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Drawn in: The Curious Case of the Owl in the Notebook

The VLO (Very Large Owl) sculpture “Windblown Owl” found a new home recently.  The next VLO is underway, currently drying and eventually migrating to a client in California (shhhh, it’s a surprise), and I wanted to use the same greenish-golden surface coloring and glazing effect on the new owl.

I had a basic idea of what had been applied to “Windblown”, but I needed specifics.  That meant doing a bit of sleuthing.  The obvious place to start was my own notebook, which by means of hasty drawings, measurements, and notes records much if not all Three Star Owl clay work, theoretically in detail, although in practice I’m not always as good about it as I should be.  Happily, next to a small sketch, I found helpful marginalia on the slips and glazes used on “Windblown”.

Windblown Owl VLO sketch (photo and drawing A.Shock, click to enlarge) >>

I enjoyed revisiting the drawing, which made me smile, the owl looks so much like a dog riding in a car with its head out the window.  The discoloration of the white background page is a photo-editing effect, a result of mercilessly and excessively bumping the contrast for more stimulating web viewing, as is the ability to see the drawings on the back side of the page, which in the actual book are only faint ghosts of lines.  Shades of paleographical or even forensic document investigation:

  • “I say, Holmes, you can see right through the page!”
  • “Precisely, Watson.  Evidently our potter had made a bowl with a conical foot and hummingbird squares stamped on it, some little time before glazing the large nocturnal bird.”
  • “By Jove, Holmes, how can you possibly know that there were hummingbirds on the bowl?”
  • “Because I’m eating my porridge out of it right now.”
  • [Watson chuckles] “Capital, Holmes — a bowl with cleverly stamped hummingbirds on it.  Well done!”
  • “And, may I add, my dear fellow, it’s made entirely by hand…”

By the way, definitely Rathbone and Bruce, here, I’d say. Brett and Hardwicke would never have shilled for Three Star Owl.

Posted by Allison on Sep 16th 2011 09:11 am | 7 Comments
| View art/clay,drawn in,effigy vessels,owls,three star owl category

7 Responses to “Drawn in: The Curious Case of the Owl in the Notebook”

  1. kate mckinnonon 16 Sep 2011 at 11:13 am link comment

    Jeremy Brett’s Holmes could be unexpectedly gregarious…

    By the way, I still own the excellent Medium Owl- the owl-seeker never did arrive. This pleases me mightily.

  2. Allisonon 16 Sep 2011 at 11:31 am link comment

    Yes, when the purpose served or the mood struck; the unexpected sociability was in the written character too as you know. I was thinking more of the Watson character here being in the Nigel Bruce bumbling oaf mould, rather than tolerant and even-tempered foil… And, sadly, I discovered that Edward Hardwicke died recently — May of this year — when I was looking up if he had a terminal E on his name or not. I’d forgotten he was Sir Cedric Hardwicke’s son. He was only 79.
    by the way, if Laurie R. King can write a girl into the detective’s life, I feel less uncertain about inserting a mere ceramic object.
    re: medium owl, I wonder if there’s a statue of limitations on claims of ownership? I see you hiding behind the room divider whenever the doorbell rings, in perpetuity.

  3. kate mckinnonon 16 Sep 2011 at 12:01 pm link comment

    Oh, that’s sad about Edward Hardwicke. I really liked him.

    (And you should give Laurie King another chance. I have extra copies I could send you….)

  4. Allisonon 16 Sep 2011 at 1:22 pm link comment

    Actually, that was not a dis — I meant I felt encouraged to graft my own bowl onto Holmes’s breakfast table since it was a relatively small imposition, perfect for the scale of the setting.
    ie, Please read humorous not cantankerous.

  5. d.on 16 Sep 2011 at 4:44 pm link comment

    you used both palæographical and marginalia in one post… *swoon*

  6. Allisonon 16 Sep 2011 at 6:37 pm link comment

    Oh, please — you’re so easy! Anyhow, I thought you were going to bust me for “paleographical” instead of palæographic?

  7. […] here’s one to start on. I’ve just added a new category, launched by the title of the last post: “drawn in“. This category includes all posts with drawings — sketches, […]

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