The wrap began with a curious piece of cast-paper packaging from a shipment of Moo business cards. The white tray had two regions, one to hold a box of cards and the other held three groups of unboxed cards. I placed the gift, small and made of cloth, into the first region, where you now see the green corrugated paper.
I then proceeded to make a completely abstract wrap, using small scraps of paper: red foil-stamp tissue, blue-background japanese paper, and the green corrugated piece covering the gift. I then made the orange ribbon with alphabet beads to label the gift. I also put some ribbon the right-hand rib projecting up from the back of the white tray. Done.
It was when I went back and added the small blue bow to the japanese “wall paper” that the literal began to seep into my abstraction. The white “mantel” also called out for something, so I added two little jingle bells. I thought I was done. But the “fireplace” began to speak up. I built a foam and twig fire, put in on andirons. It remains an abstract fireplace, to be sure, because the “chimney” is strictly conceptual. I added two candles to the ingle bells. Done.
Two contrasting wrap components are at play here. The central area consists of a single slice out of a reject proof from a silk screen poster from 1993 (it was an event about making art out of recycled materials.
But before I wrapped it around the gift’s box I made two bumpers out of bubble wrap and then wrapped the bumpers in blue mylar. These were then taped onto the box. I wrapped the piece of black poster paper around the box and glued it shut. The bumpers are designed to express overflow, making the poster wrap look super snug.
I added two strips of orange ribbon to create a 3rd component, a transition zone between the two primary tactics. The contrast of the poster’s hard-edged constructivist design with the mylar’s wrinkly bulge creates goofy dissonance and thus charm.
I needed to wrap some awkward high-country gear, snowshoes. I knew I would have to neutralize their various edges and somewhat-sharp parts. So I wrapped them first in bubble wrap. Then I began apply layers of wrapping-paper scraps. Each piece of paper, long or square was given folded edges, as in creating band wraps. The folding ads dimension and and hint of finish to the scrap. Hot glue was my binding medium. I applied the large, and longer pieces first, adding rectangles and skinny bands later. When enough pieces are applied the wrap has stability you do not expect when you apply the first, ungainly pieces.
The skeleton is made of cast paper pieces that are used to protect the corners or edges of furniture being shipped. I discovered them in the alley a fews days before I made this wrap. As soon as I saw them I imagined what they could do: easy to cut, easy to glue. Long, light, rigid and versatile.
I rested the somewhat squishy scrap wrap on my work bench. I studied it with a measuring tape, choosing a length for the long parts. I cut the verticals and lay them upon the wrap. I measured and cut short horizontals, one longer, one shorter, to make the vertical angle inward as the tower rises. Hot glue rapidly joined the four pieces. Once I had a similar second side, I cut four more horizontals and assembled the whole tower around the wrapped gift.
Ribbons on the verticals brought the gift-wrap feeling to the cast-board verticals. But the top seemed incomplete. So I glued pine cones to pine twigs, to make four finials to complete the tower’s architecture. Since the gift had to be carried over the river and through the woods, I attached the pine-cone assemblies using using velcro patches.
I was impressed by the sturdiness of the final piece. And the contrast between the exoskeleton’s linear form and the brecciated patches of the scrap wrap was satisfying.
I designed this wrap for a non-destructive un-wrap. The base is a piece of form and mylar protective wrapping from a new 5k monitor, closed using double-sided tape. I then made feet and short legs using black shipping foam, cut with a matte knife and a jigsaw, glued with hot glue. Next I prepared the opening top access, cutting the silver material to make four flaps, the last (closing door) flap has a strip of red craft foam to signify where to open the wrap. On top, the bot’s “hair” is a strange piece made of two kinds of foam; its provenance and function is lost in the sands of time. I attached it with bent large paperclip to the top, opening flap.
The arms are packing foam from an external usb cd/dvd burner. It has inset craft foam insets, and white craft foam “hands.” I glued red foam coverings for the top and front of the feet.
Last of all I worked on the face. The three eyes are fried marbles. The chest lights/ recipient label are alphabet beads. The mouth is made from craft foam. The total is a spirited wrap.
It all began with a box and the black paper. The gold pyramids had arrived a few months earlier. The contain pyramidal tea bags. The gold foil was on the inside of these beautiful little boxes. They had no glue, just folds and inserts, so I could unfold and refold them, revealing the foil. I know that ribbon would bring this wrap nearly to completion. I picked a fat one with gold edges. Next I added a thick plastic cap from some cosmetic product, an item that I had saved for a long time.
The wrap looked better standing rather than lying down. But it would not stand up on its own. So added feet. Its label was a stick-on file label.
I found some industrial molded-paper devices, which were made to protect furniture in shipping, in my alley dumpster a number of years ago. I have saved them faithfully, knowing that their time would come.
I placed the gift into the cavity inside and lightly glued the two halves together. I did this before giving any thought to what would happen next. Using occasional dots of hot glue I attached a bit of red ribbon to cover up the join of the two corners. Then I eyed the half circles along the joint and tried out a number of round things, choosing finally some water bottle caps. They are on both sides. This wrap is the same on both sides.
I already had a box of green packing peanuts lying our for the holiday shipping effort. These green beauties, though fragile, had just the right color. In went 12 peanuts, with a dab of glue. Wrap accomplished. And a wrap with a very different look and feel.