Ruth Mergi Ketubah Circles Multilayer


t's Friday night, 3AM, and I'm wide awake. It had been a hard week, but that wasn't what was keeping me up.

This was:

I was making art inside my mind. I do this all the time. For every papercut I complete, I've got dozens stored away in my mental studio. I'm extremely prolific as an artist, really, if you count the body of work that exists entirely in my imagination.

Still, nights like Friday night -- these don't come often. Maybe it was the New Year, or the release that came once the worst of a bad experience was over. Either way, this was the most enjoyable of insomnias: One image after another, fully-formed inside my mind, layers and geometries and color and composition. It was all there. Finally, I hopped out of bed and scrawled out some sketches.

Yesterday, back in the studio, I set about work on the first piece of my imagined opus. The problem was, I had no idea how to go about it. I needed to create a circular, multilayered design element, with layers that offset in a spiral. The idea reminded of Matt Shlian's amazing Process Series, which explores the movement of 2D geometries through space. (Check out his brilliant paper sculpture and math-y structures -- cool, eh?) I'd looked at his Process Series before, and could never figure out how he did what he did.

This time was different: Inspired, determined, and having recently discovered the Blend tool in Illustrator, I finally got it. I tinkered, I fiddled, and before too terribly, long, the solution appeared before my eyes, right there on my trusty computer screen.

Clearly there is some very interesting math behind all this, which I don't know the first thing about. But I have an inkling of the basic concepts, and if I can't articulate them in so many equasions, then at least -- joy! -- I can express them well enough with my cutting knife.

Aren't I lovely? 20 layers, hand cut, about 6 inches square.

I'm still working out the kinks, but for me, getting something out of the mental studio and into the Actual Real World is always a thrill. I did it!

And then on to Step 2. How about some color?

ISN'T THAT COOL?!? Tell me it's cool. I think it's fracking awesome. (can I say that?)

Now that we've got the stacked spiral down, look for it in an upcoming ketubah design, along with some more cool fruits-of-my-insomnia. Coming soon!

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