I only learned in the last couple of years that maple keys are also called samaras, which is just a lovely name, don’t you think? Whatever you call them, they are fun to throw into the air and watch them spiral down in a quick flutter. You can make crafts with samaras too, of course. The classic is the dragonfly -- the shape of the key is a near-perfect match for a dragonfly wing, and if you collect a suitably-sized twig while you’re gathering samaras, you have pretty much all you need. Fowl Single File has a lovely example of this craft:
I wanted to use samaras in a new way. I collected a heaping handful, then I looked at them up close, then far away. I turned them all around, and cut one open to see what that was like. (There’s a flat little seed in there, and apparently, you can eat it!)
The maple key shape started suggesting other things, like commas, or fluttering sleeves, or... well... eyebrows, and mustaches. With that thought, I whipped out my trusty copy of Fred Archer On Portraiture and got to work.
(What, you don't own a copy of FAOP? That's fine. For the following project, you can cut out big photos of faces — human or otherwise — from a magazine or newspaper. Or, you can print out a photo of your very own gorgeous mug.)
Herewith are my “additions” to Fred Archer’s portraits. Please forgive me, Fred!
Super-fast, silly, and fun!
I'm Debbie Way, an artist and writer who enjoys making things.