Solstice Again, Innit? Part the First!

wooden model made in preparation for the famous Icehenge in Alaska

When you are somewhat lazy-arsed, as we are, it helps a great deal to have friends who are not similarly handicapped. We have a number of friends who keep an eye to the news and alert us when they find new Stonehenge replicas, old ones, too, if there is a chance we haven’t seen them. Today, in honour of the summer solstice, 2012, one half year, a mere six months, until nothing happens and everyone is deeply shocked to find the world hasn’t ended after all and they are going to have to find a way to pay for all that stuff they put on their credit cards, [drumroll] we are going to award two of our alert friends and readers with the title of Hengefinder General, Extraordinaire. In this post we fete the wonderful ancient sites photographer, Mr. Peter Glastonbury of Wiltshire. No one has brought more henges to our attention or contributed more to the Clonehenge blog than this fine fellow, and we hereby thank and salute him!

The replica above is an example of the brilliant henges we have had from Hengefinder Glastonbury. It is a photo of a painted wooden model made for the crew that created the beautiful Stonehenge replica made of ice in Fairbanks, Alaska some years ago. In a message passed along to us, Martin Gutoski says of it, “A local artist made a wooden model of it at the architect scale of ¼” = 1’ for the ice carvers to use but it recently burned up with his house fire last spring.” Truly it was a thing of beauty!

Page of the June 22, 1898 issue of The Sketch

The item above is another of his recent contributions: two historical small replicas in an article entitled The Strange Story of Stonehenge, dating from the 1890s! We surmise that the top one, a replica of Stonehenge in recent times, may be one of Henry Browne’s cork models. The other, of a “completed” Stonehenge, appear to be made of wood and may be one that was on display at the British Museum or perhaps the Ashmolean. See–knowledge of Stonehenge replicas can be a scholarly pursuit! If you’re not careful. Which we are. So you needn’t worry! An interesting bit of this article is where the author mentions the theory that a sacred oak once grew in the very middle of Stonehenge. We hadn’t heard that one before.

Article from The Graphic, September 2, 1922

Hengefinder Extraordinaire Glastonbury also sent us this article with pictures of a Stonehenge model made by the author, H. N-Hutchison,  which is entitled What Stonehenge Probably Looked Like when Complete. Our favourite part of this one is near the end: “For reasons which need not be given here, the writer has ventured to put a small trilithon at the entrance, and two rather larger ones, one at each end of the horseshoe, to make it complete. … This arrangement seems to giove a finish to Stonehenge...” In other words, the fellow has added parts to Stonehenge that he thinks would make it better! We have mentioned before, but so long ago at this point that probably any of you weren’t even born yet, that even those who profess to be the greatest admirers of Stonehenge cannot seem to resist making little improvements in their reproductions of it. It is as if you took a picture of the Mona Lisa and then thought, She could be prettier, couldn’t she? and changed her features to look more like Charlize Theron.

Anyway, Hutchison says that the model in the pictures is of plasticene, but he made another of wood and donated it to the British Museum. And, no, it is not the same one that’s at the bottom of the other article. Small differences are evident to the seasoned eye of the Stonehenge replica expert, that is to say, ourselves.

The article ends, “I should like to see a full-sized reconstruction of Stonehenge made in concrete and set up somewhere close to Salisbury to show visitors what this wonderful monument was like in prehistoric times; and I am sure such a model would attract visitors to the ancient town.” Obviously, we’re all for that!! (And, yes, we know that not everyone believes that Stonehenge was ever finished. We are not interested in having that discussion here.)

So thank you to Mr. Glastonbury for his help with Clonehenge through the years. At least one time we were ready to quit the blog but kept going because he kept sending us replicas to post. He told us just today that he knows of a top secret Stonehenge replica project to be implemented some time in August, and he will bring us the news as it happens. More fun to come!

Happy summer solstice, everyone! And of course, happy henging!

Bandage Henge 2.0: Anatomically Correct Medi-lithic Site!

photo and henging by Kirsten Shield

Back on January 27, we received the photo on the left with this explanation: “G’day [Clonehenge], After a particularly stressful day in the Burns Unit I was restocking bandages when the different sizes reminded me of the uprights with the lintels. Next thing I knew I had a Henge on my hands!” Of course she was being metaphorical (mediphorical?). It wasn’t on her hands, but was, as we can see, in the Clean Area.

