Art for Kids

Preschool Land Art Class in the Arboretum with Artist Karah Pino

I had the wonderful opportunity to spend an hour making Land Art with preschoolers at the Fiddleheads Forest School in the Arboretum with my son’s outdoor class.

The excitement of their motivation to make these works and their careful placement of objects was so inspiring!

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Battling A Sense Of Lost Time – the importance of being in nature

Battling A Sense Of Lost Time

by MARCELO GLEISER

December 11, 2013 2:43 PM

The first word that comes to mind when I think about modern life is “overload.” The second is “dispersion.”

We are the targets of an ongoing war for our attention: the Web, new technologies, food, clothing, music. We feel the constant need to be connected; TV and radio are just not enough. We need to link to social media outlets, know what’s going on or else be out; each instant of time is taken by a screen, small or large; information pours down in torrents.

If we forget our cell phone at home, we feel like a body part is missing; we are the phones, the phones are us. We are addicted to it, as we can see when a plane lands after a 45-minute flight and hundreds of passengers turn on their phones as if their lives depended on information that just came out. We are addicted to linkage and I am guilty as charged.

We no longer allow time for contemplation.

People feel time is passing faster because we have less and less control over it. To do nothing feels like a huge waste of time. Any open window of time must be filled with tweets, Facebook updates, email, YouTube videos, podcasts. If no one is talking about us, let’s make sure that they do.

One of the victims of this “race to linkage” is our connection to nature. We can call it the new missing link.

We hardly look up to the sky or the at the life around us. To most people nature is a concept, something that exists out there, that we see in YouTube videos or magazines, on BBC and Animal Planet specials. To recover a sense of control over time we need to return to nature; we need to create space to observe other forms of life; we need to reconnect with the night sky, far from the city lights. At least this is what I do to slow down.

To me, entering a trail for a hike or run is like entering a temple. And as with any temple, I go in search of a connection, trying to restore a sense of identity as I surround myself with green and blue.


You can keep up with more of what Marcelo is thinking on Facebook and Twitter: 

Swiss Artist’s Installation: Folding a Life-Size Origami Elephant Out of a Single Sheet of Paper

Folding a Life-Size Origami Elephant Out of a Single Sheet of Paper  

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Swiss artist Sipho Mabona will use the template for this origami elephant to create a life-size version.
Courtesy of Sipho Mabona

Origami has always been an artform that’s fun to watch. But now one Swiss artist is attempting to elevate the concept of origami as performance art with an Indiegogo campaign to help him realize his whimsical ambition to fold a life-size elephant from a single sheet of paper.

The Lucerne-based Sipho Mabona folded his first paper airplane at age 5 and has since made a career producing stunning origami animalsroses, human figures, and insects, among other more abstract creations. He has shown his work and taught origami workshops around the world.

Now the 33-year-old artist is appealing to Indiegogo’s crowdfunding angels to help him realize his ambition of folding a life-size elephant out of a single sheet of 50-by-50 foot paper.* (So far he’s raised $13,843 of his $24,000 goal with three weeks to go.) Mabona says his aim is to show what a single sheet of paper can do by using it to create a replica of one of the world’s most imposing land-dwelling creatures.

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A crease pattern used to fold the elephant took a month to work out.
Courtesy of Sipho Mabona

Mabona told me by phone that he developed the pattern for the elephant in about a month, a process that was sped up by having already worked out how to make patterns for origami tigers, bears, and rhinos. He said that his process is a combination of precise geometry and artistic intuition. To make a work of origami, he makes all the folds in the paper before refolding along the crease lines to assemble a finished 3-D object. The beauty of a piece of paper with intricate crease lines has also inspired him to produce crease patterns as wall art and ceramic plates.

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The crease pattern used to make the elephant is a work of art in its own right.
Courtesy of Sipho Mabona

The artist said that this is the most ambitious project he has ever attempted. “I’ve never folded anything larger than 6-by-6 meters [20-by-20 feet],” Mabona said. “But in principle the whole folding part stays pretty much the same. I’m not too worried about the beginning, the folding of the base. But the transitions, the shaping of the body and making it three dimensional—that’s what I’m worried about.”

Mabona expects the process will take about two weeks. The project will require three assistants and the elephant will be shored up by an aluminum frame and sealed with white acrylic paint. He plans to set up in a local art venue and provide a live online video stream of the process. If all goes well, he hopes to repeat the performance in other venues.

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Swiss artist Sipho Mabona with a baby elephant
Courtesy of Sipho Mabona

Check out this video to learn more about the project and for a glimpse of the giant crease pattern that will be used to make the elephant.

