Watlington Hoard May Re-write Early English History. A Little Anyways.

 Researchers from the British Museum recently unveiled a Viking hoard of silver that may rewrite early English history. An amateur discovered the treasure in a field in Watlington, Oxfordshire, around 40 miles west of London. The collection of more than 200 items, which includes silver coins, jewelry, and ingots, was intentionally buried in the late 870s A.D., during a tumultuous period when Anglo-Saxon armies fought to repel conquering Viking forces. In 878, King Alfred the Great of Wessex, the last independent Anglo-Saxon kingdom, finally halted the Viking invasion at the Battle of Edington. While English history portrays Alfred as one of the first great English heroes, the Watlington hoard suggests that one of Alfred’s rivals, King Ceolwulf II of Mercia, may also have played a hero’s role. Ceolwulf II is hardly mentioned in English historical accounts—and unflatteringly when he is—yet several of the recently discovered coins prominently depict Alfred and Ceolwulf II...

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How to Recognize Any Classical Artist- A Little Humor.

I came across this and found it to be funny, but somewhat spot on too if you have any familiarity with some of these classical artists. Enjoy. The history of painting reaches back in time to artifacts from pre-historic humans, and spans all cultures. It represents a continuous, though periodically disrupted, tradition from Antiquity. Across cultures, and spanning continents and millennia, the history of painting is an ongoing river of creativity, that continues into the 21st century. Until the early 20th century it relied primarily on representational, religious and classical motifs, after which time more purely abstract and conceptual approaches gained favor. 1. Michelangelo 2. Titian 3. Rubens  4. Caravaggio 5. Bruegel 6. Bosch 7. Rembrandt 8. Boucher 9. Degas  10. Greco 11. Picasso 12. Eyck

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If Only Your Life Could Hold Magic

As I have found. Books are written, songs are made to reflect the things we experience. Sometimes, as is everyone's right, a story seems as though you are living it through the storyteller's very eyes. Just a few thoughts, most I keep to myself. All who wander are not lost. 

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Missing My Family

Miss my little guy Talon and Diane so much sometimes. We all have to do things from time to time that we think, are what's needed to make a better life for our kids, our wives, or even other family members- time and time again we see this "better life" topic crop up in subject used as a reason, excuse or even some banner of pride and one universal shortcoming that is almost always overlooked until it's too late is that no matter what you feel you accomplish, it's going to be too much for some and too little for others. We move some of the chess pieces around to pursue this idyllic masterpiece of a life we picture as ideal, and too often forget the things that really matter. Your kids will grow up one day, have their own perception and conclude self worth based in part on what you teach...

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Reflections: Christmas 2015

Have a good holiday all, I hope you all get what you wanted to out of it. While you are doing your thing, take the time to think about the things you have that cannot be bought. Trust me on this, one day will come a time when "just one more minute" will be your sum of a world's weight in gold. I used to enjoy the holidays, perhaps in a slightly different way than the societal norm. It's no secret that I abhor the materialistic approach in people- and for the very few who know my mind in all things bless their spirits for seeing my darker view on this and managing to ride through it's storms. "Christmas" stopped for me many, many years ago the very first time I found myself upset because I didn't "get what I wanted". Not the concept of not getting "it", it was the moment...

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2016 is Here and I Have a List

Late 2015 dropped a few hairy cockroaches into my codpiece, and set me back a season. I'm not one to let things get me down for long, but the one thing I do have issue dealing with is my own sense of urgency. When I get on a creative roll, it's stifling to those around me and I apologize for that. No, not really, sorry. I left a descent roll in Hawaii a couple years ago because I had to face the fact that the tech industry just wasn't a challenge. It felt good turning Microsoft down, because I knew I "did it" and wanted more. That opportunity wouldn't have happened if I didn't work for it, and been nudged by a shitty (illegal, proven) expulsion from my former employer there. I did manage to get to know some of the warmest, fun and loving people ever though. Fuck the corporate shit. Walking one...

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Demons, We All Have Them

Demons. We all have them at one time or another. They can define us, or drive us. They can take the form of something as simple as a vice, habit or behavior and on a grander scale, as the stories go a physical entity. Those who choose to limit themselves by making the determination that in extreme cases these can be a sign of imagination, stress or even mental health issues have never been able to fully prove that they don't exist, but without physical proof still prefer to stay on the side of "some other reason". This is never true for those experiencing them. For me, life has presented me with very few situations I could attribute to the appearance, disappearance, or subtle influence of such a thing. But when they have, no literary description can (in my eye) fully describe the intensity of emotion and it's physical manifestation. I'm a passionate...

