Kavad 4.6 Progress

Kavad 4.6 - tree of life

Well, I’ve started the decoration project of the Kavad.  I’m calling it 4.6… where

  • 1.0 was the paper model built out of index cards
  • 2.0 was the second paper model built out of card stock
  • 3.0 was the digital model built in sketch up
  • 4.0 was the foamboard construction, in which…
    • 4.5 was the completed model
    • 4.6 is the decoration scheme on the outer frame (started);
    • 4.7 will be the middle layer of decoration (later today?)
    • 4.8 will be the inner layer of decoration (tomorrow?)

So now you’ll be able to follow the blog posts and figure out what’s what, and understand the paper prototyping methodology.  Eventually, version 6.0 will be a wooden version of the model, if I ever get that far… I already think there will need to be a more precise foamboard model, which will be version 5.0 and related numbers.

The first picture in this file is the east front of the Kavad, which will have the Tree of Life on it.  This diagram has been so much a part of my thinking about creativity and about the mindset of the creative person, that I can’t really imagine leaving it off.  I debated whether it belonged inside the box, or outside, but — even though it doesn’t fit with the designs of the rest of the box, I decided that it belonged here, for reasons which I hope will eventually become clear to me, and perhaps to you the reader.  I know that they aren’t clear to me now, and it may change over time.Kavad 4.6

The second photo in this blog post is the “west front” of the kavad, which as you can see contains twelve niches.  I started out doing these with a ruler, and by the time I finished this side, I resolved to do the rest of them free-hand, because I’ve already decided this is a prototype. Except then I changed my mind again — which I can do, because I’m an artist.  The reason for changing my mind was pretty simple: I need to practice the skills of an artist in order to learn how to do the design work and artistic work necessary to make the object… It’s part of the model of creativity I talked about earlier this week… you have to have skills with the tools in order to do good work.  You need both the practice and the ideas. (And it occurs to me that I should start an artwork-a-day blog in order to practice these skills, too, not just Taiji).

As much as I want to go into the interior of the kavad and start decorating, the discipline of the prototyping number system suggests strongly that I should stay on the outer layer, and put something, anything really, into each of the little boxes or frames I’ve created.  I’m not sure that I have the energy to do all of that today.  But we’ll see, maybe I do.  And along the way I’ll learn lots of stuff about creative work that I don’t yet know, but I’ll ‘get’ a whole lot better as the day wears on.

If it’s a Christian kavad, then I imagine that a lot of the outer layer stuff would be images of saints and martyrs and doctors of the church.  But I noticed when I was free handing some of the icon frames on the outside that I’d done a group of three, and a group of five, and a group of four, and a group of 7, and a group of twelve, and a group of sixteen. That puts me in mind of the Druidic elements (3), the Sorcerous elements (5 – earth air fire water azoth), the traditional elements (earth air fire water – 4), the traditional planets (7) the signs of the zodiac (12), and the signs of geomancy (16).  I guess I’m building a Hermetic/magical kavad this time around.  We’ll see if version 5.0 wavers from that intention.

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    • You’re welcome. Part of the point of this exercise is to be creative in public, and to show a model of creativity at work, and to show process as well as product. That means taking lots of photographs, posting them, and documenting the construction of this object through multiple steps and prototypes.

      So far, so good, I’d say. The number of people checking in to see what’s going on is … well. Startling.

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