folding

Folding, Teaching, Zooming

Fascinated by Folding: maybe that’s what I should called the next set of classes I’ll be teaching at Center for Book Arts, via zoom, over 4 weeks starting afternoons at the end of April or for 4 weeks in the evenings starting in the beginning of May.

Alas, these classes are called Flat Foldable Pleats, and Edge Release Explorations. I don’t think anyone will even know what that means. I’m hoping that the picture will sell the class,

I’ve been taking this deep dive into pleating and edge-release folds, which is a whole different thing than symmetrical pop-ups, which I also love. After playing with unusual foldings, like miura folds, and examining Paul Jackson’s books for years, I started playing around with the idea of teaching these lesser known structures.

My last couple of submissions to the Bridges Organizations Math Art shows, like the piece above, have reflected my interest these pleated folds.

They are fun, challenging, and always surprising. Some of the folds, like the hexagon bellows there with the compass leaning against it, are a bear to fold.

Duck and Fold

Other folds, like simple one above, in which an edges of the paper are released by cuts from the folds they might have been bound to, create gorgeous architectural effects, which become even more delightful with some thoughtful photography.

In fact, many mornings this past winter I would get up to do early morning folding just so that I could photograph the constructions in the early morning sunlight. It was a satisfying way to start the day, especially during those stressful days from early November until mid January.

Another thing I’d like to mention is that it appears that I’m getting the hang of teaching on zoom. I feel like I’m figuring out how to create the feeling of connection that I like so much about in person teaching. One big discovery for me is that it’s great to ask people to unmute themselves for our whole class. Don’t know why more people don’t do this. This leaves the way open for people to interject comments, ask questions at critical moments, and lets me know if my pace needs to be adjusted.

I’m finding, too, that some people who take workshops have figured out how to adjust their cameras so that I can see them AND their workspace. Seeing people’s work and as well as their expressions as they work is such a pleasure.

A year ago I had no idea that I’d be able to do this kind of teaching from a little production studio in my home that I could not have even imagined being there. The twists and turns of life never cease to surprise me.

2 thoughts on “Folding, Teaching, Zooming

  1. Hi Paula, I would love to take another class with you….this one looks like lots of fun. Unfortunately I have to take a break from Zoom classes as we are slated to move to a retirement community toward the end of the summer. So I have a major task ahead of me…trying to get rid of things and getting the house ready to put on the market…and then, of course, the actual move. GROAN! It will be good when it all is accomplished… and certainly would not be any easier in the future. Perhaps the class will run again next year. I will keep my eyes open. Regards, Sue Reynolds

    Sent from Sue’s iPad

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    1. Hi Susan, Looking forward to seeing you in a class again. Want to let you know that your questions about the gluing have in fact changed the way I am gluing and teaching that bit of what we were working on. Good luck with the move. From what I’ve heard this is a great time to be selling. I bet you will feel great once it’s all done with but I don’t envy the enormity of the task ahead of you. Sometimes I try to pretend I’m moving, to get myself undo some of this accumulation. It sort of works sometimes. See you on the other side!

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