Graduation Day – whoo!

My niece graduated from college this weekend!

This is an exciting time for all these young people as they make their way in the world.

Money Mortarboard 5.30.2017

Money Mortarboard 5.30.2017

Thank goodness she has a job waiting for her on the West Coast.

I found this Money Mortarboard Origami design and thought it most appropriate for the occasion.

It was cool and somewhat overcast when I left for Providence on the Amtrak train.

After a lovely ride, I arrived at my destination.

The train station is quite close to the college so I only had to walk across the canal bridge and up some very steep hills.

Canal, Providence, Rhode Island 5.28.2017

Canal, Providence, Rhode Island 5.28.2017

Huffing and puffing, I climbed to the College Green.

I surveyed the empty seats waiting for the graduation crowds and selected some for the rest of my family.

We were coming from mainly the North East, the exception being my dear Aunt who traveled from Barbados for this happy event.

 

Advertisements
Cog Train on Mount Washington 5.27.2017

To the Top: Mt. Washington Cog Railway

Mount Washington, N.H., is 6,288 feet above sea level.  It is the highest peak in North Eastern United States.

The top of the mountain has the worst and most erratic weather due to the confluence of storms from the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Northwest regions.

NH Mountain Fog 5.27.2017

NH Mountain Fog 5.27.2017

Our bus climbed through the drizzle towards the Mt. Washington Cog Railway’s base camp.  I wondered whether we would see anything at the summit through the rain clouds.

Cog Trains at Base Camp 5.27.2017

Cog Trains at Base Camp 5.27.2017

The four-hour trip from Boston, arranged by Mystic Valley Railroad Society, promised fabulous views if the weather cooperated.  The rain did stop eventually.  The sun struggled to come out from behind heavy clouds in the morning.

We disembarked from the bus, ate a delicious hot lunch in the visitor’s center then, viewed the Cog train exhibits.

Excitedly, we watched the colorful trains ascend and descend along the steep railway tracks up the mountain while waiting for our scheduled boarding time.

The Boston group boarded at 3 pm.  We were delighted with the train conductor’s announcement that the clouds had disappeared at the summit.

Cog Train Climbing Mount Washington 5.27.2017

Cog Train Climbing Mount Washington 5.27.2017

Spectacular views awaited us when the Cog arrived at the top an hour later.

As the train climbed higher and higher, the track angle increased substantially.  Tall pine trees gave way to smaller ones, then low brushes and a rocky, alpine landscape.

Finally, the train arrived at the summit and we were surrounded by magnificent mountain and valley vistas!

Mount Washington Summit 5.27.2017

Mount Washington Summit 5.27.2017

Thinking about an Origami design related to mountain tops, I decided to fold a Spinning Top.

Here is the colorful modular action Origami model which is quite easy to fold.

Use different colored papers to give the spinning top a really cool appearance.

Origami Spinning Top 5.27.2017

Origami Spinning Top 5.27.2017

 

The purple and white paper provide the base of the model and the blue paper, the central ring.

Then, the green paper is folded into a point at the top and slides into the blue paper.

Grasp the top, give it a twirl and watch the colors spin around.

Dahlia 5.27.2017

Flowers, flowers everywhere!

Hurrah, summer is around the corner and flowers are blooming everywhere in Cambridge and Boston!  Spring was so brief…a few sunny days and lots of rain.

Dahlia 5.27.2017

Dahlia 5.27.2017

This Origami Dahlia required a lot of squash folds and even cutting of the paper to round out the design at the beginning.

Origami serves as a mood elevator, just like music.  But, I have neglected it for the past couple of weeks.

Every time I fold, I have better concentration, become more focused and aware.  Shapes and colors pop out all around me.   It is truly amazing.

Here are some lovely flowers seen on my way to work.  I promise myself to return to folding on a more regular basis.

Praying Mantis 5.13.2017

Praying Mantis – an Odd Looking Insect

I remember seeing a Praying Mantis in my mother’s garden in Barbados, West Indies, when I was a child.

The long slender insects with bulging eyes and front legs as if in prayer ate nuisance insects so adults told us to leave them alone.

Praying Mantis 5.13.2017

Praying Mantis 5.13.2017

Were they green, like this Origami Mantis, or light brown?  I’m not sure.

As children, we were fascinated by stories of how the female Praying Mantis would bite off the head of the male after mating.

The Origami model here is made from two sheets of paper.

The two models are folded independently but exactly the same.  Then, each model was modified; one to form the upper body and the other, the lower body.

It is quite neat how the bottom half of the insect slips under the folds of the upper half.  You can see this fold above the lower legs.

Origami Tulip 5.8.2017.

Cini and Ebru: 2 Traditional Turkish Crafts for ArtWeek Boston 2017

Last week, I attended two excellent workshops at the Turkish Cultural Center in Boston during ArtWeek Boston 2017.

The first workshop was on Cini, Turkish Pottery Painting.  The second workshop was on Ebru, Turkish Water Marbling.

Turkish Coffee and Turkish Delight 5.3.2017

Turkish Coffee and Turkish Delight 5.3.2017

As a welcome to the students in each workshop, we were served Turkish Coffee accompanied with delicious Turkish Delight.  The instructors related some history about the beverage and confection along with their preparation.

Origami Tulip 5.8.2017.

Origami Tulip 5.8.2017.

I discovered that Turkey’s national flower is a Tulip while researching an Origami fold.  Tulips, native to Central Asia and Turkey, were brought to Holland in the 16th century.  The tulip features prominently in both Cini and Ebru work.  You can find the stylized form of tulips in Turkish tiles, ceramics, carpets and marbled papers.

Tulip Design on Ceramics

Tulip Design on Ceramics

For the Cini workshop, the instructor provided templates with traditional designs for the students to use.

I selected the “Sultan’s Caftan” template and traced the design on thin paper.  Then, using carbon paper, I copied it to a ceramic plate.  Next, I painted a black outline around the tracing and proceeded to color the design.  It was quite difficult but lots of fun.

The Ebru workshop involved adding paint to a pan of oily water and manipulating the colors which can produce a gorgeous marbled design when paper is laid on top of the water.

Pans were already set up for the students so we could add the paint, swirling in the water then laying the paper on the water and pulling it from the pan.  This resulted in lovely papers – some with the tulip flower design.

I highly recommend these workshops at the Turkish Cultural Center for both adults and teens.  Also, check out ArtWeek Boston (@ArtWeekBoston) next year too!

Museum of Printing and a Beetle

The Museum of Printing is a terrific destination site North of Boston.  There you can see many examples of printing machines.

Here are some types of printing machines on view at the museum:

Intaglio and Platen Presses, a Hoe Steam Driven Press, Linotype and Ludlow Typesetters, a Heidelberg Windmill Press and many other items relating to the history of printing including a collection of the first Apple computers and very early typewriters.

There are also art exhibits demonstrating different forms of printing.

The day trip to the Museum was organized by the Ticknor Society “a fellowship of book lovers” open to anyone interested in books and collecting.

We were fortunate to have Frank Romano, printing historian and founder of the Museum, as our tour guide.

Origami Beetle 5.1.2017

Origami Beetle 5.1.2017

Mr. Romano describes himself as the last of the forensic typographers – frequently called to identify forgeries and counterfeits.

In addition, he is asked to provide props for movies such as the upcoming Steven Spielberg film which he told us was a secret.

By-the-way, my origami project today was a realistic beetle.

What do you think of this first folding insect experiment?  I’m going to try to fold more of these creatures in the future.