Chill With The Moon

“There’s an electricity in the moon. A pulse of magic, an energy. A bewitching entrancement unlike that of the sun.” ~ Unknown

The moon is for things unseen, things undone in the shadows and beneath the fog of night.

It’s for receding tides and waves upon rocky shores and pirates hidden coves — it’s for wild hearts and unconcerned minds.

It’s where plans are made in the dark and secrets revealed under the soft haze of light… it’s a reflection upon the water coming through the clouds long after dark.

Only after dark can we learn, absorb and study the effects of the day. It’s self reflection that we take the time to make.

Sometimes I get the urge to stay up late… that’s when the creative juices flow the most. It’s where I am left unencumbered by the craziness of day!

There is an attraction between the Moon and the Earth. The effects are not so obvious as an ocean tide. There are other forces are at work too.

We live on a peninsula; there is the bay, the channel and estuary and at night; there is the spherical symmetry of the atmosphere and lunar pressures; oscillations and pressure variations.

The weather phenomena’s are not conditional in Swansea. They are an exact and non-negotiable and we’re here in the middle of it.

And it is just fine with me to be under the moon in Wales with you.

Time to chill with the moon.

Maen Ceti; Great Stone of Sketty

Cefn Bryn overlooks Maen Ceti; a chambered cairn or burial tomb also known as Arthur’s Stone.  Maen Ceti or the ‘Great Stone of Sketty’ is one of the most well known dolmens in Wales.

The stone weighs between 25-30 tons. This capstone measures about 4 metres in length, over 2 metres tall and 2 metres in width.

It stands on a northward facing slope just below the crest of the northern end of the ridge-backed hill of Cefn Bryn stretching east from the Iron Age hillfort at Cilifor Top, north across Llanrhidian Sands and west to the mouth of the River Loughor or Afon Llwchwr where it flows into Carmarthen Bay.

To the north is the Loughor Estuary which separates Gower from Llanelli and Burry Port.
The hills skyline above the estuary are composed of rocks from the Upper Carboniferous, and mostly covered in green ferns and mountain grasses.

The hills are of the common land its where the animals roam and graze freely and it’s where the ground is hilly and fertile. This belt of rich farmland meets the north coast at a prominent, rounded hill with Iron Age fortifications around its summit.

Arthur’s Stone or Maen Ceti can be found on Cefn Bryn in the Gower Peninsula. This massive stone weighs over 25 tons and marks the site of two Neolithic burial chambers, dating from around 6000 years ago. The stone is one of Gower’s best known landmarks and has long been the subject of wonder.

Standing above the Estuary on Cefn Bryn, I feel the presence of this gigantic stone and wonder about the ancients who placed it here so many  thousands of years ago

For a long time, I believed that Arthur’s Stone is a feat of engineering similar to Stonehenge, where Neolithic people used very basic equipment to move the heavy stones into position and some were carried by glaciers during the last Ice Age.

Below the alter stones, you can see the pillar stones standing to create the burial chambers below and the smaller upright stones are there as support.

Arthur’s Stone measures 4 x 2 x 2 metres, but it was once much larger than this. A big piece of it, weighing 10 tons, broke off sometime around 1690 and can still be seen lying next to Arthur’s Stone today.

 The site of Arthur’s Stone was one of the first places to be protected under the Ancient Monuments Act of 1882.

This is my favourite place in the Gower.

References:

Barber, Chris., Mysterious Wales, Paladin Books, London W1X, 1987.

Hawkes, Jacquetta., A Guide To The Prehistoric And Roman Monuments In England And Wales, Cardinal, London, 1975.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cefn_Bryn

*The Gower Society, A Guide To Gower, The Publication Committee of The Gower Soc., (orig. prepared 1965. Edt. 1989).

Hafod Defined

Rome

While we were in Rome, we visited the Pantheon from which was a former Roman Temple and is now a church, in Italy. It was commissioned by Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD). Completed by the emperor Hadrian about 126 AD.

The exquisite building is circular with a portico made of large granite columns with a rectangular vestibule that links the porch to the grand rotunda under the dome with a central opening to the sky. I can see why Michelangelo visited so often. Certainly would be inspirational.

Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon’s dome is still the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome.

The height to the rotunda and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 142 feet (43 m).

It is one of the best-preserved of all Roman ancient buildings because it has been in continuous use throughout its history, and since the 7th century.

The Pantheon has been used as a church dedicated to St. Mary and the Martyrs or in Latin “Sancta Maria ad Martyres” but informally known as “Santa Maria Rotonda”.

The square in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza Della Rotunda.

The Pantheon is Rome’s one of two most popular tourist destinations with over 4.2 million tourists per year, making them the world’s 37th most visited destination.

Made in Belgium

During the Belgian revolution of 1830 and the period of mutiny afterwards (1830-1839) the family BOCH had already acquired a long tradition in the field of faience and a lot of strategic experience in anticipating politic and economic developments.

Around 1874, due to the passionate interest of collectors of old faience pieces, Victor BOCH hires Dutchman from Maastricht, some already experienced after years of work in Delft. These Dutch faience painters brought their knowledge, experience and skills.

Thanks to their collaboration the old working methods were applied on different clay than the potters in Delft.

A period of reproduction of decors is followed by a period of innovation, among others with the polychrome decors on white background, or bleu, green or black, and afterwards new decors.

Luxury faience is decorated with Delft decors, and becomes a speciality of the “Manufacture” in a division named “la Chambre des peintres hollandais” (the Holland painter’s chamber).

These pieced each with a hand painted signature of the interlaced letters “B, F, K“ (Boch frères Keramis) on the bottom of the pieces.

These artistic products in Delft style are hand painted, instead of being decorated with a usual printed decor.

 

More at: visit my ebay store:

https://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/Antique-Celadon-Boch-Freres-Keramis-Bowl-Ceramic-Lustre-ware-3-Available-/263252912835?_mwBanner=1

Japanese Imari

Imari porcelain was made in Japan and China beginning in the seventeenth century. In the eighteenth century and later, it was copied by porcelain factories in Germany, France, England, and the United States.

It was especially popular in the nineteenth century and is still being made. Imari is characteristically decorated with stylized bamboo, floral, and geometric designs in orange, red, green, and blue.

Japanese Imari had less details, darker colors, and less gold by the middle of the nineteenth century. The name comes from the Japanese port of Imari, which exported the ware made nearby in a factory at Arita.

Imari is now a general term for any pattern of this type

Juzan Gama

We found these Japanese bowls in Antwerp. I thought they were stunning and had never seen anything marked like these. When we returned home from holiday… I just had to look them up.

The Juzan Gama Pottery, I believe are a 20th c. modern Japanese porcelain bowls manufactured by 壽山窯 Juzan Family Kiln (Juzan gama).

Juzan Kiln, aka Juzan Gama, still operates today and is located in Nagasaki, Japan producing table wares under the name Juzan Toki.

Juzan Gama produced wares are called Hasami-yaki. This particular style seen on the outside of the bowl is made by what is called chattering kana.

The kana scraper, a metal tool, is held onto a leather hard, unfired bowl, and the bowl is spun. The kana jumps up and down, chatters, across the surface to produce the regular markings.