Page images

now possible; seeing it less often we should not so former is, happily, natural to many, if not to all; soon weary of it, and discard it for something the latter is easy to acquire, and, once learned, can newer still. But it is in painting a ceiling that never be forgotten. An intelligent observation of the artist has the greatest scope for showing his Nature in all her moods in all seasons, and also powers. A centre ornament affords him an oppor the study of the works of art executed by the great tunity of arranging his colors, so that a splendor world renowned masters, will enable us to appreof magnificence lights up the whole room, shed | ciate the infinite varieties of shades and hues that ding a glory of color and gold around, and meet us on every hand. A perfect harmony can recalling visions of the radiance and brilliance of alone be created by the presence of the three old Arabian art. Or it may be that the surround- primaries—yellow, red, and blue; they may be ing tints require a tender, softened tone to con- | pure or combined, but all must be apparent. Red plete the harmony; then he will so balance and and green, blue and orange, yellow and purple, apportion his colors that they shall cast down a produce harmonies. In the first red is the primary, quiet, subdued glamor, suggestive of chords struck green is a mixture of yellow and blue; in the in a minor key, that will create and sustain satis- second blue is the primary, orange is composed of fied feelings of repose and peace. If the painted yellow and red; in the third yellow is the primary, centre occupies a large portion of the ceiling, no and purple is formed of blue and red. The seccorner ornaments are needed, a pale delicate tint ondary colors are found by combining two of the covers the remaining space, and the cornice is primaries, and thus orange, green, and purple are decorated; but should the centre be small, it produced. The hues are formed by pairing the requires corner pieces to equalize the decoration. secondary colors; orange and purple produce When such is the case, the cornice may be picked russet, purple and green produce olive, green and out in various shades or colors, or simply treated orange produce citron; these are termed tertiaries. with the flat tint of the ceiling.

In the secondary colors one may be in excess of The wood work of a house should harmonize the other, and thus in green a yellow-green or with the color of the walls, etc. In former times, blue-green is obtained according as the yellow or in going over an unfurnished house, it was easy to blue predominates ; the same with orange, a yellow tell, by the color of the wood-work alone, which or red-orange may be produced, and with purple room was destined for the drawing-room, which a red or blue-purple. A good contrast is formed for the dining-room, and so on; but all that is when colors not only harmonize, but improve one changed now. Our ideas have been somewhat another by their juxtaposition. A light color revolutionized of late, and though the present placed beside a dark color will cause the latter to style of decoration has most decided advantages appear still darker, while the dark color will serve over the old, when one house could scarcely be as a foil to the light; yellow and purple will act known from its next-door neighbor, and every thus on each other, and will also harmonize ; red house was ornamented after the same pattern, yet and green, on the contrary, will harmonize, but there is no denying that at the first glance it does will not contrast, therefore a design of green seem rather odd; and we wonder what our grand leaves on a red ground will require outlining. mothers would have thought of it when we pass Although we fully concur in Mr. Crace's opinion, through a dining-room with the wood work painted quoted by Mr. Collings in his instructive descripin the palest and most delicate shade of cream, tions that accompany the sketches published in the walls hung with a paper embellished with “Suggestions in Design,” “that an experienced wonderful flowers after the Japanese type; into a artist can bring any two colors together," yet we drawing room where the doors, shutters, and copy the following list of pleasing contrasts that mantel-piece are of darkish sage green, tapestry he gives, believing that it will be welcome to many covers the walls, and low tones generally prevail. who cannot lay claim to such a distinction, but It is, without doubt, of great assistance, in com- nevertheless desire that the coloring of their rooms posing a scheme for the decoration of a house, to shall be in accordance with the rules which an possess not only what is known as a good eye for artist would follow-black and warm-brown, macolor, but also a knowledge of chromatics—the roon and warm-green, violet and pale-green, deeplaws of contrast, the principles of harmony. The blue and pink, violet and light rose-color, choco


[ocr errors]


