, and he refrains from physical conversation beyond simple gestures when it pleases him. He engages in other activities on a mysterious schedule and he seems to make good use of any time I am away or the rare chance I may be caught sleeping. I’ve stepped outside for only minutes and returned to find a fully skinned and gutted carcass splayed upon the table with its spine removed and ground into sludge. He was sitting in his chair.
He acts like a shadow, constantly moving about the walls rather than cross the floor. If I don’t watch him closely it is easy to lose track of him, even in this confined cabin space. During the nights (if one can call them as such, they are little more than dim evenings here) he sits across from the bed, facing the snuffed out fireplace, barely visible in his dark and oiled wraps. Comfortable sleep has become a luxury, on more than one occasion I have awoke to find he had rotated to face me, his gaunt statuesque form with long fingers clutching the ends of the arm rests. I suppose it goes without saying that he does not make for good company.
I have yet to fully understand what we are doing here, I do hope it is revealed soon. As things are though, I may be here for some time.
– M”

afternoon_rituals_by_themichaelmacrae-d9koj5bSource: He Does Not Sleep by TheMichaelMacRae on DeviantArt

International Highway Sign Makeover

How would you design a traffic/ road sign? All the elements of sign design you never thought of, come into play when you really start planning a better road sign.

The idea isn’t new. I’ve saved screen captures from the Wayback Machine from the older site (below). Glad to see someone else has taken up the idea and kept it going on another site. I’m linking there first so people can see what’s new and contribute ideas of their own.

I used to send possible highway route signs to the owner of The Great International Highway makeover website, Mr. R. V. Droz, a while back. Well I found out recently that his email link at his website is inoperable. Rats. I hope it’ll work well in the future.

Source: International Highway Makeover 2

From the old site, by Robert V. Droz.

Highway route markers have gotten boring over time. In the 1940’s, there were many varied shapes and colors. Many governments opted for the MUTCD default (circles) or plain blank squares. The justification for those sparse designs is that they provide for increased number visibility and easy recognition. True enough, but nothing says you can’t design a useful sign that’s graphically attractive. Linked below are many examples of potential re-designs.

highwaymakeover1

highwaymakeover2

highwaymakeover3

highwaymakeovercan

highwaymakeoverab

highwaymakeovernorth

highwaymakeoveront

highwaymakeoverpq

highwaymakeoversk

highwaysignmakeover

The Untapped Potential of Rooftop Solar Energy

Why don’t more people produce solar energy from their own homes? If you have a roof over your head you could also have solar panels producing energy. Save on the energy you pay for each month and use a source of energy which does not cause pollution to produce or deliver to your home.

I’m sure a lack of knowledge is a big part of the reason we don’t see more solar energy panels. There is also some feeling of making change, taking the time to learn about solar for the home and the cost and effectiveness of solar panels versus just leaving things as they are.

I think it would help solar energy if people were aware of how it all works and how it benefits themselves.

In the future we may see buildings with built-in solar power.

Apartments, office towers, tall condominiums would be smart to utilize all those windows as a source for collecting solar energy. Will someone come up with a way to turn windows into solar panels? Or, does this already exist? No one would want to give up their view but there should be some way to keep the windows functional while also harvesting solar power. I’ve seen ads fully covering the sides of city buses. But, from inside the bus you can still see out the windows due to small holes in the painted on ad. Could that also work for solar windows?

The answer to America’s energy problems could be right under our noses—or, rather, right over our heads. According to a recent study by the Energy Department’s Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), America’s rooftops are full of untapped potential. In fact, up to 39 percent of America’s energy could be generated just by installing photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on urban rooftops.

Popular Science reports that NREL analyzed rooftops in 128 cities across the United States, representing about 23 percent of all buildings in the U.S., according to an NREL press statement. The researchers assessed the buildings’ suitability for hosting PV solar panels and measured how much power could be generated by each location. They found that 83 percent of small buildings had the technical potential to host PV panels on part of their rooftop areas, while 26 percent could host an entire rooftop’s worth of panels.

Source: 39% of America’s Energy Could One Day Be Generated by Rooftop Solar Panels | Mental Floss

More information: ConsumerAffairs solar energy guide