Sunday, June 08, 2008

Carving and Scratching: The Decorative Arts. People Enriching and Recording their Daily Lives

Column capital, Medieval Battle, Malbork Castle, Poland*

Rather than spend tens of thousands a year on institutional public education, do this: somehow surmount the liability issues, and use part of that money to take very small clusters of students to any foreign country locale, with a castle, and live in that area for two solid weeks.

Learn all you can just by first hand observation and personal research. Knights, armor, types, customs, music, art, crops, trade, plague, religion. Malbork, or Marienburg, Poland is rich in all that.

What the students learn they record. What they don't see themselves, you don't tell them. Just steer their observing. Have them play the instruments, try carving. Was this castle later destroyed? By whom and why? See if they don't come back with a vital interest that does not come with all our dumb passive education feedings year after year.

Hradec Kralove, Sgraffito

The Czech Republic. Go to Hradec Kralove, not just Prague.

Sgraffito - decoration design by scraping away top layer of light plaster to reveal darker layer below, here at Hradec Kralove. See ://

The child diarist, Petr Ginz, World War II, tells us that his mother used to go back to this, the town of her childhood, from Prague. She came to get away, and return refreshed. See Places of Petr Ginz, Hradec Kralove. Young people can identify with one of their own in a war. Try them. Reading about it is not enough for empathy.

Telc, Sgraffito fooling the eye

Some forms of sgraffito are a trompe l'oeil technique - fool the eye - into seeing three dimensions, when there is really a flat surface.

The lower floor here is flat, with sgraffito. This dates from the second half of the 16th Century - a burgess' house. See ://

Exploring. No better way to learn. Bottoms up, kids.

On the way somewhere, see this in Poland.

Have the kids research it.

It is a visual hook to a pub down the road, for the chaperones.


* Malbork Castle, a/k/a Marienburg. See Poland Road Ways: Malbork as Marienburg, Brick Gothic, Archways, walls with roofs, Reconstruction after 1945, Teutonic Knights, Grand Masters.