Unfolding (and folding) Directions

To follow up on the earlier post about folded calligraphy, here are three examples illustrating potential directions that the combination of calligraphy and folding can go:

We can do traditional origami, such as a frog design

or, we might use a more graphical, structural approach, say, for greeting cards, shadowboxes, and wall art

or, as in the example of the previous post, we can go with abstract sculptural approach

These are still just prototype examples, of course; I can see that there will be an art to be learned about where to put the calligraphy on the original unfolded paper if I want it to display best, but I’ve made no real effort to coordinate the placement with the folds at this point. And since I haven’t yet really decided what I might want to use this for, I don’t know if one of the three approaches is more relevant for me personally. Or maybe there are additional approaches I should consider. What do you think?

Folded calligraphy

A few days ago, in browsing the Roku for something interesting to watch, we happened across the documentary Between the Folds, by Vanessa Gould. This is a short film about the art and science of paper folding. I have played a little with origami in the past, but the level of skill and the intricacy of the patterns shown in this movie was so far beyond anything I had seen before that I felt an irresistible urge to pick up a sheet of paper and start folding.

As it happened, the closest sheet of paper to me was a piece of scrap paper on which I had been sketching ideas for a envelope design for my nephew Matt’s upcoming birthday (Happy Birthday, Matt!). I just started by making semi-random folds, not trying to create anything in particular, but folding the sheet into a fan pattern in one direction, then un-folding it and doing the same with the sheet turned 90 degrees, and finally, I started throwing in various folds that I remembered from simple origami patterns I had learned years ago. My main thought was just to create something with enough complexity of facets and textures that it might enhance or add interest to the calligraphy. Here’s a photo that suggests what can emerge from this process:

This was just a preliminary experiment, but the result intrigues me, and motivates me to want to learn more about the current state of the art in paper-folding. If any reader has had experience in combining calligraphy and folding, I’d be particularly interested in hearing from you!