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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We have amber flowing through our veins, joke the Balts. They believe that a sunny stone comes from tear drops of their goddess Jūratė. According to legend, she was careless enough to fall in love with a mere mortal fisherman named Kastytis who day by day cast his nets to the Baltic Sea.
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.
Iliko, who devoted all his life to dancing, actually bequeathed to his descendants to do everything possible for his family name remained on posters forever. 70 years later, millions of people in hundreds of countries are buying tickets where in different languages, without translation one can easily read the name of Sukhishvili.
There is music which brings us back to life. It happens even if the tears are falling when one listens to it. The musical genre mugham talks to the audience using the right language. Everyone has lived out unhappy love, loss of a close person or ruin of ideals. These topics became the source of inspiration for the musicians of Azerbaijan movement mugham.
Magic dance of a snake in time with flute’s melody often described in Eastern fairy tales and depicted in movies is no fiction but a true symbol of those countries. In Egypt, India, African countries and some other states slithering tribe are tamed to make a spectacular entertainment out of it. Profession of reptile charmers exists there; it is believed to be as nearly as the most amazing on Earth.
What is it that characterizes any nation without much words and long explanations? Dances, of course, because it is these movements, refined over centuries, that can tell a foreigner about other peoples much more than thick history books. If you carefully watch and feel the way people dance in different countries, their mind set will become much more comprehensible. And these aren’t mere words.
Elaborating an itinerary for a modern tourist has long ago gone beyond a simple classic conception of a trip abroad. Globetrotters of today are so demanding that travel agencies will soon run out of clients to whom to offer a standard set of historic places and souvenir shops because demand is increasing for emotions instead of traditional sightseeing tours.
Only dancing and wearing mask, Korean peasants were able to express their disgust towards rudeness or greed of the hosts or apply to some deity with extraordinary request. Keeping anonymity, the people played out the scenes from life, cried, and laughed. At the end of the performance the destiny awarded the good characters and punished villains.
‘Love evolves when one looks in the eyes of the person beloved seeing there God’, in such a way the lines of some Arabian song called Qawali is translated. The authorship of this chant is ascribed to Eastern strangers Sufi who tending to find the sense of existence strolled around the half an Earth bare-footed. In the travels they composed songs where they told narration describing what they had to endure.
Today we invite you to join our trip to the resort part of Georgia, to vicinity of the beautiful and cosy Borjomi town, the birthplace of the legendary Borjomi mineral water. One of the most popular and healthy mineral waters of the world, has been bottled here for several centuries.
The Japanese are very creative people, especially when it comes to rice. If they have some extra spare time and large spacious rice paddies, then routine process of growing an agricultural crop turns into art...
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 ...
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...
What most people know about flamenco, is that this dance is manifestation of neither love and affection, nor entertainment and revelry fun. Fiery expressive flamenco is reflection of suffering and pain of an individual within nation, always persecuted and deprived of home. The dance itself, which has become a global symbol of Spain, is not only its national heritage...
Every other person has considered having a tattoo, maybe not permanent but at least a temporary one. Absolutely painless application of drawings that can be altered in a couple of weeks is offered by Mehndi art – henna painting.