29 May 2013

thing-a-week 20, 21, 22: macrame, sketches, Liana's birthday card + bonus origami vandalism

Week 20 saw me really busy, packing and moving out of my apartment. I had to stow my craft supplies for a while, but I managed to hang on to this bit of blue cloth, which I used to make another macrame bracelet.

It looks like any other rag, but it happens to be symbolic to me. The original length of cloth was used to tie up the new mattress I got from an outlet store, just a few weeks after I first moved into the apartment and maybe a month or so into my relationship with Cris. I remember feeling pretty grateful that day, that I could afford a little lifestyle upgrade and that I had someone like Cris to help me, even if he didn't have to. Physically and symbolically, the mattress was a nice step up from the old, sunken one I'd borrowed from my grandmother when I'd first moved into an apartment, now five years ago.

I also used a bit of the cloth in designing the cover of a journal that I completed in the apartment. Consider the fact that I hung on to the cloth for so long as proof of how big a hoarder I am sentimental I can be. (I still have a little more!)

Week 21 was difficult; the apartment I'm moving into next isn't actually finished yet, so I'm staying with friends for now. I made these sketches of kirigami models to illustrate verses from "The Black Riders and Other Lines," by Stephen Crane. But, the longer commute to and from my friends' place means less time to draft, cut, and fold models these days, so the sketches had to do for last week. I also couldn't find my craft knife; I should have set it aside during the move.

Today is my officemate Liana's birthday, so I made her this card. Liana loves dogs, and her family lost their beloved yellow labrador, Charlie, sometime ago. It looks like a lhasa apso puppy will be joining them this year, though.

To make up for the weeks I posted sketches, I learned a new modular origami unit that uses business cards instead of square papers.

I also learned that people in the origami community (!) can be pretty protective of models they claim to have discovered first, and because I learned the folds from Malachi Brown's website, I might be considered an origami vandal. (If you like, you can click on that link, and we can be vandals together.)

In grade school, I first learned origami from older kids who had books and who most definitely did not write to the authors of those books to ask permission to teach other kids how to fold the different models. All this time, I've experienced origami as a fun kind of geometry — everyone can learn geometry; there's no law against teaching each other math that happens to make flapping birds and inflatable paper balloons that inevitably get soaked with saliva at the blowhole.

I can understand how you might want something you've discovered all on your own to stay your own, but I don't see Pythagoras's estate chasing down everyone who wants to calculate the distance between two points, or Einstein's lawyers filing claims against every last t-shirt with E = m * c ** 2 on it.

But, okay, for the sake of attribution, an origami person (folder? craftsperson? artisan? artist?) named Valerie Vann claims to have discovered the base unit for the models I'm showing here. I did this for fun, not for profit.

Here are three hassocks, so called because they're cushion-shaped, and an icosadodecahedron. Oddly enough, I couldn't figure out how to make the pentagon hassock until I'd figured out the icosadodecahedron. There is also an octahedron in the back that uses a unit by Jennifer Campbell, but based on Mr. Brown's website, she doesn't seem as possessive of her discovery.

Perhaps this is a waste of business cards, but you'll have to take it up with the people who make them in such big batches. I didn't give out half of these before they became outdated.

No comments:

Post a Comment