Friday, January 18, 2013

Folding Boat-Type Thnee Kong Kim

As it is almost Chinese New Year, here is the second part to the post Folding Thnee Kong Kim (click to read) posted last year (2012). This is another version of folding Thnee Kong Kim (天公金), i.e. joss gold ingot prepared as offering to the Jade Emperor (玉皇大帝). This version (Version No. 2 - Boat-type Thnee Kong Kim) is shaped like a boat with a keel.
Thnee Kong Kim Boat-Type Joss Ingot filled with smaller versions of joss gold ingot.

If you tuck the ‘keel’ in, you will get a boat-shaped object that is supposed to look like a gold sycee a.ka. Chinese gold ingot or yuan bao (元宝). However, many people burn this with the keel sticking out, taking it to be a boat instead of a gold sycee/yuan bao.
A large Boat-type Joss old Sycee/Yuan Bao. This is opened and shaped with a rectangular mound in the middle. This is then filled with another type of joss gold sycee (see picture below).

Thnee Kong Kim folded this way can be ‘opened’ up differently. If the inner sheet has been set too deep, a crease will appear across the ‘God of Wealth’. In this case, forcing the crease outward will create a hemispherical shaped dome, and the ingot will stand. If there is no crease and the ‘God of Wealth’ can be seen entirely, you can still make a shallow dome structure in the middle.
A boatful of joss gold sycee. The base is a large boat-type sycee that is being filled with smaller gold sycee folded in another way that is more 'realistic'.

If that is not to your liking, then a rectangular, raised section can be created by pushing along the sides. Both ways of ‘opening’ up the folded joss paper will keep it from flopping together and reverting to a ‘closed’ state.  It also gives the folded ingot more realistic, sycee shape with a hump in the middle. Below are a rough step-by-step guide with pictures and a video on how to fold this Boat-type Gold Sycee.
Unopened Boat-type Thnee Kong Kim can be neatly stacked and stored. This is how it is usually sold prefolded, as a pack of interlocking sheets of the folded gold sycee.

Step 1. Take two pieces of Thnee Kong Kim. Fold one sheet lengthwise so that the printed side is on the outside (Sheet No. 1). Take a second sheet and fold it into half as well, this time with the printed side hidden inside (Sheet No. 2). If you are doing it with craft paper that is only printed on one side, treat it as you would with Thnee Kong Kim. If the craft paper is identically printed on both sides, then it doesn't matter which side you use.
Step 1 - Two sheets of Thnee Kong Kim folded in the middle.

Step 2. The resulting folded paper should be as depicted in the photo. Ensure that the first fold 'splits' the God of Wealth from the Three Lucky Star triad lengthwise, head to toe.
Step 2. Check that the sheets are folded in the correct orientation. Note that the first crease splits the God of Wealth into to lengthwise halves from head to toe.

Step 3. Take Sheet No. 1 (already halved in Step 1-2), and fold it in half again to quarter it. This makes a median crease that is needed for the next step. Open the fold once you have made the crease.
Step 3. Make a crease in the middle of the half-folded Sheet No. 1.

Step 4. Insert Sheet No. 2 in between the folds of Sheet No. 1.
Step 4. Slide Sheet No. 2 in between the halves of Sheet No. 1.

Step 5. Adjust Sheet No. 2 so that the part which juts out from Sheet No. 1 is about one thirds of the ENTIRE joss paper thing. This means you leave about half of Sheet No. 2 sticking out. Fold the outer corner of Sheet No. 1 in so that the top edge meets the median crease made in Step 3. Repeat with the other corner to get a triangular-shaped Sheet No. 1.
Step 5. Adjust so that the entire joss paper ensemble can be visually divided into thirds.  This usually requires approximately half of Sheet No. 2 to be jutting out of Sheet No. 1. Fold in Corner A and Corner B to meet at the median crease.

Step 6. Fold the part of Sheet No. 2 that is sticking up so that it creases at the base of the triangle made in Step 5. Make sure the crease is made here and not further down. Flip the entire piece over to the other side.
Step 6. Fold the rectangular flap from Sheet No. 2 up to the base of the triangle (marked by the dotted line).
This is how it should look like after executing Step 6.

Step 7. Fold in the two side flaps so the the edge is flushed with the triangle's hypotenuse side. Keep it in place with your finger (if you prefer, these two side flaps can be glued on to make handling easier). Next, fold the jutting rectangular flap of Sheet No. 2 up (as in Step 6), making sure the crease is flushed with the previous flap.
Step 7. Fold in the little triangular side flaps. You can glue it if you cannot keep it in place with your fingers. Then lift the rectangular flap from Sheet No. 2 up (just like in Step 6), making sure the crease is flushed with the base on the other side.
This is how it looks like after Step 7 and the entire piece is flipped over (Step 8)

Step 8. Flip the entire piece over, keeping the side flaps made in Step 7 in place if you have not glued it. Fold the two side flaps on this side in (as in Step 7), this time making sure you glue them so that they will stay stuck to the surface of the triangle 'keel'.
Step 8. After turning the piece over, fold and glue the side flaps securely. You will get a triangular piece that can be opened like a boat.

Step 9. Once the glue have dried, you can proceed to open the joss paper gold sycee by tucking the 'keel' flap in. Make sure that the 'split' side of the keel is hidden from view. I consider this to be partly opened, as you can then proceed to push the center portion of the 'ingot' into a circular or rectangular mound to look more like a real gold sycee. This also prevents the paper ingot from 'closing' back on itself.
Step 9. Fold and tuck the keel into the pocket created by the rectangular flap.  Push the keel all the way in and open the 'boat'.

Shown here are the 'partially' opened version, i.e. with the keel tucked in, and the fully opened and shaped version as well, where the center part of the 'ingot' is raised as a dome or a rectangular 'bump' and the sides pressed in.
Boat-type Thnee Kong Kim, with keel tucked in and the top opened. The  top is flattish and you can see the Three Lucky Star Deities in the 'boat'. I consider this partly opened as the ingot tends to close back if left too long.
This is what I consider as fully 'opened' boat-type gold sycee. The middle appears raised, either as a circular bump (two on the left) or as rectangular mound (three on the right).

Here's a video of how to make the Boat-type Thnee Kong Kim Gold Sycee. Thanks to Bob for taking the video for me.