New exhibition at the Museum of Creativity
When the days are shortest, the golden light of candles and lanterns offers cosiness and comfort. This is as true today as it was 230 years ago. Actually, transparent lamps, candle shades, lanterns, and fire screens became a household-favourite form the late 18th century. They were called transparencies, and genteel ladies created them for festivities or to brighten the long, dark winter month.
Once, transparencies were made of thin painted paper or cloth. The translucent effect was achieved by mixing the colours with mastic varnish or burnt lined oil, and by applying a touch of spirit of turpentine to all things on the picture that should glow especially light, e.g. the moon, and illuminated windows. Popular ground colours were Prussian blue, Burnt Sienna, Verdigris and Ivory Black.
Today, we can cheat a bit by using our favourite photos, fresh from the inkjet printer. For this year’s Christmas Season I have created several designs for translucent paper lanterns – Austenesque, Gothic and Baroque. Check them out at the latest exhibition at the Museum of Creativity and even try your hand at paper lantern design yourself.
Anna M. Thane