Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Art of the Rubik's Cube

There is a quiet craze in our school over the Rubik's Cube - students shuffle through the permutations looking for the "solution". Brian Chorr is the driving force behind the popularity. He recently sent me this link "Ms Miller, here's some of that stuff I was telling you about." with this link in the post title. Okay, Brian - it is blog worthy! I had no idea you could create patterns using this puzzle machine! I thought it had one desired solution (matching one color on each plane) - au contrair! Now I see the pure potentiality of artistic creation in rubik's dimensionality. Oh, and dear reader, as my students already know - multi is my favorite color! Viva Rubik!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Artist of the Week - Kim Nguyen

Oh, the holidays! What a sweet time -for teachers and students a much needed break. But what also comes along are gifts - food, sweets, gift cards, all greatly appreciated. But when a student gives a gift from the heart, a tear comes to the teacher's eye! Kim is a student in my AP Art History class. One day while lecturing, I noticed she was folding paper during class. Having had busy hands during my life, I was not angry, but curious about what she was doing. She told me about a bird she was making from her folded paper, and I asked that she let me see her creation before she gave it away. This is the photo of the bird she gave away - beautiful. And, to my surprise, before leaving for our holiday break, she gave me my own bird in white with pink and yellow accents! Kim, I will treasure your gift always. Here is what she wrote about the process.
"Origami is a type of art that began in Japan many centuries ago. This creative art of paper folding requires lot of patience and time. I was 9 years old when I was inspired by this model of a bird that my dad brought home from work one day. For 2 consecutive years I've wasted a lot of time and papers in order to try and copy that model, but for some reason the body of the bird never quiet came out right. It bothered me to the point where I just decided to give up. However, one day a thought just came to my mind that reversed my decision...I simply changed up the way that I was putting the pieces together and BAM the body came out as I wanted it be, and from there I continued to build up the neck, wings, and tails. It was a confusing process at first, but the final product paid off. Since then I've been cutting and folding alot of papers during my spare time so that I can have it ready for assembling whenever it is called for. :D
The process for making this bird is quiet confusing and complicated for the beginner, but once you get the hang of it then it's not so bad. The part that I hate doing most is cutting and folding of those tiny pieces of paper. It can take me days up to weeks, depending on how many pieces I need and how much spare time I have, which is not much lately. Once ALL the pieces have been folded then I could begin to glue all the pieces together. The first part is the body, the part where I had the most trouble with. Then I built up the 2 wings. After that I would assemble the tails (there are 3 in my model). The neck and "feet" would be last because they are the easiest parts to make. This might sound easy but it's not!"
Thank you Kim! You are an artist after my own heart - creative, diligent and generous!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Driftwood Horses

I'm thinking about 3 dimensional art today and remembered this email I got from a friend a while back with pictures of horses made of driftwood. Really beautiful! One of the biggest problems for these works is balancing the sculpture since horse's legs are really thin compared to their body mass. I've linked the artist's website to the title for more viewing of the process as well as her work.