MMT: pt1; pj1; ex1: day 2

I thought I had laid these pleats to rest last night. But breakfast found me fidgetting!

Changing scale again I went to teeny tiny. Tearing a page from a flower/bulb brochure that came through the letter box I was curious what impact tiny pleats would have on the colour. Sample 26 & 27 were folded in accordion pleats and then this bundle of pleats was folded. I made the mistake in sample 26 of having an odd number of pleats in the final stage which meant the paper folding lacked what I had anticipated (which was the bridge of the Samples 21 &22). However, this did highlight for me the impact of odd versus even quota of pleats should it become required of a design.

Sample 27 I folded on the diagonal again, thinking back to the research I did yesterday on Zoe Bradley. I liked how the torn edges seemed tufted in contrast to the sharp folds. The impact on colour was minimised in 26 & 27, but sample 28 felt more painterly, removing the photogrpahi feels and creating a more abstract interplay of colours.

Thinking this would be it for the sample making I looked at some more paper artists to see how they were using folding and what boundaries they were pushing. I am very aware that with such a simple fold there must be a limited number of original possibilities, but with each added element the possibilities increase. Though research seemed to contradict this. Each artist very much having their own voice, purpose and process.

I recorded this time in my sketch book as ideas quickly leapt from ‘Paper Orbs’ to the work of Yuko Nishimura (I have created a new MMT board on my pinterest to try and record at the speed of my thinking). The precision and flat, symmetrical quality of his work contrasted with the ‘Paper Dolls’ pleated chaos (Bea Szenfled). This chaos of course made me recall Einstein’s thoughts on folds in space/time, which then leapt to wormholes and geometric forms.

I played with folding paper then creating mobius strips to see how they rested. This ‘twisted cylinder’ had less unpredictability than the spiral samples from yesterday.

These tangled forms quickly surged into looking at other non-orientable surfaces including Torus and Kline Bottle  forms which I recorded in my sketchbook diagramatically. On the way there I found the artist Matthew Gardiner whose work ‘Light and Time Folds are Space’ is a large scale installation that shows his concern with the kinetic properties of folded forms. He is more mathematical and symmetrical than I would ever wish to be, but his video of the installation shows his light work too which makes all the tones change as the light moves over the piece like the sun. He is interested in DNA origami – the folding and binding of DNA, and has coined his own term for the work he creates as ‘Oribotics’.

Working in paper on this exercise has allowed me to work with forms that are self-supporting and maintain their pleats. Where next? It would be worth investigating what fabrics can hold a pleat without further intervention of heat (ironing) or hold (stitches). The simpler the investigation the more surprising the results it would seem.


‘Paperplay’, Gingko Press, 2014 pg 16

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