Jate and pea-green, deep blue and golden brown, shade; a running pattern of low-toned foliage maroon and deep-blue, chocolate and bright-blue, softens and neutralizes the effect of the ground

color. The doors and shutters are painted bronzewarm-green. In drawing out a scheme for the green, the panels bearing a design of brilliant decoration of a house, it is important to remember orange-colored lilies. The ceiling tint is soft that although each room must be perfect in itself, gray, tinged with blue, but the centre ornament, it at the same time must not be at variance with painted in varied shades of purple, green, and the remaining rooms, but each should lead on orange, extending to within a short distance of agreeably to the next, and should bear its share in the cornice, leaves but little clear space visible. carrying out the general idea. The entrance-hall | A red purple color exists largely in the curtains, and staircases should be kept subordinate to the and in the principal chair coverings. In cases reception-rooms; if the richest colors are lavished where the owner does not possess a large number on their decoration, the rooms will suffer by com- of books, shelves fixed round the lower half of the parison; this, however, does not hold good in library walls are most convenient. They are of houses where there is an inner hall, as the latter is light oak, the lowest raised at least a foot from often decorated in an elaborate style; but then it the ground, being supported by brackets and is regarded almost in the same light as a room, finished off with a carved ornament; this obviates and consequently may be treated as such.

the necessity of the would-be reader going down Now let us consider a scheme or two as we pro- on his knees, and giving himself a headache, in posed. The wood-work of the outer hall is of trying to find a volume on the last shelf. The ebonized oak; the dado of russet paper, with a walls are of the palest shade of blue, a tapestry large, rather set design covering it, the upper border placed just over the book-cases is illumined wall is covered with a flowered paper of chocolate with quotations from favorite authors, above and and blue, the frieze is chocolate, with a bold blue beneath which runs a continuous pattern of laurelpattern on it; the ceiling warm-cream color. The leaves. Portraits of the most famous writers and inner hall shows the wood work of tawny-brown ; poets are painted in medallions at certain intervals the dado of purplish-gray, the walls of soft, deli-on the tapestry frieze, which is about a foot and a cate green, of just such a hue as that with which half in depth; the medallions are separated with Leighton loves to clothe his fair ideals, relieved crossed branches of laurel. The doors are of by white, leading up to the greenish-yellow-tinted sage-green, the panels a somewhat lighter shade ceiling. Tiger skins lie on the tesselated pave of the same color; the centre of each panel is left ment, and the sun's rays streaming through the clear, but is bordered with laurel-leaves. The exquisitely-painted windows deck it as with | architraves are black. For a library, quiet tones brightest jewels. A high oaken dado surrounds should have the preference; startling effects have the dining-room, above this the walls are painted no place in a room set apart for reading and Pompeiian red, enriched with an illuminated study, and whatever tends to distract the thoughts border in which black and gold predominate, the and disturb meditation should be excluded. The frieze is of red and gold; the paneled oak ceiling staircase that leads to the boudoir is of light oak is inlaid with Oriental blue, the lines and chamfers and sage-green. The boudoir itself is as charning on the brackets being touched up with red, black, and elegant a retreat as can well be imagined. A and gold. Thick rugs, in which deep-toned blue dado of is carried to within three feet and orange intermingle with black, lie on the oak of the ceiling; the wall, being considered as a floor. The oak chimney-piece is decorated with frieze, is of lemon-yellow, on which is painted a rich blue tiles; and on black corner brackets glow tasteful design of butterflies and flowers. The vivid, orange-colored china vases, giving point ceiling is soft blue, with a suspicion of turquoise and brilliancy to the whole. The doors are in the tint; the corners are decorated lightly painted dead-black, relieved by polished black; with flowers, while dainty, mischievous, laughing subjects taken from some of the Greek fictile vases cherubs on rose-tipped golden cloudlets float in are outlined in red on black panels. The walls the centre. The doors of bright polished black of the drawing-room are covered with a textile are ornamented with golden branches, a gaudy fabric, the prevailing tint being orange of a yellow butterfly here and there settling on the flowers, while others coquette around, undecided where to and precious as they are, are not weighed down rest. Curtains, in which turquoise and old-gold by virtue of their value into heavy, massive, unblend, bear a plain turquoise frieze, and a deep- graceful shapes, but are light and elegant, their colored blue velvet dado, which shows almost beauty dependent on their exquisite workmanship, black within its folds. Eastern embroidery, delicate carving, pure color, and perfect symmounted with blue velvet, covers the low lounge- metry. Refinement and true artistic taste are chairs; the furniture is of dead-black ebonized evinced in every detail of the room, which forms wood. Turquoise and orange-colored vases stand a fitting bower to the fairy who reigns as queen on the black over-mantel. The ornaments, costly within its precincts.



