Great new museum opens in Taiwan

Chi Mei Museum
Tainan, Taiwan

Since 2012 Gerry Embleton and TM AG have been working on a spectacular new museum exhibition of arms and armour. Under the direction of Ian Ashdown, Time Machine AG has produced more than 300 illustrations and designs, and some three dimensional work. The exhibition has been designed by Ian Ashdown and from the photographs we have seen it is spectacular. We haven’t been allowed to show our work before the museum opened and so we start with a touch of comedy.

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This is a Mongol warrior based on finds of clothing and weapons. The horse and the Mongol warrior’s head were made in the USA by our good friend David Hayes and costume and artifacts by friends and colleagues. Everything was carefully measured and came over in a large wooden crate to be unloaded in our garage and brought into our basement studio for assembly. Unfortunately the horse was too large by about 3 inches ! (my mistake) and totally impossible to carry into our large comfortable studio ! None of the team actually ran off to join the French Foreign Legion and we found a way to bring the horse into our living-room via the garden terrace. In the photograph below you can see Time Machine’s team being very calm and British and pretending that nothing is wrong… For the few days that followed breakfast and afternoon tea had a surreal atmosphere !

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Here is our finished warrior safely installed in the museum. A lot of work but worth it !

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North Wind brings you more historical art by Gerry Embleton

Since 2015 dawned we have been working mostly on the ‘North Wind Picture Archives’, Maine USA, preparing a further 250 illustrations to go online. Here is a very small sample:

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Go to www.northwindpictures.com , use Embleton as a keyword and browse through more than 500 images.

You can order what you need for your publication, film, video, etc. for an extremely reasonable fee. There’s a huge variety of illustrations and some of them might give you new ideas.

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North Wind brings you historical art by Gerry Embleton

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Time Machine AG’s Art Director is as well known for his illustrations as he is for his 3-D museum work. He has produced hundreds of carefully researched historical reconstructions for books, magazines, museum publications and for private clients and for much of this artwork he retains the copyright.

In partnership with ‘North Wind Picture Archives’, Maine USA, he is offering clients the possibility of licensing for publication a large number of these illustrations, sketches and paintings. Ancient and Medieval warfare, daily life and conflict in Colonial America, the Napoleonic Wars, Native Americans, Pirates, life at sea, the grim reality of the Western Front, and many other subjects are depicted in meticulously researched detail.

Go to www.northwindpictures.com , use Embleton as a keyword and browse through more than 500 images.

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Time Machine AG and Prehistory

One of the ‘benefits’ of global warming and the melting of the glaciers is that large numbers of well preserved artefacts are coming to light including many from the late Stone Age and the Bronze Age.

The Time Machine AG team was commissioned by the Bernisches Historisches Museum in Berne, the capital city of Switzerland, to make two figures for a splendid new exhibition which opened on the 3rd April 2014.

Working in close cooperation with the museum staff (always a pleasure) we made a hunter and a woman traveler incorporating reconstructions of some of these finds. Our job was to bring to life two of the people who may have left some of their possessions, if not their remains, high on the Schnidejoch Pass (Bernese Oberland). The exhibition includes a marvelous array of finds and is really well laid out and designed incorporating some magnificent and atmospheric paintings and photographs.

Below: At the Bernisches Historisches Museum, two of Time Machine AG’s team, Joëlle Bürgi and Sam Embleton, finish the installation of a figure of an archer whose bow, arrows, bow case, quiver and other equipment were found on what remains of the melting glacier. The designer’s striking presentation sets our archer against a photographic backdrop of the glacier and the Schnidejoch Pass.

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Below: The archer’s beautifully preserved birchbark bow case was meticulously reconstructed by one of the team of craftsmen assembled for the exhibition:

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Below: Clearly there was quite a lot of traffic over the pass and the exhibition’s team have reconstructed jewelry finds and TM AG a woman who might have worn them. As the glacier retreats and the archaeologists are able to work on the finds we will learn a great deal more about these early Alpine travelers, who were anything but primitive.

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Time Machine AG was commissioned by the Bernisches Historisches Museum to make these figures. They will remain the property of BHM.

Some accessaries, excluding costumes, have been commissioned by BHM after discussion with Time Machine AG, and we wish to thank:

  • Markus Binggeli, Bern, for the Bronze jewelry of the woman
  • Therese Leutwyler, Thun, for her back basket
  • Jürgen Junkmanns, Erfstadt-Bliesheim (D) for arrows, bow and the birchbark bow case of the man
  • Ursula Schweizer, Bern, for his straw cloak

For further information in English, French and German on this fascinating exhibition click here:

http://www.bhm.ch/en/exhibitions/temporary-exhibition/the-pile-dwellers-on-the-water-and-over-the-alps/

 

On the 10th of May this year the Braith-Mali Museum in Biberach, Germany officially opened its refurbished archaeology exhibition including Time Machine AG’s latest contribution, an Iron Age grandmother sadly folding away her dead granddaughter’s clothes and bedding.

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We have had a great pleasure (and fun) working for the director Frank Brunecker and in close cooperation with members of his team on several dioramas (see our client list) .

Below: Paleolithic reindeer hunters, one of four dioramas that were part of the museum’s  “new look”.

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TMAG’s further adventures in Prehistory include…

Below: The Regionaal Archeologisch Museum Maaseik, Belgium

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BelowNationaal Hunebedden Informatiecentrum, Borger, Holland

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Below: A Native American flint knapper admires his newly finished flint point 16’000 years ago. The so-called Miller point from Meadowcroft Rockshelter.

