Good question I thought, so I looked around on google and could not really find anything that looked like one, so I thought I would have a go at designing something.
Making a zig zag tube of pleats, you get the opportunity to tease out points and in doing so it naturally bulbs out a little – organising layers and controlling the balance between ribs and pleats and I had something that resembled an artichoke.
I then folded the points back on themselves and it began to look thistle-like. Adding a tassel of purple paper completed the look, leaves to finish and I think it looks pretty good – we shall see how they are received.
I was determined to work with silver rectangles (A3 and A4) because they would give me a nice long stem, and 1/3 for the bloom, 2/3 for the stem is a nice balance. Locking the leaves into the tightly pleated stem also was fairly positive. I pimped out the tassels by roughing the edges using a pair of pinking shears – not sure if that is cheating or too close to paper craft, but the effect is rather nice.