Tag Archives: alchemy

Exploring the Elements

***Earth, Wind, Fire, & Air by the Hex Girls was playing in my head throughout working on this exercise just so you know***

Because I’ve always been an avid fan of faeries and fantasy in general, the elements and their power has also been of interest to me. In particular, fey seem to embody our ideas of natural power and magic. Also, it is interesting to think of the elements themselves as these kind of “old gods”, embodiments of the most ancient of magicks and power. At least, it’s interesting to me. I’d sooner put my money on the power of a storm or of a volcano or of a tornado than on any deity housed in some overrated book.

Anyway, let’s get to what examples of earth, fire, water, and air I was able to scrap together. I had a rougher time finding some than others.

Fire

“Some say the world will end in fire.

Some say in ice.

From what I’ve tasted of desire

I hold with those who favour fire…”

firefords1 firefords2

Like our good friend, Robert Frost, I, too, favour fire and had little difficulty with procuring examples of the element. For my literal example, I looked no further than the stove (don’t mind the grime 😛 I know it’s long overdue for a scrub). And, for my less literal representation, I looked to another of my art projects. Last semester, for a class, I dabbled in book art–which is, essentially, re-purposing a book as material for an art piece. For the project, I played off the title of the book, City of Fallen Angels, and made each cover into a scene–one side was a heavenly scene while the other was “hellish.” You’re looking at the hellish side here. Basically, I cut out the cover with my jeweler’s saw and then riveted a piece of copper to it. That piece of copper looks like flames because I chased a design onto the metal with a hammer and then gave the whole piece a heat patina, which gives the copper that reddish, almost burnt look. (This is the same technique I used on that wing necklace from this post.) Art is usually the first place my mind goes to when I think of the metaphorical.

Water

pisces

Pisces ~ Feb.19-Mar. 20

water4ds1 waterfords2

Not going to lie–as a Pisces myself, I thought finding examples of water would be pretty easy for me. Like, the universe would lend its hand so that I could find some really nice shots. But, uhm, that didn’t really happen. There’s a little brook, I guess, that runs through campus at Kean that came in handy though. (This is one of the cleaner sections of it….)

As for my metaphorical example, you could say the universe took pity. I truck for a local water department drove by like just when I was thinking about what I could do. Just managed to snap a pic of it so please excuse the quality–and the melting snow drops! Though, I think those are most appropriate. Honestly, all things considered, everything about this one moment did come together rather fluidly.

Air

“…a presence like a shadow on suspended dust.” ~ Red Dragon, Thomas Harris

windfords1 windfords2

I struggled with thinking of how to capture an example of air–until it hit me in the face. Literally. The wind has been killer around here lately and is a perfect example of how powerful air can be once it gets going. Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself. (Really, click that link.) Honestly, I used to live in south Florida–where hurricane season is the actual name for the summer/fall period of the year–so wind should have been something I thought of sooner.

As for my second example, again, I looked towards my art. Here, I have one of my earlier works. It’s a locket shaped like a cloud with these “windy” pieces of sheet metal riveted onto its lid. The swirls are meant to be representative of stormy winds blowing in. It’s counter intuitive that they’re made out of metal though, huh? Even so, I think their shapes and positioning capture this “light and airy” feeling.

Earth

Gaea [jee-uh]

noun

  1. ancient Greek goddess of the earth; mother of the Titans
earthfords1 earthfoeds2

I found it rather difficult to pick examples for this element. This is largely due to the fact that my idea of earth includes all the natural and the organic. So, with such a broad outlook, it becomes to difficult to makes choices. In the end, I ended up taking a pic of my own, snowy backyard. I like that I was able to include a very noticeable touch of the weather.

As for finding a more metaphorical example for earth, I feel like I had to compromise. I don’t really think I got a great example here. But, I feel like it captures the simplicity of the idea of what earth is for a lot of people–the outdoors. It’s that section in a bookstore people who frequent bookstores like myself usually skip past ^.^

Anyway, hope you enjoyed walking through these bits and pieces of my week with me. Let me know your thoughts!


