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things 10
summer 1999
Andrew Biswell, Jonathan Key, David Morley, Peter Davidson
Flying Lessons

The Quintessential or Schoolroom Dart
One sheet of A4 paper. Fold in half lengthways. Fold the two top corners to the centre line. Fold, in turn, the two outer corners thus created to the centre line. Fold the whole object thus created in half along the centre line. Fold the two remaining highest points back to the base line and then smooth them up to make wings. 

The Lancashire Destroyer
The paper, should, ideally, be lined. Follow instructions for the Schoolroom Dart. Fold the nose inwards half an inch. Now for the hard bit: one inch from the tail make two vertical tears parallel to the base line and fold this flap inwards and upwards so as to protrude above the wings. 

Applications: classically, the protruding aerofoil should be set on fire (a lighter in the school blazer pocket) and launched across the lab in a North Lancashire comprehensive after dark. So we hear. 

The Kensington Dipper
Materials are everything, everything. The Kensington Dipper may be constructed from any of the following: marbled paper, Italian block printed paper, coloured foil, Chinese joss paper. Follow instructions for the Schoolroom Dart, but gently curve the outer edges of the wings upwards. 

Applications: to be launched very gently across the sculpture court of the V&A when nobody is looking. 

Note: if loaded with a grain of smouldering Gardenia incense, this instrument of aggression becomes The Farm Street Frightener

The Wandsworth Warrior
The standard procedure is followed, but with heavy A3 paper, and with small upward folds in the corner of the wings. 

Note: better at diving than the real boy wonder, Michael Owen. 

The Neo-Spartan Javelin
Ideally the paper should be a superfluous A4 Xerox reduction of a Piranesi engraving of an obelisk. Follow basic procedure as above as far as the second fold and then repeat the inward fold as often as is practical. Then fold the item in half and form slender wings as above. 

Applications might include: inducing persecution mania in one's superiors; an instrument for causing pain to those in sore need of an ocular reminder of their mortality; general incitement. 

Note: to be launched from deep cover no more than four metres from the nearest anthemion ornament.


Editor's note: further information about the fine art of paper darts can be found in these links.

things 10, summer 1999

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