Wednesday, February 16, 2011

reflected, light, lacquer


Posted by PicasaPortrait of the photographer reflected in a plastic bucket where discarded vegetation lurks under rainwater.

Daylight arrives earlier now than we have become used to.  Before it is time to get up, I  watch familiar things take on their familiar shapes as the light rises and eases through the closed blinds.

Because the word "lacquer" is used to describe various forms of paint and painted surface from floor boards to  hair and finger nails, it is easy to forget that its origins in Asia relate to the tree, Toxicdendron vernifluum -  commonly known as the varnish tree. In China and Japan, great value is and was placed on lacquered objects, the subjects of repeated applications of the material. A Chinese Han Dynasty lacquer cup dating from AD 4 is one of the objects in Neil MacGregor's History of the World in 100 Objects. I am reading it this afternoon. and stop reading   to make a note for this post.The labour intensive processes which lacquerware requires, explain the high value set on it as well as its durability. Its glowing, reddish brown beauty speaks for itself. It is a colour I recognise because, thanks to a neighbour, who has a Chinese antiques shop in The Pantiles, we have acquired a number of  lacquered boxes, which apart from looking good, stacked or on their own, make perfect receptacles  for stationery, crayons or even electronic bits and pieces like the TV and video remote controls.

2 comments:

Barrett Bonden said...

What's this? Hatless in TW? It's not that warm.

Plutarch said...

I just popped into the garden to see what I could photograph. There was a time when it was considered "bad form" to be "uncovered" even in one's own garden. Forget the cold, this is another instance of slipping standards.