Thursday, February 23, 2017


This was the cover to a condolence card. 

When our group arrived exactly on time at the Brighton Armory the place was already packed in the large space in front and more so inside the larger fuller space behind the wall. It is a performing arts place now. 

The first family member I encountered said first thing, "We got your card. Thank you for that." The card preceded me. To be honest, back then when I got to the part of making a cover I thought, "What am I going to do now?" I just scribbled on scratch piece of card stock and framed it to imitate art. 

"And we looked all over but couldn't see where you signed it." 

I felt bad about not writing a message. I never know what to say. I'm hoping the card itself will say everything including who sent it without words. What would I say?
With deep affection. I don't even know what to say. Sad!
Nah. I'll just leave it naked. So long as it works. They can even recycle it if they want. But they never do. (That I know about.)

But I'm doing another related page right now that's holding my attention very well because each day I discover new things. Mostly what not to do. I have a whole pile of prototypes featuring various aspects even though in the end the thing will be fairly simple. There are various ways I can think of to have rows of wheat pop up and I zeroed in on mechanics underneath an entire layer. But that puts the goose nest lower than the wheat crop. And even geese wouldn't build their nest at the low point in drainage.  I just now landed on the idea of a mound for the nest lifting it above the level of the ground for wheat, a wide hexagram cone with a lid that's a table, so two mechanisms right there just to get the nest off the ground. Placed on the cone lid. The nest is a third mechanism, another hexagon built out with content to a nest. Placed on the twisting platform, the fourth mechanism, with a duck in the center, a fifth mechanism, with wings and tail that spread, six and seventh eight and ninth mechanisms. The background tilts back and drags with it rows of wheat, two mirrored platforms that pull back with the background, both sides tug rows of wheat and both sets of platform and flaps are  the same or similar but constructed separately, tenth and eleventh mechanisms. I guess it's not that simple.

But it seems like it is.

In the sixth grade, one of them in the mishmash of Air Force Base schools overseas, our Japanese Culture class at one point had us all folding paper cranes from paper cut into precise squares. That's the thing about origami, everything starts out as a square. The idea was to string together all the school children's folded cranes in equal lengths of crane-stings, I think, each strand 1,000 cranes each, then pull all the strings of cranes together into a hoop of dangling crane strands to 10,000 cranes. I think.

Maybe it was 1,000 but that seems way too easy. We folded A LOT of paper cranes. We folded our little fingers off. We all knew all the steps of folding cranes. We all learned the precision necessary or you'll end up with smashed crane faces and mangled legs. We could all fold a crane from a square blindfolded, by doing the same thing over and over and over again. It was ridiculous.

What an insane thing to have us do. I think it was in conjunction with schools outside the base, it was a community thing. For some reason the community wanted thousands and thousands of these cranes and apparently they wanted them by all the children of the all the schools. I think I made about ten. 

Duckduckgo images [thousands origami cranes]
That's what the nesting goose is like almost. I haven't tired of the project because I haven't nearly exhausted exploring. The little mound thing looks great and the slightly elevated ground for the wheat surrounding the mound looks great too, best of all the attempts, and none of the mechanics show so I'll just keep cranking out prototypes and keep experimenting, some specific repeated portions are like folding these Japanese cranes.

But that's okay, I have 2 new reams of card stock waiting to be opened and we're almost there. But that's  only 500 pages, not 1000 like two regular reams. And that's okay too because when the pile gets low then more reams are just a few days away. And the glee that I get from two new virgin reams of card stock is just amazing. It's childish. Each time I re-connect with my six-year old self presented with a whole box of white paper. It was cut wrongly and could not be used for its official purpose but I didn't care about anything like that. I'd say it was about four reams, possibly five or six. A lot of paper in a box too heavy to lift by myself. I don't recall ever actually lifting the box. I tore through that paper like a maniac drawing on page after page after page until they were gone.

