The First Fold
When the decahedral box defeats me, I look through the box-making instruction book for something easier. I’d planned to make this decahedral box for my geometry tutor, to reflect our multiple dimensions. I’d fill it with chocolates, to thank him for mysterious words like vertex. Using models made from dowel, he pulls triangles from squares and reflects squares into triangles. I could kiss his feet from awe. You don’t obey these strange compulsions. Resisting impulse is what makes us or unmakes us, depending on your philosophy.
Pinwheels are lovely for storing teabags. Use Japanese rice papers; gold cranes on aqua lakes, a repeat of violet fans on a translucent parchment ground, red dragons, that sort of thing.
Try for a smooth curved line when making cylindrical boxes for bottles and neckties, and remember to push the end of the pleats into the first fold. (Ah, the first fold. The first container is the womb, where we make our first folds. The second container is the life. We make our lives outside the womb. We enfold ourselves like babushka dolls. We enfold. And we unfold. And then we fold up, into the final box known as the coffin.)
The paper blossom is suitable for presenting candy. The folds make an eight pointed star and look like a celestial diagram. Fold forward along broken lines. Suck slender straws of striped sweetness straight from the blossom.
A book-style box has many uses. Choose vintage orange, put lettering in a sixties font, or move on to making steampunk boxes from leather and brass. Design your own book covers! The artist still matters!
None of my boxes will ever be finished because my folded curves are inexact, and unrepeatable. I lack patience, I am sanguine, I am as rubbish at making paper boxes as I am at learning geometry.
Containment, boundary, structure, shape: these make something out of tangible and intangible things. I also want to say, who cares about the packaging? It’s what’s inside that counts.
Congratulations to Charlotte!
Charlotte got all the quiz questions right, and made her Dad send them in just in time for the deadline... well done Charlotte, and I hope you enjoy the art work by xoum's talented cover designer, Roy Chen! I think it's a beautiful image of Irina and Durrell embarking on an adventure, riding through the snow on their way to the Crystal Sea....
"Irina's elation grew. She embraced her father, said goodbye, then climbed onto Durrell's back and pushed her gloved hands into his fur. Astride the mighty wolf, she gave King Harmon such a radiant smile that he had to smile in return. Irina put her head down and the pair sped off, leaving tracks in the white snow, Amicus flying high above."
p 67 Irina and The White Wolf.
--- Raizel ---
I remember vividly writing about Irina's first encounter with Raizel, the old wise-woman of the South. As in many fairytales, the crone is there at the beginning, when Irina is a baby... but I really felt Raizel's power when Irina meets her in the forest. Running through my mind was the word 'interest' -- Raizel has a deep and profound interest in Irina. The wolf-girl is being looked on by wise and ancient eyes, and she is both warmed by it, and in awe of it. To hold the interest of someone older, who poseses a profound intelligence, can be quite an experience:
"There, behind the hare, was an old crone. Her skin was as withered as a
fallen apple...and she wore a floor length wrap made of furs, and held a basket of stones over one arm. Her eyes were partly obscured by the folds of her eyelids, and they gleamed darkly, like wet stones in a river.
The crone was studying Irina with such concentration that it seemed to pour from her in waves, wrapping Irina warmly and firmly. Irina had never seen the woman before, and yet she felt she had always known her.
Instinctively, barely conscious of what she was doing, Irina knelt."
p118, Irina The Wolf Queen.
Have you ever had this kind of experience, this feeling of interest from an older person, a teacher, a mentor, or grandparent perhaps, someone who helped you grow into who you are?
The Ringwood Madonna
If you'd like to read the rest of The Ringwood Madonna, from the story collection Bearings, it's currently on sale for only $9:95! Click on stockists below:
"Swann has ... the ability to see and sense things about human beings from original angles, make unexpected and illuminating comparisons and connections and to communicate the ways in which a humble domestic object or a passing gesture can become infused with significance." Kerryn Goldsworthy, The Sydney Morning Herald
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