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Cartoon  

Shirley Millidge

Drawing, sometimes coloured, made specifically as a pattern for a painting, textile or stained-glass panel. It is produced on the same scale as the final work and is usually fairly detailed. The transfer of the image works best if the drawing in the cartoon is of a linear nature and if the composition has crisp, clear outlines.

In painting there are two methods of transferring a cartoon to the support, which may be a canvas, panel or wall. The first is similar to Tracing. The back of the cartoon is rubbed over with chalk; the paper is attached to the support; and the main lines are drawn over with a stylus, thus transferring the chalk from the back of the cartoon to the new support. In the second method, which is called Pouncing, the main lines of the cartoon are pricked through with a needle or stylus, the size and closeness of the holes varying according to the detail in the drawing. Sometimes in order to preserve the drawn cartoon, a supplementary cartoon or ...

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Chevron  

John Thomas

Form of three-dimensional zigzag ornament particularly associated with Anglo-Norman Romanesque architecture, where it was used to decorate arches, doorways and windows. An equivalent term is dancette (or dancetty), although this is generally reserved for the zigzags used in heraldry. The stripes and flashes set on to the sleeves of military uniform tunics are also chevrons. Architectural chevron is possibly related to Byzantine brick saw-tooth ornament, transmitted indirectly through the decoration of, for example, canon tables in Carolingian and Ottonian illuminated manuscripts (e.g. the Gospel Book of Bernward of Hildesheim; c. 1000; Hildesheim, Diözmus. & Domschatzkam., MS. 18). The saw-tooth motif appears in Romanesque wall painting until the late 12th century (e.g. Terrassa, Spain, S Maria; c. 1175–1200). Chevron is not common in Western buildings before ad 1000, but it is found in Islamic architecture as early as the 8th century at Qusayr ‛Amra, and although it remains unclear precisely how chevron became so closely associated with Anglo-Norman architecture, Borg has suggested that both manuscript illuminations and knowledge of Islamic buildings brought by returning crusaders after ...

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Drum  

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Term for a small window or window-like opening. It may be a small glazed opening in a shrine to afford a view of the relics, an aperture in an altar or confessional to allow the contents to be visible at times or a small niche above a piscina or credence.

Article

Jonathan Stephenson

Term commonly used to describe glassfibre reinforced plastic, also known as glassfibre reinforced polyester or GRP. It is a light but strong and durable material, and, unlike most plastics (see also Plastic, §1), its use involves low-level technology, making it accessible as an artist’s material, although its major uses are commercial and industrial.

The first stage in the manufacture of fibreglass involves the addition of a catalyst to crystic polyester resins, unsaturated, liquid forms of polyester (see Resin, §2). The resulting solid plastic is, however, fairly brittle and thus is reinforced by glassfibre to give a composite material of greatly increased strength. Glassfibre consists of thinly drawn out molten glass, cooled rapidly to produce a continuous filament of exceptional tensile strength. It is made into rovings, a loosely spun thread and tape, as well as into woven tissue, chopped strand mat and woven rovings, all in thin, flexible sheets. These are embedded in the resin while it is liquid and become saturated and surrounded by it. Carbon fibre and ‘Kevlar’, a brand of para-aramid fibre, are also used to reinforce the resin and may be used in combination with glassfibre where even greater strength and impact resistance is required....

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Lawrence Winkworth, Dimitris Plantzos, Mauro Cristofani, Martin Henig, Mary K. Whiting, Nada Chaldecott, Ludvik Kalus, Paul Williamson, Alfred Bernhard-Walcher and Gertrud Seidmann

Engraved gems are gemstones, whether quartzes or the harder, more precious stones, either engraved in intaglio, as for seals, or cut in cameo to give a raised relief image. In a wider sense gem-engraving encompasses shell cameos and moulded glass-paste imitations of engraved gems.

See also Gems and Hardstones.

The use of gems, often set in gold, electrum, and to a lesser extent silver, in ancient Egypt is attested from the Predynastic period (c. 6000–c. 2925 bc). The Egyptians chose the stones for their rich colours, not their reflective powers, and the classic trio were blood-red cornelian, turquoise, and lapis lazuli. It has been suggested that these colours represent blood, vegetation, and water/sky respectively, and certainly the amuletic protection afforded by ancient Egyptian jewellery was as important as any decorative effect.

