“What the heck is teabag folding? Why would you fold a tea bag? Aren’t they too full of tea to fold?” Those were my questions earlier today.
I just got back from the monthly meeting of the Book Arts Guild of Vermont. We meet up in Burlington on the first Wednesday of every month. The group is around 3 years old and there are over 200 people on the Email list for our group. Quite a large group of book arts lovers for such a small state as Vermont!
I love going to the monthly meetings. Members lead the evening programs and we learn something different every month. Tonight’s experiment was teabag folding. After spending all day on my computer, I was game for anything.
I learned that teabag folding originated in Holland and that you don’t actually fold teabags (duh). It seems that folks used small papers to wrap their loose tea. A woman named Tiny van der Plas decided to fold these papers for decorating greeting cards. A new art form was born. You can read more about teabag folding on Wikipedia.
Anyhoo, we started folding squares of paper into origami-esque shapes.
After completing 8 folded squares, we assembled them into a star-like paper thing.
After feeling happy at having completed my starry creation, we then moved on to circles. More happy folding.
Then we assembled the pieces into a super cool flower.
Overall, the folding was really relaxing…that is, after I knew what I was doing. I had many moments of “Whadshe just do?” I could see myself zoning out for hours, folding paper squares. What most appealed to me about the process was the symmetry and the precision involved.
I’m very much a structure girl. When I have clear and concrete directions to follow, I’m super happy. I’m not sure if it’s something I’d ever do again or incorporate into my bookbinding. It’s still cool to learn a new skill.
The weird thing happened on the drive home. A 40 minute drive home (alone) will get your brain going in weird directions. I thought to myself, “If someone put a gun to my head and told me that I’d have to be either a square or a circle, which would I choose?” I came to the conclusion that I’d have to be a square.
The thought of having no sides and no corners just sorta freaks me out.