Sgraffito!

SGRAFFITO

I had such great fun making this illustration on my ipad. It’s an (idealised?) amalgam of various designs I have seen on cypriot sgraffito ceramic plates and fragments. In the early 1200’s –medieval Cyprus being a Crusader kingdom under the rule of the Lusignans– a new kind of ceramic art appeared, sporting these distinctive and very appealing decorations in brownish yellow and green glazes. Α surprising number of these bowls, wine cups and plates survive, which perhaps attests to their popularity and widespread usage.

Part of their charm has to be the colour scheme, a result of copper and iron oxide glazes painted and fired on top of lines scratched through the light coloured slip, so that the natural dark colour of the clay shows through. The subject matter is sometimes just decorative patterns, but often there are figures as well: delightful damsels or pages, couples, or single male and female figures engaged in genteel pastimes, such as wine drinking or falconry!

PLATES
Exhibits at the Cyprus Medieval Museum, Limassol Castle 

I’ll leave the rest to the experts: here’s a quote and link to the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge where some of these can be seen…

Cyprus has a long tradition of producing both hand-made and wheel-made pottery in an exuberant range of colours and styles of decoration that goes back to the Bronze Age. The technology of the Medieval wares shown in this exhibition was practised in many parts of the Byzantine world, but the Cypriot potters exploited their own excellent clay sources and native ingenuity to develop their own distinctive local styles.

Decorated glazed ceramics are mostly tablewares, used on a daily basis by a large section of the population in the towns and villages. A large number of ceramics are found in graves. This is probably connected with burial customs that still survive in Cyprus today, in which the priest pours oil from a vessel on to the body in the grave and then throws the vessel in on top.

http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/gallery/cyprus/

VITRINE
More of my pics from the Cyprus Medieval Museum, Limassol Castle 
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Happy Easter!

FLANFlaounes

Cypriot cheese-filled pastry, mainly consumed at Easter. I’ll leave the recipe to the experts…

Flaounes (Cyprus Easter Cheese Bread)  [excellent food blogger Cypriotandproud!]

…as for the
Etymology

…The English word “flan”, and the earlier forms “flaune” and “flawn”, come from the Old French flaon (modern French flan), in turn from the early Medieval Latin fladōn-em, derived from the Old High German flado, a sort of flat cake, probably from an Indo-European root for “flat” or “broad”.

Flan is an open, rimmed, pastry or sponge base, containing a sweet or savoury filling. Examples are the quiche lorraine, custard tart, and the South African melktert

[Wikipedia]

Fiadone 1. Dolce tipico trentino in forma di pasticcino triangolare, ripieno di un impasto di mandorle, burro, miele, chiodi di garofano, rum o altro liquore, cotto nel forno; per lo più al plur., fiadoni. 2. Nell’Abruzzo, dolce di Pasqua fatto di sfoglia dolce ripiena di formaggio, ricotta e uova sbattute.

i.e. two types of italian regional pastry, most notably the second kind, from Abruzzo, which is descibed as sweet dough filled with cheese, ricotta and beaten eggs!

La cultura italiana

Enjoy responsibly!

Kids’ Parade

 

carnivalFirst Sunday of Carnival is Kids’ Day. Come join the parade, in Nicosia or Limassol!

masque1

masque3

 

Last Post of the Year

16-1230

Phew! Just about managed to get another post in there, before the year ends! This one is a hybrid, an old drawing revisited through Adobe Draw and Pencil by 53. Lots of different projects going on at the same time, and I’m still learning, but I really enjoy Pencil!

So let’s send off this challenging 2016, and I’ll see you next year!

Learning Curves

kelefos

There’s a first time for everything. This is my first illustration on a iPad using a stylus. My latest toy is Pencil by 53, and it’s fabulous! Still have a lot to learn, but that’s how I like it! I made this in Adobe Draw and Pencil works great in it. I am a little aghast that it took me this long to discover how much I love this stuff, but hopefully I’ll make up for it in due course.

It’s also the first “selfie” I’ve posted, inspired by a recent visit to this splendid Venetian bridge in the middle of cypriot nowhere. Kelefos Bridge is near the village of Ayios Nikolaos, technically in the Paphos district, but actually in a tight corner between Nicosia, Paphos and Limassol, on the south side of the Troodos mountains. Hidden in thick woods of pines and great big plane trees, this is one of many stone Venetian bridges built in the 1600’s. There’s a trail you can walk, all the way up to Kykkos (17 km but otherwise easy going, from what I’m told) that links at least three of these stone wonders. Known as the Venetian Bridges Nature Trail, you can read about it here  http://www.visitpafos.org.cy/enetika_gefyria_trail.aspx

moleskinebridge

This second sketch is from a previous visit to the same spot, with my Djembe teacher, Annika – https://web.facebook.com/Drum4Joy/ – and a group of friends and their percussive instruments, just over a year ago, back in the day of watercolours and ordinary pencils! Which one do you like?