This old guy is a large Amazon Green parrot named Trouper. And vocally militant he can sometimes be. I had some fun scrambling his portrait to caricature my impression of his ‘dark side’. He looks so much sweeter in the original photo shown here [in my blog].
His claws and beak have drawn blood. “Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!” – Lewis Carrol
With my apologies to his indentured caregiver, N.L.P.
Three paper shells comprise this crystalline 3-D model: the folded surface shell, folded middle shell and a flat back shell. It has two, nested interior volumes. One is behind the front shell, and the other, behind the middle shell.
In the digitally designed model, these shells were a sequence of three planes. Those planes were linked into one continuous, accordion-folded zig-zag. I suppose the product of this interesting method could still be classified among all other Kirigamis, although some might surmise I’m bending the definition to fit. In the digital model, as visualized with the origami plugin, it is one inflected but unbroken object. I had to print, cut and fold three separate paper prints to make it, in practice. It would have been too cumbersome to handle with two hands, otherwise.
My recent post showed the same Kirigami form in a single shelled design. I imagined there still could be a way to impart more depth and volume than that one had. The outer ‘butterfly wing web’ was a fun design project while learning how to make a color gradient mosaic in Adobe Illustrator.
Strathmore 451-1 paper, watercolor textured, 8″ x 9″ unfolded; Epson P-600 pigment ink printer. Copyright 2017, rights reserved by William James. It’s OK to pin or link images to a noncommercial blog, and please credit this post as the source.
The 2D pattern for this 3D volume developed as I played with the idea of a pyramid of interlocking planes.
It was my partner Betsy’s creative quilting practice that inspired me to put a batik-like graphic on a Kirigami popup. I picked the tonally coordinated color pallet for my pyramid, and then a vibrantly colored random network which seemed the best as my base image (credit: Adobe stock image bank, “Wired”).
Printed 20 cm x 20 cm flat.
Like a quilt, it will only ever be one sheet of paper (except for the backing sheet), even after folding as a 3D sculpture:
Folding a 3D form is a gradual process that takes a couple of hours. (In the diagram above: Black = cut; red = fold forward, blue = fold backward.) Tensions arise, both physically and emotionally, while trying to coordinate the gradual folding of more than 100 right angles. All of those angles most be partially folded in small changes through many cycles. Like all Kirigami forms, one might either open it back out again to retrieve a single flat layer, or continue to collapse it inward almost to flatness, except for the thickness of four layers of folded paper.
A strong but disorderly web of vivid red links and nodes binds the pyramid to the seven edges of its two framing planes (one edge is shared). It appears as though the pyramid is nested into two sides of a partial outer box or prism. As both the pyramid and its ‘container’ are classical rectilinear forms, I was excited to find that the linking lines which connect those appear messy, improvised, exploratory, non-classical.
Text and images copyright William James, 2016; reproduction is allowed.
Earthly contours seem to bake to warm and crusty orange in the sunlight. But when in shadow, this same topography appears fluid, more like a body of wind-rippled water at night. Eerily greenish auroras billow across boundaries. I like to imagine this as a conflation of a pagan icon from a Renaissance map with a data driven, aerial radar survey.
The vivid patinas of orange and green appeared spontaneously, without any treatment after etching. However, the etching fluid was already much used. I may never see this particular color effect again!
The dark blue resist film still there on this surface could be dissolved away to expose pure, shiny copper (see below). Other artists have advised me to leave this piece just as it is, to preserve the excitement of its strong contrasts.
When I had used exactly the same graphic image before, for the first time (below), copper surfaces that were actively etched by the chemicals took on a blackish cast, different to the orange and green. Because I had stripped off the blue resist film after etching, the lately-exposed bare copper slowly oxidized to a fetchingly iridescent sheen. The blob of blue in the center was a naive experiment with a patinating chemical.
This may display as a GIF animation. If not, here are the other angles:
Lines purposely etched into the copper allowed me to neatly fold the sheet with some slight angles and curves. Because of folding, the visual drama of this darker piece is truly revealed only under dynamic lighting. (It’s supposed to display here as a GIF animation.)
There are people who cut and fold paper, or who manipulate photos in the third dimension. So, who has put both methods together? Here, you’ll find unusual pieces which are a hybrid of photo ‘covers’ with reliefs made by a paper cut and fold process. The designer of the specific 3D forms now being used, Guy Petzall, has named them Ullagamis https://www.facebook.com/ullagami/info/?tab=page_info. (His are made from unimprinted paper).
A curious proposition arose in my mind: how would one begin to develop a hybrid process to create pieces which are more than the sum of their parts (not less!). So, here’s a small taste of what I’ve learned from having superimposed about 26 different photos on eleven different 3D Ullagami reliefs.
Somehow, a photo of a photo cover on a 3D relief seems to reduce the dimensionality that was gained in the process to less than nothing. So rather than show still photos of these pieces, I’ve made these GIF animations to try to display their special qualities.
The piece shown above uses a photo of 2014 Winter Olympic Silver Medalist Yuna Kim as re-imagined on Guy’s “Vexilliod Zigzag” Ullagami.
Vexilliod Zigzag Ullagami.
This Ullagami was a great match to the photo. Ms. Kim twists her body, containing all the torque of the power stroke within her compact core. The prisms gathered below her lift and thrust her upward and forward. A pivot axis emerges which aligns with her dynamic body core. A melding of 2D/3D forms visually harmonizes a complex array of implicit forces.
Mandala 1 Pieces
Likewise on a diamond framework, the piece above has instead a calm, contemplative dynamic. The image of a stone staircase arising between two flower beds is grafted on a pattern called “Mandala 1”. The relief dimension draws the eye, and implicitly also the viewer’s body, forward and upward across many horizontals through the garden and into the trees. Further harmony emerges in the orderly proportionality of the steps in the image to those in the relief.
Mandala 1 Ullagami
More pieces on Mandala 1 are here:
Here is a double-sided piece composed of ‘right side out’ and ‘inside out’ components, nested together back to back. The paper form seems interestingly to associate with the picture as a novel (spider) web. Positive and negative spaces emerge and bind upon the incipient axis.
Mandala 2 pieces
Guy’s “Mandala 2” pattern is also based on a diamond, but this one’s a bit oblique. It reminded me of looking upward at something. The photo is an up view of a bridge tower with its cable stays. The stays pop out on the surface of the relief and seem to be almost physically stretched, something like a stringed instrument.
Here are some more mandala 2 pieces.
Inversion of the spider (above) is carried one step further in this panoramic view inside a long spiral staircase. There is no positive perspective that would be associated with normal visual experience. The spaces above and below the viewpoint spiral into empty space, and an inverted piece best represents that kind of visual experience.
The original image (found on Pinterest) looked like this: