Blame it on blip!

emhowl Posted this lovely thing a little while back, and I followed her link to the gorgeous papers. There's a video to show you how to construct these stars, here: star pattern 

It takes a while to build the neural pathways when you learn anything new, and origami is no different to anything else with many stages to remember. So I have been working on stars for the past 2 days, not using fabulous, expensive paper - just pictures torn from magazines, and some plain origami paper. Different sizes, different qualities, different results. 

This is my rainbow of stars. Taken in the hall where the sun light was strongest. It is a bit obsessive, and I blame it all on blip!

Last night we saw the northern lights for the first time this season, very spectacular milky white and green streaks spiralling around the sky. Tonight it was displaying a large circle, like a big smoke ring, not such strong colour, more of a milky glow. 

We saw the film Hidden Figures at film studio, all about the unacknowledged input of black American mathematicians to the space race. It was certainly a feel good experience, but the horrible gender and race discrimination and the segregation was shocking to see. Early 60s, so many things have changed for the better, but also wandered backwards... So much wasted potential, something no society can afford to do.

I started some printing, doing old familiar things to remind myself how it goes. There are a lot of practical things to resolve, such as where to put wet stuff to dry, how to separate wet from dry, how to keep work surfaces ink-free and so on. It's important to work all of that out before starting something new and demanding. The practicalities have to support you, not get in your way. 

I found an old lino cut of an owl, I think it must be over 25 years since I cut it. It was fun to pull a few of those off the plate! I worked with some huge wooden blocks of single letters used in typography when you bolted everything into place. I did some of that at art college, probably one of the last students to learn typsetting at all, computers took over soon after. 

I haven't got an alphabet by a long chalk, but it is lovely to handle these hand cut letters and enjoy what is there. A lot of A:s and R:s, 2 full sets of lovely tall thin numerals. 

I spent about 8 weeks more or less hiding in the deserted typography department with my teacher Willy Bloor, learning the basics and eating his olive oil on home made bread. My mother was dying of cancer, the college was aware of the situation and no pastoral care was on offer at all. At 21 I was left to sort myself out. Willy was my refuge, he understood and supported me with kindness, often without words. The peace, order, predictability and calm of printing was perfect to counter-balance the chaos of a world that was falling apart. 

My relationship to printing was nourished and encouraged there and then, in a very loaded period of my life - and I am so grateful, on so many different levels.

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