Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Quilling the Moon: Starting Considerations

Beautiful full Moon - must quill.
I've been telling myself for many, many years that I should quill the Moon in some fashion or other.  The Moon is one of my very favorite objects - I am a lunar scientist after all, and have been studying the surface of that world since I started college thirty years ago.  Thirty years is a long time to have a Moon fixation, be a quiller, and not quill the Moon.

My motivation for doing this now is mostly to have a piece to display at an upcoming science conference in October that has a small space art exhibit associated with it.  And in addition, there is a yearly competition over at Little Circles for quilling that I'm planning to enter this into, as well.

So even though I am not quite finished with my herb sampler from earlier in the year, I am plowing into another project anyway.  Well, plowing might be a strong word.  The first things I'm doing are: taking a good look at a lot of data from the Moon, buying a bunch of grey paper, and pondering what the heck to do with it.

One of the big things I'm fighting as I make this Moon thingy is my need for scientific accuracy.  I have to balance this against design and artistic needs.  This isn't a photograph I'm making after all, this is a quilled piece whose purpose is to evoke the Moon in more of an emotional fashion.  But one can't just turn off being a scientist, so that tension is informing the entire piece.

I found a picture of the Moon that I liked from my many NASA interests, and chose to blow it up to about eight inches in diameter.  I wanted to make it small enough that I'd actually complete it before a decade went by, but big enough that I could portray the craters in enough detail for my scientific perfectionism.

Paper strips, 1/4" in shades of grey.
After doing that, I bought a pile of grey paper.  I'd never bought paper from Little Circles before, so I chose to buy all these colors from their Culture Pop quilling paper line.  I'll talk more about using Culture Pop specifically in another post.  The colors, from pitch black to bright white are:  Velvety Darkness, Feathered Fedora, Steel Guitar, Bottlenose Dolphin, Indoor Recess, Fish Scales, and Photographer's Umbrella.  I went with the quarter inch wide paper instead of the normal eighth inch paper because I wanted the Moon to have a more substantial feel to it.  More mosaic-y I guess.  More depth.

My first choice in color was not to make the dark regions of the Moon out of pitch black.  As you can see from the picture of the full Moon, the dark regions, that is the 'mare' (pronounced "mar-ay") are not as black as space.  But I did want a good contrast, so I chose a very dark grey, the Feathered Fedora, as my major mare color. 

For the highlands, the brighter areas of the Moon,  I wanted to make the rayed craters the only thing in bright white.  So that meant choosing another color for the bulk of the bright areas.  I had to pick between the sort of ivory-ish color and the mottled grey color.  In the end, I liked the sort of 'bone' look of the very light ivory (thinking about bones and how these areas have a lot of high calcium rocks), and went with 'Fish Scales.'  I also decided I didn't like the sort of mottled look of the quills made with Indoor Recess, so saved that paper for other projects.  I also chose not to use the Steel Guitar at all, because it has a blue undertone that did not mix well with the Fish Scales, at least in my view.  That left me with just one more color, Bottlenose Dolphin as my intermediate grey to fill in the odd areas that are either darker highlands, brighter mare, or mixed regions with no clear color choice.

Enough for now!

Image Credits:  Moon, NASA.  Strips, my quilling strips from my supplies, my pic.

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