The City Fathers (a few Mothers, too) and the Department of Public Works have given me several broad hints lately that the art I pursue is no art at all, but a mere “craft or decorative art.” So be it.
Urania, Muse of Astronomy and Mathematics, who used to come see me now and again, has given me up for a rank poseur. Instead, I get visited by Cleanso, the Mt. Hellicon charwoman and part time Muse of Helpful Household Hints, and although everything she says is true, I am less inspired than I could wish to be.
“Red wine stains?” says my thick-armed vision, “Club soda will get that out.” or “Stubborn collar grime? Have you ever tried washing your freaking neck?”
I respond by posting a piece I promised to post over year ago. This is the 16 Sided Compass Rose Jar and a fine piece of work it is, indeed. And the City’s cruel barbs have forced me to admit, there’s not enough emotional content in my work. Cold dotted and dashed lines on an endless plane, hopelessly Apollonian stuff. This crease pattern bears the rebus of my dreamtime, because dreams are the fruit machine of the gods. Drop your dime, pull the lever and away you go. Happy dreams of love and royalty checks, sad dreams of old girlfriends and smelly sneakers.
It’s hard to decipher. The peppermill could be about my ambivalence on the loss of heavy industry in New England. Or maybe it was that I put too much pepper on my soup at lunch yesterday and liked it, anyway. The basilisk could express my trepidation that I am getting too stiff and slowly turning to stone. Or it might be some weird-ass religious symbol – they call them Jesu Christo lizards in South America, because they walk on water when startled. (In Venezuela, they walk on brown crude -Caracas Gold, Paramaribo Tea – same deal.) Point is, dreams are just things in juxtaposition to other things and sometimes, a pickle is just a gherkin. Judging by the symbols here, it looks like a happy dream, mainly.
Okay, brass tacks: it takes about an hour to do the precreasing. You’ve really got to want to do this. The construction method is largely the same as the 8 Sided Compass Rose Jar. Precrease; twist the central helix; swap the layers; collapse the edges. Here’s the crease pattern. Note that the second page tells you why the lines are where they are.
Elegant, you ask? No. The 2, 3 and 5 here started out as wild guesses and ended up as excellent approximations of the tangents they represent. Hey, this is art! Did you not see the emotional content above?