Senator John Heinz History Center Museum, Pittsburgh, USA

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Below: Pfahlbaumuseum, Unteruhldingen, Germany

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Waterloo

The 18th of June 2015 will be the anniversary of the Battle of waterloo. Gerry Embleton has been commissioned by John Franklin to illustrate a series of books that John researched and compiled from an extraordinary collection of letters written by survivors of the battle, many translated and published for the first time. The writers are drawn from all of the nations involved and they change completely our view of the battle. all of the published letters and many more are available on John Franklin’s ever growing online archive http://www.battleofwaterloo.net

Gerry Embleton explains: “I first met John Franklin some years ago and was immediately impressed by the depth of his research. He digs deeper into archives and translates or has translated original documents. He checks and double checks facts and follows clues like a detective to build a picture of what was going on behind the published official documents. Waterloo is a misunderstood battle buried in myth and legend. Countless authors have used and reused the same sources, often of dubious quality and political bias, and some are still doing so. John’s research shines a new light on what was done – and thought – at the time. I was given access to his research material and an almost free hand to draw lesser known incidents based on the letters to compliment the color plates I’ve been painting for his books. I tried to be realistic and to show how the participants’ way have looked. Thousands of men and some women had been camping out all night long in pouring rain, many had been marching and fighting all the day before and had almost no shelter and little food. They did their best to scrape the caked mud from their uniforms and fought and marched all day long on the 18th. They fired musket volleys and artillery into each other often at point blank range and fought hand to hand over the bodies of their comrades. An illustrator can’t really come close to capturing the reality of a situation like that but I’ve at least tried to forget the jingoistic romantic nonsense created in the 19th century and sadly still with us.”

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Work in progress

September  has been a busy month, one of those periods when we have to start thinking about new projects which may or may not happen. We start research, discuss spaces and hope the client will raise the necessary funding. We will certainly be working on an Arms and Armor exhibition for a private client explaining and showing exactly how things worked. Mostly artwork and diagrams to accompany surviving pieces with clear explanatory texts. It’s a fascinating challenge but we have already done most of our homework over the past few years. When handling original pieces of arms and armor we are always amazed at the skill and craftsmanship involved to produce even the simplest pieces.

The finished William Dampier figure now stands in the Ueberseemuseum Bremen, Germany (photo supplied by the museum).

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Pirate and Explorer

Here we are already well into August. We had a well deserved break and some work for a

private client but it’s nice to get back into the studio again. We are delighted with the reaction to our new website and wish to thank everyone for their comments and interest.

We have been commissioned to make a life sized figure of William Dampier (1651-1715). An extraordinary man, part time pirate, explorer, naturalist, the first person to circumnavigate the world three times, the first Englishman to explore parts of Australia. He recorded what he saw in his journals which, when published, won him fame if not fortune and the support of the British Admiralty.

His inclination towards piracy, brutality towards crew members, bad luck and misfortune dogged his voyages and when, in 1715, he made a long and profitable voyage serving under Woodes Rogers (a pirate turned pirate hunter) he died before he could receive his share of the £ 200’000 profit (something like £ 20’000’000 in present day value).

Top left:    The fun begins ! There is something immensely satisfying about covering a good friend’s hand with bright blue goo !
Top right:  This is what emerges when we cut away the blue casing and fill it with resin. William Dampier’s hand holding a beautiful seashell sent to us from Australia by an old friend.

Dampier’s right hand is holding a sketchbook and crayon holder, here we have used a piece of folded cardboard to represent the sketchbook. The blue silicon covering the hand is coated with plaster bandage so that when the model withdraws his hand the plaster layer will help the silicon to keep its shape.

Our figure of William Dampier nears completion. Sam Embleton starts working on details. The face and hands are first given a strongly coloured undercoat to give the impression of a strongly tanned skin in hot climate. We decided to show him in his work clothes as he scrambles about Shark Bay in Western Australia. He wears stout and much used sea boots as it is quite a dangerous place to explore barefooted.
He has taken a dog lock pistol (beautifully made for us by Paul Sawney, an English gun maker) because he normally feels naked without it. Flint, powder and shot are in his pocket but his mind is on his work as a naturalist rather than piracy and his sketchbook is held ready for action…

 

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Website up and running !

We have just completed ‘Phase One’ of our new website which will enable us to make changes and add new material regularly. As well as keeping our friends up to date with our current work we intend to add articles and illustrations showing the background research involved, something about our techniques, colleagues and past, present and future projects. We have just added to our ‘client list’ illustrations of Napoleonic figures that we have made for the ‘Musée Militaire, Colombier‘ in Switzerland and two of the figures that we made for the ‘Regionaal Archeologisch Museum Maaseik in Belgium. Close friends may recognize the young lady preparing supper… !

Sometimes when we are creating figures we reach a point where we have an uneasy feeling that the figure is creating itself. This is one of those moments… !

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Museum Biberach, Germany

The museum staff take great care to ‘speak’ directly to the young visitor through exhibits that instruct and provoke questions and answers.

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Museo del Ejercito, Toledo, Spain

Probably our most challenging commission in 2009/2010 was to research and create two equestrian and nine foot figures for the Museo del Ejercito, Toledo, Spain’s new army museum in the magnificently restored Alcazar Palace in Toledo.

The two mounted figures with powerfully animated horses by sculptor David Hayes representing an archer of the Queen of Grenada’s light cavalry c 1350 (top left) and an 11th century Christian Knight. To his right is a Spanish Celtic Warrior in trouble !

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