Saturday, 19 February 2011

Still life

Here is the completed still life. I have always been interested in art but I have also been interested in science. As a young boy of 11 or 12 I converted the coalhouse into a laboratory. To be fair I had quite a bit of equipment and chemicals, everything from distillation tubes to concentrated Sulphuric acid. I avidly read old reference books explaining industrial processes. I would make all sorts of chemicals and gases with only minor accidents.

My pride and joy was probably a carbon arc furnace I made that would melt sand etc. This on reflection now, was probably quite dangerous as it used the mains with live terminals to each end of the electrodes and an electric fire element as a resistor. To start the process involved moving the electrodes together to strike the arc and then pulling them away.I used smoked goggles, which probably weren’t up to the job.

 I never blew up the household electric supply which is something of a surprise looking back with hindsight.

I still have the book “Chemistry Inorganic and Organic with experiments” by Charles Loudon Bloxham. Published in 1883. The illustrations are beautiful and are an art in themselves.

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