Material cultural heritage: a prehistoric weaving comb

Weaving comb from deer antler, coll. Liemers Museum, Zevenaar, NL
Weaving comb from deer antler, coll. Liemers Museum, Zevenaar, NL

This weaving comb, made from deer antler, may look to us as an insignificant object. It is a simple and unadorned object created to play a role in an altogether mundane process, weaving. But if you take a little time to let it come to you, like I did when I was making the photo’s, you become aware of its sheer elegance, simplicity and functionality. It’s by no means unique, many weaving combs made of a number of materials have been found, and are kept in museums all over the world. But through it we look into the depth of times, when people living in small settlements were just discovering organised, repetitive, and structured ways to survive the harsh conditions in which everyone must live, the condition humaine.

I made a montage of the back and the front to show the soft outside, polished by use, and the concave inside that displays the cellular structure of the antler bone. This is one of a series of images that will be displayed on a multitouch table presentation we are currently developing for the museum.


B01 N2-8

B01 N2-8, part of an offshore wind turbine
B01 N2-8, part of an offshore wind turbine

We’re not afraid of grey, yellow and blue.


Vopak silos with tesselated domed caps in a hazy sunlight, 27-04-13. © Eelco Bruinsma

Rhythm, structure, light, force, form, tension … it’s all here. Connecting walkways on Vopak silos in Eemshaven, Groningen, NL. One of a series I shot today while passing through the area. The light was sunny, but slightly subdued by scattered clouds, and a thin haze.


Martelange – industrial heritage

Industrial heritage, Martelange (B)
Industrial heritage, Martelange (L)

Update: Driving through Martelange (B, L) last week I made this snapshot of a deserted slate factory. There is some interesting information on the web. The factory is in fact also a complex of slate mines. The complex is inaccessible due to safety concerns. It’s official name was ‘Ardoisière Rombach’.  It’s official name was ‘Ardoiserie Rombach’. More information on these websites: musée de l’ardoise and For some background information on slate, and a cross-section of the mines: L’Ardoisière de Martelange. And finally, the Facebook page of the museum has some interesting pictures and information too.

A different perspective on the chimney and elevator tower
A different perspective on the chimney and elevator tower

Music of the spheres

Concentric ivory spheres, cut in one piece
Concentric ivory spheres, cut in one piece

An awe inspiring piece of master craftsmanship. Still, it is also a highly philosophical form which reminds me of the Pythagorean theory of the music of the spheres. I saw this years ago when I was still a student on an excursion to Innsbruck and Vienna, but last year it when I saw it again after many years this minute object still had the same impact. I was happy that I could share it with my family now.


Madonna, statue of St. Mary
Madonna, polychrome statue, ter Apel, NL

This 19th century polychrome Madonna in Ter Apel (Netherlands) is certainly not the oldest I’ve seen, nor is it the most famous, and from an art historical point of view it is even quite insignificant maybe, but it has an extraordinary presence and elegance. The beautiful faded colors, and the slight patina only add a layer of power to its freshness. I must have passed this statue a few times without taking notice, but this specific winter afternoon the clear light struck it in a way that it made it impossible to ignore.

Farmsum, Akzo Nobel plant from the north


FarmsumAlthough industrial landscapes may repel some people (and sometimes they are repellent), when seen under certain meteorological conditions, and in the right light, they can be quite fascinating. There are so many greys, greyish blues, and greyish earth tones. This creates nearly zen-like landscapes when seen from the right angle.