String Art

String art seems to have made a comeback. It began life as a teaching tool for math in the mid 1800’s, and became a popular craft in the 60’s and 70’s. Its long period of dormancy has finally come to an end, and it remains a wonderfully creative way to explore geometric patterns with older kids, and unique random designs with younger ones. We had great results experimenting with both.


  • wood
  • sand paper
  • paint and brush
  • paper
  • scissors
  • compass
  • protractor
  • ruler
  • pencil and eraser
  • tape
  • hammer
  • nails
  • pliers
  • scissors
  • string/yarn/embroidery thread
  • white glue


1. Wood makes the perfect base for this project, and small pieces are easy to come by in hardware stores. They can be found in scrap sections, or even in garbage cans. I’m not a dumpster diver, although it’s going to sound like I am, but I happened to walk past the garbage can near the big saw at Home depot, and there they were…perfect little pieces of wood calling out to me, and free no less. How you wish to acquire your wood is definitely up to you, but once you get it home, sand any rough edges, and paint it in a colour that will work well with the string/yarn/embroidery thread you will be using. Allow to dry.

2. I found an interesting, not too difficult pattern made with 6 different coloured pentagrams. Making the design will give older children an opportunity to practice a little math by dividing the circle into sections. To do this, take a white piece of paper and make a circle using a compass. Make sure the size will fit nicely on the piece of wood you’re using.

With a ruler,  draw a straight line across the circle, making sure it goes through the centre. Place a protractor along the line at the centre, and divide that half into 3 equal parts. Do the same for the other half. Since a circle is 360 degrees, and half the circle is 180 degrees, each section should be 60 degrees.

Next, use the protractor to divide each 60 degree section into 5 sections (12 degrees each). Do that for the entire circle. You will now have a circle with 30 marks indicating where each nail should go.

3. Trim the paper if necessary, and tape to the wood. Place something under the wood to protect the surface you’re working on, just in case the nails are hammered through the bottom. Hammer a nail on each of the marks you’ve made along the circumference of the circle. Each nail should be deep enough so the string can be pulled around it tightly without moving it. And make sure the nail has a head on it, so the thread is held in place.

Once all the nails have been hammered in, lift the paper up and tear it away. Use pliers to straighten any nails that may be on an angle. Finally, if you want to colour the heads of the nails, now would be a good time to add a little acrylic paint or nail polish. Allow to dry.

4. Time to add the string, yarn or embroidery thread. Tie thread around one of the nails. Don’t trim the thread too close or it will come undone. Glue will be added later to hide the thread. Moving clockwise, wrap the thread 12 nails away from the first one, and continue doing this, with 12 nails in between each one you wrap around, until you get back to the first nail. Tie a knot to complete the pentagram.

Choose another thread colour, and repeat the process beginning on the nail beside it. Continue until all the pentagrams have been made. Add a little white glue with your fingers to clean up the knots you have made, so the thread ends don’t show.

For younger children, an adult can either prepare the pattern for them, or provide the option of randomly hammering nails on the wood, and working from there. The results were just as fun.


Fresh Drinks: Tropical Paper Craft Ingredients

Fresh Drinks: Tropical Paper Craft Ingredients by Rendi Studio - Carambola + Watermelon

Franco Giovanella, a graphic designer based in Jaraguá do Sul, a small town in southern Brazil, has been working in the graphic design industry for the last 10 years, particularly in advertising agencies and other studios. Becoming tired of working towards solely the final product, Franco opted to start enjoying it and adding a dash of fun, hence the birth of Rendi Studio, an agency focusing primarily in tactile design. This collection of delicious looking drinks all have their colorful ingredients crafted out of paper and who doesn’t love a little bit of paper food, I know I do! Similar to Nearly Normal’s paper fruit calendar, these polygonal fruits burst to life!

Fresh Drinks: Tropical Paper Craft Ingredients by Rendi Studio - Pomegranate + Lime

Fresh Drinks: Tropical Paper Craft Ingredients by Rendi Studio - Pineapple + Pear

Fresh Drinks: Tropical Paper Craft Ingredients by Rendi Studio - Peach + Strawberry

Fresh Drinks: Tropical Paper Craft Ingredients by Rendi Studio - Kiwi + Orange

Fresh Drinks: Tropical Paper Craft Ingredients by Rendi Studio

Fresh Drinks: Tropical Paper Craft Ingredients by Rendi Studio

Always Be An Emerging Artist

I visited Philly for the first time a few weeks ago.  I really love the city… it seems like the perfect place for an artist to call home.  It’s inexpensive, full of young people, good public transportation, and the city center is intimate like a European city with old narrow brick streets.

While I was in town I decided to meet up with my newest artist friend Aubrey Levinthal.  I stopped by her studio and was introduced to her friend whom Aubrey is planning a two person painting exhibition with: Lauren Garvey.  The three of us drank coffee and reminisced about art school and all it’s lousy jargon.  The both of them attended Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia for their MFA’s and graduated a few years ago.  According to them, it’s a small school with a supportive faculty and a range of student work from representational to conceptual.

Now to Aubrey’s work.  The descriptive words that come to mind immediately are soft, atmospheric, and flattened form; I think her work is an excellent example of painting that toes the line between two dimensionality and three dimensionality.  She varies brushwork, prefers pastel colors, and is not afraid to boldly interpret in subject.  Aubrey primarily works from life but doesn’t hesitate to alter the composition in any imaginative manner she finds fit.  Still life is her subject of choice… mainly cups, tabletops, and food.  I love her compositions, the confident loose brushwork, her focus on soft light and atmosphere, the melting of representation into abstraction, and her hints of naive/primitive articulation of form.