SLOW ASTERN

Jeff Soan’s Ikaria 1974 – HEROMILOS

MILOS – Domestic mill
HERΌMILOS – Hand-mill

Found in most, if not all, older houses. Made of hard, composite rock. The lower slab set permanently into a stand diagonally across a corner of the room at a suitable working height. Wheat grain is poured with the left hand into the central hole and the top slab swung around the central pivot in an anti-clockwise direction by the loose-fitting wooden handle.

The upper stone is grooved on its underside in shallow spiral rays to facilitate a constant flow of flour all around the mill. A leather washer also helped in maneuvering the rather heavy top slab.

There being no suitable stone on the island for grinding, all millstones were imported, usually from Turkey – most coming from an area now known as ‘MILOS’.

An alternative groove design – herring bone (‘psarococalo’) found on a large, heavier hand mill.

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Jeff Soan’s Ikaria 1974 – Ayia Kiriaki
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‘Slow Astern’ is a position on the engine telegraph located inside the bridge of a ship. It’s purpose is to transmit the orders of the captain to the engine room below decks. ‘Slow astern’ means ‘slowly backwards’. In Greek it is ‘ΟΠΙΣΘΕΝ ΗΡΈΜΑ’. I am using this nautical term as a metaphor to say ‘slowly back to the past’ or if you wish, «a calm and sobber throwback in time».Hello!
In case some readers thought that all I love about my favorite island is nature, I hope this post will make them change their minds. Because, connected with that nature, inside that nature, befriended with that nature, a very peculiar civilization developed…

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