Added a Video category to the website. More to come as I increase in proficiency with Premiere Pro, photography/videography techniques in general, and audio recording (for voice-over/vlogging). My intent is to create timelapse videos for most of my future pieces, tutorials on origami techniques, updates/vlogs, and some personal videos, such as the bouldering videos. If you have any particular topics/techniques that you'd like to see me cover, let me know!
This series of five pieces was conceived as a metaphor for the lifecycle of ideas. The central piece represents the godhead of this virtual world, who interfaces with the world through her four Aspects, represented by the four surrounding pieces. Each Aspect interacts with information in a unique way, analogous to the different modes by which we all process information: whether we are crafting an object from a plan, making something unique and new, recommending a show to a friend, or reading a favorite book.
I - The Engineer
The aspect of practical creation, infrastructure development, and tool making. The start of the information cycle, she creates empty Orbs - vessels for knowledge. I wanted to capture the sense of meditative peace that comes from replicating a known design - the state of flow that creators and craftspeople achieve is one of my favorite emotional states. The little gooey pod that she is drawing the materials for the orbs from is the same as the small pods present in Zero, to give you a better sense of scale. The "off-screen" connections point toward Zero, like life-lines, but the material for the Orbs comes from the ground, where IV consumes information (the Orbs themselves are woven from patterns/information Zero consumed earlier).
II - The Artist
The aspect of creativity, embracing the strange. The second stage of the information cycle, the Artist fills the Orbs with Stories, art. The source of the Stories are unknown, seemingly pulled from the ether. Stories, in this sense, are not necessarily "art" oriented, simply context for a set of facts. A specific technique for sharpening a chisel and how that affects different woodworking tasks; a mathematical proof explaining how a set of basic principles leads to definite conclusion about the state of the world; or simply a poem: these are all new bits of information which may or may not be incorporated into the world (not all great ideas are seen to fruition, and of those that do see the light of day, fewer still catch on in a mass media sense).
III - The Curator
The aspect of deep searching, exploration, and seeking new ideas. The Curator sifts through stories, separating wheat from the chaff. Unlike the other Aspects, III has the capacity to reach out into other worlds - the ability to analyze the outside world and bring in Stories from other worlds/perspectives. We often rely on the opinions of others to help point us toward ideas, because without external viewpoints, we are locked in the echo-chamber of the self.
IV - The Consumer
The aspect of learning and insight. The Consumer strives to understand the world and develop empathy by observing the stories and ideas of others. Experiences, both firsthand and vicarious, can acquaint you with an Idea. Learning through experience and feeling with your own senses seems the best way to learn of the world; however, our senses and memories are fallible, limited in scope. We can only see a very small band of the electromagnetic spectrum. We cannot (without technological aid) witness the vast majority of interactions that happen in the Universe as a whole - when we look to the heavens, it looks mostly empty to our eyes. Because we are all limited and fallible beings, be skeptical of the information you take in, and take time to reexamine your thoughts and feelings for the same reason.
0 - The Arbiter
The being responsible for this virtual realm, both creator and breaker of patterns. Each aspect interprets the Arbiter in each of her roles in the cycle of ideas (Engineer,Artist,Curator,Consumer). This piece is more than four times the size of the individual Aspects pieces, incorporating aspects (haha) of each of the Aspects. There are tiny caterpillar II's in the branches, Zero's body full of Orbs, has both less than and more than the expected number of limbs. But unlike her Aspects, Zero wears no armor, is not constrained by the standard border (hence the arc on the top and the bottom), and has power over the shape both the world and the interface that views it (the right hand, specifically). Even her name, 0, breaks the Roman numeral pattern of her Aspects' names.
There seems to be no end to the violence we hear about in the news, in our entertainment, and throughout human history. Always a clash between unyielding personalities and ideologies. Violent ideologies use dehumanizing tactics to distort our views of The Enemy until we forget their humanity... and our own.
Ok, new site design (haha, it's squarespace, it's just a new template), this time with a vertical navigation bar, lending itself well to more links (yes, there will be some new pages soon!).
