A Fascination with Gnomes (part 4)

“Disneyfication” is a term we’re all too familiar with in the 21st century. After all, Disney is to entertainment what Google is to the Internet. Both are inescapable in modern daily life. Therefore, it’s not surprising that gnomes also have a Disney connection. What is surprising is how far back the connection goes and its importance in both the future success of Disney and of garden gnomes. The story of the garden gnome might in fact be a historical instance of transmedia branding.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first Continue reading “A Fascination with Gnomes (part 4)”

Farmhouse Edward Ale

To reproduce this recipe, I suggest following the guidelines provided by Joseph Lavoie of Beercraftr.


I wanted to try an american pale ale. This recipe is based on Beercraftr’s 1-gallon version of Hill Farmstead’s Edward Ale.  This beer should be floral and herbal, with a distinctively clean, citrus taste. My own adjustments aimed to experiment with hop substitutions that would still achieve the citrus and pine of the original recipe.

Continue reading “Farmhouse Edward Ale”

A Fascination with Gnomes (Part 3)

In 1872, two years before Griebel founded his company, August Heissner began his own decorative ceramics business. Both were located in Gräfenroda, Thuringia. Within a few years, both men were competing fiercely to dominate in the garden gnome industry. The question of which is most responsible for the Gartenzwerge is still highly contested. Heissner’s designs, ultimately, have come to be considered the most well-known and reproduced designs worldwide. At the time, however, Griebel and Heissner were not alone; by the early 20th century, there were at least 16 manufacturers of garden gnomes in east Germany, and more in surrounding regions.

Continue reading “A Fascination with Gnomes (Part 3)”

A Fascination with Gnomes (Part 2)

My gnome research started as idle noodling, but soon I’d fallen deep down the rabbit hole. Once I’d scratched the brightly-painted surface of my subject, each succeeding layer of historical record brought me some new insight. It’s been weeks now, during which I’ve uncovered a wealth of interesting facts and implications, and there’s still no end in sight…

Continuing where I left off: the medieval origins of the modern-day garden gnome.


Paracelsus-DenkmalParacelsus (real name Theophrastus von Hohenheim, 1493/94-1541), the great physician and alchemist, claimed (quite seriously) that mythological beings existed that embodied the four earthly elements (air, fire, water, earth). Continue reading “A Fascination with Gnomes (Part 2)”

Site Updates

Just a heads-up that I am updating and shuffling around some content following the new site design. I’m aiming to publish a few posts that have been sitting in my drafts for many moons and to start adding new content on a more regular basis.

If you would like to receive a monthly notification with new posts, please subscribe to my email newsletter in the sidebar.

 

A Fascination with Gnomes (Introduction)

Here is the first installment of an ongoing series of posts about garden gnomes. 

As a cultural object, there’s a lot of about the garden gnome that deserves unpacking. Issues of ideology, class, race, gender, superstition, consumerism and aesthetics are all tightly tucked under that pointy red cap. To understand how these issues come into play, we first need to understand how it has become popular– even polemic— to decorate suburban yards with colorful and diminutive old men.


German garden gnomeWhile clay figures of dwarfs were sold by the German company Baehr and Maresch as early as 1841, a craftsman named Philipp Griebel is generally credited with popularizing the bearded fellows we’re familiar with today. Continue reading “A Fascination with Gnomes (Introduction)”

Summary of Proposed Research

Since it is now official, I’m pleased to share news of my candidacy in the doctoral program at Charles Sturt University.

Below is a brief summary of the proposed research that I will be exploring over the next few years:

Media convergence has led to new digital, multi-modal and hybrid forms of storytelling (i.e., transmedia storytelling) that encourage processes of participation, collaboration and remediation. Current research suggests that stories evolve across platforms and spaces through the sense making and information sharing practices of fan communities. Information behaviour as a critical lens represents a valuable and, as yet, underused approach to unraveling the individual and collective information practices generated by media convergence and transmedia storytelling. I propose to address this gap in the research by identifying and studying the information behaviours of transmedia fan communities. As such, the proposed project will seek to determine if and how media convergence is altering the ways in which consumers make sense of, engage with, and share narrative productions. Such a study has far-reaching implications in the discipline areas of Education and Information Studies, as well as in Arts, Media and Communications.

For the not-so-brief summary, have a look at the Transmedia Fan Communities project page.