Exploring the Elements

***Earth, Wind, Fire, & Air by the Hex Girls was playing in my head throughout working on this exercise just so you know***

Because I’ve always been an avid fan of faeries and fantasy in general, the elements and their power has also been of interest to me. In particular, fey seem to embody our ideas of natural power and magic. Also, it is interesting to think of the elements themselves as these kind of “old gods”, embodiments of the most ancient of magicks and power. At least, it’s interesting to me. I’d sooner put my money on the power of a storm or of a volcano or of a tornado than on any deity housed in some overrated book.

Anyway, let’s get to what examples of earth, fire, water, and air I was able to scrap together. I had a rougher time finding some than others.

Fire

“Some say the world will end in fire.

Some say in ice.

From what I’ve tasted of desire

I hold with those who favour fire…”

firefords1 firefords2

Like our good friend, Robert Frost, I, too, favour fire and had little difficulty with procuring examples of the element. For my literal example, I looked no further than the stove (don’t mind the grime 😛 I know it’s long overdue for a scrub). And, for my less literal representation, I looked to another of my art projects. Last semester, for a class, I dabbled in book art–which is, essentially, re-purposing a book as material for an art piece. For the project, I played off the title of the book, City of Fallen Angels, and made each cover into a scene–one side was a heavenly scene while the other was “hellish.” You’re looking at the hellish side here. Basically, I cut out the cover with my jeweler’s saw and then riveted a piece of copper to it. That piece of copper looks like flames because I chased a design onto the metal with a hammer and then gave the whole piece a heat patina, which gives the copper that reddish, almost burnt look. (This is the same technique I used on that wing necklace from this post.) Art is usually the first place my mind goes to when I think of the metaphorical.

Water

pisces

Pisces ~ Feb.19-Mar. 20

water4ds1 waterfords2

Not going to lie–as a Pisces myself, I thought finding examples of water would be pretty easy for me. Like, the universe would lend its hand so that I could find some really nice shots. But, uhm, that didn’t really happen. There’s a little brook, I guess, that runs through campus at Kean that came in handy though. (This is one of the cleaner sections of it….)

As for my metaphorical example, you could say the universe took pity. I truck for a local water department drove by like just when I was thinking about what I could do. Just managed to snap a pic of it so please excuse the quality–and the melting snow drops! Though, I think those are most appropriate. Honestly, all things considered, everything about this one moment did come together rather fluidly.

Air

“…a presence like a shadow on suspended dust.” ~ Red Dragon, Thomas Harris

windfords1 windfords2

I struggled with thinking of how to capture an example of air–until it hit me in the face. Literally. The wind has been killer around here lately and is a perfect example of how powerful air can be once it gets going. Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself. (Really, click that link.) Honestly, I used to live in south Florida–where hurricane season is the actual name for the summer/fall period of the year–so wind should have been something I thought of sooner.

As for my second example, again, I looked towards my art. Here, I have one of my earlier works. It’s a locket shaped like a cloud with these “windy” pieces of sheet metal riveted onto its lid. The swirls are meant to be representative of stormy winds blowing in. It’s counter intuitive that they’re made out of metal though, huh? Even so, I think their shapes and positioning capture this “light and airy” feeling.

Earth

Gaea [jee-uh]

noun

  1. ancient Greek goddess of the earth; mother of the Titans
earthfords1 earthfoeds2

I found it rather difficult to pick examples for this element. This is largely due to the fact that my idea of earth includes all the natural and the organic. So, with such a broad outlook, it becomes to difficult to makes choices. In the end, I ended up taking a pic of my own, snowy backyard. I like that I was able to include a very noticeable touch of the weather.

As for finding a more metaphorical example for earth, I feel like I had to compromise. I don’t really think I got a great example here. But, I feel like it captures the simplicity of the idea of what earth is for a lot of people–the outdoors. It’s that section in a bookstore people who frequent bookstores like myself usually skip past ^.^

Anyway, hope you enjoyed walking through these bits and pieces of my week with me. Let me know your thoughts!


Finding Value & Purpose

Digital Alchemy. Cool phrase but, what does it mean?

