09 May 2020

Studio Saturday - a useful trick for awkward division

Another batch of facemasks is underway -

Another recent project is "tracing my daily walks" - over the week it has taken a more definite shape and has reached what will probably be the furthest point south, which coincidentally lies just north of the point where the map changes scale. (I walk the walk without the street atlas to hand.)
As I (temporarily) labelled the areas (Highgate, Hornsey, Stoke Newington) I discovered that an entire quadrant lay empty (Tufnell Park, Camden Town) -
That was soon remedied -

The walks are a way of defining "my local area" - places I could reach on foot. I worked out that the radius was just over two miles (45 minutes' steady walking) but that I was usually out on the streets for over two hours, tsk tsk too much "daily exercise"!

The random routes make interesting shapes ... perhaps the project will take its shape from these shapes? Sheer fabrics, overlaid perhaps? Printed areas defined through stencilling? Thinking of the latter, and longing to do quite a lot of woodblock cutting, I looked for some simple travel-lines that could be traced and cut -
It took several hours to trace, and this is the result of several hours' cutting (half a dozen podcasts). It's about a sixth of the tracing -

At one point in the week another project nearly got underway, one that needed a 30-page accordion book. The book took longer than expected and is still only half finished. Each strip of paper needed folding into sixths and was an inconvenient measurement for "doing the maths". If awkward division is something that ever happens to you, this geometrical method will be useful.

I had folded the strip in half so I needed thirds. 12 (inches) is easily divided by 3, so I put the end of the ruler in the corner of the paper and swung the ruler so the 12 hit the edge of the paper. (That made the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle.) Then I marked the 8 and the 4 along the ruler. At this point you can draw your fold line with a set square or similar 90-degree tool, or you can repeat the measurement from another corner and line up the two dots.
The method works for any awkward division, fifths, sevenths, etc - just find a measurement that can easily be divided by 5, 7, etc and swing your ruler accordingly.

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