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Wednesday, 04 April 2012 07:44

Orcas & Bellingham

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Last month started with a continuation of the exploration over the last couple of months folding my business card circles. Here are a few things I explored before my attention got diverted towards preparing for workshops coming up on Orcas Island, WA and at the University of WA in Bellingham. 

 

Below 3 views of four sets of three circles each arranged with an open center and then the sets joined in a tetrahedron arrangement showing an open centered system. Again these are all folded from reconfiguring the circle to the nine creases that come from folding the tetrahedron. There continues a deeper looking at the extraordinary transformational possibilities of the of the tetrahedron net pattern in the circle, not unlike what is observed with the stem cell.

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Below  Two views of another arrangement of four sets of three circles in tetrahedron arrangement

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This open arrangement shows the forming that occurs on the inside

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Above  another view of three joined circles before the fourth was added, as completed above.  We can see that the there is a beautiful almost coming together of the center points leaving a small tetrahedral gap when all four sets are joined.



Below  More variations of four sets of three units where the centers are varied from open to closed.

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Four sets of three with closed center arranged in a tetrahedron system where the inner points join at the center leaving the center open.

The same arrangement where the centers of each set have been folded over to form an open triangle center from the end point view.

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Below  I decided to use 9” paper plates to explore some of this in larger scale to see what the differences. Here two views of the same tetrahedron system of four sets of three circles each with an open center. The one on the right appears to have a floating cube which is in fact a plane perspective looking through the open center of one of the units of three circles.

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Below two views of the same system with four more circles added expanding the form as it might in some biological growth. The appearance of the floating cube remains unchanged.

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On Orcas Island I worked with middle school students in the morning and the high school students in the afternoon. There was good discussion with the high school students about the information and concepts that emerge from spherical compression and the first fold. The observable principles in that first movement clarify the structural forming of relationships observable in all kinds of disciplines, universal in application and directive to all subsequent folding. It is always gratifying to see students engaged in the math information and philosophical implications as well as seeing their excitement about the process of making things from circles. As often the case, and to my delight, a couple of students folded circles in ways I have not seen before.

 

Two days later I did a day-long workshop open to the public with people from Orcas and surrounding islands. Again there was also a good response from both kids and adults that also included a few teachers. It was the young people in the group that took the lead and explored beyond what others were still holding close.  Again I observed reconfigurations that were new to me. People do not always reform the grid in the same way,  they will explore different reconfigurations and systems that interest them. The connections that individuals make to what they are forming from the grid is often quite diverse, as was the case in the workshop in Bellingham a few days later.

 

There I worked with first year art students at the university. They had already done some folding of tetrahedra before we met. We explored folding the 8-frequency diameter grid. With that they moved into more complex folding and forming systems using multiple circles. As with most workshops, it challenged them to suspend their ideas about learned construction methods and traditional ways of art, to do from unity where nothing is added or taken away. Not so much about designing, rather observation, to see what is generated that stimulate the imagination. I notice art students are more product oriented, they do not work in groups the same way I see in other workshops. They do tend to explore more widely in reconfiguring the grid and experimenting with ways of joining.

 

 While all three workshops were different, they all displayed the same excitement about what they were doing and new concepts they were discovering

 

 

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Bradford Hansen-Smith

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