So, I’m not going to lie. The first thing that comes to mind when I think about alchemy is FMA (Fullmetal Alchemist)–Brotherhood, of course, though I don’t believe I really need to specify that. For those who may not be familiar though, FMA is essentially a manga and anime that revolves around the lives of two brothers who tried to use alchemy to bring their mother back to life–emphasis on tried. See, the art of alchemy requires an exchange–in the FMA world, the exchange must be one thing for something else of equal value. What do you suppose is of equal value to a human soul? If you answered nothing good, you were so close! Case in fact, a human soul costs nothing good an arm and a leg. See? Close.

fmasweetarmour

(Joking aside, this is a phenomenal series about so much more than what little I’ve mentioned and it is totally worth a watch if you get the chance ^.^)

Anyway, enough with the silly side of my impressions. What else comes to mind when I think of Digital Alchemy? Well, again, I get caught on that latter word. Alchemy. To me, alchemy embodies this idea of converting the mundane and worthless into something precious and valuable. More, alchemy identifies this so human desire for and belief in magic–magic that transforms the unwanted into the invaluable. Throughout history, we as humans have craved that kind of power. Revered the art of it as something magickal. Mystical. Redemptive, perhaps.

While belief and, subsequently, faith are not things I put much stock in myself, I do understand them to be themselves just as powerful, if not more so, than the objects of their attentions. So, to me, it is not just the word but the belief in alchemy and what it represents about people which most captures me. Magic–specifically as it pertains to faeries, but that’s another story–and the ideas of it have always fascinated me. There’s nothing that speaks more to who we are as humans, it seems, than our beliefs in the fantastical, the awesome, the otherworldly. We want so much more than ourselves. Want to believe in it. Want it to be real.

Some, I believe, have attributed this kind of desire to greed. Humans are greedy, always wanting more. Never satisfied. And, in some respects, I agree that humans are very greedy creatures. But, I think our beliefs in magic like alchemy also speak to something inherently different. That is, a desire to galvanize so thoroughly there is nothing but gold. We have always wanted to make the ordinary precious because otherwise, what value is there to those ordinary things? If something has no worth to it, why keep it? Alchemy was a way to instill not just worth and value but also purpose.

When it comes to thinking about alchemy and how it pertains to or can pertain to storytelling, both the digital and traditional kinds, this idea of alchemy’s ability to instill worth and purpose stands out. Writing and storytelling is a way to galvanize our own experiences and turn them into something that matters. It is a way to immortalize what has happened as well, immortality something else alchemy was concerned with. Digital alchemy, perhaps, is more concerned with the former–because the ability to engage with many digital pieces hinges upon the technology that is available and, since technology is ever-evolving right now, achieving immortality in the genre poses some issues.

But, back to digital alchemy and storytelling as a whole, I think a large component of it goes back to this core idea of wanting to transform the mundane and ordinary into something that has worth and purpose and agency. Working in an online space allows for so much transformation to occur as well as transportation–ideas and stories can travel just about anywhere anytime. And, isn’t there power in that?

Overall, I guess I see writing itself as a form of alchemy that seeks to transform not just the regular minutiae of everyday but also the unwanted parts of life and experience into something that has value and purpose and so can matter to other people. Speak to them.

Storytelling seeks to be magic, digital storytelling to be modern-day magic.

 

**Hope you enjoyed my thoughts on digital alchemy. I’m very excited to begin my apprenticeship as a digital alchemist ^.^ I had so much fun last semester delving into elit so I can only imagine that joy will grow this semester!

Sorry I left early last week, btw! It’s not ’cause of anything anyone said, I just had a train to catch! 3 actually, when all is said and done, but if I miss that first one, it throws everything else off! Hope that doesn’t become an issue this semester for anyone!

Also, this blog was the one I used for cataloging my Elit experiences from last semester. Figured I’d re-purpose it since I think my past thoughts and feelings could be insightful at some point. Feel free to check out those old posts too, if you want!!

Catch you on the flip-side!**


Finding Value & Purpose

Digital Alchemy. Cool phrase but, what does it mean?