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Realms of Steamgard: Inception

Back in 2007, I had just re-subscribed to the idea I needed to get back to design work; Casting, Leather, Wood and Metals. In addition to my normal paths (Historical, Medieval, Gothic) a newer thing made it into my peripheral vision. Steampunk. I kept an eye on it and found myself from time to time contemplating the norm for me: "If I do, what can I contribute to it's presentation and later, history?" I started where I always do. I looked at the roots of the subject and began first with what I liked. Science and Industrial discovery of the period. You'd have to know me a bit to understand I have always been a dreamer, innovator and to a fault, purist in my own conceptual beliefs on materials I choose to work with. My first ideas were simply re-creative of already established items that were on the market, but with my own flair....

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What is Steampunk?

For me, Steampunk can be somewhat narrowed down to the basics you'd gather on the general wikis. My desires for participation and contribution though are governed by my own interpretation and personal guidelines when it comes to creation practices. I've had decades of involvement in other "maker" genres and this one will be no different for me, I'm sure I'll surprise some and piss off others- it's the way of things and you just roll with it. My hope is contribution I can be satisfied with and really isn't subject to approval by really, anyone other than myself. I've always been a teacher (leatherwork, sculpture, primitive living arts, and metalwork to name a few) so recognizing the varying levels of knowledge and skill in others isn't foreign, but sometimes in relating concept, execution and offers of criticism can sometimes be seen as harsh. The underlying drive in this is first and...

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Nikola Tesla: an Interview

An interview that scientist Nikola Tesla gave in 1899 for the magazine "Immortality" in his laboratory in Colorado Springs. You have to take the time to think about his method of communication and he did his best to convey concepts, it being Serbian to English in the slightest, language tendencies. There are strong, universal messages contained in his thoughts. Timeless. It wouldn't matter if an individual was born 100, 1000, or even tens of thousands of years ago, the resulting conclusion in some of these subjects would manifest because they are natural law and simple truth. We spend more time trying to avoid or disprove these truths out of fear, arrogance and greed. Read on.   JOURNALIST: Mr. Tesla, you have gained the glory of the man who got involved in the cosmic processes. Who are you, Mr. Tesla? TESLA: It is a right question, Mr. Smith, and I will try to give you the right...

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Under the Knife: Steampunk, Flora, and Doorstops

