13 September 2016
Project 1, Exercise 4 – Incremental and twisted pleats
Throughout this exercise, I referred to “Folding techniques for designers” (Jackson, 2011:78-79). A full citation is given in the reference list at the end of this blog entry. I also discovered the work of Anne Kyyro Quinn, who folds and sculptures with felt (including several examples using twisted pleats). I have discussed her work in detail in the research section of this assignment.
SAMPLE 1 – Incremental concertina pleat – symmetrical
I used an A4 piece of printer paper, 75gsm, to make a simple concertina pleat, symmetrical about the centre fold. I initially found it rather uninspiring (see below)
I then thought about presenting it in a different configuration, folding the long edges to touch each other and forming a tube with an interesting profile (see below):
Again, I could imagine several of these side by side to form an interesting surface, or the profile used as a shape to inform a pattern design.
SAMPLE 2: Incremental concertina pleat, asymmetrical
This sample is similar to sample 1, in that the pleats become progressively larger the further away they are from the central fold. However, these increments are not symmetrical, which gives the sample a rather irregular, ungainly feel.
Placing the long edges adjacent makes a tube with an asymmetrical profile (below).
I can’t really put my finger on what I like about this shape, other than that it’s irregularity must have something to do with it’s appeal. I find myself wanting to imagine a shape that I recognise in the profile (maybe a curled up animal?). It looks delicate, precarious, fragile, free-spirited, accidental, unexpected.
SAMPLE 3: Incremental knife pleats, A4 paper
Using the A4 printer paper, I worked incremental knife pleats. Each pleat fold was 0.5cm. The distance between folded increased by 0.5cm from right to left.
Laid flat these small pleats do not seem very exciting (above), so I rolled the sheet to form a cylindrical tube (below).
In this configuration it seems more dynamic, reminding me of fan blades, or perhaps turbine blades in a jet engine, getting progressively smaller. The circular shape definitely suggests rotation to me (and therefore movement).
SAMPLE 4: Incremental knife pleats, triangular paper
Again, A4 printer paper was used, but before pleating, a very pointed isosceles triangle was marked on the paper. After pleating the paper was unfolded and the triangle shape cut out before re-instating the folds.
I wanted to make a variation of the example suggested by Jackson (2011:79), so I used small knife pleats, with incrementally larger spacings between them. Whereas Jackson’s incremental concertina pleats formed a layering pattern when folded (resting vertically above each other in a stack), mine instead formed a flat(ish) sheet (see below)
This should have been expected, but was unexpected, because I hadn’t thought through the consequences of making the pleated so small.
Next, I rested the sample on one of it’s long edges (see below):
The sample came to life! It looks like a reptile’s tail, whipping around in angry response to disturbance. Movement is suggested and the point implies tension (is there a sting on the end of that?)
SAMPLE 5: Incremental pleats on a large scale
I used the largest piece of paper I had to make this sample – a sheet of A1 180gsm cartridge paper. I pre-scored the paper using a scissor blade to get clean, crisp folds.
I photographed the sample from both sides under a spotlight (see below).
My initial thoughts were that the sample was rather boring. I think the problem is that when folded, the sample isn’t really large scale enough to have a dramatic impact. Ideally, I would have liked to use a huge piece of paper the size of a room.
The sample did have stiffness and a structural feel about it, so I started manipulating it to see what interesting shapes I could produce. Using some masking tape to make a temporary joins, I formed the sample into the “Christmas tree” shape (see below):
However, the sample wasn’t rigid enough to stand upright on it’s own and flopped over. This was interesting because there was tension in it’s precariousness, and a suggestion of balance. It reminded me of childrens stacking blocks. I wondered if was was also slightly phallic.
SAMPLE 6: Twisted pleats
Using an A4 piece of printer paper, I made a series of pleats Ready to test them in different configurations/positions (see below)
Jackson, P. (2011) Folding techniques for designers: from sheet to form. London. Lawrence King.