Artist Roundtable Talk February 16th

Hello All,

I’m part of an artist roundtable talk this coming February 16th at 6PM at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, one of three panelists discussing our Jerome Foundation Book Arts Fellowship projects for 2016.

My project is an innovative exploration of my beloved bio-paper – paper grown in-situ from bacterial cellulose – using this amazing and unusual paper to create a limited edition of books featuring the poetry of e.e. cummings. Using the unique properties of the translucent paper, I will be embedding the text at varying depths within the paper itself, resulting in quasi-three dimensional wordplay; which makes the work of e.e. cummings perhaps the ideal source text to use.

More on this to come, but in the meantime, please enjoy these photos of work samples I created for the talk next week, and a short video clip of a fresh sheet of this paper after harvesting. The work samples are based on the concept I am exploring for my project; laminations of thin sheets of biofilm with embedded text objects between the layers, all made of pure bacterial cellulose to ensure maximum bonding and integration. This means: one single sheet of paper with multiple levels of content within one page!

The finished work will be precisely laser-cut and won’t look anything like this hand-cut sample, quickly done to show the process. It may or may not survive the evening of the talk after it gets handled a fair amount. Let’s hope it does as I’ve already had a request to acquire this piece!

If you’re in the Minneapolis / St. Paul area and wish to hear more about the process, please have a look at the event details above, and I hope to see you there.



Geometry in Porcelain – short video

I saw this fantastic little 4:30 minute documentary on Bobby Jaber, a retired chemistry teacher who has spent the last 20 years working with porcelain to represent geometric shapes and solids. It’s beautiful artwork and well worth seeing.

It reminds me a lot of Shuzo Fujimoto, a Japanese chemistry teacher who decided to fold paper to help represent chemical structures for his students; he was one of the first origami tessellation masters, and his explorations became the basis for most of what exists in the origami tessellation world these days.

I don’t know what it is about retired chemistry teachers, but they sure seem to have a gift, don’t they?


PORCELAINIA from Dave Altizer on Vimeo.

Origami Crumpling Instructions

Here’s another instructional video, covering the simplest of the Vincent Floderer-style crumpling techniques. If you’re unaware of this style of folding, it was brought to the awareness of the global origami community via Paul Jackson, a British origamist and designer. Vincent Floderer learned this technique and really developed it to new heights, and has been focusing primarily on it for more than two decades now! I highly recommend checking out his website to see some of the amazing examples of his work.

Give this model a try and let me know how it turns out for you!


Origami Hyperbolic Paraboloid Instructions

Here’s a short video I knocked together on how to fold a hyperbolic paraboloid, which is a folding exercise from the Bauhaus school (notably from Josef Albers). I learned about this model ages ago, but the great research work of Erik and Marty Demaine clued me in to the real history behind this piece, as well as numerous other tessellated & geometrical folding patterns!

This folding method I demonstrate is a fast way of doing it, and the method I use when teaching classes as it saves a massive amount of time. I highly recommend giving this model a try!