Monday, January 23, 2012

Architectural Artifacts, Post 1 - Rug Burn - 1.22.12

So I'm trying to get in the habit of shorter posts, more regularly.  I have about 75 shots from this most recent trip that I've divided into posts of 3 to 6 shots each.  Lets see if that helps.

This shoot was a little unusual for me.  I'm not a 'still life' photographer, but this place sounded intriguing.  It's called Architectural Artifacts and it's a fairly unique place in my experience.  It's part store, part museum, part art gallery.

Basically it's an antiques market.  In a warehouse.  A huge, three-floor, multi-building warehouse connected by bridges and staircases and ramps.  But they don't just stop at the furniture and the art work they can recover.  They have sections of old buildings.  They have rooms of stained glass windows still in their frames.  They have a huge section of heavy wooden doors from all over the world.  They have parts of furniture - the carved bits of antique wooden desks and mantle places and such - oh, and a whole room of mantleplaces and fireplace frames.

The one real drawback to this place is that they asked for us not to use tripods.  The lighting here was insanely erratic.  There were a lot of windows providing natural lighting, but many of them had various pieces of stained glass in front of them.  Even the overhead electric lights were a mix of florescent and incandescent.  On one of my posts I'll be talking about white balance again.  It was *ridiculous* trying to set white balance here.  The lighting changed constantly.  A tripod would have been a huge advantage.  Oh well.

Some of this stuff is what I call "stupid expensive".  I know that old things have value.  I'm a history teacher; I love 'old'.  But when I think of these things as being used in private residences, I get a little, "Really, you paid $14,000 for a pair of old mirrors?"  I guess I'm of the opinion that stuff like that is great.  In a museum.  Where you and everyone else can go visit it once in a while, but I don't get having something like that in your house.

But that's just me.  A fair chunk of my furniture comes from Ikea.

And it starts as soon as you walk in and head downstairs.  They display their very fancy-pants carpets on the floor.  And there isn't *one* sign that says "Do not walk on the bath-towel sized rug that costs more than your laptop."  So we were walking on them.  In our snow-covered boots.  Yikes.

Really Expensive Bath Towels?

So, sure, they are rugs.  So I suppose they are meant to be walked on... but it feels weird to me to walk on something like this in my wet boots.  But as you can see, it's not exactly easy to walk around or between then.
Some of these cost more than my laptop.

More rugs.  The little red on that's kind of up above and to the right of the small black table there was still over $100.  I have bath towels bigger than that rug.
$2500 and You're Okay with Us Walking On It?

It's a little hard to read at this size, but the tag says, "Ex. Fine Bukara.  Early 20th.  $2500.  43x63" and then it has an inventory number.  So I Googled Bukara and came back with the spelling Bukhara.  Assuming these are the same thing with variant spelling, this rug is roughly 100 years old, made from vegetable dyes and is from either Pakistan or Afghanistan.  AND WE'RE WALKING ON IT!  This to me is ART.  We shouldn't walk on the art!

But again, this is probably just me.  And a lot of my decor is about $19.95 from the big box store down the street.

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