Matches became something really conventional for us but it turns out that this attribute came to stay in our pockets and by-the-kitchen-range drawers not that long ago.
More than one inventive Herostratus had tried to create “fire sticks” of some kind since 13th century. There were no patents back then so it is hard to positively state who the first to come up with matches was. Their manufactory production dates back to 19th century. In 1805 French chemist Jean Chancel had wood attached with a killer cocktail: sulfur, potassium chlorate and acid to create a prototype of what now is preserved in a 5-centimeter-long box. The world rejoiced and the ball started rolling – as soon as in 1813 in Austria world’s first matches’ manufacture “Milliard & Viko” began its operation.
Since then “not a child’s play” was subject for improvement. Heads changed – everything, from wax to incomprehensible gum arabic was on fire. So it went on until 1855 when Swedish chemist Johan Lundström hit upon the idea of applying red phosphorus to matches and flint paper; it made the product safe and non-emitting awful mixture of smells. This invention earned Lundström a medal of World Exhibition in Paris and in Sweden one true “matches boom” began. 20 years later about 120 “fire-producing” factories operated in the country.
Probably, the last significant stage in the history of matches was production of their container. In 1889 an American Joshua Pusey came up with the idea of it and was getting ready for a patent when Diamond Match Company outdid the innovator by adding igniting surface and applying it outside the box, which was far more comfortable than what Pusey suggested, and he thought of locating it inside.
Well, and then matchboxes started being used as… advertising space while matches themselves became instruments for creation of amazing things. For instance, Ford company graphically demonstrated that their “trucks” wouldn’t let anyone down and there would be enough room for everything in the trunk. Creative employees of Property Consultancy real estate agency promises to find such a dwelling that would be as efficient as possible regardless of dimensions. Several years ago a famous fast food chain decided to be in the trend, too, so they turned matches into potatoes free. Or vice versa – whatever you prefer.
But not only western companies learned how to use matchboxes as advertising. Ukrainian touristic company proves that while on vacation not only you should forget but even burn everything that steals your time and deprives you of pleasures. Russian Troika agency came up with as decent a masterpiece. They decided that the best promo is graphic demonstration. Scale is far from the original – so what? On the upside, a customer can feel the commodity.
Still, not every one likes promoting and selling own goods. Some people create amazing things using matches. Like Bulgarian artist Plamen Ignatov does. He spent 15 years of his life on replication of Rila Monastery using them. Alongside large amount of time, 6 million matchsticks were spent on the copy.
British oil rig worker David Reynolds is slightly behind. He spend about a million matches and 10 years on his armada that includes Titanic, Queen Mary, HMS Victory and other famous ships. Creation of British Tolkienists is just as captivating and remarkable. Their matchstick city from The Lord of the Rings seems to be full of elves, hobbits and living a certain life of its own. In conclusion it is worth saying that fire and art are… well, five centimeters apart, tops.
In a local history museum in every country you visit, you will certainly notice similar archaeological finds - fragments of clay products. Pottery, born millennia ago, but “living” even today, can rightfully be considered one of the most tenacious one. The uniqueness of clay was noticed by our distant ancestors who lived in caves ...
When I, as a little girl, for the first time passed my hand over trimmed bush, my palm got scratched with sharp edges of twigs and lasting arborvitae fragrance hit my nose. Mesmerized, I was not able to take my eyes away from the cones, balls and squares that surrounded me in the park of a small resort town. I felt like being inside a fairy tale, where behind the leaves I could notice a smile of the Cheshire Cat.
Dazzling flashes of ancient knowledge manifested in colourful shimmering beads and in elaborated yarn mosaics by Huichol Indians, captivate the imagination calling for an endless journey through branches of the world tree. Spiritual images take on flesh in intricate ornaments that accompany a Mexican peasant throughout his life.
Bali is one of the most popular places to spend winter. Ocean, volcanoes, amazing nature and exotic fruits... But there is also one more reason that not many people know of, yet it definitely deserves attention: Kamasan, a unique art village where namesake Balinese picture art was conceived – as ancient as the island itself. We are going to tell about it today on the pages of the OUTLOOK.
