1049: Kusudama Dodecaedro

A few years back, I was gifted a portfolio of amazing vintage paisley paper by the Albions. I have held back folding it until I found something that would do it justice:

Kusudama Dodecaedro

I pulled a sheet (there are over a dozen different paisleys in the folio), it opened up into a large sheet that I derived a way of dividing it into 30 equal squares – the basis on this kusudama.

This is a stellated dodecahedron, with lovely ridges, pentagonal faces and a wonderfully tactile design. 30 modules, based on 60 degree division, wonderfully deep pockets and positive lock, initially it is easy to put together.
You can have a go yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzeQBFay8NY

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1046: Jeannine Mosely’s “Woven Stella Octangula”

Jeannine Mosely is a legend in the modular origami world, and her early morning session was one I hoped to be awake enough to follow:

Jeannine Mosely's "Woven Stella Octangula"

This nightmare of a model has 12 modules (4 colours, 3 sheets each), and the actual module is really simple (based primarily on a 60 degree corrugation through a fan fold on a 1: root 3 sized paper).

Part of the session was devoted to a neato method of cutting a square down to the correct proportions, a small time in folding the module and the balance in construction, which is a bit of a mind-fuck.

Once you “get” the interleaving, it sort of makes sense, but the shape is not stable until the last colour goes in, making construction really fiddly.

Jeannine Mosely's "Woven Stella Octangula"

The resultant model is wonderful, and I know I will fold it again (I might choose nicer colours, and perhaps make it a little bigger). Jeannine’s instructions were clear and she has a good common sense presentation style.

1045: Miyuki Kawamura’s “Gear Cube”

On a high from a folding session taught by Sipho Mabona, I wandered virtually out into the virtual conference meeting rooms and sat in on a modular folding session, where I was taught the modules for a “Gear Cube” – 6 modules that make an intriguing structure:

Miyuki Kawamura's Gear Cube

This is designed by Miyuki Kawamura, and I came in half way through an informal folding session, but picked it up fairly quickly.

I will probably fold this again, with bi-colour paper (all the same however) as I suspect the “gear” mechanism might look more interesting if they are all the same colour.

Apparently spontaneous folding sessions are a feature of Origami conferences – I have never been to one so I was delighted that people shared skills at all hours of the day and night – the Zoom/chatroom combination facilitated by “Gathertown” was fabulous.

1042: Starsea Kusudama

Keeping my fingers buys, I had it suggested (on Redit) that I should try Tomoko Fuse’s ‘Starsea Kusudama”:

Tomoko Fuse's Starsea Kusudama

I had not seen this before, the unit is complex and folding it on a 1/4 6″ square was, in retrospect, probably a mistake but I like a challenge.

30 modules later, the construction was fiddly but the locked shape is really sturdy and there is no need for glue – tabs are buried deep in pockets. The last few units are really hard to seat (I needed tweezers to ease them into place) but paper tension causes the ball to become regular.

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1041: Anniversary

38 years ago, the love of my life said “I do”, wearing antique white lace, in Wanganui Gardens, on the bank of the Brisbane River, among family and friends in glorious sunshine. She did this despite the fact that I was wearing a brown suit, ruffled beige bodyshirt and brown boots – must have been either love, or certifiable lunacy.

Maria Sinayskaya's Little Roses Kusudama (squares variant)

Happy Anniversary Jo, love and hugs always.

This is Maria Sinayskaya’s Little Roses Kusudama (squares variant), 30 units – lovely thing indeed.

1036: From little things, big things grow

Each year, as an ice-breaker/getting to know you activity with my pastoral care group at the beginning of a school year I try to involve them in a collaborative origami megastructure:

90 unit sonobe spikey ball in construction

Many hands made light work of the 90 sonobe modules, folded from Terracey colours (red, black, white). From little things, big things grow, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts (roll out the well trodden metaphors).

90 sonobe unit spikey ball finished

The construction has taken an age – 5 false starts until I discovered the module grouping – in the end it turned out to be alternating 5s and 6s on each vertex of each 6. Each sonobe module contributes 1/3 of a pair of adjacent points – and with careful colour planning no 2 colours are beside each other (well, that is nearly the case – in 2 places I was forced to break this rule, but you really have to look to find them).

spikey ball scale

90 modules take time, and most of the kids in the pastoral care group folded at least one – a true collaboration that results in a lovely spikey ball that will join the other treasures from previous years.

