Weekly Keep-Our-Sanity Challenge: Star


The theme of our Keep-Our-Sanity challenge this week is Star.  

“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.” 
― Carl Sagan  

This quote – one of my favorites about stars – is a profound statement. Think about it. Stars as a creative force manifesting conciousness into beings such as ourselves. We reflect upon the universe – stars – and thereby reflect upon our selves – upon our very nature the source from which we came. 

Over tens of thousands of years humans have architected meaning about stars and our relationship to them, in the form of myths, legends and art. We tend to associate them into pictographic groups; i.e., “constellations“, each culture describing their own variations and interpretations.

As an example of differing interpretations, consider the constellation Orion: mythologized as a hunter in Europe, and as a severed hand in the America Northern Plains peoples, the distinctive “belt” identified as the Hunter’s Belt in the former case, and as the severed part of the wrist in the latter.  In terms of depiction… “the earliest has been linked to the constellation of Orion is a prehistoric (Aurignacian) mammoth ivory carving found in a cave in the Ach valley in West Germany in 1979. Archaeologists have estimated it to have been fashioned approximately 32,000 to 38,000 years ago.[2][3][4].(~Wikipedia).

The Pleiades – a star cluster, not a constellation – is also widely storied in cultures around the world. Again, variations in interpretation are plentiful. Among my favorite of these is the legend told by the Wurundjeri people of south-eastern Australia: “The Pleiades were represented by the seven Karatgurk sisters. These women were the first to possess the secret of fire and each one carried live coals on the end of her digging stick. Although they refused to share these coals with anybody, they were ultimately tricked into giving up their secret by Crow, who subsequently brought fire to mankind. After this, the Karatgurk sisters were swept into the night sky. Their glowing fire sticks became the bright stars of the Pleiades cluster.[33]” (~Wikepedia).

Constellations, star clusters, and notable single stars, all have inspired human imagination from the earliest beginnings of our capacity to create stories and imagery. 

Our Team’s Interpretations

Niky Sayers: Capricorn constellation book

Jenny Davies-Reazor: The Star Tarot card. Images from an Italian . Tarot Deck from the late 1800’s. This is a color xerox transfer onto polymer. Currently a cab- but I hope to make more of these for my bead shows in April.

Cathy Spivey Mendola: My zen-doodle star. This week I just felt the need to do some doodling. Repetitive lines, swirls & squiggles are very relaxing.

Claire Fabian: A little experiment with water colour and acrylic paint.

Claire Fabian: You see, only 5×5 cm. The paper is handmade (not by me).

Claire Fabian: The other three pieces are still wip. And not sure whether I want to keep the light colour…

Karen Totten: The Big Dipper – or (part of) The Great Bear. One of a series of ceramic Constellation components I made a few years ago.

Karen Totten: Constellation Sky Map on a ceramic component. Made a few years ago.

Karen Totten: Orion – one of a series of ceramic Constellation components I made a few years ago.

Karen Totten: Shooting Star bead. Ceramic beads made a few years ago.

Susan Kennedy: Glass star beads

Do you have any Star creations or thoughts you’d like to share? 


Karen Totten

Karen has worked professionally as an artist and designer for over 30 years in a variety of creative disciplines: architectural design, illustration, art direction, mixed media art, interaction design. She currently works full time as a User Experience (UX) Design Principal for an international consultancy. When not flying to work every week, her other passions are ceramic art, sketching, and occasionally, jewelry design. “For me, the creative life, from UX to fine art, has always been one of exploration and adventure. As the daughter of an air force navigator, I grew up a traveler. To this day I am intrigued by stories and motifs that transcend time, culture, and geography.“
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