If we had received that henge photo two days earlier, even as elementary as it was we might nonetheless have posted it immediately as it seemed like the perfect thing for Burns Night. Alas, it was not to be! By the time we received it, it was too late for us to delight in yet another dreadful pun for the blog.

The letter, however, also contained this glint of hope: “I plan to do a proper and anatomically correct Bandage Henge in the near future. ” and it was signed, Kirsten, Brisbane Australia. Well, we have now received Kirstenhenge 2.0 and we have to say that it is the nicest bandage henge anyone ever sent to us.

Interestingly, Kirsten confesses that instead of Stonehenge itself or a plan of it, she used as a model for her bandage henge Brock Davis’s brilliant rice krispy henge (or rice krispyhenge) that we posted for New Year’s and that was since featured on National Public Radio in the States. We love when Stonehenge replicas make the news!

The result is admirable, as you can see in the top picture and the one to the left. No, the inner trilithon horse shoe does not quite open to the three-lintel sequence in the outer circle, but, hey–she was working from a photo of a tiny inaccurate model. Other than that it is quite well done.

What concerns us slightly is the doors in the background. In what room did she set out her carefully crafted henge? We have an image of a coma patient spread out on a bed behind her as she takes the photograph. Anything for art, and especially henging!

Score: 7 druids! It is clear that this was a labour of love. LOVE! that is the word of the day. Happy Valentine’s Day to all, with or without a real lover. We all know you singles have your dreams and fantasies. You may be doing as well or better than many who face the challenge of the real thing (our own partner, for example, has us to put up with…).

You know what your Valentine wants: a Stonehenge replica, of course! Make it from biscuits or chocolate candies. Hide that ring and its glittering rock among the stones. There are few things more romantic and at the same time subliminally sexual than that shaft of light streaming in between a pair of uprights! If you make one, send us pictures. Of the henge only, please. There are plenty of sites for those other photos.

And so to all, happy henging!

Pinhole Stonehenge Model: It’s All About The Car Park

photos by Bethany de Forest, used with permission

The idea for this work started when I saw an aerial picture of Stonehenge and noticed that the parking space is bigger than the monument itself. Tourist-horror!

Bethany de Forest (lovely name!), the pinhole photography artist who made this nicely rendered model, is not the first person to notice the problem with the Stonehenge landscape as it stands today. English Heritage (EH) itself says, “The dignity of Stonehenge is severely compromised.” (more on this below)

But while EH has dithered, with frequent changes of status for the project of building the new visitors’ center and altering the landscape, Ms. de Forest has gone ahead, as artists will, and created engaging art from the cognitive dissonance between the tacky car park and related facilities on one hand, and the ancient and mystical world treasure that is Stonehenge on the other.

What is the question we’re waiting for, class? Yes, you over there in the “Give Me That Old Time Religion” t-shirt with a picture of people dancing around Stonehenge–Very good. The question is, what is pinhole photography? You can find a very thoughtful explanation by Bethany de Forest here. Or you can read ours as follows: Well, you kind of like, stick a hole in something, ya know? And then ya like put it in a little box, then make a little model, then you, like, let the light in or whatever. And then it looks like Stonehenge. Or, like, whatever, ya know?

We’re thinking of going into technical writing. Ms. de Forest (no relation to Bones from Star Trek) tells us of this particular model, “The model is made in a mirror-box of about 150x150m in contour. Materials I used for my Stonehenge are Styrofoam, flock-grass, sand mixed with wood glue, led-lights, model cars. cotton wool and color foils (for the sky).

We’re pretty certain that 150x150m measurement was a typo, but then her website does say that, “Being a pinhole photographer, Bethany’s view of the world is quite deformed.” AND she lives in Amsterdam, so all bets are off.

The picture at the top is the finished product, but we like all of the pictures on her Stonehenge page. Her process is fascinating. (Read this and you’ll see!) This is one our favourite small Stonehenge models of all time. She may not have included details like the ditch and bank, but she makes up for it with the car park. And the Stonehenge itself has the feel of accuracy and that grey huddled look that so few hengers manage. She has captured or rather conjured an indescribable feeling in the final work. Score: 7½ druids! (See the comments for Simon’s appropriate suggestion on scoring.)

