Micrography – Louis Rotblat

Like many early studio photographers, Rotblat would have needed some of the skills of an artist; he would have been expected to hand-color portraits for his customers, and re-touch photographs to bring reality and fantasy a little closer together. But Rotblat also possessed a much rarer talent. He had a genius for creating micrographs – minutely detailed compositions made up of thousands of tiny letters that appear whole from a distance but fracture and dissolve when viewed close up.

This unique form of Jewish folk art has a long history. It started with the illumination of religious texts, moved on to the depiction of Biblical scenes and portraits (rabbis, monarchs and Yiddish writers) and is still being practised today. A micrographic artist needs the compositional skills of an architectural draughtsman, the fearlessness of a tattooist and the flowing hand of an artist. Plus the fluency and stamina of the sofer, the Torah scribe, the occupation which many micrographers followed.

The great micrographic artists were geniuses of geometry and pattern-making and nowhere is their skill more evident than in the portraits. From jubilee tributes of Queen Victoria and Emperor Franz Joseph, to memorials to Theodore Herzl and tributes to Yiddish writers (including Ansky, Reyzen, Opatoshu, Perets, and Shomer) the portraits are extraordinary in their breadth of subjects and techniques.

Source – Digital Yiddish Theatre Project – The Talented Mr. Rotblat and his Micrographic Tribute to Jacob Gordin

Uploading Halloween ASCII to the Shop

I started uploading Halloween ASCII art to the shop on Zazzle. I soon discovered long art, like this one, does not work well on most items/ products. So, I will work on making things taller instead. But, for the Halloween village, longer is still the best. Like most things, having a shop is a learn as you go thing.

ASCII Font Fights

Before I read the post I thought it was going to be about trying different fonts for ASCII art. I still like my version. I can imagine making the same one line text art using endless varieties of fonts and then picking the best from them. It would make an interesting project, maybe just a bit too time consuming.

My ASCII Art Dragons

Originally, I published this on HubPages. But, due to their rules I have decided not to post any of my own ASCII art there now. (They don’t want any watermarks or other artist credits on the image). So, here for posterity, if nothing else, is that post from 08/25/11.

I began making my own ASCII Art in 1998 on Usenet. We had a good group of ASCII artists and those who just enjoyed seeing the creations on alt.ascii-art. You can still read the old newsgroups, now part of Google Groups.

I don’t remember what my very first ASCII art creation was. I know it was disappointing. I wanted to create something beautiful and elegant. Instead it was choppy looking and clunky. But, I didn’t give up. Thanks to the others in the group who didn’t let me think I couldn’t do it.

After awhile I began making ASCII art dragons. These were not big dragons and they were not quite the dragons I wanted to create. I had planned to make more of them but, life changes and the ASCII art dragons got left on a back burner. I may yet work on finishing them. I had planned to create ASCII art dragons for each holiday, at least one a month.