I spent some time over the last couple weeks learning how to use Premiere Pro (I am a Adobe CC subscriber for Photoshop, Lightroom, and Illustrator (and a few others), so it wasn't an additional expense for me) and put together a short timelapse of my newest illustration, diVision, with original music I wrote specifically for this video!
It is my hope to continue to produce time lapse videos of my creation process in both illustration and origami, each with original music, at a rate of at least once per month. I will be trying other formats, like tutorials and explanations of artistic intent, or even q&a's if you'd like.
Based on an earlier sketch I did.
Time to start reinvigorating this online space. Make more art. Write more blogs on making art. Get prepared to start my third season at the Portland Saturday Market (starting weekend March 4-5th!), with a new layout and print structure. Trying to level up, as it were.
I recently attended a small workshop of Eastern style paper making at Pulp & Deckle, featuring Japanese mulberry (kozo), Japanese gampi, and Philippine gampi. There was also an experimental mix of wheat grass and kozo, which isn't foldable, but pretty cool looking.
Forming the sheets took a couple tries to get approximately correct. A few of the sheets that I made turned out quite well. The nicest sheet was the kozo/gampi blend, which was a pretty even distribution of fiber with a nice texture.
The paper was quite responsive to the folding, though was a tad too thick to go much further in detail level at this size. I can't wait to be able to start making most, if not all, of my origami paper, because there will be great potential in creating texture and color. Just need to figure out the right methodology for forming very large sheets (at least 28x40", to match the sheets I use for lamps). Anyway, here's the little doodle I made with that sheet.
Work has begun on a new series of drawings. There will be five pieces in total, numbered 0-IV to be displayed in a cross formation:
III 0 I
I-IV shall be 8x10" each and the center will be at least 16x20, though I may go larger. I've completed the first two drawings.
I'm really enjoying working in this style, which is primarily influenced by Mucha, whom I've always admired, but never tried to emulate until now. After putting my own spin on it, I'm not quite sure how to describe it. Grotesque Nouveau? If you have any ideas, let me know, because I'm pretty bad at describing my art to people.
And finally, because I enjoy these quite a bit myself, here are some gifs of II and III in process.
Well, I've clearly let this blog go fallow, but I finally have a new things I want to share with you all. It's been a really rough year for me, struggling with my artistic direction and identity (why am I trying to make art? what art am I trying to make? who is all of this for, anyway?). I have done a lot of origami, some woodworking, and even did a handful of small ink drawings, but my favorite medium still has to be graphite. It can be extremely tedious, especially with the amount of detail that I am wont to use, but the results are worth the toil. It is my hope to create more drawings in the coming year. I have taken to sketching out ideas more frequently and the speed at which I can execute my ideas is increasing (finally).
Though I feel that most of this year was spent meandering, I now feel more artistically focused than I have been in a long, long time. Hopefully I can maintain it.
I thought it'd be interesting to do put together a small .GIF of the piece in it's various stages of completion. I missed the very start (honestly, I intended it to only be a quick sketch to figure out the composition, but I liked it so much I just kept going) and forgot to take some pictures right in the middle, but here is what I ended up with.
Keeping with the imaginative and descriptive naming conventions for my lamps, I present Lamp 06.
Lamp 06 - Mulberry paper, maple, walnut, tung oil finish. 7x18", 2015.
Currently, the walnut dowels are removable so that the pieces can be boxed separately for shipping. I worry that if everything is glued in place, rattling and impacts during shipping may damage the dowels. Still thinking about the problem and there may be changes before I list this lamp for sale.
Slightly disassembled (dowels are fully removable).
For those interested in the design and build process, read on!
Last summer I sketched out an initial design for a pentagonal lamp with box joint joinery.
I worked out the rough dimensions and figured out the various weird angles and determined the teeth order on the joints (with an even number of sides, each side is typically a reflection of the previous side for teeth alignment, but for an odd number of sides, each side must be cut identically). I was able to make a homemade jig for cutting the box joints and it worked adequately, but making fine adjustments was difficult and setup was time consuming. The woodworking was put on hold and I put my work towards more origami designs until I could get my hands on a more reliable jig.
