Cohousing page update – summer 2018

I’ve updated the Cohousing page to reflect the concept that our temple should be located in southern California (e.g. Orange or San Diego County) rather than in the San Francisco bay area. This is due to the experience of the 2nd in a row of long & cold winters, stretching into June, which southern California residents did not need to endure. I’m also continuing to update my Music journal page.

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Cohousing page updated

I’ve updated the design and expanded the text on the Cohousing page to give more details of a beautiful cohousing community concept. In addition to being a wonderful place for its residents, it could also serve the larger community in presenting meditation retreats and workshops teaching many little-known classic arts and crafts that are a precious part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

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Factitious Horn

factitious_horn Around the end of November 2016 I decided I wanted a factitious horn as a practice tool for my cornetto. So I assembled the instrument shown here: an 1.5 foot nicely conical funnel and 11.5 feet of plastic tube, this assemblage being about the same length of tubing as a true horn. I also got a generic cheap trumpet mouthpiece.

At first, I didn’t consider this as an especially useful instrument but as my embouchure got better, I began to appreciate it as a natural horn independent of its use as a practice supplement for my cornetto. So, now I have a goal to get good enough on it to be able to play it outdoors on astronomy trips and sound beautiful fanfares and calls that echo across the hills and dales. In order to give a more authentic mellow sound that is less objectionable to my astronomy buddies, I recently bought a decent horn mouthpiece which I should be getting in a few days. update: I got it on March 6.

These mouthpieces are silver plated and thus subject to tarnishing. Happily, I found this method which works well to keep them bright, without removing any silver as polishing would. Even so, to make sure tarnish is scarcely allowed to build up, I’ll keep my mouthpieces sealed in plastic bags when not in use.

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2018 showpiece announcement

It’s official: I plan to have a piece in the 2018 Friends of Calligraphy summer show. Although it’s admittedly another 17 months before the piece is due, I expect its complexity and difficulty shall have merited an early start. The piece will be a relief-printed woodcut featuring the 7 Factors of Enlightenment, in Pāli, and heavily flourished. In the next couple months, work on a preliminary test block will be done to study feasibility, complexity, and to select the style of calligraphy to be used.

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Cornetto playing

In late-June 2016 I started learning to play the cornetto. So there’s a new page on my web site (‘Music‘) where you can follow my slow learning in my online journal. So my printmaking hobby has kind of shifted to the background for now. more cornetto info


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Materials for woodblock print project

One forthcoming piece of Buddhist calligraphy will be Dhammapada 204 printed from a true woodcut.  The Dhammapada is part of the Pāli Canon & is a collection of verses on various themes. It’s full of pithy material and many verses have a quirky, cranky quality. Each verse is 2-4 lines.

found_woodI’ll be carving it on this nice oblong piece of plywood, measuring 7.5cm wide by 63cm long.

The text will be in Pāli in rotunda gothic, which is a departure from my usual pointed pen writing.  I’ve always liked that style, and its bold blocky letters won’t be dinimished by the presence of the striations and strong grain in this bit of wood.

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Update: calligraphy woodblock

The past couple days I carved a small sample woodcut (from birch plywood). It was not difficult, just time-consuming at approx. 40 minutes per rotunda gothic letter.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that thin curved lines are actually not so difficult to do with woodcut, but maybe not thin enough for Spencerian. This makes me think a bit beyond my earlier plan and consider baroque italic.  The wood grain interferes with fine carving less than expected.

Query thru the contact page if you’re curious to see images.

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