Some Art History Worth Watching on YouTube

I admit that I am brain dead right now and that I am not up to a detailed blog post. I am in the process of going through and organizing for sale or donation possessions that I have stored in my house for years, including camera equipment, musical instruments, depression glass, artwork and other items that I have squirreled away in my 916 square foot abode. The process has taken me on a trip down memory lane, which is sometimes difficult to navigate.

One of the ways I’ve taken to relaxing lately is to pour myself a glass of wine after my husband goes to bed, and sit with Boris and watch YouTube. There’s a lot of junk on YouTube but there’s so much valuable and entertaining information, I can hardly believe it’s free. I have some recommendations.

The first is a documentary on M.C. Escher from 2013. One of the big revelations for me in watching this documentary is that Escher was greatly influenced by Islamic art and visited the Alhambra where he did a lot of drawing. It makes perfect sense when you think about it. Read more about Escher’s experience at the Alhambra, here. And then watch the wonderful documentary.

But wait! Just like the Ginsu knives, there’s more! I’ve always loved to draw and I’ve struggled with drawing in one form or another for years. Just ask Boris. So I have a great deal of admiration for illustrators. Pete Beard, who is an illustrator from the U.K., turns out to be quite a filmmaker too. He’s put together a video series called “The Unsung Heroes of Illustration.” Each video is about 12 minutes long give or take, meticulously researched, engagingly narrated, and lavishly illustrated. I believe there are about 84 short films.

On the YouTube site, Beard says, “I had always thought that many illustrators from the past got nothing like the attention they deserved so I decided to make some videos about a few of these almost forgotten talents. The unsung heroes series was originally intended to be about illustrators from what’s known as the golden age of illustration. But I soon realised that meant ignoring many early 20th century illustrators who strictly speaking didn’t fit that description. So I compromised and ended up with parameters of those born between 1850 and 1910.”

Beard has a number of other worthwhile videos on his channel that you can watch after you’ve finished with the The Unsung Heroes of Illustration.

The Big Reveal Revisited

The August 11 reveal date  for  group 2 of Lori Anderson’s  6th Bead Soup Blog Party has passed.  I was blown away by all of the outstanding work I saw as I hopped from blog to blog.  Lori put together the map below to show where  all 400 blog party participants live.  There are  more detailed breakdowns on her blog.

Look at what  my partner Kristen Latimer  made with the beads I sent to her

MJM Jewelry Designs

I don’t think my beads and clasp were the easiest to work with.   Kristen’s jewelry seems more delicate than a lot of  mine and the clasp I sent  was pretty big.  And I could never figure out what to do with those minty vintage curved bugle beads.   Kristen found a way to integrate her crystals and smaller beads  with mine and  made a a very attractive set of earrings and a bracelet that anyone would be pleased to wear.

On another topic, the Philadelphia Polymer Clay Guild (of which I am a member) has started a YouTube channel and we intend to fill it with playlists of high quality tutorials with videos we make ourselves.

So, here is the interview with Jana Roberts Benzon.

And finally, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.  That’s right: It’s Beadfest Philadelphia time.  Don’t miss it.

YouTube College of Crafting

If you are looking for information on how to make something, a craft technique, how to use a tool or ideas and inspiration, YouTube can be a tremendous resource. I have learned so much from watching YouTube videos. But I have also seen some videos that have me scratching my head and wondering about the people who posted them.
Some examples that come to mind: The woman who did a nice job explaining how to dye roving but then explained that she shot herself from the nose up so she didn’t have to put in her teeth. Ewww, did I need to know that? Then there was the young woman talking about a wire working technique. (This is a mistake; talking about how you weave a wire into a chain is like listening to a golf tournament on the radio.)
But the highlight was when she suddenly turned her head and shrieked “Give me a minute!” Was her house on fire? No, her mother wanted to go shopping and was waiting for her downstairs. Don’t keep your mother waiting girl! Get down there! Now!
OK, I’m on a rant. Don’t appear in a video wearing one of those headsets unless you are playing someone who flies a helicopter or works at a takeout window. And you don’t have to be Cecil B. DeMille to know that demonstrating a technique off camera as you chatter and occasionally give the viewer a peek is not effective.
Does anyone know what a tripod is? Shaky cameras give me vertigo, so today’s word is tripod. And if your kid keeps whining. “Mommy I’m hungry,” stop recording and feed the poor child. If your kids are beating the stuffing out of one another as you try to demonstrate how to crochet a lace doily, for heaven’s sake stop recording and separate them before they kill one another. Especially if they are both over age thirty. And get them into therapy. (And yourself while you’re at it.)
Finally, if you make a video in which you demonstrate soldering, put the cigarettes away! I actually saw a video of a man demonstrating soldering who chain smoked during the whole thing. That was last year and I am still having trouble breathing.
OK, now on to the good stuff; here are some YouTube channels that you can watch without retching, sorrow or nightmares and you can learn a great deal. Enjoy!!
Rio Grande has almost 200 videos on all aspects of jewelry making
Joggles.com’s YouTube channel is full of information on mixed media paper art techniques.
Delphi Glass offers a tremendous amount of material the products they sell and on glass crafts.
Stampington and Company, the people who publish Belle Armoire Jewelry, Art Journaling and other magazines offer videos covering a wide range of techniques including resin, paper, jewelry, mixed media
If you are interested in seed beading or bead stringing, Beadaholoque has plenty of videos to get you started.
If Quilting is your passion, the Missouri Star Quilt Company adds new videos regularly.
Happy viewing!