floral-art1As much as I've enjoyed sculpture over the years, I find myself revisiting something that at one time, made me cringe.
Ok, I lied, it still does, but let me explain. Florals.
Victorian Florals. You know, that stuff that's all over Victorian Era "Finery"?
It wasn't until I started doing wrought iron and collected various examples that I began to allow myself to like, well, floral work. It started with vines, ivy, which, are still manly, right?
Of course over the years I managed to avoid doing them in leatherwork. I managed for (Demon Spawn Sellout Name from Hell incoming) Tandy and The Leather Factory as a career, taught leatherwork and was quite good at it, according to critics.
Then in recent years, the steampunk thing. Slowly, the little sachet scented creepers started working themselves into things I actually found appealing.
WHAT!? The hairy Rock God chained to the Gates of Valhalla as a final test to those claiming worth to sit at our table in the Great Hall? The All-Father even shook his head to hide perceived softening of my tread. I propped Blondie's hammer in the door to hold it while I sat.
"Let me explain."
Steampunk. When I choose a direction, the first thing I do is see what in my mind, is lacking. Part of my desire and expression is contribution.
Anyone can copy something.
Throw a little angle to it or sprinkle rivets like they are going out of style in seemingly, calculated, engineered increments. Glue a gear on, a glowy light or steal your grandma's fun-fur thong from Woodstock (It is a thong right? Eeesh!), attach it to the corner and you have, um, Steampunk?
Ok. If you say so.
I look at the roots of the genre. Where it came from. What people did then, that inspires me now. Research material. Check. Easiest? Movies. Horrible choice, but its a start.
Books. Few pictures, lavender scented frilly tarts with attitude, and men suspect of having nocturnal dreams about their nannies. No. Cant let those damn flowers in yet.
Architecture. Getting warm.
Mechanical Devices. Getting sexy now.
It dawned on me, that what drew me to specific pieces, and really allowed me to paint mental pictures of being expressive during those times was the mixture of physical motion in contraptions of the era and attempt at making it appeal to a higher, art oriented beast of an enthusiast. We all look at Greek, Roman, Northern European art from time to time, (at least in my neck of the cultured woods) and you can see where these earlier forms of art carried over to mean, or inspire yet again a connection to the dedicated craftsfolk from earlier times. Natural representation in the form of trees, vines, leaves, and ugh, flowers abound. Theres little to none of it being used yet its an embedded part of the time.
table victorian
Ok, ok, I'm starting to convince myself.
A trip to a local antique shop brought out the Faust in me, but the goat boy is carrying a big ass opened end wrench emblazoned with a rune of storm and smells like sweet, slightly burnt grease. Add a dash of metal shavings to make the skin glow. Mufasa, FOUR times, you're welcome.
There are some really good folk out there making some cool stuff. Do they need to impress me? Hell no. Does a lot of it?
We are all in charge of our own tastes. Awesome thing, nobody can begrudge you for liking, or disliking something. Years in various craft trades has taught me that human nature has hardcoded the desire to succeed and praise is always welcomed. Criticism, however, is always seen as negative. One needs to understand that in making criticism, they are usually (we all know that spiteful bastard or bitch that sees any negative response to an offering as reason to bring out the pitchfork and proceed to roast the perpetrator, slowly) just stating why they don't find something appealing to them. It's only our desire to impress others that gets in the way of understanding that.
So. I further narrow down what does and what does not "do it for me" about what already exists. I then, open up the mind shop, where very tool is available and no material out of reach. I never have to think about it long because the thing that smacks me right in the cringe hinge is things being out of place in time. The blanket excuse thrown around is so nauseating for me; I know people can only work with what they have available. Part of the fun? for me in immersion is not just lying to myself that I'm seeing something that didn't exist, but creating something that could have existed. My mind cannot wrap itself around not starting from scratch. Bless the tinkerer's lil hearts, I commend them on that fine use of a candlestick or that nerf gun, but my pursuit cannot stop there. I'm just not wired that way. Form, shape for inspiration, yes. A key element in my personal hell is, and always has been materials.
lamp sp
I don't seek to invalidate plastic, rubber, fun fur and pvc for the people that are satisfied with it. However, giving them that respect, I also impose do not disrespect me for turning my personal taste's nose up (or down) at the thought that I cannot settle for that. I could not expect to see a Greek column made from hydrastone or resin nor can I desire to create a steam driven piece of pneumatics from a modern screen door cylinder. it's not your problem, its MINE. I KNOW its a damn screen door cylinder and nothing you can do can make me lie to myself and immerse myself in any other fact- NOT when I know how, and can make one from materials I think would have been used.
Look, we all have seen our pet pursuits in the realm of recreation start with "what we got to get started." I've fought in carpet armor, shipping blankets, with rattan swords many times finding a place to create blue marks on various parts of my body. Refinement is in our nature. I'm just used to cutting out the settle part and prefer getting right into the hard stuff right away. My future endeavors and contributions to mine, and others enjoyment must start from within my own set rules otherwise I just wont be happy doing them.
We will revisit this in short time, a little further down the road and perhaps, more of what I have said will be much more clear and hopefully inspire further refinement. The All-Father seems pleased, and even Blondie didn't notice the booger I left on the hilt when I handed his hammer back to him. Such is my way.
                                                                                    Back in Chains for me.
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What Historic Origins is All About

Bronze. White Metals. Wood. Leather. Add a long list of other things like web design, coding, digital graphic arts, meh. I learned because I had to, and have found some enjoyment in it over the years. Yeah, I've been around the block a number of times. So many, the neighbors have coffee waiting for me at every driveway. Historic Origins. It's been a reflection of my ever changing tastes and desires, but ever since I started in business in the early 90's I've wanted to somehow create the perfect easel. I'm almost there, and you're going to get to see it. "White Metal", is where I started all this, casting anyways. Back in the late 80's I began researching and working on ways to start creating my own figurines and re-enactment accessories. Eventually I started a venture with a partner that left me with knowledge, and an empty pocket. By the early 90's...

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Almost There Folks, 2015

I know this won't mean much on the surface, but Historic Origins, as a website has gone through quite a few incarnations over the years. It's been a reflection of my ever changing tastes and desires, but ever since I started in business in the early 90's I've wanted to somehow create the perfect easel. Web design, coding, digital graphic arts, meh. I learned because I had to, and have found some enjoyment in it over the years. The problem has always been, what I call "pixel OCD". Diane, my sons, and anyone close to me knows if I'm up at 4 am pecking away at the keyboard it's usually a damn pixels fault. It's how I roll. Given the complexity of the new direction I'm adventuring in with Historic Origins, (namely the bronzework) I have to at times settle for functional, or at least set aside that pixel sickness thing...

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Where it all started: Time

 This is the piece that started it all, over 30 years ago. Bronze and walrus ivory casket from Gandersheim (Anglo-Saxon origin, late 700's) I don't know what it was about researching this piece that got me all fired up, but after awhile I found myself travelling back in time to an early workshop, selecting tools by firelight- images dancing on the walls and even the smell of fresh bread to compliment a bowl of stew sitting near my lap for hours. A bite here, carve a little there. Time. It doesn't really matter when you are in your element. Heres a small excerpt from the book I had been reading at the time: "Gandersheim Casket. This elegant house-shaped small casket is one of the finest pieces of Middle Saxon carving to have survived. It dates to the late eighth century, and was at Gandersheim Abbey in Germany during the Middle Ages, passing in 1815 into the...

