Escape to Create Residency #1 – Falling in Love with Paper

January found me in mostly sunny Florida, in the community that spawned the architectural genre of “New Urbanism” and in the presence of beaches that can compete with any in the world (really). However, I was not on vacation. I was there to work and research and develop and yes, okay, then take a walk along the beach to mull things over. I was taking part in my first artist residency at Escape to Create in Seaside, Florida.

My residency project was founded on the research and development of casting lace techniques that I had begun in the summer at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado. My research began not in fabric, but in paper. Working towards complex forms, I started from the beginning, learning how to fold lengths, widths and any angle into equal divisions without measuring or marking. This image is from the first week.

The table eventually became so layered with mounds of folded paper to the point it became hard to find what I was looking for!

I also worked with exercises to design folded structures using the principles of symmetry. Here is an early and simple example of linear reflection symmetry.

And here are samples using rotational symmetry and their inverted forms.

And then came the more complicated glide reflection, which can result in what I like to call “the sexy paper.” Oh yeah.


Super fun and flexible, but not necessarily something achievable in the type of lace I make currently. Something to think about though…

If you are interested in paper folding forms, I basically used Folding Techniques for Designers – From Sheet to Form by artist and teacher Paul Jackson like a textbook. It looks like he’s coming out with a new publication this month as well! Paul Jackson was also one of the featured origami artists in Between the Folds (available on Netflix), a beautiful and fascinating documentary on paper folding. Watch it. I promise you, you will not be disappointed. I’ve watched it multiple times. Really, I could go on and on, but I’ll stop there!

In the next post, I’ll share some my first attempts of casting lace fabric at the residency. Oh, and after our blizzards here in the Midwest, you can sure bet I miss that Florida weather (not to mention the great folks I met down there)!

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