Cornelian pebbles could be quite easily picked up from the Eastern desert, whereas turquoise had to be mined laboriously in the Sinai desert. A list of craftsmen from a papyrus (London, BM) notes a ...

Article

Rudy Eswarin

Method of producing pictures and ornamental designs on the back of a clear glass panel to be viewed from the opposite side in reflected light. Unlike translucent stained glass, the reverse painted decoration is not fused to the support by firing. The powdered colours are mixed with a binding substance and applied directly to the glass, which becomes an integral part of the picture by providing both the base and the transparent cover for the artwork when the panel is turned. The layer of pigment adheres firmly to the smooth surface, and the colour retains the freshness reminiscent of enamels.

The process begins with a drawing of the subject, positioned under a suitable glass surface. The outline of the pattern is traced and filled in with a blend of colours to fit the design. Working with opaque pigments, the artist has to reverse the standard procedure and begin the painting by exactly placing the highlights and fine details that would normally be put down last. The image must be developed around these fixed points, and corrections by covering the error with additional pigment cannot be made. The laborious method of painting backward is not employed when thin layers of translucent colours are superimposed following a standard production sequence....

Article

Frances Wood

Hollow brick platform constructed against the interior façade wall of houses in northern China, beneath the lattice windows (see China, People’s Republic of §II 5., (ii)). Heated from the inside by small, free-standing braziers or flues connected to cooking stoves, kang are usually used as sleeping areas at night and seats during the day. They are usually the width of one bay (see China, People’s Republic of §II 1., (i)) and about 1 m high and 1.5 m deep. Kang are not found in the warmer areas of southern China, south of the Yangzi River. Evidence from pottery models of houses found in tombs suggests that kang existed during the Han period (206 bcad 220); they are still found in the countryside, though they are rare in cities. The decline of kang in urban areas probably began with the introduction of movable Western-style furniture in the 1920s....

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Lantern  

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Lattice  

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Mosaic  

Catherine Harding

Closely spaced polychrome or monochrome particles (tesserae) of near uniform size embedded in a binder, such as mortar or cement. Mosaic has been used as a decorative medium on walls, floors, and columns for over 5000 years. A wide range of natural and artificial materials may be used for the tesserae: pebbles, hardstone, shells, vitreous paste, terracotta, mother-of-pearl, enamels, and turquoise. The shapes are usually fairly regular: rectangles, squares, triangles, or trapezoids. They normally vary in size from a few millimetres to more than 1 cm sq. The terms ‘tile mosaic’ and ‘mosaic faience’ are applied to a technique used in the decoration of Islamic buildings from the 11th century onwards, in which tiles of different colours were cut to form a design (see Islamic art, §II, 9(iv)). For the inlay technique of opus sectile, where stone pieces were cut into pattern shapes, see Rome, ancient, §VI, 1...

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Muller  

Rupert Featherstone

Stone or glass implement with a flat base, used to grind paints by hand on a hard flat surface or slab. Mullers and slabs of hard stone are first recorded in ancient Egypt. Large glass mullers were used for the commercial preparation of paints until the 19th century. Pigments could be ground on their own for use in fresco or aqueous media or ground in oil for later use....

Article

Gordon Campbell

[objets de vertu]

Decorative work in a fine material (e.g. glass, porcelain, semi-precious stones, silver or gold) that is attractive because of its antiquity, beauty and quality of workmanship. ‘Vertu’ (It. virtù) refers to a taste for curios or other works of art. The traditional form objets de vertu combines French and English spellings; as the Italian sense of ...

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Ogive  

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Perspex  

[Amer. Plexiglass]

Patented name for a transparent colourless thermoplastic Resin, employed as a substitute for glass, especially in framed works of art and for curved architectural elements such as barrel vaults (see Plastic).

England, §IV, 5: Sculpture, after c 1914

Plastic, §1: Types

Plastic, §3(iv): Conservation: Acrylics

Prints, §III, 2: Intaglio processes...