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Waxing and Waning: The On-going Calenar
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Project Description: A perpetual calendar with moveable low-relief tiles.
Function: My proposal is to create an elegant, durable, perpetual calendar based on the lunar cycles. The calendar is composed of a grid of monochromatic, low-relief, moveable square tiles. The face of each of the 28 tiles is a relief version of the moon phase. The calendar stays current by rearranging the tiles on a yearly or monthly basis, depending on the size. This activity triggers a tactile experience that leads to a deeper visceral connection with the cycles of waxing and waning and the passage of time.
I am considering different materials to create the tiles including cast concrete, ceramics and recycled metals. The final material should be durable and sustainable while providing a monochromatic, matte surface. I cast paper from wood molds, but have limited experience with concrete, ceramics and metal. Working with the Workshop Residence team is an opportunity to learn while exploring the potential materials. Important deciding factors include weight and precision of cast shapes.
I am excited to work with Paul Discoe and his team to design reclaimed wood frames for the grids. I imagine devising a lockup system for the calendar that easily secures the tiles for hanging and releases the tiles for rearranging including blank tiles for missing days (i.e. February 31). The frame and tile design may accomplish this or may require a tool like a letterpress key and quoin.
In the past, I created cast paper pieces from hand carved wooden molds and found objects.
Because the tiles will be handled over the years, the project requires a more durable material. Paper is not suitable for this calendar project. To create the tiles, I am willing to hand carve the molds of the lunar phases and I am open to exploring new techniques for creating molds. The monthly and yearly calendars will use the same size tiles, so the same set of molds will be used to produce both calendars. The tiles will be symmetrical, allowing the molds for waxing phases to also be used for waning phases. This will result in cost savings and production efficiency.
Each tile will be approximately 2” x 2”.
The monthly calendar will have 6 rows (weeks) and 7 columns (days of the week). The total size of the grid alone will be 12” x 14”. This estimate does not include the wooden frame.
The annual calendar will have 12 rows (months) and 31 columns (days). The total size of the grid alone will be 24” x 62”. This estimate also does not include the wooden frame.
Additionally, my fantasy is to work with the Workshop Residence to produce a wall size scale calendar for public spaces. I think the textures and shadows will be magnificent on a large scale. I love the idea of people gathering annually to watch the pieces be rearranged every year.
Living in the city removes us from the night sky and cycles of nature. Over the years, I found great comfort and solace in tracking the passage of time with lunar calendars. The constant beauty of the waxing and waning cycles reminds me that everything is in flux. I was initially drawn to following the lunar cycle after losing my father, but moving forward I found continuous comfort in staying aware of the shifting phases of the moon through waves of joy and sorry, birth and death, growth and decay. Building off of Eleven Months Mourning and my continued work with low-relief monochromatic cast paper, I would love to partner with the Workshop Residence and their fabricators/collaborators to create a beautifully designed, functional calendar that plans for non-obsolescence.