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.
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