*Correction, Dec. 16, 2013: This post originally misstated the dimension of the paper being used to make the elephant. It is 50-by-50 feet, not meters.

 

Kristin Hohenadel is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in the New York Times,Fast CompanyVogueElle DecorLonny, and Apartment Therapy.

Fiddleheads Forest School, A Parent’s Perspective by Karah Pino

“Wanna Touch the Sap with Me?”

Posted to the UW Botanic Gardens Blog November 18th, 2013 by Sarah Heller, Community Programs Coordinator & Fiddleheads Forest School Director

Wanna touch the sap with me?

Wanna touch the sap with me?

“Wanna touch the sap with me?” This is the question posed by my 3-year-old every Tuesday and Thursday morning when he gets to Fiddleheads Forest School in the Washington Park Arboretum. It is his first stop before each class and he excitedly invites me or anyone else who is around to join him. The sap he is investigating comes from an extraordinary source, just outside of Forest Grove, the preschool center. A tall ponderosa pine tree whose bark has bubbled and buckled from some kind of fungus beneath the surface creates constant streams of sap pouring down in a slow-moving waterfall from 20 feet up its trunk. The sap is moving so slowly we have found spider webs build in the crevices of the bark with a lone drip suspended in the silk.

I encourage Alvin to dust his hands in dirt before touching the sap to make it easier to remove later, but he doesn’t always remember. That’s ok with me, though, because the fragrant scent of pine sap reminds me of my own childhood in New Mexico, playing in the pine trees and junipers. It also reminds me of why I started looking for an outdoor preschool two years ago to give my son the opportunities I had to explore nature free from the ever-present boundaries and dangers of the urban environment we are surrounded by in so much of Seattle.

IMG_7995When I discovered that Fiddleheads was expanding to a full year preschool located in the middle of the Arboretum, I felt as if the universe had bent around to fulfill this dream! I knew it was perfect when I discovered that forest grove is just across from the ancient Sequoia grove I loved to visit as an undergrad at the University of Washington when I lived near the Arboretum. The colors of autumn have been incredible to view each week driving to the school and the wide variety of leaves, berries, nuts and seed pods seems unending. After drop off or before pick up, I make some time for myself to enjoy the smells, sounds, sights and sightings alongside my child, so we can share the magic of the of the forest together. (I’m sure I saw a coyote tail bouncing in the brush one day!)

Occasionally, I will hear the sounds of little voices adventuring along as I am on my own walk and feel their excitement and wonder well up inside of me. I love to watch from afar as they gather sticks to build a “fire” or leaves to pile up and roll in and I inwardly thank all the forces, voices and advocates who came together to create this fantastic program.

Although my favorite sequoia grove is protected by a fence now to protect the fragile roots, their giant trunks and strong presence are a perfect example of why the Arboretum is such a treasure for Seattlites of all ages and I hope there will be many more classes of preschoolers and homeschoolers and every other age of schoolers out in appreciation all year round in this wonderous place!

(Karah Pino, MAcOM is the delighted parent of a Fiddlehead’s Forest student, the social media coordinator for the Women of Wisdom Foundation and she manages the blog Unwind your Mind and Get Creative!

SEED of Origami

Millbrook kids to bring frogs to S.E.E.D., as in origami

STAFF PHOTO BY ROB NOVIT
McKintley Morgan, a Millbrook Elemetentary School fourth-grader, completes her origami frog. She and her classmates will show other kids how to make the paper frogs at the upcoming Science Education Enrichment Day (S.E.E.D.), scheduled at USC Aiken on Saturday, Oct. 12.
STAFF PHOTO BY ROB NOVIT McKintley Morgan, a Millbrook Elemetentary School fourth-grader, completes her origami frog. She and her classmates will show other kids how to make the paper frogs at the upcoming Science Education Enrichment Day (S.E.E.D.), scheduled at USC Aiken on Saturday, Oct. 12.
More than two dozen frogs were hopping all over Karey Santos’ fourth-grade classroom at Millbrook Elementary School last week.

OK, the frogs are made of paper – origami frogs, actually, that the students will bring to the Science Education Enrichment Day (S.E.E.D.) at USC Aiken on Saturday, Oct. 12.

That event will attract more than 3,000 people from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nearly 70 exhibitors – ranging from Savannah River Site staffers, businesses and other organizations — will provide an array of interactive activities. Santos in the past has brought nine-year-olds to serve as exhibitors and is delighted to do so again.

Converting sheets of paper into hopping frogs demands some intricate folding, yet the process is even more involved. The children created large frogs and much smaller “peepers,” pressing down a flap on each frog to send it flying more or less through the air.