1035: Hand and Boat

It is the days you do not look in your mailbox that mail arrives – I arrived home from work to find an astonishing collection of paper from Pham Hoang Tuan’s origami shop, and a couple of his diagrams, all screaming “fold me!”, so I started that journey:

"Hand and Boat" by Pham Hoang Tuan

I had only ever seen this model complete and in CP form, failed at solving that CP 2 times and had given up folding it for now, then it arrived in diagram form to my delight.

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1034: Eric Joisel’s “Harlequin”

A few months bac, in the relative calm of my summer holidays, I began to re-fold “Harlequin” designed by Eric Joisel, after failing to successfully fold it during the “Tribute of Eric Joisel” competition I was part of late last year:

"Harlequin" designed by Eric Joisel

I took my time, learned lots from initially failing, made sectional maquettes to check techniques and really enjoyed the process of folding.

"Harlequin" designed by Eric Joisel in the round

This model is such a synergy of techniques – I can see influences from so many of Joisel’s other creations (many of which I have folded before). The initial collapse is vaguely humanoid, but the shaping is the making of model. So many details to control. The face and hat are tricksy but I an really happy with the level of detail I managed here – he has a playful but chilled character, smug smile and refined face – the mask is jauntily sitting on his nose also.

The fabric effects to the sleeved and pantaloons are a nightmare – to make them seem to “drape” is really hard I found, but eventually it came together. I pre-creased some quilted effect on the bodice and skirt which I am really happy with, and the collar took me ages to nut out. He is in full stockings (diamond pattern), has goofy shoes, a fly-away in-action wavey cape and open hands – so many bits were there waiting to be shaped. One can only marvel at the genius of the design.

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1032: Endless Garden

Cruising Fakebook, as one does, I came across a fascinating origami geometric mindf*ck:

Edu Solano Lumreras' "Endless Garden"

Edu Solano Lumbreras kindly shared instructions for his design, having adapted the techniques used in Thoki Yenn’s “Umulus Rectangulum” corners, to make this tesseract like cubic möbius strip.

Comprised of 6 modules, with some exacting pre-creasing that lends itself to template work, you fold bent square tubes with 3 corners – the shortest corner makes the “tab”, the opposite end becomes the “pocket”.

A4 rendering

Folding in a4, the geometry is just as elegant, if exacting.

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1031: Cubes Tessellation

Looking through my Origami Library, I realised I had bought “Origami Tessellations for Everyone” by Ilan Garibi back as the pandemic hit early last year, and realised I had yet to fold anything from it at all:

Cubes by Ilan Garibi
A field of cubes

Early last year was crazy times – bushfires, floods and then lockdown from Covid-19, this book got buried in my reading pile so it is time to begin the journey of exploring tessellations more formally.

Starting at the beginning, with the “Cubes Family”, this is “Cubes”, a deceptively simple tessellation of twisted cubes. I present the “molecule” – that is the tileable unit:

Cubes by Ilan Garibi Molecule
Cubes “molecule”
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1026: Happy New Year

Now 2020 is winding up fast, and I say for the most part – good riddance. We decided to stay home, low key, but New Years Eve is not complete without “fireworks”:

Star Pocket Kusodama

I decided to fold a modular, found a relatively simple one then discovered it challenging because of volume and construction. This model is my fireworks – an explosion of colour and emergent geometry.

Star Pocket Kusudama views

Folded from 90 separate pieces of paper, 30×1:2 rectangles and 60x 1/2:1 triangles – I decided to go with cherry blossom tones, the resultant “Star Pocket Kusudama”, designed by Sansanee Termtanasombat (Praew) from Thailand is a geometric treat indeed.

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Gieseking Bends and Shifts

Exploring the geometric folds of Rebecca Gieseking, I was taken with cyclindric transformations:

Gieseking cylinder transformations

Using calculated crease patterns, a cylinder can be “shifted” using a peculiar tapered spiral, or “bent” using a curved “gusset” – interesting stuff,

Gieseking cylinder transformations views

Folded using printer paper, I think it would look nicer with slightly heavier paper, the trick is accuracy and crisp creases. I must explore these techniques more.

