11.26.2011

Making Reliquaries

For our Christmas Festival, we are making reliquaries to sell. Reliquaries are the containers that store and display relics. Relics were considered "more valuable than precious stones and more to be esteemed than gold," and it was appropriate that they be enshriened in vessels of gold or other valuable material. Reliquaries were a major form of artistic production acorss Europe and Byzantium throughout the Middle Ages. Here is how we made ours:
Start with gold paint and paper for paint or marker. Paint both sides of two pieces of paper.

Take one piece of paper and fold one side over to make a triangle.
Cut off the excess paper. You can save the excess piece to use as gold sheeting in future art projects.

Fold your paper to form an "x".

Then fold each corner into the center so that your paper looks like this:
Open up your paper on two sides.
Fold the two sides still pointing to the center over so that they touch.
Open those sides up again.
You are going to cut straight up two lines on both sides so that your paper can do this: Make sure you stop cutting when you reach the folded portion of the paper.
Next you can fold in the two sides standing up so that pass over each other. Do this on both sides.
Fold the pointed flap over the two touching sides that you just closed on one another.
Do this to the other side so that you have a box. This is the top.
To make the bottom, the first step is the only difference. Fold over one side just short of the edge. This will make this box smaller than the top.
Now cut off the excess plus the sliver created on the side.
Follow the remainder of the directions, and you should have another box that will fit inside the other box.
When you are done, you can decorate the box with gems.
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