As a child growing up in Colombia, Patagonia seemed an imaginary place that I always heard mentioned in statements or expressions that implied great distance. When we wanted to describe a place that was far away, we might say something like “I had to go to ‘Patagonia’ to pick up my shoes. It took forever to get back home!”
It was a great surprise for me when I finally learned in a geography class that Patagonia was a real place in southern Argentina. But even knowing then that Patagonia was a real place never dimmed that legendary and magical aura in my heart for this faraway land.
On my recent trip to the origami convention in Rosario, Argentina, I asked my friend Gaby Orzo to please bring me a pebble from her home. How lucky was I that Gaby lives in Patagonia! As is true to her generous spirit, Gabi brought me not one but several beautiful objects lovingly packed inside modular origami boxes. There were not only four beautiful stones, but two fossilized shark teeth that Gaby found on Montaña Blanca, which translated from Spanish is White Mountain.
When Gaby gave me these treasures, she explained that the large shark tooth represents herself, and the tiny tooth represents Rafaelito, her two-year old son. I will always treasure these gifts with great affection not only because they come from Patagonia, but especially because of the love with which Gaby gave them to me. Thank you from my heart, Gaby!
Origami Paper Tips
As for the boxes, Gaby made them from recycled paper. Modular models turn out beautifully if made with paper squares cut from identical pages of different copies of a catalog or brochure. Rotated repetition of the same pattern gives the finished model a kaleidoscopic look.
Here’s an example of identical pages from outdated catalogues used to make a modular box. The lid as well as the base are each made with four equal squares of paper. Click on the image to view it larger.