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pondering lines, triangles, spirals

June 10, 2010

I was thinking about the sorts of lines I like. If one imagines a Point A and a Point B, and perhaps there is one line that connects both, but continues past both, what kind of line would I make to do so? A curvy and meandering line that wanders. And if there were a series of lines, sort of parallel to each other, they would create what I call an endometrial coastline. But I would almost never create absolutely horizontal or vertical straight lines, in true parallel. Great for engineering, but predictable in all the wrong ways.

Then I thought about shapes. If you widened a (straight) line sufficiently, then cut out a segment of it, it could resemble a square or rectangle. I’ll admit to using squares in some designs, because I have graph paper, so it’s a way to build up design motifs easily and quickly. But the grid itself is never the point, or the star, of my designs; it’s just the framework. And I don’t really like squares. Rectangles are better, marginally, but I don’t prefer them either. But now I see why: if they are essentially straight lines connecting Point A to Point B (or vice versa), they are also bifurcations, which I don’t like either.

I guess the human mind seems to prefer to see things in terms of polar opposites or bifurcations, but if we have to have just a small number of choices, I always prefer three, so trifurcations. If we can have more options, I want a spectrum, or a matrix.

If we have two points in space that have some relationship, I become interested when a third point appears, and adds itself, making a community. And if those points are connected in a certain way, we have a triangle. Triangles are the one geometric shape I gravitate towards.

Spirals can be 2-d or 3-d, so they convey even more complexity. If you had a group of points, several different spirals could be drawn to connect all of them. They have curved lines, an unknown destination, and are not completely predictable.

I’m thinking ahead to quilting. The first idea I have, which developed out of the design exercises I did last year on graph paper (using the Fibonacci series and “rainbow” colors, to create mosaics of “nearest neighbors communities”), would be very geometric-looking, until I figure out how to add my own favorite motifs to it — meandering lines, triangles, and spirals.

I also have some nebulous ideas for a variation, using circles of various sizes, and a monotone color scheme.

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