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Posts Tagged ‘origami’

plie-project

Photos: The Plié Project
Annalisa Cianci of Teatro dell’Opera di Roma models a paper tutu for a project highlighting diversity in dance.

Did you ever see the intriguing documentary by Vanessa Gould called Between the Folds? It’s about origami masters, and my husband and I heard about it because Vanessa’s parents lived in our town.

I have never advanced in origami myself — folded fortune-tellers are about as far as I go — but I have great admiration for artists practicing the craft. And not long ago I read an astonishing story about a project involving origami ballet costumes.

Leah Collins wrote at CBC Arts, “On paper, it’s a partnership that doesn’t immediately make sense. Pauline Loctin (a.k.a. Miss Cloudy) is an origami artist and self-described ‘folding warrior.’ Melika Dez is a photographer, one who specializes in capturing dancers in action. And around this time last year, the Montreal-based artists began collaborating on something they call the Plié Project: an ongoing series of photographs featuring dancers from internationally famed companies, all wearing original, hand-folded costumes by Loctin.

” ‘Paper is kind of fragile, but at the same time, it’s a very strong material,’ says Dez. Beauty and strength and fragility, all in one: that’s how you describe a dancer, right there. But who gets to be those things? …

” ‘In a world where the ballerina “has to look” a certain way, we decided to showcase the beauty of these unconventional but extremely talented dancers and break the boundaries of stereotypes.’

Amanda Smith, Daphne M. Lee and Yinet Fernandez Salisbury of Dance Theatre of Harlem and Dandara Amorim Veiga of Ballet Hispanico. 

plie-project

“Both artists have personal ties to the ballet, which partly explains their interest in the message. Loctin’s previous career was in classical music. The ballet, she explains, was always connected to her work. Dez is a dancer herself, and as a photographer, she shoots companies around the world, including the Black Iris Project in New York City.

” ‘In my work, I’m used to working with diverse people,’ says Dez. ‘There’s a wave of change that is happening in the dance world and it was important to me to push it forward because I myself, I’m a mix.’ …

” ‘There is a paper colour for every girl. … It was just an important message for me to put out there. For little girls to know that anything is possible no matter if they’re Black, white, Asian, Latina — anything is possible. They can do whatever they want as long as they put their heart into it.’ ”

More at CBC, here. There’s a terrific array of photos at the site.

Mai Kono of Les Grands Ballets. 

mai-kono-of-les-grands-ballets

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Photo: Greenfusefilms.com

Vanessa Gould, the sister of one of Suzanne’s elementary school buddies, is a documentarian. A while back, she made a Peabody-winning film about makers of advanced origami called Between The Folds. More recently, she was given unheard-of access to the New York Times obituary desk.

Her parents just sent an e-mail about the resulting movie and what Vanessa has been up to in general.

“Vanessa recently worked on Showtime’s Years of Living Dangerously, a nine-part series tackling the challenges of climate change. … Vanessa was a producer on several of the stories and did additional cinematography on others. You can see most of her work in episodes three (“Super Storm Sandy”) and nine (“Chilean Andes”). Episode three, “The Rising Tide” with Chris Hayes, airs tonight, Sunday, April 27, at 10 pm on Showtime. … Here are links: http://www.yearsoflivingdangerously.com and https://www.facebook.com/YearsOfLiving. …

“Soon after making Between The Folds, one of the artists in the film passed away. Vanessa alerted the Times of his death, aware that it was unlikely they would run an obituary. And yet – somewhat amazingly – they did, and she assisted them in the unusual process of putting together an editorial obituary. Only three or four such obituaries are written by the NYT staff each day. The whole story of how these obituaries are selected and written, as well as the social history they tell, became her fascination. Hence OBIT will be her next film. Check out these links: http://www.obitdoc.com, http://www.greenfusefilms.com, and www.vanessagould.com.”

I wonder if OBIT will show to what extent the obituaries of famous people are written before they shuffle off this mortal coil. Come to think of it, do any newspapers let people submit their own obit in advance? I recently read a hilarious one that a small paper accepted from the deceased at the insistence of his grandson. It revealed a guy with a terrific sense of humor — not a bad tribute.

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If you happen to be in the jungle with nothing but paper, a ball lens, a button battery, an LED, a switch, 3 cents worth of copper tape, and a need to see if there is E. coli in the drinking water, you’re in luck! You can make your own microscope.

Writes Keith Hartnett at the Boston Globe, “In recent years there’s been a trend in international development work towards building low-cost versions of key tools for widespread dissemination—inexpensive computers that let Indonesian fisherman check the weather before they go out to sea, or clean-burning stoves that replace coal and improve air quality in family huts.

