Sunday, June 26, 2011

Paper folding and fiddling

I spent a wonderful day on Friday with my friend Susan as we chatted and talked and flipped thru books and looked at things in her studio and folded paper.

She had recently done a paper folding course with Paul Johnson and wanted to show me some of the things that she thought we could both use in our arts practice. Neither of us is likely to work as boldy or as brightly as Paul does; but some of the techniques and structures seem to have pretty universal application.

I don't really have an engineering bent; but did manage to spend some time this weekend making up examples of some of the things she showed me. There were moments of great hilarity when my intuition came up against some logic and idea that made no sense to me - but between us (the two sides of my brain that is) we got there!

This is the lectern book - pretty funky.

This is a concertina book in a paper 'box' with cut outs on one side of the 'box'. It is neat, simple and will have many applications I think.

This is a box folded from a single A4 piece of paper, it has double-strength sides and tops and as a result you can do cut-outs and show something underneath... I also made a tab to tuck in.

I love having prototypes around the place to remind me how I did something, or how I could modify or improve something and these are a good little set to sit on my shelf as reminders when I wish to make something proper. Speaking of prototypes (cue distraction), Barry made the most amazing feathers this weekend - well worth a look; I am the number 1 fan!

Speaking of prototypes for the last time, I must confess that there was one box Susan loaned me as a guide and for the life of me I can't put it back together properly! That will be my challenge for the week, fingers crossed.


  1. Lovely little boxes - especially like the concertina box - looks very doable for non book artists xoxoxo

  2. Fiona I am a great fan of paper engineering and folding things. I am very taken with the lectern book and hope you find a way to get the other book back together. Off to check out Barry's feathers via your link. Lesley

  3. Clever... Such a great way to use lovely card and paper.

  4. sounds like you two had a wonderful time. these paper arts are gorgeous to see.

  5. my only problem with prototypes (including those I've made myself) is... I can NEVER remember how they worked! good luck with the reassembly!

  6. Hi N- yes it's a funny little hybrid thingy which is very sweet.

    Lesley - thanks; honestly the way the lectern book operates you just smile! It feels as if the piece is talking at you and you start chatting to it - odd I know, but true!

    Jo - yes there is plenty of scope for things to do with paper and card!

    Hi Tammie - thanks for commenting and yes, we did have a fun weekend of feathers and fiddling!

    Ronnie - oh so true; they can be helpful up to a point and then just downright frustrating!

  7. that box is nifty. i am a slowpoke when it comes to paper engineering.

  8. I love these little folded works - they have such an appeal to both my respect for precision and my appreciation for whimsy! Well done! And thanks for sharing...

  9. V - the box is actually very clever and I like it too. I am not a natural engineer at all...

    G/TT - they do offer an opportunity for expression; whilst retaining a sense of purpose, albeit whimsical as you say! There is always something out there to explore!


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