Friday, January 2, 2009

Old-Fashioned Prognostication

No, I'm not making predictions for the success of Eclipse or any technology in 2009.

Another new year has arrived, and to usher it in I once again engaged in the timeless German tradition of Bleigießen:  the divination of one's future (for the coming year) in the pouring of molten lead.

The idea is simple:  you cut a length of lead solder and heat it, in a steel spoon, over a candle or other tabletop flame, thus:

Once the lead is completely molten and flows freely, you pour it quickly into a bowl of cold water to chill it instantly.  In the resulting sculpture, you see a shape, figure, or other graphic indication of what the year holds in store for you (rather like cloud gazing):

As you can see, my first attempt didn't show much and was actually spoilt by pouring too rapidly.  Am I having puppies?  Or are these tears?  As this attempt failed due to a bad pour, I tried again, with a smoother and steadier hand:

That's more like it.  I can read something into this!  I see ... on the right-hand side ... a frog? Yeah, a frog.  It's sitting on a stick, readying to jump into the water.  The stick is jutting out of the water from right to left, like in so many creek-paddle scenes from my canoe tripping.

Looks like Mother Nature has another great canoeing season in store for me!


Jörg's noblog said...


Ed Merks said...

Christian, it looks the very model of one of the frogs in my pond! I'm sure it is!! I take it as a sign for a hopping success for modeling this year...

Unknown said...

In Poland at St. Andrew's Day we use wax instead of lead and we guess the future from shadows wax figures throw. Maybe you would like to try it. ;-) Greetings from Innsbruck, Joanna

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