Imagine your artwork flying in the sky as a mobile or kite. With a provided kit of tools and materials, spend the weekend creating art that floats and flies.
Mar 25, 2023 - Mar 26, 2023
Workshop Fee: $350
Class Size: 10
Note: This class will be held in a live, online format using the Zoom Platform.
Class meets Sat & Sun 9am-4pm ET. Materials are provided, however, registrations made after March 17 may result in a delayed arrival of the materials kit (sessions are recorded too).
Imagine your artwork airborne. This two-day intensive online workshop will provide some simple tools to begin the exploration of suspended forms that fly or float in the air. Along with these basic processes we will look at the rich international history and world culture of kites and mobiles along with contemporary art practices. The class will also include a brief section on the historic cyanotype processes and perhaps a few surprise projects, too.
The course will include the principles and aerodynamics of tethered and suspended flight that include both mobiles & kitemaking along with a primer for more advanced principles using the simple basic materials of paper, glue, bamboo, and string. We will start with using paper, bamboo & glue to create mobiles and a series of simple paper fold kites using origami-like principles. We will then explore and make some traditional Japanese-style kite forms. We also like to encourage experimentation and have students jump to creating their own flying forms along with their chosen imagery of photography, painting, printmaking, or collaged paper works.
The lightness of the medium of air inspires the flight-worthiness of the form. We strongly encourage the simplicity factor in the making of kites and mobiles, following the play of the hands and the exploration of the materials. The objects we make during this first introduction will hopefully inspire further explorations into paper crafts and art of the air.
A word of warning: Kite making and flying your creations may catch your imagination in a higher way and, like us, you will become uncontrollably and passionately involved with kites as wind artists and devoted sky watchers. There is nothing quite like seeing your freshly made kite climb to the blue sky and dance happily overhead at the end of the string. The kite smile is contagious, too.
Small kits of materials and tools will be provided. The fee is included in the tuition for materials and postage. Please provide your best mailing address when registering.
Images courtesy of George Peters & Melanie Walker.
Instructor: Melanie Walker
“I remember making and flying kites with my father when I was quite young. He was a flight training pilot during WWII and enjoyed making box kites from paper and dowels. My interest in kites as an art form developed more fully after collaborating with George Peters on installations and kite making ventures starting back in the mid-nineties. I now combine photographic imagery with kites to extend the range of photography into works for the gallery of the sky.”
Melanie Walker has an exhibition history that spans more than thirty years. She received a BA from San Francisco State University and an MFA from Florida State University. She is a mixed media artist invested in ideas. Her approach to materials includes photographic media, digital art, sculpture, installation, fiber art, printmaking, costume design and public art. She has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally and has work in a number of permanent collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson. She has received numerous grants and fellowships including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. She is presently a professor of Art in the Integrated Media Area where she teaches analog, digital and historical photographic processes at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Instructor: George Peters
“I began making kites with my father when I was a boy and returned to making kites again while living in Hawaii in 1976. After years as a painter, sculptor and graphic artist, the experimental combination of working in light weight sculptural forms, being an avid sailor and having a constant source of good trade winds probably made the leap to art kites inevitable. Much of my initial inspiration came from Japanese kites that turned simple kite making into a full wind-blown passion. Bamboo, paper, and plastic kites gradually transformed into kites sewn from rip-stop nylon and fiberglass rod and tube frames. Many designs were inspired from nature, the forms of birds and insects to more abstracted shapes suited for their aerodynamic qualities and visual appeal in the overhead sky gallery.”
George Peters has worked with aerial forms from gallery works to installation sculpture, kites, mobiles, wind sculpture and banner works. He has completed over a hundred national and international commissioned works for private, corporate, and public institutions. His art education was at the Art Center School of Design in Los Angeles and has worked in various art fields as a visual artist, sculptor, craftsman, fiber artist, environmental and installation sculpture, graphic arts, illustration, photography, film animation, digital imaging, architectural modeling, theater set and costume design. Since creating Airworks Studio, Inc. with artist, Melanie Walker in 1999, their joint works have won national and international public art commission awards.