Thursday, March 31, 2011

 Keukenhof Flower Garden

Where as the Quinta da Regaleira garden in Sintra, near Lisbon, is the most mystical and esoteric garden I have found the Keukenhof garden near Amsterdam is the most paradise-like. I visited Keukenhof today for second time, and it was again a great experience.

Keukenhof is the world's largest flower garden where over 7 million bulbs are planted each year. Unfortunaly it rained today, but on the other hand it was interesting to see the garden in different weather from last time.

Here are also pics of the garden in full bloom from a sunny day in middle of April 2009:

I love it how most of the garden is planted among the old forest with small hills instead of the usual flat farmland. This is something I want to try out in Finland someday. The water element is also in good use in Keukenhof with plenty of curling lakes and small streams.

Especially for the people who have spiritual respect for the nature a visit to Keukenhof is really a powerful experience.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

 Eurantica Antiques Fair at Brussels

I've been in Brussels for two days now and on friday I visited a flea market at place du jeu de balle and Eurantica antiques fair. The flea market had mostly junk, but prices were also low. I didn't find anything interesting there.

Eurantica art and antiques fair on the other hand was very interesting to visit. Allthough most of the items were the usual paintings and pieces of style furniture some of the 250 vendors had more unusual items for sale.

Kunst-und Wunderkammer Peter Wachholz had a very interesting selection of curiosities for sale. Among stuffed head of a tiger and some dried lizards there was a quite large (around 10cm) crystal ball made of rock crystal. All esoteric shops have their glass balls for sale, but I hadn't seen a rock crystal ball of this size before. It's a pity the age and origin of the ball was unknown. The price was 450 euros.

On the paintings a contemporary artist Dino Valls and turn-of-a-century artist Jean Deville caught my eye. Need to look further into their works later on.

In the fair there was only one bookseller, but with a very interesting selection. Barcelona-based M. Moleiro publishes luxurios facsimile-editions of old illuminated manuscripts. Editions are limited to 987 copies and quality of craftmanship is great. They even use gold dust to finish the illuminations. In my books I aim for the feeling and techniques of old books so it was very interesting to see what kind of solutions they use.

Especially interesting was Splendor Solis, an alchemical manuscript owned by British Library. Need to look more into it later on.

Yesterday I visited TEFAF art fair, I'll write a post about it in few days.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

 Antiques Fairs in Belgium and Netherlands

Tomorrow I have a flight to Brussels from where I will travel around Belgium and Netherlands for 2 weeks in. It's really nice to get abroad again, especially since it's the best spring time over there.

This also seems to be very busy season for antiques fairs: I will be visiting three large fairs on my trip. The first one, Eurantica Brussels –fine art & antiques fair, will begin on Friday where they will have some 150 stalls. I was also recommended to visit the flea market at Place du Jeu de Balle.

On the weekend I will visit Tefaf, the worlds leading art and antiques fair in Maastricht. I won't be doing any buying there, but it's nice to get to see items of that quality. 260 stalls.

On the following weekend there's a more down-to-earth antiques market in Bleiswijk that seems like the most promising of the fairs for buying. It also has some 250 stalls.

I will try to look for some esoteric antiques and old bookbinder's & printer's tools. Especially some old printing plates of interesting themes would be good. At some point I will publish numbered editions of the Pagan Archive books and old, authentic tools would really help on that.

I have been trying to find addresses of some esoteric bookshops in Belgium and Netherlands, but there doesn't seem to be too many around. I'll be visiting one in Brussels and a couple in Amsterdam.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

 The First Book of the Series Is Almost Ready

Finally the first book of the Pagan Archive is almost done. My first plan was to get it published by the end of the last year, but it turned out to be the right decision to delay it until spring. I just looked at those earlier designs for the layout of the book and the covers and they're far from what we got now.

The proofreading of the text is finished and I will today start putting the book together. I will leave to Belgium and Netherlands for two weeks on March 24th, and the plan is to get things ready by then.

The book will be a newly edited translation of 19th century Finnish folk magic. The book will include illustrations from a Finnish Art Nouveau artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela and book ornaments and typefaces made by William Morris.

The book should come from the press by the end of April after which I will visit London and Manchester. Need to see if there are some pagan / witch / esoteric -related events at that time. If the Readers have any recommandations for these it would be very nice to hear it.

The second book of the series will be about old shamanic drums and be published during the summer.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

 Two Portuguese Antique Statues

I bought these two old statues on my last trip to Portugal from a fleamarket in Lisbon. I like their crude and ancient look, but the exact dating of them is very hard. The larger statue has been an ornament over a door of an old Portuguese farmhouse and the smaller has been found from the ground.

There is some old moss growing on the larger statue. Im keeping it on a balcony to keep it alive. When I finally get that garden someday these two will fit in perfectly.