I’m an ‘amazed’ person; much of my life is spent saying ‘That’s amazing!’ J is always saying that I’m a very easily amazed person, which I also find amazing because it it true!
I’m amazed by the things I see and learn as I explore in the realms of what used to be called ‘Natural History’ – and I’m constantly amazed at the skill and artistry of craftsmen and craftswomen from around the world and throughout time. Engineers who have created amazing machines; quilters who create amazing works of art with scraps of material; artists who create amazingly atmospheric images with barely a detail; carpenters who created amazing structures without the use of screw or glue like the mimbar in the mosque in Birgi. And now I’ve been amazed by, what I can only describe as, ‘Marqueteers’ – creators of amazing marquetry.
For those not familiar with this form of decoration, it is the use of thin pieces of different types and colours of wood which are cut and inlaid to form ‘pictures’ or geometric designs. It was popular with my granny and her generation and, by default, with Mr Skeets my woodwork teacher at school who was old enough to be my granny. It was also a much favoured DIY type project in the 1960s.
On our recent trip to Tuscany, J and I went with our friends to the lovely old town of Lucca. There, amongst other things, we paid a visit to the Museo Nazionale di Villa Guinigi (we also got free admission as Old Aged Pensioners from the EU – our Aussie friends left out an ‘a’ and an ‘l’ and were let in as Austrians). There is a lot of interesting stuff to see, particularly relating to religious artifacts, but what had me utterly amazed were these . .
And then there was this . .
These are just a few representative examples of what is on display; each piece is between two and three metres high. Flash was not used for obvious reasons – the guard would have confiscated my camera!