Zhen Xian Bao Post 4: the second layer box

September 10, 2016

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Left: the closed twist box on the second layer box, Right” the open twist box

Finally I am getting to writing about he next second box of the Chinese Thread Book/ Zhen Xian Bao.

For the record, here are  links to  my previous posts on the Zhen Xian Bao, and to my Pinterest board, which contains sources that I’ve studied:

Zhen Xian Bao, Intro & Examining proportions

Starting with the Finished Size

Top Layer, Twist Box

Zhen Xian Bao Pinterest Board

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The Second Layer Box, which echoes most of the fold of the origami Masu Box

I know exactly why it has taken my so long to write about this second layer of the Zhen Xian Bao. This box is basically a Masu Box, something that I’ve been making for many years, but that I had never gotten the hang of teaching. I didn’t want to make a post until I figured out how to communicate that step that everyone trips up on.

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This is the where the construction of the box get hard to explain

If you have ever tried to teach this structure to someone you know exactly what I’m talking about. Everything goes just swell until it’s time to make the sides. This is the when I lose all my students…BUT! I’m here to say that I have figured out a way of approaching this step in a way that makes way more sense than I ever thought possible.

There are two key changes I’ve made in my demonstration that make all the difference.

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The Folded Paper Grid

First, and don’t roll your eyes and absolutely do not skip this step: I start with making folds that turn my square piece of paper into a 4 x 4 grid.

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Bringing the arrowed points together makes origami seem like magic

Second, when I get to this dreaded step, instead of folding up the two opposite wall of the box as is suggested in like, every set of directions that exist, bring together the two corners that I’ve marked in the photo above.

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One action creates three sides of the box!

What happens next is like origami magic. As those points come together, the structure stands up and, with the slightest bit of nudging, three sides are formed at once.

Oh. if you haven’t tried to make or teach this box already, none of this will make sense to you. Which is  a good thing, because you may be spared the experience of totally mind numbing self-esteem draining bewilderment.

I haven’t made a tutorial page just yet. That will come later. But here’s a video. Go for it!

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