I’ve never been much of a fan of gold – I’ve always thought it lacks an aspect of the “understated” that I would associate with elegance. So, I’m entertained by my current obsession with the art of gilding – it has a delicacy that is incongruous with the gaudiness of gold accessories. If I’m honest, the Gilded Crane is something I merely wanted to see, but there is a lot that can be read into it.
In the Paper Dolls project I did with Breeyn McCarney, we explored the lack of value we attribute to materials like paper. Paper is something that is incredibly expensive to produce, at least when we use it as an infinite and disposable resource. The Gilded Crane could be considered another exploration of this. Origami adds value to paper through craft and artistry. Additionally, the illusion of value is added through gilding. To my knowledge, there is no way to effectively “harvest” or profit by the low financial value of gold leaf – in a sense, the gold itself has been disposed of since the act of gilding makes it impossible to reuse (without melting it off or burning the substrate).