Posts Tagged ‘los angeles times’

“In a tiny South African cave,” writes Amina Khan in the Los Angeles Times, “archaeologists have unearthed a 100,000-year-old art studio that contains tools for mixing powder from red and yellow rocks with animal fat and marrow to make vibrant paints as well as abalone shells full of dried-out red pigment, the oldest paint containers ever found. (Photo by Magnus Haaland / October 5, 2011)

“The discovery, described in [the 10/14/11] edition of the journal Science, suggests that humans may have been thinking symbolically — more like modern-day humans think — much earlier than previously recognized, experts said. Symbolic thinking could have been a key evolutionary step in the development of other quintessentially human abilities, such as language, art and complex ritual.

“The artifacts were uncovered at a well-studied site called the Blombos Cave, which sits by the edge of the Indian Ocean about 180 miles east of Cape Town. The two shells, lying about 6 inches from each other, had a red residue from a soft, grindable stone known as ochre. Ochre is rich in iron compounds that usually give it red or yellow hues, and it is known to have been used in ancient paints.”

It is lovely to think that the longing to be creative is something innate. Now we know that at least 100,000 years ago, people were experiencing that urge and acting on it.

Read more here.

Read Full Post »

My friend and former colleague Mary Ann acquires, edits, and designs lovely craft books for Quarry. Today on Facebook, she linked to this article by one of her authors, Los Angeles Times writer Jeannine Stein.

Jeannine has published two craft books on making your own books: Re-Bound: Creating Handmade Books from Recycled and Repurposed Materials and, this year, Adventures in Bookbinding: Handcrafting Mixed-Media Books. This quote from Stein’s LA Times article gives you an idea of how she thinks about these projects.

“As I learned more complicated traditional bindings, I also gravitated toward unorthodox materials such as 19th century photographs, old quilts, cereal boxes and vintage record albums. My fascination with these materials was really born from books. Reading Laura Ingalls Wilder books made me crazy for worn, faded quilts, calico fabric and rough, unbleached cotton and linen that to this day inform my work. I cannot go to a flea market or thrift store without pawing through every basket of vintage linens, and I have a vast collection of 19th century tin types, carte de visite photographs and cabinet cards that inevitably become book covers or embellishments.”

By chance, my friend Kristina, who is an artist and teaches after-school art classes in her studio, is deep into planning student projects for the coming school year, with a focus on the art of books and bookmaking. I like making connections in general, and in particular, I have been passing leads to Kristina from Mary Ann. And while I was at it, I also promoted Quarry Books to the owner of Dabblers, a craft shop in Concord.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: