After nearly a year of creative hiatus, I am excited to share the first images of my new project.
Since last August I have been focusing on improving my craft as a middle and high school Algebra teacher. I am inspired by my students to create a new series of prints weaving together math, art, and history.
The images above are illustrations of the Greek method for approximating the circumference of a circle by inscribing a series of polygons with ever increasing number of sides. The more sides a polygon has, the closer its perimeter is to the circumference of the circle. Ancient Greek mathematicians worked on calculating perimeters of polygons with more and more sides in an attempt to arrive at a definitive whole number ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter (or pi.)
The top image above is a circumscribed and an inscribed polygon (representing upper and lower bounds for calculating pi.) The lower image is an inscribed triangle and hexagon (a nod to Eudoxus’ “method of exhaustion.”)
These two mini prints are just me getting my feet wet–I’m also working on a larger print that I’ll share more about later . . .
I made this new print based on an embroidery design I’m sewing into felt. Maybe when my new fabric inks arrive I’ll print on fabric and embroider the prints onto a bag or something. I love having a handwork project going to work on by my wood stove. When my kids were smaller, I read a story about an old woman on a journey with a young child who advised the importance of handwork to quiet the mind so that the heart can open. I love thinking about that as I continue with my work.
Stay warm this Winter writing sweet somethings to your loved ones. Check out all my cards on my gallery page.
Here are my first attempts at chain stitching letters. I keep telling myself that it will look better from a distance. And I’m hoping it will get better the more I practice. The sharp corners are tough to negotiate–maybe I’ll try to make it larger, or try a different stitch or a smaller thread.
My colleague June Albright at the Upper Valley Waldorf School just showed me how to take tangled snarls of embroidery floss and wrap them around empty thread spools for easy storage. So much nicer than the mess they were before, and more beautiful!
Other exciting news this week: I finished my Sami inspired reindeer bag!
Which means I am allowed to start my next project involving mini stamps. Pictured below are the underworld, a tree, a boat, a fishing net, and a border.
I made this amazing purple star at my math workshop last weekend at The Nature Institute in Ghent, NY. I’m pleased with the coloring (I’m not always that patient!) and I’m pleased with the math: I learned all kinds of cool things you can do with pentagons, pentagrams, and the Golden Ratio. I love finding deep problems that you can teach to people at a variety of levels–6th grade through Calculus. I’m looking forward to taking another class there sometime soon.
I’m getting ready for my summer trip to Iceland and Finland by immersing myself in some beautiful images. This reindeer is from a book called Scandinavian Folk Patterns, and the sun framing it I found online researching Sami drum symbols. Felt is one of my favorite fabrics to sew because you don’t need to hem it and it makes big bold lines and shapes similar to the ones I like to use in my block prints.