The Fabulous Stonehenge Marbles: Perfect Gift for that Friend Who Blogs about Stonehenge Replicas!

Stonehenge marbles by Chris Inchaos Schiano

Stonehenge marbles by Chris Inchaos Schiano

We’ve all heard of the remarkable, historic, and controversial Elgin marbles, and lately they’ve been back in the news. But here on the Clonehenge blog we have something far more desirable to show you: the fabulous Stonehenge marbles by Chris Inchaos Schiano! Here is the Stonehenge marbles website. Basically we are going to spam you with photos, quote the artist, and end with a suggestion. Mr. Schiano says of his work:

“Stonehenge Marbles are unique pieces of contemporary art. I hand draw each stone out of glass and encase them to create a permanent miniature replica of the sacred sites. Each marble is a labor of love, which I harness to capture the spirit of the megaliths and the people who envisioned them thousands of years ago.”

A Stonehenge marble, yes, at Stonehenge!

A Stonehenge marble, yes, at Stonehenge!

Every day I learn something new about the stone circle that I try to relay into the glass.

more marbles

more marbles

And although these beautiful creations are more than enough, he doesn’t stop at Stonehenge.

Stonehenge and more, trapped in marbles

Stonehenge and more, trapped in marbles

Above we see: “Stonehenge Past and Present, Avebury, Stones of Stenness, Carnac, The Great Wall of China, Egyptian and Aztec Pyramids, the Parthenon, and [not sure whether to say “sadly” or “of course”!—CH] a Moai.” He has even done a Stonehenge marble with an Easter Island moai hidden in the glass at the bottom, in a fine (?) tradition long established among Stonehenge replica creators! Stonehenge marbles may show the monument either as it currently exists or as it is thought to have been originally.

Stonehenge marble with sunset

Stonehenge marble with sunset

Be sure to have a look at this video of a marble that was auctioned off just recently!

*wipes drool from corners of mouth* Heh. Excuse us. That video, tho. There seriously are not enough druids in the world to award for these things.

In closing, we hardly need point out that winter solstice and the Christmas holiday are almost upon us, and we know you’re all wondering what to buy for that hard-to-please but much adored Stonehenge replica blogger on your holiday gift lists. Let us make it easy. Why not order a custom Stonehenge marble (no moai necessary!)? We guarantee it’s bound to please, and think of the satisfaction you will gain from supporting an original artist instead of spending the hundreds you were planning to spend on bric-a-brac. ;-) Everyone wins!

We heartily wish a very happy solstice to all of our readers, and a happy holiday season to everyone. Until the next time, very close and very generous friends, happy henging!

Chip Henges: They’re the Latest Thing!

Stonehenge with chips and mushy peas, by Prudence Stait

Stonehenge with chips and mushy peas, by Prudence Staite

This won’t be a long post. We just want to keep you informed, Gentle Readers!Lately friends have drawn our attention to a couple of chip henges, or as the crasser parts of the globe might say, French fry henges. And we want to share them with you here, to enjoy with a fine ale and perhaps some fried fish (or, if you must, a burger).

The one pictured above was created by artist Prudence Staite, not to be confused with Firefly‘s wonderful Jewel Staite. Ms. Staite also created a cheesehenge a couple of years ago. Perhaps we should interview her on the blog! To quote the article that featured the photo, “Ms Staite’s edible art was commissioned to celebrate Chip Week 2014, which is organised by the Potato Council.” It reached our attention via Visit Wiltshire and the revered friend of the blog Rian Edwards, and very nearly by author Mike Williams as well. Thank you to them all!

Perhaps Chip Week was equally the inspiration for the other henge we’re featuring in this post:

Chip henge from the BBC's Room 101

Chip henge from the BBC’s Room 101

Not having seen the piece from which this chip henge was extracted, we don’t have any context for it. But it was sent to us by alert friend of the blog Ms. Emma Evans. Thank you, Emma!

