Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Pipe in Windsor Mc Cay in 1913

Zenas Winsor McCay (c. 1867–1871 – July 26, 1934) was an American cartoonist and animator who took the American public through an exploration of the subconcious, years before the surrealist movement would surface.

In 1905, his signature strip Little Nemo in Slumberland debuted, a work where Mc Kay made a masterful use of panel size, linear perspective and color to capture landscapes only the world of dreams would summon.

Nemo's bed takes a walk in the July 26, 1908, episode of Little Nemo in Slumberland.

Here panels grow to accommodate a growing mushroom forest in a Little Nemo episode for October 22, 1905

McCay joined William Randolph Hearst's chain of newspapers in 1911.

William Randolph Hearst in 1906 by J.E. Purdy

where his work would be redirected towards editorial cartoon.

Until 1913 he would continue the Dream of the Rarebit Fiend . This comic strip which Mc Kay had been drawing since 1904 would be the only one he would pen that was directly inspired by social, cultural and political issues.

Over the Summer of 1913, Mc Cay penned two plates in The New York American Sunday paper of William Randolph Hearst, where the lead character in the dream smokes a pipe.

June 8, 1913

July 6, 1913

a briar pipe in both cases most likely...

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Most Recent Archeological Discovery of Clay Pipes under the Reign of Louis XIV

In 1669 Louis XIV, King of France,

Louis XIV in 1661 par Charles Le Brun.

had just won his first war. 

Louis XIV in Douai during the war of Devolution, 1667, by Charles Lebrun

The war of Devolution against the Kingdom of Spain had started over the failure of the King of Spain to provide France with the dowry of 500,000 gold écus for his wife, Marie Thérèse, the eldest daughter of Philippe IV of Spain.

The treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle on May 2, 1668, had just given France significant territories.

Louis XIV et Marie Thérèse à Arras en 1667, par Adam Frans van der Meulen

Louis XIV was already setting his sight on further territorial conquests. After all the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle had not addressed some of the basic claims he held. 

He needed more troops.

He ordered a training fort to be built in Saint-Germain en Laye, some twenty kilometers away from Paris,

and most importantly in close proximity to the Royal Castle of Saint-Germain where he had established his court in 1666.

Vue du Châteauneuf de St-Germain-en-Laye, etching by Israel Silvestre, c. 1660

Saint-Germain-en-Laye A view of the castle when Louis XIV moved to Versailles - 1682

The fort itself which was designed to house 15,000 troops and over 5,000 horses. By the time the troops left in August 1670, over 30,000 had been trained for battle and the fort was razed.

It is highly likely that such training was led by Vauban, a Marschall of France,

whose genius in building and breaking down fortifications would become a major asset to Louis XIV.

Recent archeological excavations on the location of the fort have unearthed ceramic pots, glasses, rolling dice, and clay pipes.

Plain clay pipe bowls excavated from Fort Saint-Sébastien, 1669-1670

 Some decorated with Fleur de Lys, crowns and dolphins.

Decorated stems and clay pipe bowls excavated from Fort Saint-Sébastien, 1669-1670

Soldiers who trained here joined Comte d'Artagnan, the captain of the Musqueteers of the guard of Louis XIV, in the Franco-Dutch campaign that followed

The arrival of d'Artagnan

Could it be that d'Artagnan was smoking a similar clay pipe during the siege of Maastrich?

or perhaps one of those?

Musketeer ("Pipe de Mousquetaire") Iron Pipe XVIIth century, France

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Pipe Glass by Sebastian Bergne

Contemporary designer Sebastian Bergne 

Born in 1966, Sebastian established his studio after graduating from The Royal College of Art in 1990 designing objects and furniture. Bergne has collaborated for over 20 years with leading manufacturers including Authentics, De Beers, Driade, Gaia & Gino, Moulinex, MUJI, Procter & Gamble, Swarovski, Tefal and Vitra.

describes his creative process:

" Sometimes an idea just comes to mind and the design is more or less finished. In other cases there is a more complex process where there are necessary technical issues that need to be solved first and guide you to a certain point in the project. Then it’s a question of distilling the chaos of ideas, letting one clear idea come across or just letting an innovative technical solution take the lead in a design."

From such creative process comes a surprisingly powerful association of the traditional and the surrealist...

Pipe glass by Sebastian Bergne, 2011, Milan