“Now a laboratory at Stanford University has introduced a microscope that’s made of paper, assembled using principles of origami, and costs less than $1 to manufacture. It’s called Foldscope. …

“Despite the simple construction, Foldscope is a capable tool of real science. Users can adjust the focus using paper tabs, and the engineering team, led by bioengineer Manu Prakash and funded in part by the Gates Foundation, explained in a paper [PDF] that Foldscope ‘can provide over 2,000X magnification with submicron resolution.’ ” More. Hat tip to MIT Technology Review.

I wonder if I could get a gig folding paper at John’s Optics for Hire. I just made an origami fortune-teller for John’s son on Saturday, after all.

 

 

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A WordPress blogger who clicked on one of my posts has a nifty site, here. The blogger is Razvan, from Romania. Razvan apologizes for a lack of fluency in English, but I am grateful for any amount. Wish I could speak other languages.

You will like Razvan’s origami. Here’s a description of the fruit basket below.

“I want to introduce another model Origami3d origami fruit basket, this 3d origami model  consists of about 3,000 pieces. Origami 3d basket is 25 cm diameter and 9 cm tall and is made of around 1,100 pieces.Pieces are made from rectangles of paper with dimensions of 5.2-3.6 cm and took me about 16 hours to finish. 3D Origami fruit are  made of around 170-500  pieces . Pieces are made from rectangles of paper with dimensions of 3.8-2.7cm and took me about 24 hours all.”

I hope Razvan checks out a couple of my past posts on paper art. This one is from Tokyo Bling. This one involves a stealth project in English libraries. And Peter Gentenaar’s Flying Paper Jellyfish and other paper artworks are gorgeous.

3-D Fruit Basket Origami: Razvan at Razcaorigami.

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Dutch artist Peter Gentenaar makes stunning paper sculptures that Nathaniel Ross at Inhabitat (“design will save the world”) describes as “soaring through the air like flying jellyfish. …

“Peter Gentenaar’s art was born out of the limitations of what he could (or couldn’t) create with store-bought paper. So with the help of the Royal Dutch Paper Factory, he built his own paper factory and devised a custom beater that processes and mills long-fiber paper pulp into the material you see in his artwork. He saw the potential that wet paper had when reinforced with very fine bamboo ribs, and he learned to form the material into anything his imagination would allow.”

Check out the machine Gentenaar uses to create his paper. You can buy one. He describes it thus:

“A machine suitable for beating long fibers, flax, hemp or sisal, as well as for beating soft and short fibers like cotton linters. The machine is built in stainless steel and has a bronze bedplate. The bronze bedplate has the same curve as the knife roll, this gives effective grinding/beating over a surface of: ± 20 x 10 cm. The distance between the roll and the bedplate can be finely adjusted. Also the weight under which the fibers are beaten can be varied from 0 to 60 kilo’s. This means you can use the beater on very delicate fibers and on very strong and rough fibers as well. I never have to cook my fibers. There is a factory guarantee on the beater of one year. At present I’m getting a CE mark, which ensures certain safety standards. There are over 70 beaters of this type sold over the last 12 years and they are all still working.”

Art: Peter Gentenaar

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Remember this post on paper sculptures of dragons and other animals left surreptitiously at libraries in the UK?

Well, I thought you might like this post from WordPress blogger Tokyo Bling. It features paper dragons by Siryu. More pictures here, with explanations for readers who speak Japanese.

And here’s yet another origami artist at work on a dragon.

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Asakiyume has alerted me to a great story about an anonymous library patron in Scotland who creates sculpture from old books and deposits them in libraries by stealth. The artist makes reference in his (her?) sculptures to Scottish mystery writer Ian Rankin and dragons and all sorts of literary things. You will flip over the pictures here.

Asakiyume says she likes the quotations that the mystery artist leaves with the sculptures: “I liked ‘Libraries are expensive,’ corrected to ‘Libraries are expansive,’ and also the quote from Robert Owen … (founder of some utopian communities) … ‘No infant has the power of deciding … by what circumstances (they) shall be surrounded.’ ”

The messages remind me of the mysterious tea cups of Anne Kraus, which I described here.

Now although Asakiyume knew I would love the book art, she may not have known that I have a family reputation for stealth projects, like secretly leaving a small Zimbabwean soapstone sculpture of parents and baby in John’s house after Meran gave birth.

Recently, I was telling Erik about a few of my escapades, and he got a look on his face suggesting that he was a little worried about the family he had married into.

When I was on the publicity committee for a local theater producing a musical about George Seurat, I purchased Seurat greeting cards and left them in stores’ card racks around town. They got sold, but the sales staff would have had to wing the price as there was no price on them.

Then there was the year that I sent a series of postcards from different cities under different names to an ice cream shop and in each card suggested a type of frozen dessert the shop should carry. Every card had a different reason why customers might want that dessert.

It worked, and the shop must have made money off the dessert as they stocked it for years afterward.

Photo: ThisCentralStation.com

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