I stumbled on a paragraph about the Enso (Zen circle) in a book this morning, and it was like coming home. Pretty funny that my blog is called “Making Circles”, and Enso weren’t even on my radar. I’ve used circular forms so much in my work, and have tried to figure out what it is about the circle that I am drawn to. The Enso completely makes sense to me, and in a way reaffirms circle-making for me. I like the idea of letting my hand do the work without my mind getting in the way (similar to folding the 1000 cranes). Although they are traditionally painted, I made this one on our walk today.
Folding 1000 cranes is said to insure a long and peaceful life. So one day a week, as part of my daily project, I will make 10 cranes. At this rate, it will take me 2 years to complete the 1000 cranes. If I stick to it, it’s totally doable! I figure it’s a good exercise in discipline, it’s meditative, and it will give me the chance to profoundly know the act of folding the crane, so that I no longer think about it, but rather my hands simply take over. By the sixth crane I made today, I had memorized the pattern. In addition to origami paper, I’m re-using paper from our recycling bin, which is a nice way to put the paper to use, and also adds a nice texture to the crane’s surface.
For posterity’s sake, I thought I should make a self-portrait this morning. I’m looking pretty tired. Not surprising since I haven’t slept much in the 12 weeks since our son Noah was born!
This is an origami parrot mobile made with one sheet of origami paper, one small paper clip, and some thread. This turned out to be an interesting photography exercise as well. Since it is overcast out, I couldn’t get the cast shadows I would have liked…
I tore the origami paper into four pieces:
Since I’m travelling, I just have my tiny pink leatherman tool with me.
I used it to cut the paper clip, and then bend it into shape to hang the mobile.
I made a little accordion book with cut-out cats. While it’s not as slick as I would have liked, it was my first time making a tiny accordion cut-out like this.(Although I do remember making snowflakes in grade school!)
This was the process:
The drawings I did to figure things out:
The template cat:
The paper strip folded with the cover temporarily sewn on:
The first rough cut. (My husband calls all the little pieces of paper “snipples”.)
We’re visiting my parents’ house, and there wasn’t a good X-Acto blade here, so I cleaned it up as best I could with scissors. Luckily, mom had some nifty scrapbooking scissors that are pretty darn sharp. (Scrapbooking scissors?! I had no idea there was such a thing.)
The sewn-on cover. This was tougher then I originally thought because the paper kept ripping close to the edge. (How should I make this next time though? Thicker paper would help solve the ripping issue, but the paper was already a bit thick to cut the whole stack with scissors. Some of the tiny elements, like ears, are partly ripped as well.)
The finished book with the closure at the mouth and paws. I was thinking of a cat playing with string for this.
This project took a whole lot longer to complete than expected!
Today, I made a series of watercolor and ink drawings that fit into a Jila mint box given to me on our Qantas flight from Oz to the States. There are 21 drawings (plus a legend explaining each one) about first discovering Jila mints.
It is a “story” about the trip to the convenience store, discovering the mints, and the experience of tasting them. While I was — in a way — illustrating this story, I wanted to keep each drawing abstract.
I am beginning a year-long goal of making a project a day. It’s been way too long since I made work on a regular basis, and I really miss it. Since the birth of our son 12 weeks ago, it seems that time is moving in fast-forward, and I have this sense of urgency — that I don’t want to lose or waste time anymore.
So starting today, I’ll be making a project per day, something small that can fit in my hand.
Today, I made a little book from one sheet of paper, with no sewing or gluing.