That's why I sent a ream of card stock to my nephews, so they can be confronted with a pile of blank pages. And while I'm at it send some pens too. Check it out. Amazon sale. 80% off gel pens, set of 108 different colors.  Regularly $80.00, now $17.00.

I bought couple of sets, one for myself. I don't think they'll work for what I'm doing, but I need something wide to fill background. These are not wide. Acrylic paint and water colors curl and winkle the paper too badly. Colored pencils wear down very quickly. Three sets of colored felt tipped pens all ran out and dried out too quickly. Coloring large areas is a problem. Doing this high number of trials has allowed a very good comparison of approaches to adding color. I could stop it anytime, stop experimenting and switch over to higher quality coated card stock and get on with the project but I'm learning too much what not to do through this one etude.

And when I saw the kids coloring at the breakfast table and saw the whole house turned over to displaying their pictures I realized they might have as much fun with blank paper as I do.


Sixty Grit said...

I still have the Origami book I got nearly 60 years ago.

First time I was in Tokyo I was talking to some women in a bar and one of them folded a crane for me out of a gum wrapper.

I still have that, too.

"An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by the gods." She was only 999 short that night, I must say.

ricpic said...

Some of the best art is scribble, scribble. Seriesly. You could say the whole history of art has been about getting away from careful, careful and letting scribble, scribble stand on its own. Case in point: early Degas vs late Degas.

edutcher said...

Like the cattails.

ricpic said...

Of course it doesn't have to be careful, careful to scribble, scribble. Edouard Villard went from scribble, scribble to careful, careful and his late paintings full of detailed information are great. But he was severely punished by the intellectuals who took over the art world in the late 19th century (now as well) and dictated what art should be. I understand that nobody gives a crap but I do and that's all that counts. :^0

MamaM said...

Well now, I was so dazzled by the Duckduckgo images of thousands of cranes (pausing first wonder why it wasn't named Duckduckgoose, only to find it sort of was) and inspired by Edouard Villard's scribble to detail journey (and my lack of awareness as to who he was before ricpic cared enough to mention him) that I was thrown off center and ordered the Gel Pens. I stopped short of ordering a ream of card stock, but that might have happened to had the link been handy.

I may still be wanting to run free and leap at sticks like the dog pair posted earlier in the week, when constrained is how I feel. My father-in-law died last week following a fall which fractured his 88 year old hip, and he passed away in surgery. And my even-older mom, is holding on with multiple fractures to her sacrum. When she fell and broke her hip 3 years ago, the Dr warned then that was a 1 in 3 chance of an elderly person surviving a broken hip. One beat the odds, the other didn't. And I am watching my feet and wishing I had the wings of a crane to fly away from the whole mess. Which has to be dealt with one fold at a time.

It's posts like these that bring a smile and something more to me, not only for the post but for the comments.

Leaping at a $17 bin of color is a close as I come these days to jumping for a branch and tearing around for the joy of doing so. With the concept, colors, and presentations of a thousand folded cranes infusing me with a shot of life.

Chip Ahoy said...

Image Plus card stock paper, 9.5 X 11, 110 LB. white 1 pack -- 250 sheets (a brick, a proper ream by weight) $9.32

You should buy two.

MamaM said...

Done! But only one.

I did pony up for a second set of pens however, and sent them as a belated Valentine to my mom, who won't know what to do with them and will be totally nonplussed to receive such an unexpected and unwanted Bin of Plenty. That alone is worth $17 with the 108 pens being the extra. She can give them away with a harrumph if she decides they are not for her, but doing so will come close to killing her as she likes color, gifts and ownership. Since she was coloring in adult coloring books with colored pencils before she fell, I thought these might be fun for her to try or imagine trying. Plus it fills the bill as a nonplussing gift. I'm sure there will be someone who'll eventually enjoy and use them if she doesn't and that's enough to make me happy as it wings its way to her like one of a thousand cranes or maybe a rogue stork.

Appreciating the links and the fun! I'll see what transpires.