The culture of raw silk as an American industry cocoons to Marseilles, France, to find a market, is now exciting far-spread interest all over the they will find a ready market at home. And the United States. The growing demand in our realization of this fact will give this industry home market for the raw materials is yearly on an impetus which will in a very few years place it the increase. New silk-mills are springing up on an equality with our other textile industries, if everywhere. At the present time we have no not in advance. less than two hundred silk-mills in daily opera- 1 Already very many persons in the States are tion, whose product during the past year consumed devoting their time and efforts to the culture of 1,599,666 pounds of imported raw silk, at a cost the silk-worm, and are meeting with excellent of $10,000,000. The silk manufacturers of the success, while much has been and is being done United States paid in wages alone over nine mil. toward calling public attention to the industry by lions of dollars. The amount of capital invested the “Women's Silk Culture Association of the is nearly nine millions. The value of finished United States," under whose auspices and entergoods for the year ending June 30, 1880, was prise its peculiar advantages are prominently dethirty-four millions four hundred and ten thou veloped. It is as easy to raise cocoons as sheepsand four hundred and sixty-three dollars, and easier. The intermediate stages between the their manufacture gave employment throughout cocoon and the factory have yet to be underthe year to a large number of persons, the highest taken, but cocoons and eggs are both raised, for number employed at one time being thirty-four sale and export, in many of the States. These thousand four hundred and ten.

intermediate stages comprehend the perfect reelThe raw material to keep these great industrial ing, throwing, and spinning of the silk, in which establishments in operation is almost entirely im- respects there are yet some difficulties to be overported from Japan and other silk-rearing countries; come. but it has been pretty conclusively demonstrated For an extended business the great filatures are during the past few years that our American silks needed, where American cocoons can be reeled are better than the imported, because they are at home, by machinery, the only thing that can purer. And in this particular we have the secret come into competition with the cheap day-labor and success of our American silk. Silk culture in of the Italians, French, and Japanese hand-reelers. our country, as an industry, is as yet in its incep- A young American engineer is at this time in tion. The silk-weavers and the "cocoon"-raisers France, experimenting on the reeling of silk by are not as yet in as full relation with one another electricity, which is the motive-power destined to as are the weavers and the wool-growers. But lighten labor as well as to light the streets. This the time is rapidly approaching when our silk one missing link supplied, and the chain between manufacturers will take all that can be raised for Horstmann's fringes and ribbons and the New years to come—when instead of sending our Jersey silk dress goods and handkerchiefs, the

Connecticut sewing-silks, etc., and the cocoon it spread westward or northward. In the twelfth racks in American farm-houses, will be complete. century silk-rearing began to be practiced in

It is observable that the four great classes of Sicily, in the thirteenth century in Italy, in the textile fibres employed for the production of fourteenth in Spain and France, and in the fifclothing, viz., cotton, silk, wool, and flax, are teenth in England. essentially different in their origin. They are all | China, India, Italy, Southern France, and delicate filaments, but they present little in com- Turkey, however, by reason of their climate, tomon as respects their formation. Cotton and Aax gether with their cheap labor, have thus far been are of vegetable growth, one proceeding from the the chief silk-producing countries, to which our seed-pod, and the other from the stem ; wool and manufacturers are indebted for their supply of this silk are of animal growth, one proceeding from material. the outer covering of the animal which produces That the industry can be made a success comit, and the other elaborated by a little insect from mercially on this continent is already pretty well a glutinous substance within its body. That sub established. The climate in certain sections is stances so dissimilar should all alike be brought peculiarly adapted to the purpose, and as the within the power of the loom, and employed in occupation is one that is singularly fitted to the the formation of beautiful cloth, is a fact strikingly dest skill of many of our thrifty housewives illustrative of man's ingenuity, and seems to point and women who may seek an industry that to the probability that increased resources will be will remunerate them handsomely, it affords an laid open to those who seek among the natural interesting pastime for their leisure hours; and, riches presented to our use.

