All you need is ...

Love ... love and hope.

Valentine's Day has long been a celebration of romantic love: such an all-consuming and oh so complex and powerful emotion.

On the back of my sparkling, Christmas origami installation, I am very excited and inspired to be in the throes of piecing together a symbol of romantic love, to mark this special day, once again for Deb and everyone at Orb Hair and Beauty.

Here is a sneak peek of my work in progress ... watch this space! 

Boxing Day II

I visited Orb Hair and Beauty at New Farm again this week to carefully take down my beautiful 5 window Christmas origami installation.

The shiny, intricate, hand-folded foil and holographic components (which comprised, in the end, approximately 3000 sheets of origami paper) were wrapped in tissue and boxed, ready to be re-invented in other designs in festive seasons to come! 

I am so glad my creations heightened the festive spirits of all at Orb and in New Farm, generally and thank Deb and her wonderful team, again for the opportunity to share some 'silver sparkle' and for their ongoing enthusiastic support!

 

The gift of light ...

"There is no darkness so dense, so menacing, or so difficult that it cannot be overcome by light." Stanfill

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness.  Only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate.  Only love can do that." Martin Luther King Jr.

Amidst the craziness of Christmas festivities, I have found solace and purpose in my thoughts and through creating much.  I am balancing several projects in various states of completion.

This morning, I finished one I have been focused on for a few weeks now - a very special Christmas present for my children: a bamboo lantern installation.  

I have sculpted 6 star lanterns from bamboo and sumi-e paper; completing them with bright hand-stitched nylon thread (silver, red, green, neon green and neon yellow).  I hope to create our own 'sky full of stars'.

I have affixed white LEDs inside the lanterns and will illuminate them this Christmas and New Year for my children.  I want them to see and experience the lanterns and little lights as symbols of hope, peace, wonder and inspiration for the coming year and to know that no matter the darkness; there is always light and often it is the deepest 'cracks' that allow the most light to shine both into and from our hearts.  I want to remind them of the importance of their own light (we cannot give light to others if we haven't found it within ourselves) and then of sharing that light with others (such is the true spirit of Christmas).

Here are photographs of my work in progress.  I will publish photographs of the completed installation in the new year.

May everyone find and share their light this Christmas and here's to a peaceful 2017.

 

geometric magic in the beautiful beginnings ... the bamboo star structures pre-addition of the sumi-e paper.

geometric magic in the beautiful beginnings ... the bamboo star structures pre-addition of the sumi-e paper.

affixing the sumi-e ... reminiscent of Japanese interior architecture ...

Star lanterns taking shape with colourful stitching ...

condensed and pointed stars ... beautiful geometry

Stitching detail ... the sumi-e paper became like a taught, stretched canvas.

Completed SciArt Collaborative Installation

I was in creative overdrive this week also completing the collaborative SciArt installation I have been working on with the Year 4 children from Wilston SS. 

I took all of the children's symbolic (see earlier posts) origami stars and hearts (made using upcycled matte magazine and other coloured papers) we had made together in class and unified them by painting them silver. (Silver was appropriate for the 'magic' we can create by sending out 'ripples of kindness' and also fits with the festive season (in colour and philosophy))!

I then worked my magic with my drill and 1mm bit to punch holes along 2 horizontal pieces of silver-painted dowel and threaded the children's origami along pieces of fishing line to create a transverse wave form (a lovely periodic function for those into trigonometry ... 4 complete wavelengths!).

Our lounge-room floor has never looked better!

I then installed the work, for all the children to appreciate, in the school's science lab where it has pride of place high above the central doors.
Thanks to Wilston SS for their enthusiasm and support with this creative, educational and inspirational endeavour!

A work in progress!  The installation looked beautiful first thing in the morning - the silver catching and reflecting the sunlight.

A work in progress!  The installation looked beautiful first thing in the morning - the silver catching and reflecting the sunlight.

A beautiful periodic function!

A beautiful periodic function!

Gingerbread architecture ...

As you may have gathered I have a soft and sentimental spot for sculpting gingerbread (it's a family tradition) and love attempting houses and other architectural icons!

I have made many many houses this week - it's that time of year - and it simply wouldn't be this time of year here without the smell of gingerbread baking and me wearing bits of royal icing! 

A few sweets 'escaped' decoration ... but much fun was had creating 'Pez' roof tiles, 'Skittles' studs and 'Mentos' lights!

Deck the halls!

