Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Internet Research

Closeup of tuna cages
Cliffs with cages below

Driving to Ensenada I have notices these big rings, like fishing nets with boats nearby them in the water, far below the cliffs that we are driving along. There are many of these big rings. At first we thought they were just fishing there.but they are always in the same spot when we pass by so I decided to find out about them. In asking friends about them I was told that they are cages where tuna are being held.  Wanting to know a little more about this curios sight I did an internet search and came up with some interesting info on them…I so love internet you can find answers to most of your questions in just a couple of minutes when you figure out the right question for your search.  First that these rings are steel cages the size of a football fields and basically they function much like a beef cattle stockyards. The tuna unlike salmon have not been successfully farmed, that is raised in captivity from egg to maturity, but must be caught in the wild. What is being done here is a kind of farming to create high quality prime tuna for the Japanese sushi market where they can get big bucks for the tuna. In the fall the fishing boats drag nets and collect tons of tuna and them drag the nets with the tuna to this area of steel mesh pens and fat them up on sardines for 6-8 months. 
When they have orders for the tuna they haul them out onto the boats and take them to market in Japan. They can harvest as much as 900 tuna a day when market demand is high. There are some 60 cages along the Ensenada coast line, with a capacity of 4,800 metric tons being farmed/held full of tuna. There is a concern that over fishing may result from this practice, but  for now it is creating a economic boom to this area with more than 360 employees involved in the process.  For me it was fun to take the photos, but I do have a concern that these Pacific bluefin tuna will go the way of the Atlantic bluefin which are now on the endangered  list.
Here are the cages and fishing boat

Okay, I started this blog to be about art years ago, so now I am going to talk about my latest artistic creation.  I’m feeling the influence of the Mexico love of vibrant colors. I have been enjoying  creating my own painting after a Mexican pottery style called Talavera.  We bought some dishes from a local shop and I kept looking at the complicated design patterns and thought what fun it would be to paint a photo frame in the same design to put photos in from our adventures.  I found wooden frames that you can paint, on one of our trips to San Diego art store. Then I started sketching designs to imitate the pottery style. I worked out the color palette as I painted, which is the really fun part. After I did the first frame I was hooked on creating a few more, making each one unique in design and colors, but with the basic design elements of the Talavera pottery.  Like the dishes they are vibrant and bold. They have a Mexican flair to them. I also, had to do research on the internet and learn about the Talavera pottery. It has a very interesting history. Here is a little of the info I found about the pottery style. It has a very long complicated history, but briefly it started in Spain in the Thirteenth Century and was heavily influenced by the centuries of Moorish domination. Next came the Arab and Muslim influence on the designs. Then it was brought to Mexico in the 1600 and was taught to the indigenous people who had a long history of working in pottery.  Today the city of Puebla is the home of “authentic “  Mexican Talavera. There are many, many artisans working in this style and selling their wares. You can buy signed, numbered, “authentic” pieces or like we did less expensive unsigned piece. There is the traditional style which has an “old fashion” formal quality to it and the modern style, which is far more causal. I like the modern style and that is what is being sold in the shops around here. The Talavera style pottery are produced in many different regions of the country, resulting in a variety of different modern styles and designs. Anyone need a frame? I wonder where this is going to lead me in my artist journey...I don't know but it sure is fun for now.
Here are the dishes we bought

Here are the frames

1 comment:

  1. LOVE your frames; they are gorgeous! And thanks for the history about Talavera pottery :)