Monthly Archives: September 2015

Charting the Winds: a Superb Anemographic Chart from 1598

JF Ptak Science Books   Quick Post

Map wind rose detail


Map wind rose

Source: ETH-Bibliothek

It seems to me that the winds were named long before clouds were were–in many ways that is understandable given the nature of winds and clouds, and also given the burden of understandable “proof” in that the winds were categorized for centuries before clouds received their first scientific treatment in the early 19th century.  (See this earlier post on Luke Howard, “On Naming Clouds But Not Illustrating Them, 1815”

The chart above,”De ventis” is a gorgeous and half-hypnotic anemographic chart of wind roses, which was an engraved illustration from Francesco Barozzi’s (1537-1604). Cosmographia in quatuor libros distributa summo ordine, miraque facilitate ac brevitate ad magnam Ptolomaei mathematicam constructionem, ad universamque astrologiam instituens… and published in Venice in 1598. 1598


How to make a sketchbook

After searching many years for the perfect sketchbook, I finally gave up on the commercial brands and decided to make my own. For weeks I stayed up all night tearing paper, threading needles, poking holes in mat boards, and utilizing all kinds of gadgets, until finally I created the sketchbook I had been searching for. Here are the steps I used to make my favorite sketchbook.

1) Measure out and tear (using the side of a ruler) a full sheet (22" x 30") of Arches watercolor paper into eight, 7.5" x 11" sheets (a full sheet is actually 22.5 inches wide so the individual pieces will be 11.25" long including the deckle edge). Make sure the paper’s front side is up (watermark is readable on front side). Repeat until 4 full sheets have been torn into a total of 32, 7.5" x 11" sheets. (more…)