I have been (slowly) working on my first piece for the Mayo Artist’s Show. I was going to do one of my usual 2-dimensional knots but then my earlier experimentation with paper-weaving took me in a slightly new direction. I thought it might be interesting to blog the work as it progresses. Here is the original old sketch that the new work will be based on:
The final piece is going to consist of the knotted wyrms and the bird. The dogs are okay but they don’t fit into the “story” of the picture. I think I want the bird to be a magpie so it might change slightly. The heads on the wyrms will be changing too. The first step was to transfer the knot to graph-paper and experiment with the wyrm heads:
The next step was to separate out the wyrms and divide the long wyrm to eliminate overlapping parts:
Now the wyrms can be woven:
Next I transferred the wyrms to better paper:
I messed up one of the long wyrm pieces so I had to do that one again:
That’s it so far.
I was hoping to move on from paper soon but I made the mistake of borrowing a book from the library called “The Encyclopedia of Origami and Papercraft Techniques”. (It’s a good overview and great for inspiration but it’s not what I would call encyclopaedic.) One of the pictures in the section about paper-weaving looked intriguing so I thought I’d have a go (see photo). All you need is scissors, glue and two sheets of paper of the same size but different colours. You then cut one sheet of paper into horizontal strips and one into vertical strips. You can make the strips as wiggly as you like. I found it helpful to draw the cut-lines on first. My sheets of paper were quite thin so I was able to see the cut-lines on the first sheet when I put the second sheet on top. In this way I was able to make the lines on the two sheets match up somewhat. However, I don’t think this is essential to making an interesting design.
I felt that I could have achieved the same effect by drawing the lines on one sheet of paper to create a wiggly grid and then painting alternate squares in different colours. This is the kind of thing people do when they are doodling. I guess one could make more interesting effects by using patterned paper but I felt that there must be a more sophisticated way to use this technique. I googled for images on paper-weaving and found this amazing blog. Wow! Oh dear, oh dear, I can feel another paper-crafting binge coming on. I must resist. 😀
When I haven’t been in the garden (weeding mostly) and doing chores, I’ve been folding paper. I’ve been feeling guilty about not spending more time in the garden though. The sun has been shining harder and longer here in Ireland than it has done for years (dare I say within living memory). I feel like I need to make the most of it while it’s here. But I’m not used to it. After a while I start turning pink and flopping around like a Dali watch.
I’ve found a few more nice modular origami models on YouTube. The first one, on the right, is a “twinboat icosahedron“, along with one of its units (on the right of the photo). On the left of the photo is the supply of triangular units I have built up since my last origami post. (Only a few thousand left to go…) The second YouTube model is “5 intersecting tetrahedra” by Thomas Hull. I’ve only made two of the tetrahedra so far (see photo on left). The pieces on the right of this photo are the beginnings of an origami slinky by Jo Nakashima.
Those last two models are going to take me a while to finish so in the meantime I wanted something quicker to do. I found this last model on a blog. It looks good with patterned paper but I wanted to see how it turned out using plain coloured paper. Not too bad.
I just tried to make a beautiful orchid from “Origami Design Secrets” by Robert J. Lang but I had to give up for now. It was too tricky. I made a few models (hummingbird, lizard and pegasus) from this book but my versions are a bit rubbish so I haven’t photographed them. I think I’ll stick with modular origami for now.
I met a lady recently who is a prolific crocheter. She bemoaned the fact that people don’t seem to realise how much time and effort go into handcrafted items. She told me about the time she went round to a friends’ house and saw the crocheted blanket she had made for them in the dog’s basket. I then had to tell her about when a certain member of my household (who shall remain nameless) gave my hand-knitted cable cushion to the cats to sit on. It got so smelly and covered in cat hair that it ended up in the bin.
Anyway, I just wanted to share some pictures of my crocheted items in the hopes that someone in the blogosphere will appreciate the work that went into them. The blankets in the first photo were made a long time ago, pre-Internet. The blue one is like the classic granny squares blanket except that it uses Hawaiian stitch. The blanket in the foreground uses a clever triangular motif that I got from a magazine. The central panel of the blanket in the second photo was based on a pattern I found on the Internet. Here’s a link to it. It uses American symbols so if you’re on my side of the pond you need to convert sc to dc, hdc to htr, dc to tr, tr to dtr and so on.
The amigurumi is my own invention – hence the slightly demented expression. He’s supposed to be a lion cub. Look, I know they’re not blue with white bellies but I was going for cute rather than realistic, okay?
The final item is a make-it-up-as-you-go-along cape I made recently for my daughter to wear on a special occasion.
Do you have any stories of unappreciated handicraft? If so, please leave a comment and we can commiserate together.