January 15, 2017
Yesterday I watched a video that showed the Lawler family looking at shapes.
One of Mike’s sons said he liked the top shape in the image above. You can’t see from the photo, but it’s a full sphere. The image above is only half of the sphere, the other half looks no different than the half that is showing. I’ve played around with constructing foldable versions of shapes that look something like the one above, and I thought I’d be able to make a foldable version of what was on Mike’s screen.
I’m not showing all the steps that led to this map of folding and cutting because what I’m most interested in showing here are the wonderful visuals I got to experience along the way of creating the final structure.
Silly as it may seem, one of my first realizations was that the indoor, nighttime lighting in my workspace was just all wrong for photographing what I was about to fold. Morning light would be best. So I went to bed.
Of course I forgot to recharge the battery of my phone camera before I went to bed, so I didn’t get the earliest light.
Hmm, I don’t really want to say much more about this process. I’m just going to post pictures now. (Haven’t had my coffee yet.)
Ok. Time for coffee. Am heading to Rochester today to bring my daughter back to college. Will be thinking about all shapes that this structure made. (Which reminds me of a question someone once asked me, “What, do you just sit around thinking about folding paper?” Well, yeah.)
January 9, 2017
I’ve been cutting up my stashes of beautiful papers to design/make structures that borrow liberally from what I’ve learned about the Chinese Thread Book structure that I’ve been posting about over the last few months.
Rather than strictly mimicking traditional Chinese structures, of which there are countless variations, I’ve been making variations of my own. Basically, I’ve been repeating one design with different combinations of paper, but mostly featuring Chiyogami papers. So far I’ve made five distinct compositions of papers. This one, with the indigo cover, and the red/gold paper inside, is the most romantic looking of them all.
Inside, instead of going the traditional route and placing collapsible boxes on the verso and recto sides, I’ve chosen to place pamphlet on the left, and rectangular trays on the right.
Still, inside the pamphlet there is a traditionally made, collapsed origami box.
Here it is, that little box (a 2″ square), opened.
Next layer down is a machine-made paper, which contains real flower petals, a paper that is one of just a few pieces of paper I have left from the now extinct Kate’s Paperie.
Finally, here’s the big interior box, made from handmade paper from India, containing leave skeletons. Also, you can see there’s a copper Stardream Metallic on the right, which is a slim pocket.
All closed up.
January 8, 2017
The saying, Wanting my cake and eating too absolutely applies to beautiful papers. I want to hoard them so I can have them when I want to use them, but I don’t want to use them because I will then no longer have them. How pathetic. I can’t keep doing this.
I am making a real effort to break this habit of collecting but not using. I’ve been inspired on two fronts. First, I had one last birthday check from my mother to spend, and I wanted to spend it on some things that matter. I bought a Japanese screw punch for stab bindings, a few books that I had been eyeing, and a six sheets of Chiyogami paper from The Paper Place.
Once I got my shipment of the paper I realized that I would probably squirrel the papers away and not see them again for years unless I used them immediately. It can be uncomfortable to apply cutting tools to these papers. However, since I’ve been enthralled with making Chinese Thread Books, I decided I could bear slicing up these papers to make something even more beautiful.
While using my new Chiyrogami papers it’s been fun mixing and matching them with my existent paper stashes. The orange paper above is handmade paper from Dieu Donne in New York City. I can’t tell from their website, but it looks like they don’t sell sheets of paper anymore? The paper on the lower right, above, is one of my last sheets of machine-made paper, with added flower petal bits, from Kate’s Paperie in NYC, which no longer exists. The dark blue paper has a metallic sheen to it, and it’s a Stardream Metallic Cardstock, available in many places. The other two papers are from Creative Papers, which no longer exists.
This is another point of discomfort: So many of my sources of paper are gone. Even when I can find papers that I want, well, the price of paper has gone up exorbitantly. But I love working with beautiful papers. The feel of paper, the soft sounds it makes, the way it folds, and how it looks are all characteristics I savor. I want to keep acquiring. I’m thinking that if I want to keep buying papers that I ought to do something that just doesn’t come naturally to me, which is to offer some of my bookarts products for sale. I’ve always depended on teaching to keep my budget for supplies solvent, but this no longer feels reasonable. I’m just not sure I can get myself to list stuff for sale. Still, I’m working on some Chinese Thread Book based items to possibly add to an Etsy store. Maybe. But first, over the next few days, I’ll start showing off some of the ways that I’ve been using these beautiful papers, and see what happens next.