Saturday, May 30, 2015

Art in Europe, Part II: Ingrid Siliakus

As I planned my trip to Vienna and Amsterdam, the fact quickly surfaced that it was going to be an "art trip."  As you know, I was planning to spend some significant time in art museums, but also I wanted to make art and talk about art-making. The idea solidified in March when my stepmom sent me this link:

What????? I asked myself in wonderment. Before you read this blog any further, I implore you to click on that link and be amazed by Ingrid Siliakus' paper architecture work.  Even after seeing it in person and understanding how it works, I am no less amazed. Here is a sample:

Turns out, Ingrid is from Amsterdam. So, emboldened by my good luck contacting working artists for the paper I wrote for my art history class this spring, I emailed her. And she wrote back. In no time, we had arranged to get together when I would be in Amsterdam in late May.

Ingrid was a delightful host and teacher. It turns out we have a lot in common and we got along famously. She asked me what I wanted to learn, and I was able to articulate my love for design and detailed precision. She showed me not only how to cut, score, and fold 3-dimensional designs from just one sheet of paper, but how to design such a thing. Even with her tips, the process can get confusing, but I think it is just a matter of practice. Here are some photos from our time together:

Ingrid's in-home studio includes a flat file, two laser cutters, and an air filter/ventilator. This small space is where all the magic happens.

Ingrid teaches at the local school for art and design, so she shared one of the designs with me that she uses there:

The pen-like tool on the right is what Ingrid called a stylus. I was so excited to learn about it--it will change my life in terms of scoring. Up till now, I've been using only a bone-folder, which is a wonderous tool in itself, but not quite right for this task. That's a little like using a butter knife when really you need a flat-head screwdriver. Upon my return to the States, I immediately purchased two, and discovered that they're also called scribers. They're a print-making tool.

Then we looked at (scrutinized!) some of her other prototypes and I was able to ask all the questions I could think of. 

Spending this time with Ingrid made my visit to Amsterdam so rich! I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to learn from her.


Unknown said...

My dearest Heather, it was my pleasure entirely, thank you for the beautiful post. I think back of our time together with great pleasure. Thank you and good luck with making artworks with this technique, I am very confident you can come up with gorgeous works. Love, Ingrid.

Annie said...

I can hardly wait to see your new creations inspired by Ingrid and your "art" trip. BTW, I love the bone folder you gave to me long ago!