Square grid tessellations take considerably less time to fold than triangular grids. The number of simple devices for a square grid is small, but there are some interesting arrangements of squash folds and sinks. The below devices form the basis of my overall pattern designs.
Two designs I used as the basis of the final design.
The width of the final design, measured by grid units, is evenly divisible by five for the pentagonal base (each face is eight grid units). Here are a couple gifs that show the full pattern (which I neglected to photograph before the the final glue-up).
Once the design was folded and affixed to five panels of styrene, the form lacked stiffness because it has no natural tension to hold it's shape as cylindrical forms have. I bent some pentagons out of 18 gauge copper wire and glued them into the top and bottom borders, which solved the form retention problem.
The most soldering I've done in years.
Glued on borders with copper reinforcement.
Once the origami shade was complete, I shifted focus back to the woodworking. I purchased an Incra iBox jig and set it up to make normal box joints. After calibration, I started thinking about a modification to the fence to make the pentagonal box cuts with proper support for the stock. The modification was very simple - four 18 degree spacers glued to a 1/4" thick piece of MDF and fastened to the jig via some T-nuts, bolts, and knobs.
The modified jig.
There is a problem with this setup. Normally when cutting the teeth for a box joint, you need to flip the board around to cut the other teeth, but that would have the part leaning toward the jig at the top instead of away from the jig, which means the bottom edge (the one being cut) would not rest against the key. My solution was to cut the pieces to proper width (normally done as the last step) and then key from that new edge. Unfortunately, I was very slightly off, so when I went to assemble the box, the first and last pieces were off alignment by about a 1/8" (over 16 1/4" inches, so about a 1.5% error). The pieces to came together with no unseemly spaces during the dry fit; however, during the glue up, I used regular Titebond wood glue (which doesn't have a very long worktime) and was unable to force everything into perfect alignment. It was necessary to fill some of the gaps with wood filler, but it is only really noticeable when inspecting it very closely. Still thinking of a proper method for eliminating that error. Will post it to this blog when I figure it out (unless one of you has an idea, in which case please share!).
1.5% error!? *shakes fist at sky*
After assembly, I lightly planed the joints flush and then sanded everything by hand using 60 (sparingly), 100, 180, and 320 grit paper. For the finish, I used two coats of tung oil.
The hearts were put up during a party, but I left them on BECAUSE I LOVE HEARTS.
The finished product is something I enjoy quite a bit and will be leveraging this design into many other similar pieces. I do not plan on making exact duplicates of these wood lamps. Right now, there seems to be enough variety in the types of wood and the origami designs I can create so that each can be unique. If I run out of ideas, I reserve the right to make copies of course (which seems unlikely).
|From the entrance|
|"GSD" (greater stellated dodecahedron)|
|Cutting squares and writing the type of paper on each|
I definitely had a freak-out moment, because I had done quite a bit of planning (even developing an equation using Mathematica to describe the perfect Archimedean spiral for the pattern) that could not be used anymore. Thankfully, inspiration hit me quite suddenly, and I got a very vivid image of a curtain-like structure that would be long, but not wide. Later that day, I sketched this up and then waited for the roll of water color paper to arrive.
|Cutting some strips|
I cut some small holes near the wooden dowel and wrapped 18 gauge copper wire around and hung it up. It looked pretty much as I intended, so I went about creating a couple more panels and then spent quite a while looking at them, trying to figure out what I liked and disliked about the spacing between the pieces, the positions, the copper wrapping, etc.
|The first three panels|
|Cutting the strip|
|Shaping and drying (need to get more flat surfaces...)|
|Tetrahedrons, and some 'mid-fold' pieces|
|Base with brass hooks installed|
|Early in the hanging process|
There aren't photographs of the final steps in the process, but it was mainly just iterating the previous steps anyway. The one major revision that I made was removing the copper wire and re-wrapping everything with brass wire.