They are similar and of similar quality, but we would be amiss not to draw your attention to the lemon sunrise in the photo at the top. A definitive touch! The mushy peas are, of course, definitively British as well.

We will keep you no longer. You are dismissed to go on to more weighty matters, like trying out the Megabits beta, or, well, eating chips and drinking heavily. Chip henges are not worth spending too much time on. They just show how Stonehenge replicas are an integral part of the Zeitgeist. As Clonehenge should be!

Don’t be afraid to make a chip henge or French fry henge part of your Saint Patrick’s Day celebration. Not that Stonehenge has ANYTHING to do with Ireland or Celtic people, but chips are very good when you’re drinking too much. So, whether in your cups or suffering with hangovers, dear friends, happy henging!

Happy Winter Solstice to All!

a bronze display model of Stonehenge in the new Visitor Centre

a bronze display model of Stonehenge in the new Visitor Centre

There is much to celebrate for Stonehenge lovers this week! Winter solstice is upon us, arguably the date for which Stonehenge was built, and the date of its great early festivals, AND this week marked the opening, at long last, of the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre. No more parking in the car park near Stonehenge and going through a dodgy underpass. Now you pay lots of money , er, we mean, get to go into a world class visitor centre and…

Visitors will be collected by Land Rovers drawing surprisingly elegant little carriages—English Heritage staff have been using them as quiet, comfortable meeting rooms to escape the building site—and taken to the stones.

The nice bit is:

The shuttles will stop halfway at a little wood – one of the myriad abandoned alternative sites for the centre – offering visitors the option of walking across fields to the monument, or continuing on to be dropped a short stroll from the stones. Although English Heritage cares for the monument, thousands of surrounding acres belong to the National Trust, and new signboards are being installed in the fields explaining the barrows, avenues and mounds which speckle the landscape.

a panorama at the Centre permits the experience of solstice sunrise all year long

a panorama at the Centre permits the experience of solstice sunrise all year long

But the Visitor Centre itself is packed with goodies, and an esteemed Friend of the Blog who went in and did reconnaissance for us, says that there are numerous Stonehenge models to be seen there (like the bronze one at the top of this post, with the solstice line marked on it plainly), as well as the panorama/virtual Stonehenge experience, seen above, that allows it to be solstice sunrise all day every day!

The gift shop offers Stonehenge models of various sizes: infant, toddler, child, and teen, from what we can see—the seeds of Stonehenge to be carried far and wide, where people will see them and—voilà!—want to make more Stonehenges! The contagion spreads, while also becoming more concentrated, ever more Stonehenges in the world What is the Stonehenge saturation point? Only time will tell.

And time is what the solstice is all about (see how we crudely and artlessly brought this post back to its subject? Oh, yes we did, uhuh, uhuh!). May your solstice (and whatever other holidays may be scattered in its general vicinity) be lovely and happy and fun and wonderful! Enjoy life while you can still walk around without stepping on Stonehenges. Mark our words: if things continue as they’ve been going, that may not last much longer!

And until next time, Gentle Friends, we wish you and yours happy henging!

Candy Corn Henge Redux, with Instructions: Happy Halloween from Clonehenge!

A quick post to share this post from Food52, not only showing the henge, but telling how to create it!

Attending a Halloween party soon? Unable to attract as much attention as shapely she-devils, vagina masks, and Boston terriers dressed as walruses? Now you can be the life of the party and wow everyone with your candy corn Stonehenge creation!!

Okay, it’s true, people may still completely ignore you, but you’ll be doing your part to bring back that old time religion and put the Samhain back in Halloween, so there’s that!

And you can send Clonehenge your photos afterward!

See another candy corn henge from 2009. And here’s another Halloween post on Clonehenge: the Witch Henge. And possibly our scariest post of all was about the Caelum Moor sculptures in Texas!

Keep safe, bring a costumed dog to your party, and until next time, friends, Happy Halloween henging!

A Gerald Hawkins Model, Long Before Spinal Tap!