We were a bit late but with the 1st of December ticking over, time came to start our Christmas decorating this week! 
I was on a roll after completing a few orders for these very colourful origami decorations (paper sourced from a favourite French artists' collective and old matte magazines) and made some French-themed ones for our family too using paper from an old novel.
The decorations include dove, heart, 'present' and crane folds and are finished with bright 1mm nylon threads and painted wooden beads!

Colourful circle work!

Inspired by a recent commission and several requests for more! ... I completed these Christmas decoration wreaths this afternoon.

Inspiration for the colour-theme of each wreath was derived from the colours featured in the patterned origami papers.  

Each wreath is handmade by me using a variety of different, colourful papers and features an origami dove Christmas tree decoration, a wooden bead and 1mm nylon thread.  I also made a stunning pastel-toned wreath using upcycled, thick, matte magazine paper.

All of these wreaths will be available for purchase from my Etsy shop tomorrow ... just in time for Christmas decorating! Head to ... www.karalynshaw.etsy.com

vibrant Christmas dove origami decoration wreaths

vibrant Christmas dove origami decoration wreaths

origami dove decoration wreath made using matte, thick, upcycled magazine paper (from Frankie magazine) ... beautiful pastel tones.

origami dove decoration wreath made using matte, thick, upcycled magazine paper (from Frankie magazine) ... beautiful pastel tones.

'sapin de noël under blue skies' 

'sapin de noël under blue skies' 

'stained glass tutti frutti tango'

'stained glass tutti frutti tango'

I love the geometry of the side profile of the 'stack' as much as the wreaths themselves!

I love the geometry of the side profile of the 'stack' as much as the wreaths themselves!

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas! ...

These past 24 hours have seen the creation of my first (of many!) festive gingerbread constructions: a wee Swiss village and a house with just a few pink features, for some very special little and not so little ... kids! There's nothing like the smell of gingerbread baking to signal the start of the Christmas season, here!

A very special pink-featured Christmas gingerbread house!

A very special pink-featured Christmas gingerbread house!

A close up of the details ... Santa's favourite window!

A close up of the details ... Santa's favourite window!

A wee Swiss village ... for 2 very special people.

A wee Swiss village ... for 2 very special people.

SciArt Collaborative Origami Installation Part 2

I had such an inspiring day working with the Year 4 children at Wilston SS again today. The children seem so interested in and captivated by what we are doing and learning. They have taught and given me so much. In our sessions today, we revisited some of the maths and physics components we learned last week but focused more on the artistic and philosophical concepts. The children created more wave particles for the installation in little origami lucky hearts. Before folding their heart, they composed, on the paper, their own personal message of thoughtfulness, kindness or peace. They understood that words and actions are energy (like the waves we have discussed i.e. transverse and longitudinal waves) and have an impact on those around them. If that impact is a positive one, which we're all going to strive for, then a wave or ripple of kindness is more likely to flow onto other people, eventually possibly impacting a great many more people's lives than the initial positive words or actions. We discussed different forms of art and the place of our installation and the importance of artistic expression for the artist (in capturing something or conveying a message or emotions) and for the viewer (in being aesthetically pleasing, thought-provoking, evoking memories and as a form of escapism). We also talked a little about the interconnectedness of science and art too (for e.g. how astute observation underpins both fields). I am very proud of all the children for listening so well; asking relevant questions and courageously attempting the origami hearts!

Origami lucky hearts incorporating the children's own personal messages of kindness, peace and thoughtfulness to be included in our installation.

Origami lucky hearts incorporating the children's own personal messages of kindness, peace and thoughtfulness to be included in our installation.

'Wreaths': Theme and variations

I finished these this afternoon.  They are part of the same beautiful commission but these are a more natural, rustic, version of their predecessors (below) ... they are made from thicker, printed card and feature recycled paper and jute string.

I am feeling very festive making all these!  I just need some gingerbread, champagne and Christmas carols now to complete the picture! ... Not long to go now!

These origami 'decoration wreaths' are coming soon to karalynshaw.etsy.com. 

Wreath me up!

I was really excited to finish this commission for a beautiful, oh so colourful, array of Christmas origami wreaths this morning! I will struggle to part with them! More just like them are coming soon to my Etsy shop at karalynshaw.etsy.com ... so watch that space!

IMG_1254.JPG
pastel wreath detail 

pastel wreath detail 

fuji yama fun under the sun!

fuji yama fun under the sun!

sakura carp candy cane warp!

sakura carp candy cane warp!

SciArt Collaborative Origami Installation

I was excited yesterday to commence work with Year 4 students at Wilston SS on a collaborative SciArt origami installation project exploring the interconnectedness of science and art and associated philosophical concepts.

