Archive for February, 2011


origin of majolica

Prompted by request for more majolica from Bill, I spent a bit o’ time this morn online … :) … oh, that ever-so-sapping activity.

But what treasures await the seeker. I found another excellent slide show about Manises, Spain (mentioned earlier here at Color of Sand) at a gem of a website, Amyx Studios – the work of a woman and man (the Amyx’s) from San Luis Obispo, CA. The woman, Guyla Amyx, is a professor of ceramics at Cuesta College. Perhaps it is her creation, this wonderful section devoted to Majolica.

On the way to finding this website, I did find a few more tidbits:
Etymology: Majolica is an Anglicized version of the Italian maiolicaItalian, maiolica. It is named after the Island of Majorca (formerly known as Maiolica), which once was a commerce center for work produced in Valencia, Spain.

And from the Montana Museum of Art & Culture “MMAC” website
( about their collection of 16th & 18th Century Italian Majolica:
Decorative Tin Glazed Earthenware

The Majolica Collection comprises 28 pieces of Italian earthenware from the 16th-18th centuries, donated by Robert Lekman. Majolica is a term applied to Italian pottery originating in the 14th century, though its origins remain unclear. Persian pottery may have been imported to Majorca and then sold to Italy as a Majorcan product.
Majolica is distinguished by its use of tin, a lead glaze to which tin ashes have been added, creating a white, opaque glaze that accepts a variety of blues, greens, yellows, oranges, and manganese purples applied to the white background. Many of the decorative motifs are reminiscent of other hand painted objects of the period, such as architectural embellishments. Throughout the 15th century, the green, purple, blue and white luster wares of Valencia, Spain were extremely popular in Italy and influenced three major centers for majolica; Tuscany, Faenza, and Deruta, of which the MMAC collection includes examples.

Here is an image from the MMAC website:

Italian Wine Jug, ceramic, 18th century, 7 3/4 inches high, Donated by Robert Lekman (from MMAC website)

A big hearty thanks to Bill for his request because it led me to these fine musings today.


from our Folk Art Museum: a slide show about Majolica!
Here is a website version of “Cerámica y Cultura: The Story of Spanish and Mexican Mayólica” – a show that the International Museum of Folk Art showed back in 2007 and 2008, I believe. On this first page, it announces:
“CERAMICS MIRROR CULTURE. Changes in style and form reflect changes in the economy, society, politics, and religion. Nowhere is this more true than with mayólica, a ceramic version of the painted canvas.”

Mayólica, a form of glaze decoration that has inspired potters for a long time, and me, too.

Painting/illustrating/brushwork … on clay …

Robins in the arroyo ©2000 Cirrelda Snider-Bryan


my car’s carbon footprint

Just calculated my car’s carbon footprint at this website:

from Clean Air Conservancy website:

You know, this is something I have been thinking about for 20 years at least – how much my driving is spewing out into the atmosphere. I remember back in the 80’s on NPR hearing how in Sweden they had cars that got 70 mpg and that we could have that here, but US automakers didn’t want that. I also remember hearing that we could cut emissions by doing things such as not going through drive-through’s, not topping-off at the pump and by not warming up the car in the morning. All of that burned up more fuel, which adds more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. I remember trying to wrap my brain around it all then and having it slowly sink in. I also remember envisioning not driving as much – walking to the bus stop and riding my bike to destinations.


Zoom to today, where I lead a life of zooming around zee town. We live on the outskirts, and daughter and I need to be downtown 5 days a week. I still feel the dread when I drive too much. And will not go back into town for a concert or a meeting a lot because of it. I also like to pack in as many errands to a trip as possible, to the point of exhaustion sometimes. But, I have to say, I do not quite grasp the concept yet of a carbon footprint. And I feel frustrated sometimes that my carbon footprint will reveal my wasteful ways.


So when I was on the PBS Newshour website just now and saw that tonight’s Paul Solman’s Making $ense feature will be “What’s your car’s carbon tireprint?” I decided to grit my teeth and face the greedy facts of my usage. I plugged in my data and found out I could write a check for under 40 bucks and pay for my year’s worth of atmosphere spoilage. Not that I really understand how that works, yet – that you can pay off your usage.


I am realizing that this can be an enjoyable journey – learning about carbon usage. It can be more knowledge, and not just feeling culpable, guilty. Of course, when it will come to what I am cooking for dinner, well, I may get a little defensive when I realize that my favorite meal of green chile chicken enchiladas wastes way more precious atmosphere than a salad made from the local farmers’ market. But I will be learning. And learning will loosen up my dread, I hope.

2000 Toyota Sienna

3L, 6 cyl., Automatic (4 speed), Front-wheel drive

Total City Miles: 7,000

Total Highway Miles: 3,000

City MPG: 18 MPG

Highway MPG: 24 MPG

Gallons of Fuel (City): 388.89 gallons

Gallons of Fuel (Highway): 125 gallons

Gallons of Fuel (Total): 513.89 gallons

NETZERO Calculations

Total Pounds CO2: 9918.08 lbs

Total CO2 MT Emission: 4.5 MT

TOTAL CO2 Credit Cost: $36.00

clay & log posts

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