McKintley Morgan and the majority of her classmates thought the smaller frogs would go farther, and they were right.

“The smaller frogs are lighter, and the weight made a big difference,” McKintley said.

The kids had other assignments with the project — measuring distances to one-eighth of an inch, plotting the results and determining the mode, mean and median, getting experience with geometry and vocabulary, Santos said.

Her students will get a chance to see all the other exhibits. In two-hour shifts, they also will show other kids how to create an origami frog and test how far it can leap. In addition, they will introduce leaf-rubbing and demonstrate how pantometers are used for measuring angles.

Senior writer Rob Novit is the Aiken Standard’s education reporter and has been with the newspaper since September 2001.

Read more: Millbrook kids to bring frogs to S.E.E.D., as in origami | Aiken Standard

Researchers Receive $2 Million Grant to Develop Unique Origami-Shaped Antennas

Researchers Receive $2 Million Grant to Develop Unique Origami-Shaped Antennas

WEBWIRE – Monday, September 30, 2013

Atlanta – A Georgia Tech-led research team has been awarded a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop a unique approach to making extremely compact and highly efficient antennas and electronics. The new technology will use principles derived from origami paper-folding techniques to create complex structures that can reconfigure themselves by unfolding, moving and even twisting in response to incoming electromagnetic signals.

These novel structures could be fabricated from a wide variety of materials, including paper, plastics and ceramics. Sophisticated inkjet printing techniques would deposit conductive materials such as copper or silver onto the antenna elements to provide signal receiving and other capabilities.

Several potential activation mechanisms would allow the origami-shaped antennas to rapidly unfold in response to various incoming signals. These mechanisms include the harvesting of ambient electromagnetic energy in the air, as well as the use of chemicals that produce movement in ways that mimic nature.

“Traditionally, antennas have been sizeable – often very large – and any reconfiguration required complex electronics technology like micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS),” said Manos Tentzeris, a professor in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “We expect these tiny new antennas to morph – to fold, unfold and reconfigure themselves – using self-activation mechanisms that in many cases would not require electronics or electrical power.”

The result would be powerful, ultra-broadband capabilities in a diminutive antenna measuring only a couple of centimeters when folded. Commercial and military applications for such antennas could include many types of communications equipment, as well as wireless sensors, “smart skin” sensors for structural health monitoring, portable medical equipment, electronics mounted on vehicles or flying/space platforms, agricultural sensors, and cognitive electronics that adjust to ambient conditions in real time.

Origami is a traditional paper-folding art that is prominent in Japan and also practiced elsewhere, and includes both modular and moving types of structures. In recent years, mathematicians worldwide have focused on theoretical and practical questions raised by origami. Technical advances – such as novel ways of folding vehicle airbags – have resulted.

The Tentzeris team is working with mathematicians at Georgia Tech and elsewhere to develop formulations that will allow optimal exploitation of origami-related principles. One important goal, Tentzeris said, is to maximize the number of shapes that can be achieved in a single folding structure. That, in turn, will support antenna functionality.

“This is a major challenge — to increase the shapes you can pack into a device of a specific size,” he said. “Additional mathematical study could result in being able to form 16, 32, 64 or even more different types of antennas from a single device that’s less than an inch square when folded.”

The four-year project will involve Tentzeris and a team of six graduate students, along with some undergraduate students. Other project leaders include John Etnyre, a professor in the Georgia Tech School of Mathematics, and Stavros Georgakopoulos, an assistant professor in the Florida International University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Etnyre will focus on the mathematics of origami-shaped devices. Georgakopoulos will perform a significant set of tasks focused on resonators and related prototypes, while actively participating in the modeling procedure. Various international origamists will participate in this effort by introducing novel origami shapes and folding algorithms.

One element essential to the project is the concept of self-actuation – antennas unfolding by themselves.

In some cases, Tentzeris said, unfolding would happen automatically when a specific incoming frequency triggered a chemical activation mechanism. This kind of mechanism is related to the ability of plants, like daylilies, to unfold in response to a stimulus such as light.

In other cases, energy harvested from ambient electromagnetic energy in the air could provide power for activation, said Benjamin Cook, a graduate student working with Tentzeris on the project. Antenna deployment could be powered by built-in circuits that collect energy from such ambient airborne signals as TV and radio signals – a technique already demonstrated successfully by a Tentzeris research team.

When required, antenna movement could be powered by activation beams from a special-purpose energy harvester. This device would collect ambient energy and transmit it to antennas from as far away as 50 to 100 meters. Novel wireless power transfer architectures, currently being investigated in another joint NSF project of Tentzeris and Georgakopoulos, could further enhance the range of beam-power transfer.

