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Archive for the ‘Artwork’ Category

butterfly_curtain

Seems I hardly every get around to posting anymore, but here’s an image from a couple of weeks ago, when I was working (and playing) with 22 students from Heartwood Montessori School in Cary, NC. In preparation for a performance for their parents, the students learned to fold origami butterflies and folded 305 of them over the course of a few days. We attached them, with glue dots and tape, to fishing line and hung a “curtain” of butterflies as a backdrop for their performance.

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‘Tis the Season

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Yikes, it has been four months! Which means the holiday season is almost upon us. I get the Christmas blues, like many people, but wrapping small gifts beautifully—especially with origami boxes—makes me feel good.

In a book of Japanese package design I bought a few years ago, one artist’s essay pointed out that Japanese spirituality holds that all things are living, including things that we Westerners might consider inanimate. So a package for a gift or even an item of food is essentially a little house, a dwelling for the living thing inside. I love that idea.

 

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opening_leafmore_open_leaf

I love walking on the carriage trail at this time of year because of what’s unfolding…literally. Is there anything more intricate and beautiful than the process of a bud opening into a leaf?

Nature’s origami, the most elegant geometry, has inspired origami designers around the world. One of them, Tomoko Fuse, has created many beautiful designs for containers. She’s famous for her boxes and other modular designs, but I’m also very fond of this leaflike chopstick holder she invented. It’s one of many fun—and surprisingly easy—projects I hope to introduce to willing folders in my Origami Containers class at Cedar Lakes Crafts Center this August.

Check out the Road Scholar website for more information, and join me at Cedar Lakes Crafts Center near Ripley, WV this summer!

chopstick_holders

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Shadow Play

glass_shadow_1

Today I was sitting on the couch, looking around the room and feeling discouraged and guilty about what a cluttered mess my whole house is. Then my gaze fell upon this empty drinking glass on the coffee table—one of a number of unwashed dishes resting there—with the morning sun pouring through, echoing the pattern of etching on the glass and even the Venetian blinds behind it. I thought, “That’s lovely.” And ran to find my camera. And forgot, at least temporarily, about the dust on the floor, the tangle of electrical cords in the corner, the piles of paper and magazines, and the complete chaos of the desktop.

It is probably not a good thing that I am so easily distracted from my clutter…but it  makes me happy. Below, what the same glass reflection looks like when the glass is filled with iced tea.

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wool_quilt_small

When I came to West Virginia as a VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) in 1970, I was 20 years old and had never attempted a sewing project more complicated than the apron I made in Home Economics class. How lucky for me that I landed in Cabin Creek, where a few old ladies and a few other VISTA volunteers were in the process of starting a cooperative called Cabin Creek Quilts.

The cooperative became my service project—probably the most enjoyable VISTA project anyone ever had—and the business endured for about 40 years, eventually becoming one of the oldest quilting cooperatives in the country. During all that time, I attempted to make only one quilt, an endeavor that turned out badly and made me cry.

Now, 40+ years later, I find myself drawn to quilting. Not the traditional kind, necessarily. So far, my three completed quilts have been constructed using scraps from wool skirts I found at Goodwill stores. I love the density of color in wool, and I love the idea of recycling fabric from a donated garment. I love the design challenge of creating an original pattern with just a few colors. (I don’t actually “quilt” the layers together, as you can see, but tack them with cotton thread.)

Most of all, I love the warmth of my wool quilts. This one is quite small, about 50 x 60 inches. It resides on my couch and makes a comforting throw on a cold night.

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These are just two of several origami envelope designs you’ll learn in “Origami Containers,” the workshop I’m leading at Cedar Lakes Crafts Center this summer. Join me for a week of gentle folding in good company. Then, next winter, you can send your friends holiday greetings in these exquisite handmade envelopes.

The class is scheduled for August 17-22, 2014, and I’d love to fill it up in advance! This is a Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel) class. With prices starting at $487, it’s a remarkably good value for a week that includes tuition, a comfortable lodge room, and plenty of good food. All this in a picturesque place chock-full of West Virginia hospitality. Get all the details at the Road Scholar website.

 

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calendar_box

Instead, make it into a handsome, sturdy origami box! This one was made from eight of last year’s calendar pictures. For me, this is the most satisfying way of recycling: making something beautiful-but-outdated into something beautiful and new.

If you’d like to learn how to make this box, along with many other fascinating origami containers, start planning now to take my weeklong class, “Origami Containers,” at Cedar Lakes Crafts Center in Ripley West Virginia. The class is scheduled for August 17-22, 2014, and I’d love to fill it up in advance! This is a Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel) class. With prices starting at $487, it’s a remarkably good value for a week that includes tuition, a comfortable lodge room, and plenty of good food. All this in a picturesque place chock-full of West Virginia hospitality. Get all the details at the Road Scholar website.

 

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