1022: Ryu Jin 1.64

This started as pure procrastination – I had marking and reporting to do but ….

ryujun 1.64

Folded from a “live guide” photodiagram series produced by Daniel Brown, as part of a channel in a discord from another planet, irresistible as it is yet another variation of eastern dragon I knew I HAD to fold,

ryujun 1.64 development

This little fellow is nearly naked – apart from some glue to hold in a wire spine and wires for arms and legs, he is otherwise folded only (hence some of the wayward seams and flaps). I quite like this unfinished appearance and think he will stay as is.

ryujun 1.64 views

Folded from 90cm natural Kraft, it starts with a therapeutic 64 grid on the diagonal and goes to hell in a handbasket from then on. The basic folding is quite straight forward (as a Ryu master), this variation is a bit of a mashup between a 1.2 and the head of a 2.1 – the result is wonderfully complex and beautifully “Kamiya” in intent.

ryujun 1.64 scale

I decided to fold it in plain (both sides same) paper as the bi-color fold has a large gash of reverse side colour along the underside – I have used this to effect in both a 1.2 and a 2.1, so thought I would go differently this time. Interestingly (to me) this little chappie is folded with a sheet exactly 1/4 the size (and from the same paper roll) as my original 3.5 (a little Ryu Jin nerdistry there).

1021: Rose Ball

When saying ooroo to someone, you can give them flowers or something like this that lasts much longer:

Maria Sinayskaya Little Roses Kusudama

Experimenting with some new season winter collection Ikea paper, I decided to try multiple simple roses that combined into a snub stellated icosahedron – clusters of 5 blooms, quite lovely,

Maria Sinayskaya Little Roses Kusudama unit

I hope your move to the next phase in your life is wonderful, Colleen – thanks for all the support.

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1020: “Crystal Splash”

I have been sitting on this model for ages, trying to nut it out because although the module is relatively easy to fold, the proportions and construction of this modular ball is torturous to be polite:

crystal splach

I settled on a 6:11 rectangle for my module, and folded 33 of them (3 as a test), then began the task of working out how this works.

crystal splash scale

Each point is made of 3 modules, the final lock is REALLY hard for each vertex, then they twist and turn behind the 3 adjacent modules to have their spare ends pop up as one of 3 to make new points. I put together and disassembled a dozen times until I found the right order/morphology.

The result is not as tidy as I would like, and I may re-try it with a different proportion rectangle to screw further with the vertex shape, but I am pretty chuffed to have finally got it together – it was a real wrestle.

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1019: Mi Wu’s 7 Segment Display

I remember folding another LED display, but cannot remember whose. This is a really efficient use of a single 15cm square to make a fully functional LED-style 7-segment digit:

Mi Wu's 7 segment display

The real skill here is hiding away the colour into flaps arranged symmetrically around the edge of the rectangular piece, so that you can open them out and change what is shown.

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1018: Skull Badge

Continuing my exploration of Mi Wu’s new book “Duo Color Origami”, I present his “Skull Badge”:

Mi Wi Skull Badge

A genius rendition of a skull icon complete with upper set of teeth. I enjoyed the fold sequence so much I folded a second one (to convince myself the first fold was not a fluke).

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1017: Mi Wu’s WTF

I recently got a copy of Mi Wu’s new book “Duo Color Origami” and knew there were models I had to try:


Colour change is a tricky thing, designing to deliberately form patterns with the reverse side of the page is a real skill and Mi Wu seems to have mastered it, his book contains many unique and very challenging models.

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1012: Cluster

If one word sums up 2020, it has to be “cluster”. Sadly, in the Covi-19 era, we find at the centre of most clusters is a cluster-f*ck:

Xander Perrott's "Trillian"

In desperate need of a fold, I turned to Xander Perrott’s e-book “Folded Forms” that I bought a while ago and settled on “Trillian” – a glorious 30 unit modular cluster that looks a little like a flower ball.

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1009: Mayhew (or Black Death)

Apparently one of the symptoms of the plague was to smell a sweet smell like flowers:

Xander Perrott's "Mayhew"

That escalated rather quickly, but that is life in a pandemic age I guess. This “black flower ball” is “Mayhew”, a kusudama designed by Xander Perrott, a lovely thing indeed.

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