Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/188

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produced in distressing colors and in unfortunate combinations. Injudiciously managed, it is easily possible to produce meager and inartistic effects. The average buyer has, therefore, been disposed to reckon with himself that, dollar for dollar, he could get more beauty elsewhere, and has accordingly gone there. The intrinsic merit of the ware is such, however, that an early revival of interest in it may be expected.

The processes of the atelier are much more varied than those described. These special ones have been selected as being among the most characteristic, particularly of American establishments. Moreover, they are types, and have an independent interest as ingenious adaptations of means to ends.

Before closing the door upon the atelier, the factor of its personnel deserves a moment's attention. I refer now to the workers—not in their social or human capacity, but merely as merchandise-producers. Their labor is expended almost exclusively in the creation of supposed beauty. It is true that the work is lavished for the most part upon objects of utility; but still it would all fall under the head of ornamentation, since the utilitarian quality in the products has been conferred elsewhere than in the atelier. It is curious, then, in view of this end, to find the workers of the most inartistic cult. In other departments of glass-making, and notably in the production of picture-windows, the possibilities of the material have attracted artists of the highest rank, and the results have been quite worthy of their effort. No such artistic invasion has taken place in this department. Considering the lives and training of the workers, the surprise is that they have realized as much beauty as they have. There is nothing in the atmosphere they breathe to cultivate such a sentiment. It is related of a celebrated Japanese cloissonné-maker that, having acquired a considerable sum of money from the sale of some of his choice wares at one of the Paris expositions, he expended the entire amount in the creation of a beautiful garden around his work-rooms, believing that such an environment would inspire his people to produce even more beautiful wares. I presume that a spirit such as this is possible only where one works for excellence rather than for money.

Acceeding to Dr. S. T. Hickson, a naturalist-traveler, the people of the island of Sangir, near Celebes, suppose that, when a man is sick, his proper soul is driven out of him and replaced by a sakit, or soul of sickness; and they employ, to eject the evil spirit, a means of mild persuasion. God-cages or god-canoes, made of wood and ornamented with twigs and leaves, are hung up in the patient's dwelling, in which the sakit, if pleased with the substance and design of the structure, will take up its abode; after which, it is supposed, the sick man will immediately recover.