Tuesday, 19 January 2010

The Seals of Time

I have to blog this fabulous book that we picked up at the Central Bank's Pre-Coloumbian gold museum, in San Jose. (Yes... that again! You can expect to be hearing snippets about that for some time to come yet!) It's a book of Pre-columbian seals and I love it! I know, they say you should never judge a book by it's cover, but in this case, you totally can! It cost around $10 and would make a great little gift. (If anybosy wants to order one, i will be back in San Jose the first week of February).

Isn't that lovely?

The book has many wonderful designs inside, and talks about the history, construction, and use of these seals, which were formed from pottery. Some took the form of an actual stamp, whereas others were pottery wheels, which could be rolled over a surface, including over human skin. Infact, if you're familiar with Pre-Columbian artifacts, you'll have noticed that many of the pottery figures, for example, are covered in decorative patterns, which depict the temporary tattoes made by these seals, using plant-based dyes. Like this...

Maybe not the best example, but it's what I could find at the moment. And here's what the tool itself looked like...

I photographed this "wheel" seal from the book, and throught it would be fun to play with the image in Photoshop whilst having a coffee...

Playing with repeat patterns and mirror images.

Playing with the color palette. Here we have it in tan, and...

... in "Inuit" blue.

Playing with Nilo and playing with potatoes!
This is a great effect... all things considered ;>

It's so important to remember to play!

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