Boxes 7 : Sun Boxes


“Little Darling, It seems like years since its been here. Here comes the Sun…” – Beatles

If the top 5 subject matter of my posts on my blog where laid out, they probably would read Music, Art, Beer, Sport and finally Weather. I have said in earlier blogs that the weather continues to be a constant British obsession mainly because it is so inconsistent. It usually is blown out of all proportion, with amber warnings for snow in the North East when we have slight flurries. Thats not to say there hasn’t been areas effected by flooding, wind damage and heavy snow which have caused disruption, loss and damage. Luckerly for us, this is not the constant and we avoid the extreme examples in other parts of the world where tornado’s and hurricanes are an annual hazard. So we reach April with the annual laugh that is the start of British Summer Time, which happened to coincide with one of the coldest Easters known in the area. But over the next two days a welcome visitor returned adding a bit of comfort and warmth… The Sun.

12doodleThe iconography of the Sun, features throughout history. For example the use of the sun in ancient egyptian painting’s symbolising Re the Sun God and the use of the halo to show heavenly or respected beings. Design is usually simple and effective, look at Japans flag or paintings, a simple red/orange disk in the sky or  the childish star like shape found on weather maps. Both are instantly recognisable for what represent and stand for. The sun in my doodles presented a break in the constant box building, a symbol of change and renewal meaning I could handily change design behind the coloured its rays. For example in this version, the use of sun changes boxes from filled in to blank. The Sun symbol appears in virtually all of my doodles at some point along with spheres, cylinders and strangely the odd fish. As I have pulled the 2D drawing into 3D with box building, these elements were always going to be a difficult challenge.

IMG_2659The sun boxes were my most geometrically challenging boxes. Usually the layout of a box comes fairly easily, but in this instance, a number of different methods were looked at, until a version proved to work. We start with a rectangular base. This sets the size for the rest of the box. From here we start to build sun shapes. These are created by drawing two semi circles. The first has the diameter of the base and the second (still emanating from the centre of the side) is of a lesser diameter. The size of the second semi-circle will dictate the length and spikiness of the sun rays. IMG_2663With a protractor mark on the outer circle 0°, 45°, 90°, 135° & 180° . Then on the inner circle mark out 22.5°, 67.5°, 112.5° & 157.5°. Now join up the dots and you will have a sun shape. On the other side of the box repeat the process until you have two sun shapes divided by a rectangle base.

We now need is to consider the sides of each ray, the interconnecting pieces between the suns. This is a line of eight rectangles attached from one side of the base. Each rectangle is the length of a side of a ray. A tab is placed at the end of the line to create the attachment point to the base. Further tabs are created at the end of each ray side rectangle, these are individual and triangular to stop overlapping when construction happens. Take care in the measuring and cutting out of these elements. See the design to show this element.


The assembly is a little time consuming. Folding the cut out layout takes quite a while and deserves the attention. There are a number of elements, especially the tabs which need to work. Most of all, make sure the folds of the interconnecting rectangular ray sides are correct and are bending in the right direction. The finished strip should come out like a concertina. Sticking the box together just needs patience, do one ray at a time making sure it is attached. All being well the rays will line up. On the last one the base tab is also glued to the base making the whole box rigid and secure.

IMG_2661At this point you will know if your measurements and cutting were correct. The first cream coloured version fell down at this point when I realised I got my initial measurements wrong and only completed 7 full rectangles. I had to adapt and add an additional side & tab to stick to the base. By the time I completed the metallic blue version I think I had got the technique right.

The box looks time consuming, fiddly and overtly difficult but it is worth all the trouble. It looks really complex but when you know how, it is deceptively easy.

This entry was posted in box.

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