Thursday, 29 April 2010

You might have noticed...

...something rather exciting on my blog. No? You haven't? Then you haven't been paying attention.

Look. (This arrow is supposed to point to the totalizer. Look at the totalizer.)


I have made one hundred cranes. That's right people, 10% of my cranes are now folded, packed into bags and ready to go!

Alright, admittedly as my mum said, 10% of 1000 still means there's a long way to go, but let's not be all "glass half empty" about it. 10% is still a fair percentage.

So yay! One hundred cranes!

Monday, 26 April 2010


I know some of you have tried folding a crane, and some of you have got stuck, so I was thinking...would anyone be interested in an origami class? It will be really informal, just a group of people and I'll show how to make a few models (including the crane).

If so, when and where? It'd have to be Leeds, obviously, and I was thinking probably midweek after work-time (so around sixish)? Where would be best - pub, library, park? I'd probably be looking at the last week in May, just to give time to organise stuff.

Any ideas, let me know, and please feel free to tell your friends. Also, if you're interested, please let me know either via the comments on here or email/twitter then I can make a ballpark guess at numbers.

Why I'm not an artist

Last week, I went to some art galleries in Leeds. I've never been before, but my husband had suggested we take the day off and it seemed a "day off" kind of thing to do.

I say art galleries because...well Leeds is an odd place. For a start, there's about four different galleries all linked to each other, so I've no idea what was in where and we started in the Henry Moore Institute and ended up in the "Craft and Design Gallery" (the shop).

I'm purposely not looking anything up while I write this, so you get an idea of how I experience art. So, according to me, some of the things we saw included an exhibition about art students, some nice pots and a ceramic crab which I liked, an exhibition about typography or the space between text or something (I didn't really "get" that one), a funky-ass mobile made of old chair legs, and loads of handmade stuff which I loved (in the shop).

Some of it I loved, some I thought was rubbish. Some had me muttering "my dog can do art better than that", some of it I thought was genius. There were some (in particular a family tree diagram of a tree) I thought were brilliant but Rob (my husband) didn't like. Some of it I hated, but "got", some of it I didn't understand at all. I dallied over some parts, Rob over others (although it has to be said I dallied most in the shop).

It really showed me how subjective art is. I think the flowing design of the art galleries, whilst scarily confusing ("Where are we? Find a window!") is really useful, as we probably wouldn't have gone to see half the stuff we ended up seeing because we kept wandering into it (although it would've been nice to know this was the case when we started, and a clear 'Start' would be nice if you want to meander as we missed the Ice Age exhibition and I'll have to go back for that). It showed me that I don't just like pretty stuff, or stuff that I can easily understand. It reminded me of when I used to go to art galleries and thought "I could do that".

But I still wouldn't call myself an artist. You might note that I rarely call my cranes an installation, but rather a project or an event. I'm uncomfortable with these words - Artist and Installation. As we were walking round, I was comparing my Light Night project with the work displayed, and I kept asking myself if mine was as good. For some, yes I really do think it is. But I'm not an artist. To me, an artist is someone who does art "proper". Who gets paid for it, who quite possibly does it for a living. I'm a dabbler. I've no pretensions that I'm going to win the Turner Prize, and I don't expect Saatchi to be knocking at my door; but I'm more than an observer. I'm dipping a toe into a world I've little comprehension of, and I often feel really really out of my depth, but I'm still trying.

So what do you call someone who's more than an art appreciative, but less than an artist? I've decided that, for me at least, I like the word creative as a noun. I'm a Creative. It's more often used for people in advertising and such, and I'll probably annoy everyone in the art world for using it because it's not proper and such, but for me, it works. I'm happy to be a Creative, and I'm happy to have my Project.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

They just keep coming!

I don't know what it is about this week, whether there just happens to be lots of links to origami stuff, or if origami art is suddenly trending, but today I stumbled across an article on about a shop in Carnaby St, London, that seems to have been overrun by origami bunnies!

Here's a sneak peek:

and the original link is here

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Amazing Origami Art

Just a quick blog post, to implore you to check out this origami art installation

Here's a quick preview to entice you to click the link, if you haven't already:

isn't it just beautiful? be sure to check out James Roper's own site for more stunning artwork.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Getting to know you

The folding is ticking along (remember, I update the totalizer as I go along, so you can always check up on me!), but repeating the same folds over and over doesn't really make for interesting blog posts. I am looking into doing a video tutorial of folding a crane, and also a tutorial on folding a sailboat, so look out for those. In the meantime I thought you might like to know a bit more about me.

