Sunday, June 10, 2012

You, Me and Archie McPhee

Nifty! The toy and novelty company Archie McPhee just posted about the incredible glass works of Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka on their Tumblr site, Endless Geyser of Awesomeness. The real nifty part of the article they reference was written by little ol me for Dark Roasted Blend ... AND it appears in my brand new collection of such cool articles: Welcome to Weirdsville.

Believe it or not, this awesome octopus isn’t a living creature. It’s an astonishingly beautiful object made entirely of glass by Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, 19th century German glass artists renown for the production of biological models such as their Glass Flowers
From Dark Roasted Blend
Harvard Professor George Lincoln Goodale wanted examples to help teach botany, but the problem was plants have a tendency to … well, die. Sure, you could preserve some specimens but lots of species just don’t look the same after being dried – the plant version of stuffed and mounted. Yes, you could try using paintings or even photography but plants are – and here’s a surprise — three dimensional. So what Professor Goodale did was ask the Blaschkas to create detailed glass plants to help him teach his students about real ones. 
What the Blaschkas did, was more than just recreate plants: they created astounding works of not only scientific accuracy but pure, brilliant, art. Even the simplest of their efforts is deceptively unencumbered… a sign of their genius as their reproductions don’t resemble the botanical model – they look EXACTLY like them, created by hand, in fickle and fragile glass, and all in the period 1887 to 1936. 
This octopus deserves to stand on its own, but we recommend you visit Dark Roasted Blend to view more of Leopold and Rudolf’s exquisite glass specimens. Talk about awesome, we’ve never seen anything quite like them.

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