So, I’m not going to lie. The first thing that comes to mind when I think about alchemy is FMA (Fullmetal Alchemist)–Brotherhood, of course, though I don’t believe I really need to specify that. For those who may not be familiar though, FMA is essentially a manga and anime that revolves around the lives of two brothers who tried to use alchemy to bring their mother back to life–emphasis on tried. See, the art of alchemy requires an exchange–in the FMA world, the exchange must be one thing for something else of equal value. What do you suppose is of equal value to a human soul? If you answered nothing good, you were so close! Case in fact, a human soul costs nothing good an arm and a leg. See? Close.

fmasweetarmour

(Joking aside, this is a phenomenal series about so much more than what little I’ve mentioned and it is totally worth a watch if you get the chance ^.^)

Anyway, enough with the silly side of my impressions. What else comes to mind when I think of Digital Alchemy? Well, again, I get caught on that latter word. Alchemy. To me, alchemy embodies this idea of converting the mundane and worthless into something precious and valuable. More, alchemy identifies this so human desire for and belief in magic–magic that transforms the unwanted into the invaluable. Throughout history, we as humans have craved that kind of power. Revered the art of it as something magickal. Mystical. Redemptive, perhaps.

While belief and, subsequently, faith are not things I put much stock in myself, I do understand them to be themselves just as powerful, if not more so, than the objects of their attentions. So, to me, it is not just the word but the belief in alchemy and what it represents about people which most captures me. Magic–specifically as it pertains to faeries, but that’s another story–and the ideas of it have always fascinated me. There’s nothing that speaks more to who we are as humans, it seems, than our beliefs in the fantastical, the awesome, the otherworldly. We want so much more than ourselves. Want to believe in it. Want it to be real.

Some, I believe, have attributed this kind of desire to greed. Humans are greedy, always wanting more. Never satisfied. And, in some respects, I agree that humans are very greedy creatures. But, I think our beliefs in magic like alchemy also speak to something inherently different. That is, a desire to galvanize so thoroughly there is nothing but gold. We have always wanted to make the ordinary precious because otherwise, what value is there to those ordinary things? If something has no worth to it, why keep it? Alchemy was a way to instill not just worth and value but also purpose.download film Rings 2017

When it comes to thinking about alchemy and how it pertains to or can pertain to storytelling, both the digital and traditional kinds, this idea of alchemy’s ability to instill worth and purpose stands out. Writing and storytelling is a way to galvanize our own experiences and turn them into something that matters. It is a way to immortalize what has happened as well, immortality something else alchemy was concerned with. Digital alchemy, perhaps, is more concerned with the former–because the ability to engage with many digital pieces hinges upon the technology that is available and, since technology is ever-evolving right now, achieving immortality in the genre poses some issues.

But, back to digital alchemy and storytelling as a whole, I think a large component of it goes back to this core idea of wanting to transform the mundane and ordinary into something that has worth and purpose and agency. Working in an online space allows for so much transformation to occur as well as transportation–ideas and stories can travel just about anywhere anytime. And, isn’t there power in that?

Overall, I guess I see writing itself as a form of alchemy that seeks to transform not just the regular minutiae of everyday but also the unwanted parts of life and experience into something that has value and purpose and so can matter to other people. Speak to them.

Storytelling seeks to be magic, digital storytelling to be modern-day magic.

 

**Hope you enjoyed my thoughts on digital alchemy. I’m very excited to begin my apprenticeship as a digital alchemist ^.^ I had so much fun last semester delving into elit so I can only imagine that joy will grow this semester!

Sorry I left early last week, btw! It’s not ’cause of anything anyone said, I just had a train to catch! 3 actually, when all is said and done, but if I miss that first one, it throws everything else off! Hope that doesn’t become an issue this semester for anyone!

Also, this blog was the one I used for cataloging my Elit experiences from last semester. Figured I’d re-purpose it since I think my past thoughts and feelings could be insightful at some point. Feel free to check out those old posts too, if you want!!

Catch you on the flip-side!**