Visit the Cellar!

The Cellar Image of the Day is just a section of a larger web community: bright folks talking about everything. The Cellar is the original coffeeshop with no coffee and no shop. Founded in 1990, The Cellar is one of the oldest communities on the net. Join us at the table if you like!

What's IotD?

The interesting, amazing, or mind-boggling images of our days.

IotD Stuff

ARCHIVES - over 13 years of IotD!
About IotD

Permalink Latest Image

Nov 14th, 2018: Moth Larvae

Recent Images

Nov 13th, 2018: Jack O'Lantern
Nov 12th, 2018: 11 AM, 11 November, 1918 - The Great War Ends
Nov 11th, 2018 : War Mail
Nov 10th, 2018 : Stainless Snail
Nov 9th, 2018 : Lamb Uber
Nov 8th, 2018 : Jerry Garcia Portrait
Nov 7th, 2018 : Dicycle

The CELLAR Tip Mug
Some folks who have noticed IotD

Mental Floss
Boing Boing
GruntDoc's Blog
No Quarters
Making Light
Church of the Whale Penis
Sailor Coruscant

Link to us and we will try to find you after many months!

Common image haunts

Astro Pic of the Day
Earth Sci Pic of the Day
We Make Money Not Art
Strange New Products
Geisha Asobi Blog
Cute animals blog (in Russian)
Yahoo Most Emailed

Please avoid copyrighted images (or get permission) when posting!


Philadelphia Pawn Shop
The best real estate agent in Montgomery County
The best T.38 Fax provider
Epps Beverages and Beer, Limerick, PA
Sal's Pizza, Elkins Park
Burholme Auto Body, Philadelphia
Coles Tobacco, Pottstown
ERM Auto Service, Glenside
Glenside Collision
Moorehead Catering, Trappe
Salon 153, Bala
Dominicks Auto Body, Phoenixville

   xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Apr 1 01:54 AM

April 1, 2009: Fragile Flora

Bifurcated Rivets linked a Curious Expeditions page, on the Fragile Flora display at Harvard's Museum of Natural History. Yes, the Harvard.

I know it's no Aprils fool's joke because I've been there, seen these.

The Fragile Flora Collection is a display of pretty flowers, various plants, and seed pods.

It's very large collection, quite extensive and impressive

The collection is is from the late 19th century and all GLASS.

Leopold Blaschka and his son Rudolf came from a long line of talented glassmakers. As a hobby, Leopold began making glass flowers from illustrations in natural history books. So beautiful, accurate and delicate were these models, a buzz began to generate in his hometown in Germany, and a local aristocrat commissioned 100 glass orchids. Leopoldís son, Rudolf joined him in the painstakingly intricate work. Thus began a prolific career in natural history glassmaking, ending in the largest commission of their lives; an order from Harvard college for over 3000 plant and flower models for their botany students. Leopold didnít live to see the completion of the project, but Rudolf continued on without him, working alone from 1895 - 1936, three years before his own death.
This is long before they could Google the information, and even the photography of the era was limited, so I guess they would have to work with real plants, and flowers that would wither and die as they worked. But somehow they achieved amazing accuracy.

The astonishing accuracy of Harvardís glass flowers has surprised many of the museumís visitors, who, on seeing the display, ask to see the glass flowers. They donít believe what they are seeing. And even I, knowing full well that what I was looking at was glass, couldnít find anything recognizably glass-like about them at all. The only hints were some nearly imperceptible tiny cracks in a few of the stems.

glatt  Wednesday Apr 1 08:31 AM

wow. That's cool.

I wonder about skills that are being lost by mankind. Clearly, nobody on the planet today is talented enough to make anything even approaching these.

sweetwater  Wednesday Apr 1 08:52 AM

I'm typing as softly as possible, but still nervous that the clicks will shatter something in the photos.

charmzny  Wednesday Apr 1 03:37 PM

Wow! I'll have to slide over to Harvard and take a look at this some day.

Cloud  Wednesday Apr 1 07:35 PM

very cool! I sent this to a botanist friend of mine.

spudcon  Wednesday Apr 1 11:06 PM

Originally Posted by glatt View Post
wow. That's cool.

I wonder about skills that are being lost by mankind. Clearly, nobody on the planet today is talented enough to make anything even approaching these.
Corning Glass Museum Corning NY

Elspode  Thursday Apr 2 06:41 PM

Aw, heck. They've got stuff just like this at the Dollar Store. Well, maybe not *just* like this.

Insanely beautiful. Have I ever told you guys how much talented, dedicated people piss me off? :p

xoxoxoBruce  Friday Apr 3 01:16 AM

You know what's even worse, Elspode? The Blaschkas probably had tons of groupies.

Tiki  Friday Apr 3 12:39 PM

The Blaschkas were absolutely some of the most talented glassworkers ever, and it's true that many, many skills and formulas in glass have been lost over time (most notably during WWII, when many glass factories were shut down or repurposed) but two things worth noting are that the Blaschka's work is not glass alone, particularly the elder Blatchka, but also incorporates paint and wire in order to create the most realistic replicas possible. The painting was done almost exclusively by the younger Blatchka, who, after his father's death, incorporated more and more colored glass into his work, which did not require painting.

The second thing worth noting is that there are still glassworkers specializing in botanical, insect, and crustacean replicas, and many of them are very skilled.

Michael Lindemann's dragonflies, which I don't have a link to, are spectacular.

There are also more general sculptural glass masters like Lucio:

What is really missing from today's glass artistry are the sponsorships, grants, large commissions, and patronages that would allow a glassworker to spend the time it would require to create such an impressive library of replicas. Even Lucio must worry about making money and paying his bills, and that means production work, and teaching classes.

Your reply here?

The Cellar Image of the Day is just a section of a larger web community: a bunch of interesting folks talking about everything. Add your two cents to IotD by joining the Cellar.