Model built for Gerald Hawkins at Boston University

Model built for Gerald Hawkins at Boston University

First off, let us say:

If, before reading this, you already had an opinion about Stone Number 11 at Stonehenge, or even if you have just thought of arguments against someone else’s opinion on the subject, then even if we never get to meet you, you are one of our favourite people in the world! Clonehenge loves you and henceforth wants to make itself a better blog for you.

As part of that effort, today we offer you some Stonehenge model history.  For those who are not familiar with his name, Gerald Stanley Hawkins was a British archaeoastronomer best known for his 1963 (1965? sources differ) book, Stonehenge Decoded, in which he advanced the now well-known ideas about Stonehenge being a precise astronomical observatory. We won’t go on more about that, but if you’re curious, Google or Bing or DuckDuckGo can help you out!

Shot of the model showing stone shapes

Shot of the model showing stone shapes

Dr. Hawkins was chairman of the Department of Astronomy at Boston University in the States from 1957 to 1969, and during that time he had the above model built for him to use in teaching undergraduate university students and for use in documentary films and television shows. The model is now at Boston University and we show it here by the kind permission of Quinn Sykes, the very generous help of Vance Tiede, and of course, the inspiration and tireless work of Hengefinder General Extraordinaire Mr. Pete Glastonbury (Is that the brilliant Wiltshire photographer and author of the must-have Stonehenge Guide ebook, you ask? Yes, friend, none other than!) . Clonehenge thanks you, dear sirs!

It is clear that this is a brilliant model of a sort very rarely built any more. These days archaeoastronomers prefer computer models for their demonstrations of how light would shine on ancient sites and what stars were visible where at various times of year. But back then, something like this was the only option. The description, by Mr. Vance Tiede, is as follows:

The model appears made of plaster and each quadrant measures roughly a 24″ on a side or 16 feet square in total area. The detail is very good, even with individual post holes to the NW of the Heelstone. Stone 57* is missing, as the model was made before the hole for a Stone 57 was discovered. Stone 11 is two times too big and the lintels should be removed.

And there it is:  Stone 11. Stop everything! What is he talking about?

Well, Gentle Reader, we thought you would never ask! It turns out that there is a controversy about Stone 11. Mr. Tiede, when we asked him about it, answered:

“…the two lintels shown above Stone 11 should be removed, as Atkinson pointed out, Stone 11 is one-half the width and height of the other 29 uprights of the Sarsen Circle. The is a highly significant astro-architectural detail as the total number of uprights is literally 29.5 stones, i.e., one stone for every day of the Moon’s Synodic Period of 29.53 days. Similarly, Stonehenge’s 30 Y-Holes and 29 Z-Holes together represent the Double Month (later used in Athens, ca. 500 BC) of alternating 30 and 29 Days (and still used in the Jewish Liturgical Calendar) also producing an average of 29.5 days.

So there is a short stone in the outer circle, Stone Number Eleven, and Mr. Tiede thinks it never had lintels. Another opinion we have run across is that Stone 11 was short on purpose, as Mr. Tiede says, but that it still had lintels, and may even show the marks where they would have fit. Meanwhile, Sue Greaney, Senior Properties Historian with English Heritage, says that recent laser survey analysis suggests the stone is short because it is broken, and therefore may have been just as large as the others at the start.

Who’s to say? But it’s something to keep in mind when you make a replica. Find a chart showing where each numbered stone is at Stonehenge and make number 11 short if you want.

Before ending the post we should add  that there is reason to suspect that this model had another part. Another model we have seen Gerald Hawkins use on a television show had an alternate center circle in which the stones stood pretty much as they stand today, a ruined Stonehenge that could be switched in and back out again to show differences between how it looks now and how it may have looked in its heyday. This may have included something similar.

Score? Because of its historic association with Dr. Hawkins, and the detail such as good stone shapes, the Aubrey holes and outlier stones being included, we award this miniature Stonehenge 8 druids! Well done, indeed!

