Kamelienblüte Schloss Pillnitz, Frühlingsanfang 2019

22 Mar

The camellia in Pillnitz is around 230 years old, almost 9 m high and 11 m in diameter. From February to April it is covered in carmin red flowers. During the cold season, the tree, which was planted in 1801 by court gardener Terscheck, is
protected by a large glass house with stairs. During this time visitors can enter and view the tree from two levels.

In the mid 19th century Dresden became a European hot spot for the culture and breeding of camellias, and exported them to Russia as well as Italy and Spain. The camelia was viewed as a status symbol among European aristocrats, and Russians in particular, had a high demand for camellia flowers, which were exported in thousands to St. Petersburg and Moscow.

With growing popularity among Westerners, and contrary to its Far Eastern symbolism, the meaning of the flower changed. Thanks to popular literature, most prominently La dame aux camélias by Alexandre Dumas from 1848, as well as real life personae, such as the “Wiener Cameliendame”, a dancer named Fanny Elßler, the camellia became erotizised!

On the other hand the longevity of the flowers, and particulary white camellia flowers, became associated with death and mourning and were woven into funeral wreaths.

The seeds of all known (about 200) camellia seeds yield a valuable oil, which smoothes the hair and juvenates the skin. The oil is rhich in linolenic acid, and is also used in cooking and reduces cholesterine. Samurai rubbed camellia oil unto their sword blades to protect them from rust. The oil is also used as a natural surface finish for wood, as lube in watches and precision engineering and more.

Camellia wood is hard and durable and was used in the manufacture of weapons, different tools as well as kokeshi dolls. Up to the Edo period, a camellia rod was used in Buddhist ceremony to punish and drive out malign spirits. The wood also yielded a spark-free and, hence sought after charcoal.

Camellias are highly resitant against diseases and may contain differnt antibacterial and fungicidal agents.

Besides, the first Westerner to portrait a camellia flower was likely a Saxon gardener by the name George Meister. His book “Der Orientalisch-Indianische Kunst- und Lust-Gärtner” was published in 1692 in Dresden. In it he describes both the camellia as well as its crop plant, Camellia sinensis var. sinensis – the tea shrub!

Further Reading:
https://kamelienschloss.de/botanische-sammlung/kamelien/geschichte-verwendung-von-kamelien/
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pillnitzer_Kamelie
https://www.schlosspillnitz.de/de/schloss-park-pillnitz/kamelie/

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Selling on Etsy — The Long, Rattling Death March

3 Mar

I used to sell on Etsy, but stopped, when they began to force sellers to provide their personal bank info (which I did not want to give to them). I also felt they were starting to charge more and more fees. I too experienced automatic renewals even though I had turned them off. But all of this was small compared to the experiences shared here. I am hence sharing this.

Sydney Schuster

Copyright © 2019 SYDNEY SCHUSTER — All Rights Reserved

My last post was a screed about selling on Etsy and why your inventory there never moves. This used to be part of it. I moved it here because veteran sellers already know how Etsy rips them off. Newbies, this one’s for you.

Worst eCommerce Nightmare Ever
On February 15, 2019, Etsy hoovered millions of unowed dollars from sellers’ bank accounts and credit cards. The first 87 sellers reporting to Etsy’s forum cited individual amounts ranging from $265 to $144,000. They collectively lost a half million dollars.

Said one seller: “I went from owing no Etsy bill to owing $1,200 in the blink of an eye. Even though billing said I owed nothing, I couldn’t print any shipping labels because it said I had to pay at least half of a $1,200 bill I didn’t owe.”

Below is a screencap…

View original post 3,397 more words

Gallery

February Super Full Moon

19 Feb

Nordfriedhof, January 2019

23 Jan

Nordfriedhof Düsseldorf, January 11th, 2019

Herbststillleben

18 Nov

This still life photo has been on my mind for weeks.

Fall 2018

5 Nov

Fall is here, death is here, but the flowers keep on flowering

Samhain Celebration III

2 Nov

An Evening of Dark Art and Music (originally posted on teufelskunst.com)

The art dealers

The third Samhain Celebration combined again both some of the best black metal as well as exclusive hand-made art fitting to the event. Ybenhain offered their resin jewelry and items made of bizarre forest finds, from crazy colored beetles, weird spiders to plenty of animal teeth, combined with flora and fauna from the forest ground and trees. You can check out the creations at the Ybenhain Instagram. In contrast, Black Arts of Mine creates all things from metal and bone. He contributed etched copper pendants and pins with the Samhain Harvest Seal for the event. Besides that there were some pieces that drew my attention, such as the precision work on a copper hendecagram pendant (see below). There was also a weird metal chest with a fly engraving, housing a steel cased vial filled with a dozen dead flies. You can view the works in all their morbid glory on the Black Arts of Mine Instagram. Last but not least, I brought with me new art editions as well as an ever growing assortment of incense blends.

The bands

The other part of the evening, and a reason for people to travel as far as from the States, were the bands. I could not check out all of them, but at least caught a few snapshots of Turia, the Mosaic feat. Schwadorf set and Fyrnask. I would love to hear about your first impression of seeing Turia live and realizing a female is doing those ghoulish voces…

The Stage

Signature feature and fundament for the evening’s special atmosphere appreciated so much by the audience is the stage set, annually adorned with reeds, ivy, chestnut garlands, corn dolls, carved skulls and this year’s corn sun. Connecting it all since three years is the Seal of the Harvest in the back, which I once designed for the event.

Initiating the Samhain magic

The Samhain Celebration in Gotha is one of those rare occasions where I can show presence with my art and meet people that are on a similar wavelength. It is a unique combination of art, tradition, music and spirit, which both is highly satisfying for the performers as well as the audience. Making it all possible are the people of The House of Inkantation, Eisenwald and a handful of helpers.