It was a bit surreal to walk into the salon today to install the name plate and take photographs of the final installation (I forgot both the name plate and my camera when it was initially installed a couple weeks ago), but I'm glad to have gone through this process. There was a lot of stuff to learn and I'm eager to move onto the next abstraction.
|Lamp 03 - Detail|
|Lamp 05 - Detail|
And plenty more new designs to come! I've been making origami tessellations for almost a year now, and I finally feel like I'm getting an intuitive feel for how all of the folds and flaps interact with one another. The design process is getting much easier (though I still haven't tried making a crease pattern for any of my designs) and the folding itself feels fluid and natural. Pretty excited to keep improving upon my processes and start making some higher quality lighting fixtures from scratch.
|Detail. Paper wrapped around wooden dowels and held in place by brass wire wrappings.|
|Detail. The Sonobe icosahedron.|
This work by Sean Kirkpatrick is licensed under aCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.studioantipode.com.
|Triangle Tesselation 1.0|
|Triangle Tesselation 1.0, extended|
|Lamp 02 (2013) - starched mulberry paper|
|Star Flower ver 1.0|
|Star Flower ver 1.1|
|Star Flower 1.2|
|Diamond Trellis ver 1.0|
Though I fell short of my goal of four new designs, I did make several more initial design ideas and thought about the process for developing some designs that are currently beyond my skill/patience.
On a final note, I started learning how to use a piece of origami design software called 'Tree Maker' by Robert J. Lang. It's a wonderful, open-source, tool for making uniaxial bases. An origami base is simply the starting point for a design. For example, if you want to create a spider, you need a base with a minimum of eight 'flaps', one for each of the legs, and probably two additional flaps for the head and abdomen. A generic mammal has a six-flap base (head, tail, four legs). Without going into too much detail, all this means is that I am going to start designing representational models soon, in addition to the tessellations. Hopefully I'll have the skill required to bring my visions to paper life, and I will be sure to share the results on this blog (if they are not too embarrassing).
Next entry will be about the drawing, 'The Watcher', I completed whilst I was in Ohio. I have a few 'in progress' pictures to share, for those of you who are interested in seeing such a thing.
|Hexagons and Triangles Origami Luminary by Antipode|
|One of two completed tessellations|
|Clipped into place|
|Gluing flaps over the rings|
Once both top and bottom rings and rear seam were glued into place, I got to affixing a ring of ribbon to the top and bottom rings to stiffen the join and provide a strong border to the top and bottom edges of the piece. That turned out very badly, so I folded a thin strip of mulberry paper in fourths and used that instead of ribbon the the "good" luminary.
This work by Sean Kirkpatrick is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at www.studioantipode.com.
|8-Bit Origami Black Mage|
And as an easy reference, here's the Link that I created.
|8-Bit Origami Link|
I learned a lot about palette choices from Link and chose a grey Elephant Hide paper to make Black Mage. It measures 12x16 inches and is 14x18 inches framed. It's the same width as Link, but has an additional six 'pixel' rows of height. It's a mix of both shelac-based inks for the colored portions and black liquid acrylic ink for the black portions (because I wanted the black to have a matte finish). Overall, I think this turned out about a million times better than Link because of the black outlining and proper color contrast.
Tessellations are my current favorite and I've been hard at work trying to develop new patterns and revisiting old patterns in new ways. I started with the idea of creating images and not just patterns and it quickly came to mind that a I could make a regular grid of squares and pop certain squares in or out to form retro-game style bitmaps.
I created the below test piece so I could map paper usage for scaling purposes and get a feel for what a larger piece would look like. After I folded the image, I realized that it needed some further definition and so I colored the squares (unfortunately, all I had around were Crayola markers).
High school was artistically satisfying. I created a couple pieces that impressed some folks and won me some awards.
Many of my friends figured that I would end up an artist, but I convinced that was a bad idea and that I should pursue an engineering degree in college. I received my B.S. in Electrical Engineering at Ohio University in 2006, taking precisely one art class (an art history class requisite in taking any meaningful arts courses) and doing very little in the way of visual arts during that time. A year of graduate level coursework in engineering and neurobiology later I decided I was burned out and sought out a career.
In November of 2008, I finally landed my first real job as a software engineer. I was never particularly happy in that job, but it did keep me moderately interested (and it paid fairly well) for a time. Eventually, I grew bored and yearned to do something, anything, else with my life. I resolved to finish a piece that I started years ago and finished it earlier this year.