Accordion Books · geometry and paper

Niche in the Abyss

 “…when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”

― Friedrich W. Nietzsche

Postcard from the edge

I hope you are all doing ok.

I’m doing ok. Beginning to feel less disoriented during these days of pandemic social isolation. I’ve been working at feeling ok. Been following the advice in my last post.

When I can’t make art I clean. When I can’t clean, I sleep. When I can’t sleep I walk around our yard or contact people. The bad days are when I stare into the abyss. Staring into the abyss means watching too much news, making too many trips to the pantry, not getting out of my chair, scrolling endlessly.

I started out drawing and playing around with making accordion books. Most of what I tried didn’t work out.  It felt just fine when things didn’t work out. The only thing that mattered was that I was trying things out.

The little book in the video below I made a couple of months ago, but just recently realized it had some cool hidden moves.

I tried out a bunch of accordion books. Mostly they weren’t interesting or functional.  Below is the the closest I got to finding something I liked, I pretty much stopped with the accordions after this one.

Lucky for me, there are wonderful things that people are posting on-line.

Dave Richeson wrote about how to make a real projective plane (Boy’s surface) out of paper.  Even though I’m mostly clueless about what that even means I do understand the part about making something out of paper. Dave made a wonderful template. I can’t resist a wonderful template. Dave’s design is quite unusual, brilliantly conceived, and just challenging enough to capture and hold my attention.

The only change I made to Dave’s design is that I created attachments using tabs instead of tape. I was delighted that he liked the tabs enough to make one like it for himself.

What was so compelling about making this shape was that I didn’t understand it at all, and I couldn’t visualize how Dave’s template would create what he said it would create.

In fact, this structure was the first thing that really captured my attention during these past few weeks. Slowly I began to remember that what motivates me more than anything else is curiosity. How did I forget that? It really helps to remember that.

I’ve also been working on some Islamic Geometry forms. I saw this tutorial by Samira Mian that seemed so lovely that I wanted to try it out. I actually made it three times. The first one I colored in with pencil only, no color. The second one had rather muted colors.

The next one I did over Easter weekend. Was thinking of spring colors and coloring Easter eggs with my children when they were young.

Then, on Easter Day  Daniel Mentrard posted an exquisite group of amazing geometrically designed Easter eggs, I was inspired to make a few of my own in Illustrator.

I hadn’t meant to spend time at the computer doing these on Easter Day, but it turned out making me feel really happy. Reminded me of how much I like messing around in Illustrator. How did I forget this.

I even mapped my drawing on to a egg shape.

So, it’s happening..The world feels different. I’m not sure what things are going to look like going as this wildcard virus is hovering around us. Still, I’m slowly beginning to feel like I’m finding a niche in the abyss.

Wishing you the best.

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