Some countries actually put sheep on their currency. Iceland, of course.
(click for big)
That's Mount Hekla, an active volcano, in the background.
This is the annual autumn roundup, the rettir, when all the sheep that have been grazing, lambing, and living wild in the highlands since spring are gathered together and driven in their thousands down to their home farms in the lowlands for the winter.
If you ever have the opportunity to go to Iceland, be sure to coordinate it with this amazing event.
Another favorite artist is Charles ÉmileJacque (1813 - 1894). Contemporary and friend of Millet, much of his work was of sheep and their keepers.
Here the shepherd and his trusty dog watch the large flock move across the land, with a suggestion of a village in the distance. The shepherd is clearly weary as he leans on his staff and rests one foot behind the other. The dogs is equally clearly still lively and ready to go. Good dog!
I like how the shape and coloring of the clouds mirrors the shape and coloring of the flock.
As modern spinners we are familiar with a few usual styles of wheels--saxony or flax wheel; great, wool, or muckle wheel, and castle-style wheel. In the past, however, there have been many more styles of wheels than we see today.
One example is the wheel that I showed in my last entry. Variously called a Swiss or Austrian style (I haven't been able to determine if there is a distinction between the two), it is distinguished by the drive wheel being edge-on to the spinner rather than facing her.
(as always, click for big)
The treadle is parallel with the drive wheel, on the left here, and the spinner sits to the side of the wheel, treadling with her right foot.
The examples of this style wheel and the photos that I have seen show the wheel to be a single drive system. That is, the drive band goes directly around one end of the bobbin. There is no whorl.
Sometimes the base of the wheel is a
box-like construction as above, and sometimes it is open on two sides, as seen in this delicate version from the early 1800's.
The mother-of-all rides up and down
on the vertical tensioning screw through the top beam. As with the
drive wheel, the flyer is rotated 90 degrees, with the orifice directed
off to the side toward the spinner.
Thus the spinner drafts with the left
hand, across her body and off to the left, without the need for any
torso-twisting contortions. It's a surpisingly comfortable way to