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A Few Words on Inspiration

At various stages I start pulling things together for a "feel". Out there, there are many wonderful artists who have inspired us. Inspiration is what drives us all when we make, or do something. Too much time has passed in our evolution to really, no really lay claim to something. It's been thought of, done, or even set aside for possible re-visitation by someone, somewhere before. Everything IS our "take" on what we see, feel, and hear. The embodiment of art cantake on many forms, but in general:      Art; (ärt)Noun: art; plural noun: arts; plural noun: the arts. 1. The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting orsculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power."the art of the Renaissance"Synonyms: fine art, artwork"he studied art"Works produced by human creative skill and imagination."his collection of modern art"Synonyms: fine art, artwork"he studied art"creative activity resulting in the...

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Bronze You Say?

Bronzes, for me invoke a connection to the past. A lifetime of study in the arts found me frequently returning to those pages in books and museums where the "good stuff" was: Viking, Celtic, Anglo Saxon and even Native American metalwork. I'm tribally Germanic to begin with, so I'm just settling for the belief that ancestrally I'm being beckoned backward to revisit those paths. It's also been the primary focus of my efforts for the last few years. Finally coming to pass this year in 2014 is my "allforge" - Not one, but 3 furnaces dedicated to Norse Gods and fueled by visions of a small boy knowing that in order to move forward, you must explore, before. I can't say much at the moment, but look back here soon and my reasons for secrecy to the very last will become quite clear. 2014 and 2015 are going to be magical...

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07 April 2023
Writings on The Wall
No matter how painful it is writing this, I have to. There are a lot of words and it is no small thing to read, so whoever does, thank you. I am exposing myself at my most vulnerable and doing my best to try to put everything into the right words and...
14 March 2023
Writings on The Wall
This is a personal letter, and I can't guarantee that there will be anything after this. It's only here to be saved for the future and so that I'm sure they can read it.   Diane Talon and Mali: “Forgive Me”   Forgive me, please, forgive me....
11 March 2023
Writings on The Wall
Babe, Do you remember this? Do you remember making it? I remember that day clearly, because it always meant something to me. When we talked about making a door chime for our store, and the thing about the four bells I remember joking and saying: “The...
14 February 2023
Writings on The Wall
Happy Valentine's Day babe. This has been a strange year, and yet things have been going good, I wanted to get you something to make up for your birthday and Christmas for you too, but as you know having to walk away from the company I put so much ti...
15 June 2022
Writings on The Wall
"The most terrifying force of death, comes from the hands of men who wanted to be left alone. They try, so very hard, to mind their own business and provide for themselves and those they love. They resist every impulse to fight back, knowing the forc...
13 May 2022
Writings on The Wall
These things can hold true for anyone in your life- a partner, a friend, a brother. Measure your words and your actions each time you pass each other because you cannot get time back and what you choose to do with it and for it, may be your joy or la...
25 June 2020
Writings on The Wall
Our passions are derived from what we are most comfortable with. Things we can count on, the things we know.   We adventure within ourselves and the things we choose to share are wrought from that comfort, the things we have grown to love and ev...
16 January 2020
Writings on The Wall
My dreams lead me to many places, and at many times. Old soul, perhaps. Blood Empathy? I'm sure of it, in some way. I cant explain the vivid detail, nor the exhaustion upon waking up. Bruised at times, sore, and tired. Every step I take and day that ...
26 March 2019
Writings on The Wall
I talk with many people about a wide variety of subjects. I'm a talker. Yeah.   One thing we have too little of these days is the "fireside converstion". At the end of the day whether it be at a community meal or even a simple wind-down with one...
14 February 2019
Writings on The Wall
Remember the reasons you do what you do guys. It all comes back to you. I hope everyone out there can take the time to do little things, and big things when you can, just not on a special day, but every day. They re worth it. I planned on being ...
12 February 2019
Writings on The Wall
So, Diane's been exploring some creative energy and me, being me always tries to come up with something I can let her wake up to.   I wont get into the creation and machining of the final tools, everyone knows I can already do that, and these ar...
31 January 2019
Writings on The Wall
Let me tell you something about the Gods, Ragnarok, and what it means to the lives of men. Over time the Gods contrive stories to meet an end thats not always in the favor of men. One thing you can be sure of though, is truth greets you each morning ...
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