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Origami Paper Dress Exchange

One of the more amazing parts of the Paper Dress exhibit opening at PRESS on Thursday, September 25th, includes an origami paper dress exchange. A friend of mine summed up what a printmaking exchange is really nicely for those who are not printmakers–it’s like a cookie exchange. You make your “cookie” and then you get other “cookies” from everyone else who participated. In this case, our “cookies” are paper dresses. Amazing. Gorgeous. Origami. Paper Dresses. Twelve artists participated in the exchange from a recent MCLA grad to a friend who lives all the way in Australia and many artists in between. Here is a preview of the dresses and the container that I designed for them today. I haven’t made a box or an enclosure for something in awhile.

Many variations existed in my head. But I ended up with this one largely because the depth the dresses created really warranted something sturdier than just a paper portfolio or envelope.

The enclosure is a simple cased slipcase. It is covered in red and brown buckram and adorned with yet another paper dress made from paste papers that I made to match the buckram.image_5image_3 image_2 image_1


Here were the guidelines that I designed for the exchange:

  • Paper Dress Exchange: Using the paper dress origami pattern, design a dress that explores the tension between freedom and confinement.
  • Accepted Media: Any traditional printmaking process: Relief, Intaglio, Lithography, Serigraphy/Silkscreen, Collagraph, Letterpress, etc.
  • Paper Size: Can range from 6-10 inch square paper.
  • Edition: 15 somewhat identical dresses. The dress should somehow reflect the work you create as an artist. While each of them CAN vary, there needs to be some kind of repeating element that is evident in each of the dresses.

During the run of the Paper Dresses exhibit we will have an activity station where you, too, can make a paper origami dress. We will also have paper dresses that you can cut out and decorate yourself if origami isn’t your cup of tea. You can try making your own origami dresses at home. We used this pattern. It is an intermediate folding pattern.

Cultivate patience with yourself when folding it for the first time. The neckline is particularly challenging. But with practice and perseverance you will do it!

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