Thursday, May 6, 2010

Rob Ryan timelapse

Recently I've fallen in love with the work of artist Rob Ryan. His simple yet complex images can mesmerize you for hours. Not only does his work exude the current DIY craze, but is very reflective of the Victorian Era with its ornate nature and hue choices. I truly admire artists that can bring back the past yet recontextualize it with a modern twist. If you're interested in having one of these gems adorn your wall you can purchase one right here.  

However, if that's a bit out of your price range you can enjoy the video below that shows his process or keep up-to-date at his blog.

Stop to see the paper!

So after my recent post about origami, another fellow paper lover happened to stumble upon my blog—and I'm glad they did! The lovely paper blog is about all things paper, from diy projects to gowns made of nothing but. Currently they're having a contest to win a wonderfully handcrafted picture frame (image above) made from newspaper and felt. All you have to do to be entered into the contest is the following:

1. Follow their blog (what paper lover wouldn't want to do that?)
2. Leave a comment
3. Write your own blog about the contest (lend a hand
to fellow bloggers and help promote!)

With this fun and creative contest about paper taking place I thought I'd talk about a couple of other must have/must sees for avid paper lovers.

The book Paper: Tear, Fold, Rip, Crease, Cut, by Ravin Smith celebrates one of our oldest artist materials. It provides a historical look at paper from its creation to contemporary use. Paperprofiles fifty artists and designers that use and manipulate the material in non-traditional ways. Featured artists include: Andreas Kocks, Rachel Whiteread, Robert Ryan, and Thomas Demand. If you're looking for a book that will not only fill your brain with the history of paper, but also introduces you to some "outside of the box" uses by some of the great contemporaries, then this is it! Oh, did I mention the book has an interactive component too?

If I'm going to talk about paper then I should also mention something to contain this historical gem. The book Re-bound: Creating Handmade Books from Recycled Repurposed Materials is chalked full of amazing ways in which to bind your paper. And since going green as become as popular as sliced bread, this how-to book is a double win! The book contains sixteen step-by-step instructions on how to take every day house hold items and turn them in to a masterpiece for your bookshelf.

Last, but not least we can't forget about our wallpaper lovers! I will be the first to admit I'm not a fan of wallpaper in the traditional sense. It's rare now-a-days that I see wallpaper adorning a wall that doesn't look tacky—yes there have been some exceptions. However, wallpaper in the non-traditional sense I'm game. Coming into the home stretch before my wedding I've been scouring some of my go-to websites for last minute diy projects and came across a project forpersonalized napkins that uses wallpaper. I was really attracted to the vintage wallpaper they used that I spent the rest of the afternoon browsing Vintage Wallpapers' website. They literally have hundreds upon hundreds of different styles ranging from the 1930s to the 80s. With such a great paper to start with the creative possibilities are endless!

So whether you're going big, going green, or trying to go back in time take a second to appreciate a paper and all of its infinite potential!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

1,000 Cranes!

If there is one art material I love above all else it would probably have to be paper. I think it steams from the half designer in me. Paper stores, lectures on paper, paper conventions—yes there are conventions on paper, I just can't to seem to get enough of it! So it appeared to be rather fitting for my soon-to-be wedding that my fiancĂ©e and I would fold what else...paper cranes.

Tracking the exact origins of these colorful, hand-folded little birds can be a bit of a mystery. However, most seem to conclude that the start of origami began around 100 AD. This date correlates with the invention of paper, while there is no strong evidence that one leads to the other. The first documented evidence of origami occurred in 1680 in the form of a poem by Ihara Saikaku. In 1797 the first book on origami, Sembazuru Orikata was publlished by Akisato Rito, The literal translation of the book is "The folding of One-thousand Cranes."

It is an ancient Japanese legend that if you fold 1000 cranes you will be granted one wish; this tradition is known as tsuru wa sennen—the crane lives for 1000 years. In 1960 the custom was revived after the publication of Sadako and One Thousand Cranes. Sadako was a young Japanese girl that lived in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945. In hopes to survive the "atomic bomb disease"—leukemia, she attempted to fold 1000 cranes while in the hospital longing to make it to her one wish, survival.

There are two different versions of the ending of Sadako's story. One is that she only made it to 644 cranes before her death, in which her family finished the last of the 1000 cranes and buried them with her. Or the other more uplifting version as told by the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is that in fact Sadako did fold all her cranes prior to her death on October 25, 1955. Because of her inspiring story the act of folding 1000 cranes has become an international symbol for world peace.

Wanting to spread the hope that Sadako had, couples began the process of folding cranes for their weddings. This more recent tradition is seen as a symbol of the patience and trust needed to sustain a healthy marriage. A couple that can last the long—and sometimes grueling process, of folding 1000 cranes is seen to be able to withstand anything. Upon folding the last crane the couple can then make a wish.

Jon and I began the underestimated journey of folding 1000 cranes within weeks of being engaged. So one could easily assume by now our task would be complete. However, both of us being artists/designers we have the not-so-wonderful ability to procrastinate. As of this minute we have approximately half the cranes folded...and we're getting married in TWO WEEKS!

Last night we began the process again. Once I start something I'm not really good at giving up, I see a couple sleepless nights in our future. I guess if we can make it through folding 500 cranes in two-weeks we might be able to make through anything. But if you by chance have one wish in your storage bank maybe you could be so gracious to bestow upon us that we might actually be able to finish what we started!