As for English Heritage, the proposals given on their site for returning to Stonehenge some of its dignity sound brilliant, in our not-nearly-as-humble-as-it-should-be opinion. That nearby overly-large car park would be gone. Whether any of those changes ever happen is another matter. We got stuck in buffering limbo just trying to see the last 30 seconds of the EH video on that page. It may be an omen.

Someone said to us that as December 21, 2012 approaches, more and more people will be compulsively building Stonehenges. Apparently it has to do with vibes coming out of the earth and others reflecting back from the future or something. We don’t understand all of that, but we warn everyone to remain alert. The Stonehenge brain virus is pandemic, and so far the medical profession is treating it as if it is a tick disease, by which we mean ignoring it altogether. No one is safe.

But if it should get to you, then we wish you, until next time, happy henging! (And send pictures!)

How Can You Bring Stonehenge into Your Life? Let Us Help.

photo from daddytypes.com

So many people wonder (apparently), “How can I bring Stonehenge into my life?” Luckily for them, there are so many ways! Above you see Muji’s Mysteries in a Bag, a small wooden set that includes not just Stonehenge but a pyramid, the Sphinx, the Parthenon, Nessie, one o the Nazca line drawings, and, oh yes!, Easter Island heads or moai. Moai, despite coming from the other side of the world, are associated with Stonehenge replicas with alarming frequency.

We quote daddytypes.com‘s comments, “Forget Stonehenges in danger of being crushed by a dwarf; now you can have a Stonehenge in danger of being swallowed by a toddler. [And yeah, it’s worth noting that all these things have small-to-tiny pieces. Personally, I worry less about easy-to-swallow than I do about choke hazard, but either way, heads up.]” We see the tiresome crushed by a dwarf reference all the time, this fellow used it well, in our (not so) humble opinion.

Another way to acquire a Stonehenge for your home or business can be found on Amazon (what can’t?). This piece is advertised as a “StoneHenge 180cms Lifesize Cardboard Cutout” but, let’s face it, 180 cm is not half the height of the shortest sarsens and this is just a trilithon. (StoneHenge–capitalisation of that H grates a little, doesn’t it?) The most striking thing about this Stonehenge is the £34.99 price for cardboard, even if it is “photo-quality” and has a “fold-out strut to the rear, which means its entirely self supporting”. Not everyone who has a strut to the rear is entirely self supporting…

This is another children’s Stonehenge, this time produced with the help of someone who actually knows something about Stonehenge, Mr. Julian Richards (We’ve mentioned him before, here. This is a clever book with good information to help you introduce your child, or someone else’s, to Stonehenge. (It almost hurts us when something is too good to make fun of.)

And this is a resin Stonehenge trilithon replica, 8 cm high and painted to look, not like stone, but, curiously, like metal. We spotted it on ebay some time ago, but its time has since expired. Striking looking.

No scores in this post. We’re just biding our time until our reader in New Jersey sends us the photograph we’re waiting for. We also have a nice pinhole picture Stonehenge model, complete with parking lot, in the works. People are making Stonehenge replicas much faster than we can post them.

Other ways to bring Stonehenge into your life, of course, many of which we have posted here in the past, include pre-made and make-it-yourself models, jewellery, cakes, small garden henges, photographs and more, including, of course, subscribing to Clonehenge or following it on Twitter or Facebook. When we remember we post a foodhenge to Twitter on Fridays.

There you have it. We managed to cop out and strike 4 items off our lengthening list at one blow. Someone recently told us that they think numbers of Stonehenge replicas will increase faster as we approach December 2011.  We need a young padawan. Does anyone want to send us their child to have him or her learn the Stonehenge-replica-posting trade? Calling for a Clonehenge apprentice! We promise to pay as much as we pay ourselves.

The New Jersey photo has just come in. Look for it next week. Until then, as always, happy henging!

Let Me Tell You About My Stonehenge (Model Kit)

Our own photo

Recently we were pleased to receive our very own Stonehenge model kit from the Spanish company Aedis Ars. Apparently the post took its good old time getting it here, as it had been sent as much as two months ago, but all’s well that ends well, as they say, and here it is at the Clonehenge offices.

