Papercraft: The Boxes

The Boxes

Originally uploaded by anselm23

I’m teaching a class on paper-craft and in particular pop-up books during summer school this year, and I wanted to start working on my skills so that I can teach my students some new skills when it comes time. There’s a colleague of mine, as well, who’d like to teach her students some pop-up structures, for making cards and mini-books about Native American peoples they’ve studied this year.

I figured, it was time to teach myself some skills. So, I brought home Carol Barton’s book, and I made the first six of her designs: a straight box (purple and yellow in the upper left of the photo), a stepped box (purple, white and yellow in the center back left), a freestanding box-support (back right), a weird “carved box” shape (lower left), a modified box (the shield shape in lower center), a heart, (right hand side, in red), and a scallop shell (center, and hard to see).

About two hours of work. Taught me a lot about following directions, about learning to see possibilities and potentials. I’ve already decided that I want to make a mini book for someone, detailing the Five Elements, the Seven Planets, and the signs of the Zodiac. Call it a mini-kavad in book form. Not sure when I’ll get to it. It’s clear that knowing the structures is one thing — having a clear sense of the book you might produce with such a thing is another. The technology and the vision are separate from one another; learning the methods will not help you come up with creative ideas of how to use the construction techniques. You need the mysteries, or access to the imaginal realm, or the ability to travel astrally, to get access to those sorts of things.

Via Flickr:
Carol Barton’s “boxes” from her book The Pocket Paper Engineer: Vol. 1.Am I getting ideas for the kavad? Of course. Are all of them practical? Of course not.

This is about two hours of work. I learned a great deal in the process about design and structure of pop-ups, and how challenging its going to be to teach some of this in a class this summer. Knives and rulers and protractors and pencils oh my!

One of my aphorisms for design is my friend Mark’s saying, Tools dictate solutions. If all we give students is lined paper, graph paper, three ring binders and pencils and pens… All of their solutions start to look like that. Even the addition of a knife or a pair of scissors is something.

I look forward to tackling triangles soon.

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