Snaps of Dental History – courtesy of Laughing Gas Productions…

We’ve been promising to put these photos up for ages, the blog has been badly neglected as Laughing Gas Productions took flight! But here they are at last, with huge thanks to everyone who had moustaches pinned to lips, faces attacked with facepaints or spanners forced down their throats during the shoots. And the nominations for the most dramatic eyebrows 2011 are….

A sunny end to a grey week

Grey rough work

How many shades of grey are there in a rainbow?

After staring out the window at buckets of rain all week, Summer finally showed its face today. Even after a beautiful sunny day I’m still sitting here thinking about shades of grey. We’re not as qualified as the Irish Film Censor’s Office to grade all our narrative content for family friendly viewing. Instead, we want to give the viewer an opportunity to create the narrative the tone of their final piece by selecting a blend of black and white story segments (Black = Scary, White = Safe). How will this playlist be visualized? What colour grey do you get when you mix two black scenes and three whites? I’ve developed a new level of fascination for the color model palettes in photoshop and realized how much the American spelling of the color grey ‘Gray’ gets on my nerves. It contradicts the carefully learned spellings from all those school spelling tests!

Coffee Drinking Habits

We’re midway into our first seriously intense week of film making and I’ve learned some valuable lessons from my background research into the silent film era which I am trying to put into practice this week………This is exactly why I need to drink less coffee….

The Sacred Tooth of Lord Buddha

Moving from the murky depths of middle ages dentistry, this tale is of a journey of hope and celebration. Buddhists from far and wide travel huge distances to pay homage to the Sacred Tooth of Buddha in Sri Lanka.  Prepared to queue for days to see the relic, it is venerated by thousands in its temple and annually in street parades of the Feast Day of the Tooth. The relic is believed to be an eye tooth of Buddha. An eye tooth is what our biology books today call ‘canines’ and were traditionally considered to be the most important teeth, intrinsically linked to a persons eyesight and soul.

A different kind of Tooth Fairy tale.

The sweet, gentle character of the Tooth Fairy which we know today hasn’t been around for long. She first become popularized with children during the late 1940’s, when a book called The Tooth Fairy was published in America by Lee Rothgow. Before this time children and parents across the world celebrated the loss of a child’s milk teeth with all sorts of imaginative, paganistic and often bizarre rituals.

In many countries children often threw or fed their teeth to an animal with strong sharp teeth, making a wish that their new teeth will soon grow to be similarly strong. Popular toothy animals included hyenas, dogs, bears, and even beavers in one part of Canada. The direction in which a child’s tooth was thrown was also considered important – North, South, East or West – depending on the direction of the sun, the moon or whatever planetary alignments were in vogue at the time. In Australia lower jaw teeth were thrown upwards onto the roof of the house and upper teeth buried beneath it. One ritual recorded even suggests grinding up the milk teeth and feeding them to the child’s granny!

But the closest relative of today’s tooth fairy is the French ritual of La Bonne Petite Souris. This squeaky french fairy was a mouse which snuck into a child’s bedroom at night. The child would leave their milk teeth in their shoe for the tooth mouse to find and in return the mouse would leave a small gift for the child. This little mouse originated from a French fairy tale dating back to the 18th Century about a mouse that transforms into a fairy in order to help a Good Queen overthrow an Evil King by hiding under his pillow and, in one instance, knocking out all of his teeth.

Regardless of the details of the mythology, losing these first milk teeth is considered and important rite of passage and has been celebrated with makeshift magic and mysticism as befitting the passage from childhood into adulthood – whether with wings or with magical mice.

Oriel House Photos