Monthly Archives: February 2008

Inspriation: Zapotec Designs

We spent Sat­ur­day with our friend Demetrio Bautista Lazo the weaver. In addi­tion to eat­ing too much. (Gra­cias, Mari­bel por la comi­da muy deli­cioso!) We went walk­ing around the town of Teoti­t­lan.

That’s Demetrio show­ing me a tree of life rug that he’s work­ing on.

my friend demetrio bautisa

This the dome of the local church..

the church in teotitlan

As was com­mon when con­struct­ing colo­nial church­es the walls were built using the stone from the exist­ing Zapotec build­ings. Some parts of the plas­ter of the new walls has been removed and the designs on the old stones are vis­i­ble.

I’ve fooled around with try­ing to com­plete some of the geo­met­ric designs. There’s usu­al­ly not enough of the pat­tern to be cer­tain of how the whole was put togeth­er. Though as I col­lect more exam­ples I think I will find enough frag­ments to recon­struct some of the lin­ear designs. (Click on the thumb­nails for larg­er ver­sions.)

These two seem sim­i­lar and may be relat­ed enough to make a larg­er pat­tern out of:

triangle and sawtooth design 1triangle and sawtooth design 2

Two wavy pat­tern that remind me of the snail pat­tern used in some of the rugs.

horizontal waves patternvertical wave pattern

This sec­tion of the wall con­tains sev­er­al small bits of pat­tern and the image of a bird­like crea­ture. The dia­mond pat­tern in the low­er cen­ter is very com­mon in rugs. I’ll have to ask Demetrio if he knows who the bird is.

bird creature and smaller geometric fragments

A final pic­ture of sev­er­al very small frag­ments. I am sus­pi­cious of the flow­ery vine chunk in the upper left. It’s too nat­u­ral­is­tic to be Zap­totec, per­haps it is a bit of some ear­li­er church or chapel., or bit of this church reused in mak­ing repairs.

several unrelated small fragments

edit­ed 25.june.2008 to cor­rect image links

W.I.P. fishy-fishy flag book

Play­ing catch-up while away from home. First up, a book that is slow­ly tak­ing shape.

It com­bines a for­mat (flag book), a mate­r­i­al (water­col­or wash­es) and a bit of dog­ger­el that wrig­gled into my head (and sketch­book) a cou­ple of years ago.

The for­mat is the flag book bind­ing. I made a goofy test ver­sion using a tacky post­card from Iowa. As you can see here.

tacky postcard flagbook

If you want a much bet­ter look at the con­struc­tion I sug­gest look­ing over the Bone­fold­er issue . A large col­lec­tion of exam­ples can be found in the gallery of work sub­mit­ted to the 2006 bind-o-rama.

The mate­r­i­al is Arch­es 300# water­col­or paper with wash­es of sev­er­al greens and blues and a bit of some­thing dark. I’ve done two large dou­ble sided sheets so there should be plen­ty to work with.


The dog­ger­el goes like this:

Fishy-fishy in the sea.

Fishy-fishy bring it to me.

Damned if I know what it means.

At the moment I’m imag­in­ing 8 folds in the accor­dion and five flags per “page.” With the flags being irreg­u­lar­ly shaped — per­haps as waves or per­haps as fish. Or maybe wave shapes with fish images that cross waves — or — or…

And that’s how it goes — three ideas thrown togeth­er on a work­ing tray and just hang­ing out togeth­er until some­thing starts to hap­pen.

edit­ed 25.june.2008 to cor­rect image links

new toys

I’ve been busy acquir­ing, set­ting up, and occa­sion­al­ly curs­ing a batch of new toys.

The dread­ed yel­low line scan­ner has been evict­ed and in it’s place is a new Microtek i900.


So far it and I are get­ting along pret­ty well. Though it’s a right hulk­ing bit of equip­ment.

Can’t say as much for the soft­ware. I have two scan­ning con­trol pro­grams. The native Microtek soft­ware and Sil­ver­Fast Ai. Every­thing I read about Sil­ver­Fast is true. It’s amaz­ing­ly pow­er­ful and a *total* bitch to fig­ure out.

We bought the Microtek specif­i­cal­ly to scan in DH’s col­lec­tion of 35mm slides. After the first hun­dred or so I think I’ve got the soft­ware fig­ured out and I’m get­ting pret­ty nice results.

The oth­er new toy is a Wacom Intuos3 table. Very sweet. Pain­less set­up, works as adver­tised out of the box.
Most­ly. Once in a while (after an unplanned reboot — thank you very much Micr­soft) Vista gets a lit­tle con­fused and thinks that it’s a tablet PC rather than a graph­ic tablet and the express keys stop work­ing. Hard­ly the fault of the device. Sigh.

edit­ed 25.june.2008 to cor­rect image links