Accordion Books

A Lovely Experiment

Tom and Nancy Haarmeyer’s Valentines Books

Just over twelve weeks ago people started showing up on zoom for open invitation, weekly folding sessions. My agenda was to see what I could do to shepherd people along towards gaining more intentional folding skills. It turned into so much more than that.

At one point, early on, Bobbi from California, said, we have such a nice group. I hadn’t realized that this is what it had begun to feel like, a comfortable friendly group.

These were working sessions. I was chatty for about 2 minutes while people filtered in. I taught. We worked, They shared. After 30 minutes Zoom unceremoniously kicked us off.

Susan Joy Share’s Collection fo Accordion101 models

I was super delighted that Susan Joy Share came to the sessions. Since I know she knows just about everything that I know I didn’t see that she would think there’s was anything for her to learn, but even she said that there were some surprises. I guess we all can learn from each other, no matter what level we’re at. Everyone has their own way of seeing things that is only enhanced by seeing other ways of doing things.

Jo Michalski’s 6 page accordion with extension

Oh, and then I asked Susan to teach one of the classes, and she showed how to divide a paper into thirds, then inspired the group with this cool accordion that had hidden panels that extended upwards, which is not something I had seen before. The people in the class did all sorts inventive variations of this in the little bit of time that we had.

There was more going on than just learning about folding. One person said that she hadn’t felt comfortable with the idea of signing up for a zoom class. After coming to this free little event of mine over and over, she said that she now felt comfortable enough to sign up for a Zoom class.

Paper Dolls by Davida Feder

I learned a good bit by doing these sessions. Having been thrown into Zoom unexpectedly along with everyone else, its been useful for me to simply practice teaching on-line.

Here are some things that I learned. A friend of mine who I walk with, and who came to some sessions, encouraged me to be more aware of how often I used terms like “bring this to here” rather than saying “fold the top right corner to the center of the paper.” What great feedback! Not only does using more descriptive words slow me down, but it is helpful to people who are working and listening at the same time, which is mostly the case.

Someone else suggested I be more explicit about when I want people to just watch, and when I expect that we are working together. Such good advice.

I had more of a chance to figure out Zoom, too. I realized that asking people to learn how to raise their hands in Zoom is handy in an unexpected way. Raising the hand is better than thumbs up, or any other response, because when a hand gets raised, it migrates to the top of the group, clustering them together. This saves me from scanning the group, trying to determine the percentage of people who are ready to move on, as the groups is then divided into two distinct clusters.

I also learned about how to replace spotlight in Zoom. This is so helpful when I want to move from person to person.

Pop-up by Susan Joy Share

What we made wasn’t as important to me as the skills I was trying to shore up for the people who could use the instruction. Even so, it’s good to keep track of what we did. Credit goes to my friend Karen, who kept a list of everything we made. When reading this list, keep in mind that I all I ever asked people to show up with was regular size copy paper.

Projects by week:

1.  Eight section accordion, made we two half sheets joined together,  with reinforced cover (using first and last panel).  

2. Eight section accordion with pages attached into the deep pockets of the accordion

3.  French fold accordion and origami pocket 

4.  Accordion with fold over pocket and origami pocket

5.  Twisted pages accordion

6.  Snowflakes with six points

7.  Accordion paper dolls

8. Pleated cover with pleated closure

9.  Origami pamphlet

10. Susan Share’s method for finding 1/3s and an accordian with fold-down flaps

11.  T-cut origami pamphlet with middle-pleat cover

12.  Accordions with pop-ups

And that’s a wrap!

My books with pleated closure

6 thoughts on “A Lovely Experiment

    1. HI Roseanne,
      With the ground shifting under our feet so often these days, I have to plans for the future. I think about doing them again, but don’t really know if or when. We’ll see! Glad you were able to come to a couple.


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