The set is quite impressive. It comes with a nice little history of the building of Stonehenge  and a large poster with pictures and diagrams showing how to assemble the kit. This is not a ready-made kit that requires only that you set the stones upright, but a kit for a serious hobbyist, preferably someone with a shed and extra work table where the set can remain while the modeler works at refining and constructing it over time. It seems perfect for the sort of British hobbyist who spends much of his time at the allotment or in a shed in the back garden, taking pains to perfect the finest detail in anything he fiddles with.

In other words, the end result would completely depend on how much time and finesse one wants to put into it. So far, I am sorry to say, ours remains in the box. Still, it looks like a fine model kit, with key details included.

For example, although the base provided is only big enough to include the main circle at Stonehenge, the construction poster shows an expanded view including the positions of the Slaughter Stone, the Heel Stone, Station Stones, and the Z, Y, and Aubrey Holes with distances and dimensions given, so that if said eccentric enthusiast wants to make his own expanded base in order to include more of the landscape, the information and extra stones he would need are there. We like to think that Clonehenge had something to do with that bit. If you know otherwise, please allow us our modest delusions of grandeur.

We can’t score this kit as we do complete replicas, but if we replace our usual druid scoring, as a set we would give it as many as 8½ anoraks. If we ever get our model made, we’ll post a picture. But don’t hold your breath. The new Stonehenge visitor center will probably be built first!

Many thanks to Aedis Ars for our complimentary kit. Nice to get a little loot for all of our thankless labour over the keyboard! When blogging about Stonehenge replicas becomes a lucrative business (any minute now), we’ll have an employee built the model (and we’ll expand those offices). Until then, gentle readers, happy henging!

Stonehenge Film Clip: How the Stones Were Rearranged (with model)

STONEHENGE: STONES REARRANGED SHOCK: (Clip 1).

We present this link via the ever alert and helpful Pete Glastonbury–a film clip about Stonehenge, showing how the stones were moved with heavy machinery in the 20th century.  We post it primarily for the Stonehenge model, glimpsed briefly shortly before half way through. The stones look accurately proportioned and shaped, what we can see of them. This could have gotten a tidy bunch of druids (The Tidy Druids–great name for a band!)  if we could see the whole thing.

Where is it now? Did anyone keep it? How many of these things are there, anyway??? And, most important–are we the only ones counting? Happy henging and enjoy the springtime (or autumn if you live in upside-down world!)!

Fostering Childhood Henge Addiction and Practicing the Craft(s)…

photos from firstpalette.com

As we know, not everyone is content to have Stonehenge an ocean or even a few miles away. The many ways of supplying your Stonehenge fix include virtual Stonehenges, large private Stonehenges, large public Stonehenges, pre-made fabricated mini-Stonehenges and then there are the homemade mini-Stonehenges. Where there is so great a need, teachers are bound to spring up. This one caters especially to the younger set of henge addicts, setting them up for a lifetime of henging!

These instructions do several things right, enough so that we forgive them for calling it, “The Stonehenge.” First, they go into the whole lith, monolith, trilithon complex of words, thus reducing embarrassing spelling errors for those children who may grow up to the noble profession of Stonehenge replica blogging. We went for many posts before a friend pulled us aside and reminded us that it isn’t spelled trilothon. (Bright red-faced smiley and lawks!)

They also explain the lintels and there’s this nice little moment when their colouring the salt clay where they simply say, “Color your clay or dough by adding a bit of black acrylic paint or poster paint. Add a tinge of blue if you like.” (Our emphasis) They don’t mention bluestones, but that they throw that in, even though it’s for the sarsens, is nice. They also discuss the trilithon horseshoe at the bottom of the page, for the advanced neophyte henger. Not bad!

So we’re going along, showering them with adoring approval when what do we see? Say it ain’t so!! Yes, they are moai! Groan. Now many of our multitude of readers may have joined us too recently to remember, but the association of Stonehenge and moai is kind of a pet peeve of ours. True, in this case they are at least on separate pages, but this has opened old psychological wounds and we are now curled up in the fetal position dictating this to the cat!

Score: 6 druids! We like that it’s instructions for kids. Everyone should know several ways to create a Stonehenge in a pinch!

That’s it for now, so until next time, happy henging! AND SEND TUNA!!!!