20 January 2015

Drawing Tuesday - Museum of London

The posts about drawing in museums appear a week after the event (to give me a chance to catch up!) - in reality, today we're at the V&A, looking at ironwork.

But last week it was the medieval galleries of the Museum of London, which was reasonably quiet, apart from a group of 7 year olds, one of whom planted himself beside me and engaged me in conversation: "What's your name?" Kids are so direct!

My first object was this oak post from a building dating to 956-979. "Several more posts from the same building have been found," said the label. (Can't find it in the online collections.)
"They formed arcades supporting the roof of a building that was at least 11 metres (36 feet) tall. It may have been a great aisled hall or a church."

I used water-soluble graphite and wasn't happy with the result - then added "grain lines" to the wood with biro, which really improved the "feel" of it -
Nearby was this tiny (about 7cm tall) bone mirror case. It was hard to see it clearly, and that's where the camera, zooming in through the glass case, came to the rescue, showing its pattern clearly. It's 12th century, made "in three sections that have been riveted together by copper alloy rivets into two bone strips on the reverse. The rivets have stained the bone green."
Enlarging it to A4 size isn't something I would have attempted a year ago, but working in large sketchbooks has enlarged my approach, size-wise. The maker added an amazing amount of detail at this tiny size!
Sue was fascinated by the coffin lids and drew this marvelous intertwined horse -

as well as an eel spear -
"There was a plentiful supply of eels in the Thames. This spear was designed for use in clear shallow water and captured the eel without injuring it, by gripping it or holding it down. Eels caught in this way were sent to market live."

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