Exclusive glass vases and Christmas tree decorations that only exist in one or two samples, aside from high price, most often also have in common unique production technology that is mastered by representatives of a rare profession – glass-blower. The history of the craft has lasted for a couple of millennia with some old secrets of handmade production still kept under seal.
In those days when the Persian soldiers were second to none, and both the Roman Empire and the Arabian Peninsula were conquered by their power, skilful fingers of winner nation craftswomen created their first masterpiece. The carpet called The Springtime passed into history as the most precious of all time. It symbolized powerful rule of the Persians, and its beauty told about the divine origin of the king Khosrow I.
Behind the window sad eyes of old man peered at Petrograd engulfed by revolutionary fire. This fire spread on his life's work: a proud four-story building was invaded by noisy commissioners and sailors, whose presence seemed a cruel joke after regular customers. Workshop owner Carl Gustavovich Fabergé, apparently, noticed in this chaos approaching decay of his career. However, he could have a secret gleam of hope for another life of his heritage.
Many places, famous around the globe today, were created by a bunch of enthusiasts without money or outside help. These people lived for their ideas and were doing everything to turn them into reality. Official date of street art appearance is believed to be year 1942, fervor of World War II.
A borderline between the shadow and the light is just as contrasting as the one between the dream and the reality. Therefore artists use both things in pursuit of balance on a painting. Landscapes, portraits and still-life… nothing ever goes without the clash of the opposites. However there are particularly crafty artisans who do not need light at all.
Traditional Japanese kabuki theatre has always been a mystery to the European mentality: only an expert on the culture of the Land of the Rising Sun can understand a play without guide’s tips. The word kabuki is sometimes translated as "the art of singing and dancing". Why not an operetta? The essence of performance is not confined to musical presentation only...
Independent artist originally from the Philippines, Patrick Cabral conquers the world with his unusual artwork. His creations are an innovation that combines the age-old traditions of calligraphy and cutting-edge 3D technologies. His art is a way to change the world for the better, both through aesthetics and through the fulfillment of a social mission.
- Do you want to try some rice? - such a question is greeted by guests in China. And if the owners are also farmers, they can invite you on an unusual excursion and show you the masterpiece of natural art. The grass which we often eat without thinking about its aesthetics, at the time of growing resembles a blanket woven from multi-colored rags ...
Flowers and trees, animals and birds, dragons and fairytale characters – to put it short, anything that may come to your head can turn into an object of edible art there. Amazing technique of painting with hot sugar is possessed by craftsmen from Sichuan province. Paintings performed in almost caramel can be neither “edited”, nor painted over.
Twelve-string guitar, the twilight of Portuguese nights, candles, and soul-gripping voice… Dramatic incentives of fado song tell about unrequited love. It cannot appear in the crossroads of destinies; however, it enables feelings to embody into the touching sounds of Portuguese romances.
More than fifteen hundred years ago Romans were awe struck when they caught the very first sight of the Sistine Chapel. After that masters of painting were born and dead as well as whole pictural art styles. And contemporaries of you and me gape on the distinguished temple.
Coin jar of history of this art accounts for about 6 thousand years. Notably, this currently popular trade owes its emergence to happenstance... A prehistoric man once noticed that after any natural colorant had gotten into a place of a burn or a cut, very lasting drawings stayed on skin.
And since winged horses of Valkyries darted away to Valhalla forever, Dalecarlian horse has remained the guardian of Vikings’ traditions – painted folk toy, first mentioned in chronicles of 17th century. Dalecarlian horse serves as an amulet of non-touristic Sweden by saving from oblivion ancient fables and beliefs.
Especially for those who believe theater and opera music to be vestige of the past, we tell about an amazing Austrian theater where traditional art meets technical and engineering novelties and also a great view of the Alps.
Modern cities cannot be imagined without murals – large-scale in size works of picture art that decorate buildings. Not only we have gathered most outstanding works in our collection but also tried to learn as many interesting things as possible about this art movement.
The Japanese are one of those peoples who zealously respect the ancient traditions. They respect old age, being interested in ancestors and often know the family ancestry by heart. With such a worldview, it is not surprising that a unique technique for the restoration of kintsugi appeared exactly there. Read about it in OUTLOOK.