Let me just give all of you reading out there a little bit of friendly advice:
MAKE SURE YOU PAY THE CORRECT AMOUNT OF ESTIMATED TAXES EVERY QUARTER.
If you just do that you will have a relatively painless tax day. If you do not, you might find yourself wandering around the natural foods grocery store with a dazed expression, trying and failing to soothe the sting caused by writing ginormous checks to the IRS with a cup of coffee and a chocolate cookie, at a loss as to whether new burt's bees lip balm will make you feel better (hint: it won't). Oh well.
So this morning, when my car didn't start (yay!!) and I was waiting around for my future father in law to come and rescue me, I was reading this (another only semi-successful retail therapy purchase):
Toward an Art History of Medieval Rings
Tell you what, I love that title, that's fo'sho. My jewelry and design related book collection is gradually growing. There is little that I like more than a glossy book filled with photographs of things made with gold and accompanied by much small print. Seriously. And this book is especially nice. There are photographs from many different angles! Even from the bottom and back! (Not on everything, but enough to make it very exciting.) Most of the time jewelry books don't provide multiple angles, with the result that it is hard to tell how something is put together. What use is one gorgeous photograph from the most artistic possible angle, if it hides how the thing is constructed? No use, that's what. I want the nitty gritty. I want to see how the bezel is attached to the shank, I want to know what these medieval goldsmiths did and how they did it.
And this (!!!!!):
That is a sword hilt made of diamonds. Holy sh*t. The skill! The skill!! The size of those rocks. But mostly the skill! The beauty of the design! I love the three curves that arc over the largest cushion/round shaped diamond in the hand guard section. Maximizing a simple design with tons of bling. Gorgeous. (This isn't from the medieval ring book, btw, this is from something else, snapped a quick picture at Powell's Books.)
oh, oh, oh!
Will I ever be this skilled? No. Probably not. I'm sure this guy spent his entire life from the age of 8 on as an apprentice. And this was probably made by a whole shop of people anyway, each doing a certain part of the process that they specialized in. But I can dream. I can dream.