After my last post about my Chinese prayer papers, I decided that this was the year I drag myself away from Adobe Illustrator long enough to get back to crafting. I decided to use my new papers to investigate and explore lantern forms and to cover my house in adorable little paper lantern garlands.
I have indeed made paper lanterns before, and this time I was going to step it up a notch, make beautifully crafted forms that would compel Martha Stewart to hire me as a freelance crafter. I was going to make refined, sophisticated yet playful objects that would be splashed all over Pinterest.
For my getting back to crafting lantern I decided to take a different course than the one I would expect myself to take, and the one that would make you ohhhh and ahhhhh. Instead, I abandoned all I hold dear as a crafter and I just went for it, with no plan, no thought of where I was going, working totally in the moment, with no thought as to what the next step would be. That actually sounds like I was art making, and indeed there are tons of artists who work this way, with carefree abandon, and I always admire them...but I am not one of them.
About an hour into my letting go lantern, which I thought would be a round a 2 hour project, I realized that I hated the product I was making, and to be honest, that did put a damper on the process. But, I forced myself to see it through to the end and 6 hours later I was putting on the finishing glitter glue touches.
I documented most of the process. This piece looks like an explosion in the craft aisle, but I think it could be a potentially great project. There are tons of variations, and if I was not so over it I would have added dangling dodads of sorts from the bottom. You can do that...
|I started by connecting 4 scrappy pencil drawings, then began collaging on top of them. Next time, I would start with 1 long piece of paper rather than 4 separate pieces, and I would use a heavier paper than cheap-o sketchbook paper.|
|Part of my not planning or designing meant a lot of ugly stuff. I removed a huge chunk, covered up things with paint, and now I am moderately satisfied with images. The yellow lotus came from my Hong Kong papers.|
|For the top, I only covered 1 plane, and I punched a hole in the center. Before I glue the box shut, I will make sure to have inserted this cord with a bead, so I have a way to hang the lantern.|
|The top view of the top.|
|And there you have it! The door will give me access to inserting a flameless tea candle, and it should let the light shine through.|
|It needs a handle, I think for the next one I will do that. That cool punching tool will also set grommets which is what I would do for adding a handle.|
So there you have it, me at my loosey goosey-est. It's lumpy and bumpy, there are glue stains, and there are gaps in the corners. I am hoping to bring some of this letting go to all my work this year, my surface designs as well as my crafty projects. Making this piece reminded me of being a kid, and just making stuff for the love of doing it, with no agenda for where it was going to end up, or who was going to see it. I would say "ahhh, the good old days" but actually, these are the good old days...