Acanthus leaf and rose in
The framing band on the
top of this writing slope has a flowing curling design and is expertly and beautifully executed.
The pixilation is that the
pixels are made up one by one in strips of wood. The colors are natural
to the wood. Dyed wood can change color unpredictably. The Tunbridge
workers were inclined to use wood for its natural qualities. There was
something magickal about taking bits of Kentish (Kent) wood and
interspersing them with some of these heavy woods which were coming back
in the ships as ballast wood.
Little boys would sell wood
finds to craftsmen. One of the most prized has a blue green color caused
by fungal attack to various woods including apple and oak.
The pixels are separate
strips of wood.
It is not possible to make a
very long log of mosaic without wander.
The classical motif of the acanthus (thistle) leaf is combined with the
romantic rose. This is a design bridge between the Neoclassical tradition
of the late 18th century and the naturalism of the mid 19th century.
for Tunbridge ware the corner details are very carefully designed.
The mitering of these
complicated and wide Berlin work bandings was wasteful of mosaic.
Sometimes with a few square
inches of mosaic in the bin the join just did not work. I can imagine
the craftsman despairing. This mosaic in wood was complicated, expensive
in materials, and time consuming to produce.
To overcome the design
problem and avoid loss of mosaic material, corner pieces of mosaic using
the same palate of wood nave been made.
This also avoids abrupt and illogical
joins in the pattern. Half a rose stuck into an acanthus leaf for
The four corner squares of
formal micro mosaic harmonize with the lively longer pattern but also
provide strong punctuation to the piece.
This again points to the
qualities of an earlier period.
From about 1840-60, floral borders were very much in vogue, and
for these Berlin wool work patterns were used causing the work to be referred
to as "Berlin wool work design."