During last night’s entertaining LAP Forum Open House there was a comment about finding Noah’s Ark plans and notes. Well, that’s just silly. However, I did find Bishop John Wilkins’s 1668 proof on how all the animals would fit in the Ark. With the the biblical measurements, the animal load and arrangement figured and a little reverse engineering you can create your own plans.
“…it was divided into three stories, each of 10 or 15 foot high, besides one cubit allowed for the declivity of the roof in the upper story. And, ’tis agreed upon as most probably, that the lower story was assigned to contein all the species of beasts, the middle story for their food, and the upper story, in one part of it, for the birds and their food, and the other part for Noah, his family and utensils.”
The Bishop, a most sincere and helpful man, also made a scientific table to help classify and separate the animals by species and body proportion: Beasts feeding on hay, Beasts feeding on insects, Carnivorous Beasts. If an animal is a “mungrel”, such as a mule, they are left out. Crocodiles, seals, turtles get to fend for themselves as, “…such kind of Animals as can abide in the water to their own devises.”
There you have it. Gather some hearty and handsome timber framers, hand over the cubit conversions to George Walker and Jim Tolpin and you are good to go.
While those scamps, Chris and John, are on their way to Georgia for the French Oak Roubo Project-Part Deux (and we wait for their daily updates) let’s take a look at a few stained glass tributes to woodworkers.
In the Cathedral at Chartes there are 13th century jewel-like scenes of carpenters, a wheelwright and a cooper working away on biblical constructions.
Woodworkers of the biblical kind are fairly easy to find in stone, mosaic and stained glass. But what about the modern craftsmen? Where are they in the stained glass world? I found a few.
The Maryhill woodworkers are one of twenty panels depicting a variety of trades and industries. The artist is Stephen Adams.
The Potterspury window was designed by Chris Fiddes and made by Nicholas Bechgaard.
This section is from the Wren Window. Christopher Wren rebuilt the church after the Great Fire of London. The church was struck during the Blitz and rebuilt again after World War II. The artist is Bill Forbes.
This last window is by Thomas Derrick and is my favorite. The craftsman is positioned on his own small island and we look in on him as though through a skylight. He works away undisturbed and serene. His myriad tools frame him and his life’s work.
In each window the stained glass artists are honoring their fellow craftsmen that have helped build and maintain the local churches, town halls and guildhalls. The windows help record the history of place and craft. And although each window shows just one or two men, they stand in for all woodworkers.
Sometimes a tribute is a small plaque on a wall and sometimes the tribute, the thanks for your skill and hard work, takes the form of a gorgeous glowing window.