Have you ever thought how careful, considered observation underpins both science and art? In doing science we are becoming astute observers, experimenters and analysts. In engaging in art we employ these same skills. In combining art and science, we further explore creative and innovative boundaries; different communication methods; broaden our general knowledge and deepen our levels of thinking.

I have a keen interest in the integration of maths, science, art and philosophy and in S.T.E.A.M. education (supporting the role of the ‘A’rts and thus creativity and innovation in S.T.E.M. subjects).

Through the project, we will integrate (at an age appropriate level): the physics of energy (specifically transverse waves); mathematics (the geometry in origami); and the philosophical concepts raised by the project (aesthetics, causality, creativity, knowledge, virtue and peace).

The children are creating 'lucky' origami stars and hearts which will form particles in a transverse wave.  The ultimate installation will resemble a periodic function; a cross section of a wave.  I will also discuss with the children, the 'ripple' effect in terms of kindness and peace.  This concept sits well with Christmas, too and giving of ourselves, positively, to others.

https://wilstonss.eq.edu.au/Calendarandnews/Newsletters/Newsletters/newsletter_2016_11_10.pdf

 

 

 

 

Origami lucky stars made by Year 4 students yesterday using recycled magazine paper.

Origami lucky stars made by Year 4 students yesterday using recycled magazine paper.

Christmas Orbs: Origami Christmas window installation at Orb Hair and Beauty New Farm

I was thrilled to complete my Christmas origami window installation for Deb and the team at Orb Hair and Beauty at New Farm today (cnr Merthyr Rd & James St).

The installation is made up of many Christmas 'orbs' all handmade from silver foil, silver holographic and pearlescent silver origami papers with dashes of purple foil and purple holographic papers here and there. I used stunning silver ribbons, of a variety of widths and textures, to hang the 'orbs' in place. The different papers and sparkling ribbons catch and reflect the light so beautifully and it is stunning to watch the different effects as the light changes over the course of a day.

Thanks so much to Deb and everyone at Orb for the opportunity to bring some silver festive sparkle to you all and for looking after me so well!

Stunning silver origami Christmas Orbs for Deb and the team at Orb Hair and Beauty New Farm

Stunning silver origami Christmas Orbs for Deb and the team at Orb Hair and Beauty New Farm

As lost as Alice; as mad as a hatter!

I have a love of the works of Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) - 'Alice in Wonderland', 'Through the Looking Glass' and his poem, 'The Hunting of the Snark', particularly.  I love Dodgson's mind: his imagination and his facility with logic, numbers and word play.  

I very much enjoyed learning more of Dodgson's life and influences, as well as about the mathematical references in his work, in reading 'Lewis Carroll in Numberland: His Fantastical Mathematical Logical Life' by Robin Wilson, recently.  My reading of this book coincided with my daughter Scarlett receiving some 'rebus' puzzles for homework.  At that time too, as 'parent homework', we were asked to write a creative letter of introduction about our child.  Inspired by both my readings and Scarlett's homework tasks, I came up with a rebus letter to introduce Scarlett (in watercolour and acrylic ink).

This is the work entitled, 'A nod to Mr Dodgson' in my portfolio.  Can you decipher it?  Dodgson's work has inspired more project ideas for me, recently ... watch this space!

'Another little dreamer': a retrospective

Occasionally, I would like to use this blog space to provide a retrospective on a selected work in my portfolio.

I thought it timely to reflect on one of my favourite photographs: the black and white still of my youngest daughter sitting in a window sill of our home.

I shot this photo of Violet on a warm summer morning during a January school holidays.  It was a very humid morning; my husband was mowing the grass and many cicadas and birds were chirping.  The scent of freshly cut grass and a bacon and egg breakfast intermingled and filled the air.  It smelled like holidays!  

I love the light and shadows in this image; the depth of the tones.  

In this moment, Violet was a free spirit. She wasn't constrained by timetables or the needs of others.  She was free to just be; to sit in the window sill; to stare out into a blossoming, overgrown garden and dream.  How increasingly sacred these moments are becoming.

Her 'dreaming' in this image reminded me of a thought of the Dalai Lama:

"The planet does not need more successful people.

The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds."

The planet desperately needs more dreamers and artists, too.

 

All that glitters is silver!

I  find myself in a sea of glittering silver at present: silver origami paper of a variety of sorts; silver sculpture wire and stunning, very elegant silver ribbons!  How all the silvers catch, glisten and reflect the afternoon light, beautifully!

I am in the very exciting throes of making a striking silver origami Christmas window installation ... more details very soon!