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"Alidade Anemones"

Size: 5" x 7"

Papercutting on archival paper with vintage map scrapbook paper for background.


An alidade is an instrument used for determining direction, either horizontal or vertical. In its simplest form, a peepsight or telescope is mounted on a straightedge and used for plotting directions graphically. It allows one to sight a distant object and use the line of sight to perform a task such as triangulating a scale map on site using a plane table drawing of intersecting liens in the direction of the object from two or more points. It can also be used to measure the angle and horizontal distance to the object from some reference point's polar measurement. In such instruments as transits and theodolites, (other precision surveying instruments) the alidade is the part containing the telescope and its attachments. 


Alidades are used in naval navigation but also have been long used in fire towers for sighting the bearing to a forest fire. To determine a bearing to a suspected fire, the used looks through the two sights and adjusts them until they are aligned with the source of the smoke. 


The alidade is an important tool for determining direction. When finding direction in our daily lives, sometimes we forget that we have many different tools to help us. We don't have to figure out direction alone-- those who know us best can help us discern. We don't have to figure out direction without guidance-- whether advice from others, or resources for planning, goal setting, and goal achieving, we can figure out where we want to go in life with the help of these tools. May these "Alidade Anemones" remind you that you have many "alidades" in your life to help you determine your direction. 


Created as part of  the Cartography of Flowers Collection.


This papercut art piece is hand-cut from one sheet of white archival paper and matted with a printed colored vintage map of France. The floral bouquet is made up of a three anemones flowers surrounded by leaves and twigs.

Alidade Anemones

  • SIZE: 5" x 7"

    MEDIUM: Papercut Archival and Scrapbook Paper


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