Thread Upon Threads

Multi-Dimensional Constructs by Rob Monroe

Jan 172016

Some rather significant changes have happened in 2015.  I now have my own house, my work space is set, I am ready to enter shows, and am off to some exciting new ideas.

In my last post I talked a bit about my next project.  I first titled it RadioActive because of it’s three sided curved design.  I am sure you can imagine a similarity in result.

But in my exploration of results, drawing lines between points, it dawned on me that what would actually occur took my mind more to a plant I knew when living in New Mexico, called Castilleja, commonly known as Indian paintbrush or prairie-fire.  I know it may seem obtuse, but that image decided my pallet, so I will try to explain.

Radioactive-JUST-THE-DOTS 1-12121495914tsn

At the base of the project, the root of the plant, it spreads out to give stability.  Here are the first 3 layers.

The photo on the right shows the center area.

I am going to describe the structure in several different ways.  Let us first talk about the three areas which seem to be three pairs of crossed threads.  The bottom layer has the two closest sets of threads, and each layer up has its pair spaced a bit wider apart.  I start in green as I imagine this as the root.Layer-3-Detail


Continuing up in layers, the pairs of crossed threads widen as the greens pale.  But now I want you to concentrate, not on the widening pairs, but on the center of the project which seems to form a smaller and smaller triangle with each angle pointing between the center of the crossed pairs.  Watch what happens next.


I want you to understand that at each layer, the only change I make with the stringing of the thread is that I skip a different number of screws, the dots in that first photo. It is the placement of the dots, the screws themselves which creates the coming change.


Notice that as the pairs of crossed threads widen, as that center triangle narrows towards the center, as I move from the eighth to the ninth layer, the point of the triangle reverses. It no longer points up, but points down.  I am sure there is a fine geometric explanation for this, and I welcome anyone who understands to send it to me.

But as far as the plant analogy, as the prairie-fire changes its leaves into its flower, this is where we move from the branch to the blossom.  We are now to the 13th layer, and that center triangle remains in its new orientation but widens out now as the flower blooms.Layer-13-full







As I move into the reds and finally into some variegation, the center triangle thins and finally disappears and the top most patterns, the tips of the green leaves turn to flame, the scarlets stay at the outer boarder.


Twenty layers, 3 inches thick, and perhaps one of the most striking views is that from the side.

Strangely enough, beyond the design and understanding how the pattern would change, the actual threading for this design was relatively simple. My next design, a pair of triangular pieces with hidden stars will have complications in the threading that may have frustrations beyond anything I have done before.

Dec 072015

I am now firmly established in my new home.  I have repaired, put up shelving, painted, bought rugs, adjusted furniture, set up my computer system, wired speakers, and established a working space in my garage to drill all my innumerable holes.

You may remember the design I had planned for my next project.  Well, this is how

it gets printed out and used as a template to drill the plastic.  Since my printer can only print paper 13″ wide, for a pattern 24″ square I have to print each of the 4 corners and then tape them all together.  I add the rough red lines and orientation arrows to make sure they match up correctly.  I am, after all, only printing out a lot of dots.

The template is taped onto the protective paper around the plexiglass with double sided tape.  Then I drill through the dots.

 I would send you a shot of my doing that, except no one was there to take the photo.




So here is a shot of the drilled plexiglass.  I would have taped in the screws and started picking out the colors, except I did not have enough 3″ screws, so I am waiting for a delivery and you will have to wait for more photos.

I wish you all a truly lovely holiday season, a snowy white one if you are in those areas of the world, but definitely peaceful in this turbulent time.

Nov 122015

I am not quite there, but I expect to be soon.

Those who read here know that I have been in the process of buying a house.  It is in a northern suburb of Austin Texas.  I do not truly feel I am a Texan, but I am realizing the innocent misunderstandings of youth about what it is to be a Texan.  I am in the process of getting to know my neighbors, making places within this house to hold stuff and placing my stuff in them.  I am buying shelves for the garage, investigating the attic, replacing lights and fans, painting walls, buying rugs, and wondering what in HELL I am going to do with my back yard.  I don’t even have a lawn mower and I have trees to trim.

But I am meeting kind and generous people. discussing the ins and outs of a new neighborhood, getting help from neighbors and giving help to them.  In other words, I am finding my community.  It is a good thing.

But it takes time, important time, but time, and I am only now getting back to previous tasks which are also important to me.  But so I do and am about to begin my next project.  I have the design, colors in mind.  I have the base and frame and soon will start the drilling as soon as the garage is in shape.  Hopefully that will be before Thanksgiving.

See you then.

The Third Dimensional Issue

The Third Dimensional Issue

It has been a continuing issue for me to communicate through my website the Three dimensional aspects of my art.  How can I show the depth of a piece if all I have is a two dimensional photograph.  I can encourage them to come to a show, which, obviously, I do.  But when talking about […]