owl hieroglyphic pop-up card

Inspired by a page in Robert Sabuda's Chronicles of Narnia. This interpretation shifts from the Narnia owl to a  hieroglyphic owl.  In Egyptian hieroglyphics, the owl  means a lot of things, which is why you see it so much, but chief among its meanings is the consonsonant sound "m."  

owl hieroglyphic pop-up card envelope

owl hieroglyphic pop-up card cover

owl hieroglyphic pop-up card, open stage one

owl hieroglyphic pop-up card, open stage two

owl hieroglyphic pop-up card, open stage three

owl hieroglyphic pop-up card, open stage four

owl hieroglyphic pop-up card, opened with translation of hieroglyphics

I didn't begin soon enough and ran out of time with this card so I rushed the finish.  I made compromises for the sake of getting it into the mail that I otherwise would not have made. Once the wings were attached, the mechanism did not fit inside the outer dimensions of the card which was already established. The wings that did fit were too stubby. Ordinarily I would have started over with a smaller mechanism so that I could have the desired wingspan and the predetermined outer dimensions. Instead, I cut the height of the supports twice to try to get it to fit. When that failed, I cut the entire background out in parts and glued them onto a new background with the dimensions that fit the mechanism and with a wingspan I could live with, I also  rearranged the hieroglyphic message for the new background. I also compromised with the complexity of the wing mechanism. Sabuda uses a more complex mechanism to fold the two portions of each wing. I eliminated that folding arrangement and attached the two portions (four total) to the bottom of the bird and to the back of the support. My wings fold differently than Sabuda's wings, and the two portions of  each pair are not connected, so the bird appears to have four wings. That's OK. I know of Egyptian geese depicted with three wings, two flying and one folded.

Due to time constraint, I also decided to make an envelope that fit the card instead of a mummiform wrapping which is what I intended. Also I decided on not making an elaborate fresco cover for the card that would have taken a few more days -- plaster drying, watercolor painting, staining, matt cutting, binding, etc. -- instead I drew the owl hieroglyph on heavy Bristol paper and treated it as a painting. I don't feel so bad about this, after all, this is exactly the sort of thing the Egyptians themselves would have done when pressed for time or short of funds or working within constrained space. You might be surprised at the shortcuts Egyptians took continuously, in addition to their deeply held philosophy on not finishing anything completely. And not just abbreviating standard compositions on the walls either,  they even smashed dead pharaohs into their caskets, breaking bones and bashing their noses in order to force fit them inside when the dimensions weren't quite exactly right.  And that's just wrong!

The message related in hieroglyphics inside the card is a simple birthday message that includes the name of the recipient and the date.  I also included a translation separately with a brief explanation of my choice of spelling and arrangement  for the name.  Oddly, I can find no word for party or for celebration.  I know Egyptians had a lot of banquets because there are so many paintings of them, but there's a big difference between banquet and a simple birthday celebration.  I substituted the word for "festival," although a birthday celebration is not quite a festival either, one must make allowances and it does convey the idea.  

This is the finished head and body ↓

owl hieroglyphic pop-up card, head and body

Body attached to posts before they were cut.  The original background. ↓

owl hieroglyphic pop-up card, original background and body on supports.

Support for the head. In Sabuda's version, the head is attached to the post
that runs through the body and is folded with an origami type crimp.
My version adds another post that runs through the body so that the
support becomes a table, but one that never opens completely flat.↓

owl hieroglyphic pop-up card, original background and body on support support for head.

Before the posts were cut and the before the wings were attached and then abandoned.  
The wings were trimmed to become braces for new longer wings.  The hieroglyphics
were cut out and re-glued onto a new background.   ↓

owl hieroglyphic pop-up card completed with original background.

After these photos were taken, the two sections of each wing were connected with another portion of wing, which amounted to a third intervening wing, a hinge wing, if you like.  So now each wing is constructed of three long segments with shorter connecting tabs that switch in orientation from horizontally flat with the bird's body to vertically attached to the post.  I'm quite satisfied with the arrangement as the three pieces now look more like a single wing on each side, but without a complex hinge, which I still don't understand,  that folds the wings back.