Archives for the Month of June, 2015

Thomas Sopwith’s Stratigraphic Models

Thomas Sopwith – geological models Model-XI – Thomas Sopwith [1841]

First produced in 1841 Thomas Sopwith’s wooden models were some of the earliest three-dimensional representations of Earth’s geological strata. Layered, glued, hand carved and polished, his models demonstrate the abilities of a skilled woodworker and isometricist. Sopwith began his apprenticeship as a cabinet maker and so his interests in carpentry and geology collude to create functional objects with sculptural qualities in their own right. Rather than represent specific locations the models were generic visualisations of typical stratigraphy found in the mining districts of England in the early 1800’s. Some of the models could be could reconfigured, like small puzzles, so that subterranean features such as dislocations, inclines and folds could be viewed from different angles reducing the need for multiple drawings.

Thomas Sopwith – geological models Model-X – Thomas Sopwith [1841]

In reality the layering of strata can be a messy business. Often, as an affront to the the law of superposition and general common sense, much older rocks can be found layered above younger ones. These anarchic non-conformist strata present themselves in, what’s known in the business, as thrust faults. Other chronological discontinuities, generated through folding and erosion, complicate things further. The book of stratigraphy is a cut-up novel containing a narrative of cryptic topographies – pages have been ripped out, shuffled, and replaced inside the wrong chapters. Since Sopwith’s models many great breakthroughs in geological cryptanalysis have been made. The grand theories of continental drift and plate tectonics allowed geologists to unravel the puzzle in order to understand how these layers of rock came to be so disordered as if to imply, at times, that the earth’s crust might have been created with time running backwards.

Thomas Sopwith – geological models Model-VII – Thomas Sopwith [1841]

Thomas Sopwith – geological models Model-VI – Thomas Sopwith [1841]

Thomas Sopwith – geological models Model-IV – Thomas Sopwith [1841]

Thomas Sopwith – geological models Model-II – Thomas Sopwith [1841]

Thomas Sopwith – geological models Model-VI – Thomas Sopwith [1841]

Thomas Sopwith – geological models Model-V – Thomas Sopwith [1841]

Thomas Sopwith – geological models Model-VII – Thomas Sopwith [1841]

Thomas Sopwith – geological models Model-IV – Thomas Sopwith [1841]

Thomas Sopwith – geological models Model-IV – Thomas Sopwith [1841]

Thomas Sopwith – geological models Model-V – Thomas Sopwith [1841]

Thomas Sopwith – geological models Model-VI – Thomas Sopwith [1841]

Thomas Sopwith – geological models Model-IV – Thomas Sopwith [1841]

Thomas Sopwith – geological models Models Illustrating Denuded Strata- Thomas Sopwith [1841]

Thomas Sopwith – geological models Model-II – Thomas Sopwith [1841]

Related Posts:

Agates – Time Compiled
The Writing of Stones – Roger Caillois
Where Time Becomes Nervous: John Mcphee’s Annals of the Former World
Hypogean Wildstyle: Dominik Strzelec’s Byzantine Geology

 

‘You Really Do Not See a Plant Until You Draw it’ – Botanical Wall Charts at the Academic Heritage Foundation

Stichting Academisch Erfgoed Bontanical WallchartsBotanische Wandtafeln – Leopold Kny [1874-1911]

Stichting Academisch Erfgoed has gathered a massive collection of botanical wall charts that were used as teaching aids in the Netherlands and the rest Europe from 1870-1960. The collection, over 3000 images, includes stylised morphological diagrams, sketches of microscopic anatomy and early botanical data visualisations. It’s clear from this collection that the act of illustrating was as much an act of observing. These lithographs record a kind of meditative microscopy; each a postcard sent from a journey into the minuscule world of tissues and cells. As Goethe is quoted as saying ‘You really do not see a plant until you draw it’. The highly detailed plant morphologies in German botanist Leopold Kny’s Botanische Wandtafeln are virtually cosmic in their nebulous configurations while Dutch geneticist Hugo de Vries’s data visualisations tend towards the lyrical.

Note: many of the thumbnails appear to be missing from the page although the full-sized images are correctly displayed.

Stichting Academisch Erfgoed Botanical WallchartsBladstanden – A.A.Van Voorn

Stichting Academisch Erfgoed Botanical WallchartsBotanische Wandtafeln – Leopold Kny [1874-1911]

Stichting Academisch Erfgoed Botanical WallchartsBotanische Wandtafeln – Leopold Kny [1874-1911]

Stichting Academisch Erfgoed Botanical WallchartsBotanische Wandtafeln – Leopold Kny [1874-1911]

Stichting Academisch Erfgoed Botanical WallchartsBotanische Wandtafeln – Leopold Kny [1874-1911]

Stichting Academisch Erfgoed Botanical WallchartsFixeeren, Accumuleeren, Affoleeren – Hugo de Vries [1898]

Stichting Academisch Erfgoed Botanical WallchartsRussisch Billard Volgens Galton – Hugo de Vries [1898]

Stichting Academisch Erfgoed Botanical WallchartsCurve der Vruchtlengte van Oenothera Lamarckiana – Hugo de Vries [1898]

Stichting Academisch Erfgoed Botanical WallchartsKurkhuid – J.G. Meijer [1880]

Stichting Academisch Erfgoed Botanical WallchartsCelwand Reactiën – J.G. Meijer [1880]

Stichting Academisch Erfgoed Botanical WallchartsKernschede – J.G. Meijer [1880]

Stichting Academisch Erfgoed Botanical Wallcharts Bloei van Knautia Sylvatica – J.G. Meijer [1904]

Stichting Academisch Erfgoed Botanical WallchartsDodel Port Atlas – J.F. Schreiber [1893]

Stichting Academisch Erfgoed Botanical WallchartsDodel Port Atlas – J.F. Schreiber [1893]

Stichting Academisch Erfgoed Botanical WallchartsBotanische Wandtafeln – Leopold Kny [1874-1911]

Stichting Academisch Erfgoed Botanical WallchartsBotanische Wandtafeln – Leopold Kny [1874-1911]

Stichting Academisch Erfgoed Botanical WallchartsBotanische Wandtafeln – Leopold Kny [1874-1911]

Stichting Academisch Erfgoed Botanical WallchartsBotanische Wandtafeln – Leopold Kny [1874-1911]

Related Posts:

René Binet – Esquisses Décoratives & the Protozoic Façade of Porte Monumentale

The Rhetoric of Weird Wonders Gleefully Carousing in Morphospace : The Biodiversity Heritage Library’s Flickr Collection

Floraskin – Eilfried Huth & Günther Domenig

Patabotany #1: [At the Libarynth] The Forest is a College, Each Tree a University.