Drawing Machines: Early Experiments

This piece is made of paper plates and a bunch of tape. I started using paper clips to hold my folds together, however, they soon proved too unstable for the kind of stability that I wanted to achieve. Each individual triangle is tapped up to hold its form and then connected to one or two triangles on its joint sides. The tape allows for movement throughout and acts as a hinge. There is extreme movement, as it does not stay in one position, and thrives with its snake-like motions.

Our class assignment was to create something out of paper plates that would stand on its own at over two feet tall. I folded a bunch of triangles (maybe over 25 or so, I’d have to count) using the directions given to us in class, and started taping them together in an attempt to create something that had some sort of overall tall form. I grew frustrated when my first tape attempts failed to hold the triangles together, but just retaped whenever necessary.

It soon became clear to me that, while the prompt was about stability, my invention was interesting because of its lack of such. In abandoning the prompt completely, I just kept repeating the steps, constructing these triangles and taping them together. It ended up being about 8 feet long, able to stretch out into a line or stack into something of a pile of triangles. 

I was impressed with this project, for it being my first in the class, showing me that folding could be both challenging and fun. I find this project most exciting because of its kinetic movements. It has the ability to change shape and alter its overall appearance; it’s almost never in the same position from one moment to the next. It reminds me a lot of children’s toys, or almost like a big fidget toy. I did experiment with magnets in an attempt to have the snake-coiled structure keep its position, however, the magnets that I purchased were far too weak to hold any form together. Stronger magnets or some sort of velcro would maybe do the trick if I were to continue adapting the assignment. I admire the organic and alien forms that it takes, and I think if I kept working on it the whole semester, it could’ve gone much further in its final form.

Author: Aedyn Grey