Thursday, July 31, 2014

standing on the corner ...


in Wimbledon SW19.  Sometimes, walking to the station, one manages to get out one's camera just in time when one sees a composition just calling out for it ...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ruskinian neo-gothic

Back to the Farringdon Road - to 109-111 to be exact: it would be hard to find a purer piece of Ruskinian neo-Gothic, faux-Venetian architecture anywhere …  I'll borrow wholesale from the English Heritage description:

Printing Warehouse. 1864-1865. By Henry Jarvis for William Dickes, chromolithographer. Red brick set in Flemish bond with painted stone dressings, extensive glazing; roof obscured by parapet. Fine Venetian Gothic Style. Five storeys; 6-window range (each with tripartite sashes) all in pointed form. Windows diminish in height as they go up. 2nd and 3rd storeys have 2-light windows with colonnettes. Tripartite sashes to top storey with pierced trefoil decoration to stucco recess above windows. Pierced parapet with Gothic style balustrade. Round-arches to ground-floor set beneath pointed archivolts; bays articulated by engaged columns. Entrance at left end bay with doors of Gothic design; entrance at right end has been replaced by window.

Even more wonderfully, it's called Prince Consort House. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

sheep may safely

The last time that I was properly in Clerkenwell was about thirty five years ago, when I was walking round taking photographs of locations that George Gissing wrote about in The Nether World - and there was a sufficiency of Victorian buildings, and little workshops, and closed shops, to make one think that one was, indeed, still back in the late C19th.  Now, the Farringdon Street Buildings - the new "model housing" that Gissing derided for being inhumanly bleak - have been demolished - the Survey of London says in 1976, so either I got there a split second before they came down (possible); or I made a misidentification - though I certainly did return to the site in the 80s, and it was gone …

However, I remember Clerkenwell Green as grimy, not as being full of little design stores.  And I don't remember St James's at all - a very endearing Georgian church on the outside, though it too has been built on the site of an earlier church (well, several, including a nunnery), most especially the church in which Pocahontas married Thomas Rolfe.  Inside, though, it's less compelling, apart from some goo Victorian stained glass.

And post-Victorian - this sheepy much have been one of the last to be produced by William Morris & Co (they folded in 1940; this, I think, was 1938).  Then I was fooled by the window below: I thought it looked like a Burne-Jones, but it's actually by George Wooloscroft Rhea.  

It's a real bonus, when I discover places in London that are new to me, or have been made new ...

Monday, July 28, 2014

she's no angel

Seen today in the window of the Oxfam thrift store in Wimbledon Village (together with a whole lot of old Fulham Football Club programs).  Unspeakably irresistible.

low key ruin porn (July 27th)

About half way between Santa Fe and Albuquerque is a pre-recession attempt - maybe some ten or twelve years old - to grab the tourist market: a complex that certainly advertised all kinds of amusements and food and little shops and treats.  But.  I never saw anyone actually turn in there, although I have it on reliable authority that at least once, a coach trip from Albuquerque to Santa Fe carrying members of the Renaissance Society of America were forcibly taken there for half an hour or so.

And then it was abandoned, and for a few years had a very, very optimistic sign up saying that it was available for film shoots,

but I have a feeling that it will slowly slide back into the desert.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

lots of happy hugs (at Bread Loaf Santa Fe graduation)

It's always very bitter sweet when the summer comes to an end - I feel so excited and proud for our graduates, but it's also very hard to say good bye, or at the very least au revoir, to a group of good friends.  But it's also extremely moving to be a part of a celebration that manages to combine much enthusiasm for teaching and education, and also, each year in Bread Loaf New Mexico, is about acknowledging the spirit of place.  And this year, the lessons of p-funk, too.

Above, a pile of certificates waiting to be given out, with celebratory - celebratory what shall we call them?  Garlands, maybe, of braided thick twine, with ribbons in them.  And here's Cheryl Glenn, looking atypically solemn and concerned (and less atypically, distinguished) before we're about to process down.  

Some faculty - first, Simon Ortiz;

Bruce Smith;

Carol MacVey and Patricia Powell;

Carol, solo (Patricia's eyes were closed in that one ...);

and now some hooding;

and garlanding;

and lots of very happy hugs.  Clearly, I was sitting behind the activity ...

... and I could go on: so excellent seeing so many happy people ...

Friday, July 25, 2014

window tiles

I hadn't been to Artesenos since they moved to a store just off Cerrillos - the place to buy Talavera tiles and tin stuff and and and all kind of great imports (apparently Jane Fonda got a lot of the fittings for her Pecos ranch - now for sale - there).  So this was the first time that I saw the stained glass in the style of tiles windows in their entrance ... I had a great browse, trying to put together nine tiles into a pattern to make - well, that part of it didn't quite work out, but at $2 each, that won't break the bank.  And even if there isn't going to be a tiled table top by tomorrow (resuscitating an old metal table frame), at least I sufficiently sanded a piece of wood (today's triumph - rounded corners!) that has now been glued in place to fit the gappy top.  There is something very satisfying about working with wood, perhaps because it bears no resemblance or relation to grading or report writing.