Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Nice Frame

When we were in the MET, I noticed this picture frame, which was constructed by Fredric Edwin Church.  He was interested in what he called "Persian Style" and borrowed various tile motifs from his travels to (I want to say) Damascus.

I was interested in seeing how he had solved the problem of using stars in a tessellating pattern.  I think where a more transitional tile-worker would have made the pattern slight larger within the border so that the horizontal lines in the top and bottom stars would have been flush with the border or else the stars would have been in a lattice work outlining them, which would have closed up some gaps between the points.  Church has done neither; instead, he's used a n arrowhead pattern to make an outline around the stars, and that's allowed him to keep the five pointed stars at the 4 and 8 o'clock (and the 10 and 2) positions to not touch in an aesthetically pleasing way.

Working Out:  I hit the gym Saturday and did some cardio on the elliptical (120 cal at 20 minutes) and the rowing machine (100 cal in 10 minutes) and some minor weight work on the downstairs equipment.  Monday, I did the elliptical (about 120 cal at 20 with an average heart-rate of 128), ten minutes on the rowing machine, 3 sets of 10 reps assisted dips, 30 lb barbell arm curls (3 sets 12 reps), 70 lbs lat pulls (3 sets 12 reps), 40 lbs on the pec fly machine (3 sets 12 reps), curl ups (3 sets 12 reps), and some 10 lb dumbbell work (shrugs, overhead triceps).  My elbow seems to be fine, and I'm being careful to ease into things.

Writing:  Mostly I've been tinkering.  I'm working on a story set in a circus around 1880 -- it's got cold iron horses and electric lights giving it a Steampunk feel.  I'm having some world-building issues, because it's an alternate world where magic works and I have to decide how closely the story's world follows our world's history.  On one hand, I like to imagine nicer worlds -- so should I do away with the slave trade and the Civil War?  Would there even be a Fargo, North Dakota in 1880 or would this be a Native Country?  Or do I make it more historical and write a story with Black share-croppers and Native Americans as window dressing?  It's enough to make me want to pull the story out of the North American Midwest and set it in England.  
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