Yup, that is me. I was dressed as Oscar the Grouch for Halloween. It was a toss up for the picture between that and when I was dressed up as Brian Blessed. Well, my name is Kirsty, and I'm 26. I'm originally from Chorley in Lancashire, but now live in Leeds, Yorkshire (via Luton and the midlands) with my husband Rob and our two dogs Josh and Sugar.

I work full time for the council, and I'm also training to be a counsellor. In my spare time (when I'm not folding cranes or studying) you'll usually find me down the pub or on the internet reading blogs or Dr Who spoilers. Yep, I am that much of a geek.

I read a lot of arts and craft blogs, even though I'm not really all that good with my hands, and get very jealous of people who are super-talented. Often they show their always individual and creative craft spaces, and I get jealous of that too, because my craft space is a bag hung on the curtain pole and a box file for keeping my cranes in. I tend to fold sat on the sofa, and since we moved to Leeds, I haven't had my own space (I used to have a little desk in the corner of Rob's study, but there isn't room for it now). I try to make my desk at work quite quirky though, as a lot of it is stuff Rob's outlawed at home (he likes minimalist, I like...well, just look at my desk)

You can see my Dr Who stuff, my abundance of hello kitty crap, Camp Rock memorabilia and a few origami bits and bobs. In all fairness, a lot of stuff was given to me as gifts (like the fluffy flamingo and the Weeble Walrus). You can also see how my wall is plastered with newspaper clippings I like, cartoons and drawings I've done. The more eagle eyed of you will have spotted the John Barrowman figurine and the Cliff Richard photo (yup, I'm a little bit naff too). There's more on the other side of my desk, but I won't inflict that on you. You're missing out on a stuffed platypus, a momiji doll and more dr who/hello kitty stuff. oh, and a toy of the meerkat-like thing from ice age (sid? is he called sid? my dad would know, he LOVES that film).

All of this adds up to me, and it's my love of artistic stuff (even though I'm not an artist), an inherent need to surround myself with fun things(hence my desk) and my willingness to "give it a go" that makes me feel I can label myself as creative...and more about that later.

I'd love to know more about my readers, so please leave a comment or send me an email telling me at least one interesting fact about you!

It's a giant kick ass crane!

I get emails/tweets from people who spot interesting origami stuff, but nobody mentioned this. I found it by accident when I was doing my usual click-through from links on twitter, which usually throws up interesting blogs or news stories that I'd never normally and it stopped me in my tracks. It was this:

This amazing light up crane was the centrepiece of the Coachella Festival in California. I'd read about the festival (mainly because Matt Smith, the new Doctor in Dr Who was there holding hands with someone, and I'm a geek and read news stories like that), but nowhere had I seen this:

Or anything like this. Ever. It's outstanding. It's made by Crimson Collective, a group of artists from LA, and it's well worth checking out their website for photos of the process of making such a mammoth of a crane. They're also super nice as I emailed them to ask for photos to put on here and they sent a lovely email back with their press pack and an offer to bring the crane over to the UK!

Here are some more fab pics:

It's powered by solar panels, with what looks like a spectrum of different lights. Plus, it's modular, so they can take it down and reuse it (hence being able to bring it over). I wish we had something like this planned for Light Night. Oh, wait, we do! My cranes!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

How do you solve a problem like...

It's April! That means bunnies, april showers and...the Light Night submission deadline.

My submission has been in for a while, so I don't need to worry about that, but it's getting close to the deadline, which obviously then means close to them making a decision about it. As they can't comment until after the deadline, I've no idea what the outcome might be, so at the moment, it's quite nervewracking.

The other thing is that if my submission is successful (fingers crossed please!), I'll be invited to present my idea; and that's nervewracking too. In fact, trying to figure out how to encapsulate the idea easily is becoming a real problem.

I'm worried about standing up in front of artists - proper, doing-it-for-real, wasn't-kicked-out-of-art-class-like-I-was artists - and trying to explain how the whole thing will look and what it's all about; and because i can't draw I can't really make mockups, so all I can really do is take Blue Canary 2 (it's original Blue Canary, but he has a new battery) and say, imagine it's dark, and there's 1000 of these, woo won't it look great?" and hope they get it. If they don't, I could be in trouble. Everyone I've explained it to, really explained it to, has got it, and loved it, but it sometimes takes a while to explain, with people asking questions and such, so how do i condense that into a short one-sided presentation?

So how do you solve a problem like this? Any ideas?