although the difficulty of proper reeling may be as The little silk-producing animal—first a worm yet a stumbling-block to its otherwise rapid proand then a moth-requires close and careful atten- gress, the new industry bids fair to thrive and tion, in order that the produce of its industry may flourish. Native ingenuity will yet devise means be made available to man. It is to the Chinese to overcome this difficulty, and that in proper that we owe the knowledge of this art, among season. That accomplished, and silk rearing will whom it has been practiced from very remote become as much a source of commercial activity times. Long before the inhabitants of Europe in this country as is now that of cotton or wool. knew that silk was produced from an insect at all, As niany of the readers of the MONTHLY may the manufacture of silk goods was common among be in ignorance of the methods pursued by the the Chinese. The early Greek writers spoke of Chinese in rearing the silk-worm, we propose to the lustrous beauty and brilliancy of the Asiatic give, in this article, a brief account of this branch robes; and in more than one passage alluded to of Chinese industry. This we shall follow with the China (or Seres, as it was then called) as the course of treatment announced by the “Women's place whence they came. One of these writers, Silk Culture Association of the United States" supposing that silk was a vegetable production, (Philadelphia), an association which has paid conspoke of it thus :

siderable attention to the subject of silk-worm

culture, and been very successful in its efforts in “ Nor flocks nor herds the distant Seres tend;

that direction. But from the flowers that in the desert bloom,

Much attention is bestowed by the Chinese on Tinctured with ev'ry varying hue, they cull The glossy down, and card it for the loom."

the artificial rearing of the insects. One of the

principal objects of care is to prevent the too early Of the introduction on silk-rearing into Europe hatching of the eggs, to which the nature of the and how it was brought out, it is hardly neces-climate strongly disposes them. The mode of sary to refer to. The 10eived version of the insuring the requisite delay is, to cause the moth story is too well-known at this date to need repe- to deposit her eggs on large sheets of paper; these, tition in this article.

immediately on their production, are suspended This department of industı y ivas for more than to a beam of the room, and the windows are six hundred years confined, so far as Europe was opened to expose them to the air. In a few days concerned, to the Eastern or Byzantine Empire. the papers are taken down and rolled up loosely, It was not till about the time of ite Crusades that with the eggs in them, in which form they are

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

hung up again dur-
ing the remainder
of the summer and
through the au-
tumn. Toward the
end of the year
they are immersed
in cold water,
wherein a small
portion of salt has
been dissolved. In
this state the eggs
are left for two
days; and on be-
ing taken from the
salt and water are
first hung up to
dry, and then roll-
ed up rather more
tightly than be-
fore, each sheet of
paper being after-
ward enclosed in
a separate earthen
vessel. Some of
the cultivators use
a ley made of mul-
berry-tree ashes;
and they also place
the eggs for a few
minutes either in
snow-water or on
mulberry-trees ex-
posed to snow or
rain, where the
climate permits of
this being done.

These precautions are taken to prevent the silkworms from being hatched before the season when the mulberry leaves (their proper food) are in a fit state for them. the evening the sheets of paper are rolled closely When the proper time for the hatching has up and placed in a warm situation. The same arrived, the rearer takes the rolls of paper from plan is followed on the next day, when the eggs the earthen vessels and hangs them up toward assume a grayish color. On the evening of the the sun, the side to which the eggs adhere third day, after a similar exposure, they are found being turned from its rays, so that the heat may to be of a much darker color, nearly approaching be transmitted to them through the paper. In to black; and the following inorning, on the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

When the proper ukes the rolls of paper ward assume a

« PreviousContinue »