Inkjet printing will also be essential to the development of origami antennas, Tentzeris said. Special inkjet techniques developed in recent years by Tentzeris and his team can deposit tiny antenna circuitry and supporting electronics, dielectrics and nanostructures onto a broad variety of materials.

Such materials could consist of paper, polymers, fabrics, carbon fibers, ceramics and flexible organics, depending on the application. When necessary, the origami-shaped antennas could be ruggedized using robust materials.

Metallic inks – formulated with a wide variety of conductive materials such as copper, silver, gold, nickel and cobalt – would be used. The choice of material would depend on the specific functionality required.

“My group’s extensive research into inkjet printing will be critical to this project,” Tentzeris said. “We have developed what I believe is the unique capability of being able to deposit multilayer conductors, nanostructures and dielectrics on virtually any material, for applications up to the millimeter-wave and sub-terahertz frequency range.”

This research was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under award EFRI-1332348. Any opinions or conclusions are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the NSF.

Geometric origami inspiration | Brooklyn Bride – Modern Wedding Blog

Geometric origami inspiration

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I’ve been spotting geometric origami projects left and right and there’s no better place to use them than in a modern wedding reception. Try a bunch of them as centerpieces for a a table, or hanging overhead as lanterns. Or create a pattern out of paper and adhere them to a wall. There are so many ways to use them and they add a clean, fresh vibe to the event.

Top  centerpieces

Middle left 2D heart hanging  |  Middle right gold hanging 

bottom left hanging lanterns  |  Bottom right hangings

by Brittany Watson Jepsen of The House That Lars Built

Geometric origami inspiration | Brooklyn Bride – Modern Wedding Blog.

 

Author tells stories with origami | Schools | Warren County News

Topics: Schools
Author tells stories with origami

MAINEVILLE, OH (FOX19) – Students at Little Miami elementary and primary schools learned the ancient art of origami recently when children’s author Christine Petrell Kallevig brought “Storigami” to their buildings.

Kallevig, who has written a number of children’s stories, used paper folding illustrate a number of stories she shared with students in Butlerville, Maineville and Salem Twp. schools. Students learned how to fold paper cranes and even how to make them “flap.”

Kallevig’s visit was sponsored by the PTOs of each building.

Topics: Schools

Author tells stories with origami | Schools | Warren County News.

 

Top Origami Artist to Shed Light on Modern Science of Origami at May 22 Talk

Robert Lang

To many of us, origami, the ancient Japanese art of paper-folding, is an artistic novelty, resulting in a cute miniature crane, frog, elephant or even a boat or a box. But, according to origami master Robert Lang, the algorithms and theorems of origami design have illuminated long-standing mathematical questions and have even solved practical engineering problems.

Lang, who is recognized as one of the foremost origami artists in the world, as well as a pioneer in computational origami and the development of formal design algorithms for folding, will give a free public talk, From Flapping Birds to Space Telescopes: the Modern Science of Origami from 2 to 3:30 p.m., May 22 in Geisel Library’s Science & Engineering Events Room. The lecture is the last in a series of origami-related events–which included origami instruction and screenings of the documentary Between the Folds–sponsored during spring quarter by UC San Diego’s Science & Engineering Library.

At his talk, Lang, who holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Caltech, will discuss the techniques used in mathematical origami design–ranging from the abstruse to the highly approachable–and will describe how geometric concepts led to the solution of a broad class of origami folding problems – specifically, the problem of efficiently folding a shape with an arbitrary number and arrangement of flaps. This paved the way for origami designs of mind-blowing complexity and realism, some of which will be examined during Lang’s lecture. As often happens in mathematics, theory originally developed for its own sake has led to some surprising practical applications, including safer airbags, said Lang.

Origami crab and crane

While working at NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Spectra Diode Laboratories, and JDS Uniphase, Lang authored or co-authored over 80 papers and 45 patents on lasers and optoelectronics and has authored, co-authored, or edited 14 books and a CD-ROM on origami. He is a full-time artist and consultant on origami and its applications to engineering problems but keeps his toes in the world of scientific publishing, most recently as the editor-in-chief of the IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics from 2007–2010. Lang received Caltech’s highest honor, the Distinguished Alumni Award, in 2009 and in 2013 was elected as one of the inaugural Fellows of the American Mathematical Society.

After his lecture, which will include light refreshments, Lang will be on hand to sign copies of his books, two of which–Origami in Action and Origami Design Secrets will be available for purchase.

This event is supported by funding from IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). For more information: http://libguides.ucsd.edu/origami. To register for Lang’s lecture: http://tinyurl.com/lang-lecture-reg.