One more thing to consider. Someone recently told us that the outer sarsens were once uniform in size and shape, and only the wear of thousands of years has given each its idiosyncratic shape. To us it is hard to believe that the beautiful oddities of Stonehenge were not a part of it in its youth, but who knows? Many little mysteries: Stonehenge continues to guard its secrets.

And there is your Stonehenge history lesson for the day! There is a lot to learn about this little pile of stones. Until next time, friends, Happy Henging!!

*As to the comment about Stone 57, see the correction in the comment below, by Mr. Simon Banton, who knows Stonehenge well.

Babyhenge! The Jelly Kind (Best We Could Do)

Jelly Babyhenge, photo and henge by Dave Dummet

Jelly Babyhenge, photo and henge by Dave Dummet

In honour of the Royal Sprout, whether he lives to rule or to banish the monarchy, we wish him and his parents and grandparents good luck and good health!

Oh, and we hope you like our new look. It is here to stay. Comments are welcome.

Blobs of Compressed Wonder Bread: Stonehenge Replicas Hit a New Low!

Stonehenge, the grand and mysterious ancient ruin of Salisbury Plain, thought by some to be the spherical temple with many offerings located in Hyperborea, as mentioned by Diodorus, has now been reproduced in the medium of compressed Wonder Bread, which, if you are not familiar with it, is bread in the same sense that coconut-scented shampoo is fruit. But there it is: you can see it above. A crumby little Stonehenge. Sigh.

This is not to say that the artist, Milena Korolczuk, has not been very clever in creating her Stonehenge de pain, her megaliths o fara, her ancient stones van brood. Of course very few people would be able, or would want to create a careful little sculptural sketch like this from such an unorthodox substance. It is brilliant in its own way. We applaud her.

Score: 6 druid. Six tiny little crumbly stale druids. We had put them at the back of the shelf the first summer we started Clonehenge and forgot about them all this time, but here is the perfect way to use them. We don’t even have to brush the cobwebs or mouse dropping off of them. There, little fellows, off you go!

What’s interesting about this for our purposes, if you look at the page it came from, is that except for a depiction of the earth, all of the other sculptures are human portraits. Stonehenge is the only monument or icon, or anything. Which brings us, as always to the question that echoes down the centuries of posts amassed on this now millennia-old blog,

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

No, that’s not it. What is it? Let’s see…

WHAT IS IT ABOUT STONEHENGE????

Yes, thank you. That’s the one precisely. What is Stonehenge doing to us as a species? Why do people stuck in Antarctica build snowhenges? Why do people drinking wine make cheesehenges? Why do people at the beach make little Stonehenges from odd roundish stones? Why do rich people build full-sized Stonehenges, and regular people build those odd one-trilithon henges? Why, when people build odd things from stone that don’t look like Stonehenge AT ALL, do they call them Stonehenges?

People laugh at us when we say that Stonehenge has a secret force that in a sense lays a psychic egg in the minds of those who loom at it, forcing them to reproduce it in some form at a point in the future. But tell us, oh you mockers and laughers, how do YOU explain it? What dark forces are at work that has created Stonehenges on every continent? That has forced scientists and artists and students and real estate agents and all sorts of people with little in common to reproduce it in countless forms? We leave this question here for you to ponder.

As for what we want, we ask for two things, two forms of Stonehenge now that we have our inflatable bouncy Stonehenge that once was only a dream. We would like to see: 1. A Stonehenge replica, no matter how small, on the International Space Station, and 2. We would like to see an inflatable FLOATING Stonehenge, preferably of a good size. These are our dream henges. See what you can do. You aren’t busy with anything important. You don’t fool us.

The world shambles on in strange lurches, its rhythms forced by powers we cannot imagine, and when we try to site ahead, we see only dim inexplicable shapes in patterns of motion that defy understanding. Someday we will actually write a humourous blog, but until then, dear readers, happy henging!