1072: Fergus Currie’s Compound of 3 Cubes (Escher’s Solid)

I sat in on a fold-along on Fakebook a few Sunday evenings ago where Fergus Currie demonstrted the folding of modules for this beauty – I got a little lost but on re-watch managed to nut out what was what:

Fergus Currie's Compound of 3 cubes (Escher's solid)

This is a compound of 3 cubes – each rotated on top of each other – when you see it you see it. It is comprised of 48 modules – 2 different shapes, 3 different colours (8 of each).

The folding is exacting, the angles and constructions accomplished and sophisticated, the tolerances for error are small. I think I was a victim of paper thickness when I folded mine – I used bond A3 photocopy paper because I had some lovely strong colours. The result of this choice was that layers get thick, some of the axes are not as crisp as I would like them to be, but it is finished, having taken a seeming age to fold and assemble.

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1025: Polly Wants a Cracker! Now!!!!!

The post title reminds me of the punchline of a favourite joke: “What does a 10 tonne parrot say?”:

Gastronis Skeleton

This is a “Diatryma gigantea” (aka “Gastronis”) skeleton, designed by Mase Eiichiro based on fossil records. In real life this beastie would have been scary indeed.

Gastronis Skeleton views 1

Nicknamed “murder bird”, it seems paelontologists are divided as to whether it was a herbivore, carnivore or omnivore – it was HUUUGE – like 7ft tall, and the musculature marks around the beak suggest it had a titanic bite. Curiously it has no other “predator” characteristics – like a hook at the end of the beak or shredding talons on it’s feet, making it a confusing snarly. The first skeletal reconstruction of fossil remains happened in the early 1920s, and the result looked more like a 9ft emu (seems they had parts of a number of different animals in the one model).

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994: Mushu

Riccardo Foschi frequently shares crease patterns for his new designs on social media. When I saw “Mushu” I knew I had to try and fold it:

Foschi CP

It is rare to find a “happy” dragon, but this one beams a positive energy that makes you smile. There is lots of detail to take in – the head has branched horns, smiling eyes, lovely colour-changed curly whiskers, nostrils, teeth, a lovely wiggly tongue, lower jaw and a beard. A lovely set of back spikes, each leg has 3 toes and the beautiful fan tail caps off the beastie.


Made over a period of a week, from 5x 2:1 rectangles of odd spotty black Ikea Kraft. Sections form variously tail, legs, body and head modules, all of which ingeniously interlock without the need for glue. Riccardo also states that it can be made with a single 10:1 rectangle, but I thought that would be too wasteful when cut from a paper roll, so decided on the modular approach.

My problem with crease patterns is that, although they show the major creases, they do not really hint on the shaping or fold order. The head, in particular, took me a while to sort out. I decided, contrary to the designers photo, to fold the legs differently – I think they look more natural this way (but I folded forward, backward, forward and back many times before deciding on this configuration).

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ONE WORLD – Six Intersecting Pentagonal Prisms (revisited)

When you have a little time, and 90 bits of paper on hand, you should have a go at this delightful brain-breaker designed by Daniel Kwan:

6 intersecting pentagonal prisims

This is not my first attempt at this model, back in 2011 I folded it in white, and decided to re-work it in colour.

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No, They Do Not All Workout As Planned.

I _want_ to pretend that every bit of paper I touch turns into a magnificent model that everyone gasps at, but that is FAR from the truth. This is my FOURTH attempt at Shuki Kato’s “Western Dragon”. It joins a LARGE collection of landfill (discarded unsuccessful models) and was responsible for many BAD WORDS but I have just about calmed down and will lick my wounds before re-engaging with the demon paper.

This is a western dragon because, apparently, people in the west need “wings” to make a flying dinosaur make sense. In the East, wings are not necessary because they just fly – humans do not need to wonder how.

This is the furthest I have gotten with this model, and managed to wrangle all parts of the model (first attempt 2 years ago) but I did not achieve the head – it is supposed to be a glorious 12-horned snarling grimace (as opposed to the crumpled mess I made). Continue reading

549: Fluffy the Cerberus

Fans of Harry Potter will recognised “Fluffy” the 3-headed dog, Hagrid’s pet (oops, just outed myself as a Potter nerd).549cerberus

This is Satoshi Kamiya’s “Cerberus”, a rendition of a mythical beast that is an amazing design that in the end is really really fiddly.

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546: Château Chinon Tessellation

Another time sponge, based on a square grid initially that was torturous to fold and pre-crease. Based on Eric Gjerde’s tessellation molecule, it is an amazing use of paper that features largely an “all at once” collapse.546ChateauChinon

Many tessellations sit flat while you do them, their interim stages are still flat – not this mongrel. Once you start, you gotta finish and then work out how to flatten – interesting but not very portable in the end. Continue reading

About Face

Faces are things we humans are born to recognise. We see them everywhere, we can recognise them with the barest of visual clues:

 Apparently even magpies do facial recognition, remembering the dive-bombing victim and their seeming boundary transgressions for years.

I am interested in the structure of faces, particularly how little paper manipulation is necessary to evoke a face that embodies an expression, the visual manifestation of attitude and mood.

Inspired by the work of Junior Fritz Jacquet, I am exploring how to fold faces from flat sheets without edge incursions, with the hope that it translates into tube-folded faces – we shall see. I have documented my progress below: Continue reading

595: Twirly Bird

I was asked if I could make a flock of birds designed to be attached to fishing line on the end of poles that seem to fly:496TwirlyBirdPrototype

I remember a “seagull” by Toyoaki Kawai, in an old book I had so based a fold around that basic form. Continue reading

493: FuseBall

They say “many hands make light work” and they (whoever “they” are) are quite correct:493FuseBallManyHands

My pastoral care group (the Mighty Magee F) and I folded Tomoko Fuse’s Icosahedron Kasudama, as part of a “getting to know you” exercise to start off the year, with the theme “the sum of the parts is greater than the individual”. Continue reading

459: Electra

Browsing an amazing book by David Mitchell called “Paper Crystals”, I spotted an interesting modular ball based on pentagons tiled with triangles named Electra.

Coupled with the original model was a suggestion that it was possible to make a 60 module version consisting of pentagons surrounded by squares separated by triangles. Continue reading

396: Cutting Out The Deadwood

It is rare that an idea comes to me so fully formed as this, but I was doodling with a sheet of copy paper and started thinking about forming an organic shape, initially by crumpling (which is sort of cheating) and later via pleats:

Nature is odd, working in 3’s and 5’s looks much more natural so I decided on a pentagon, decided against a regular one and plopped that in the centre-ish of a sheet. The challenge was to collapse to that pentagon, the theory was that pentagon would form the rootstock and the rest of the paper would be the trunk. Continue reading

260: Six Intersecting Pentagonal Prisms

Now most who know me know that I am up for a challenge and when I saw this one I knew I had to give it a go:

90 pieces of paper (60 small and 30 long) individually folded and locked together, no glue make an astonishing lump of awesomeness:

This has taken me AGES – folded over a the course of last week, the last two prisms were added today and we have this lovely thing. Designed by Daniel Kwan, based in part of a Francis Ow unit, the angles necessary to make a pentagon are tricksey.

The tab and pocket construction technique is, in theory, really simple but when the model has 3 simultaneous tabs (for any vertex) keeping them all in before locking them was really fiddly and resulted in much swearing. As the model got more and more crowded the problems increased to the point where I nearly gave up, having mangled a set of tabs so badly they were not going to insert, requiring a refold.

Very satisfying to finally finish – there is a lovely symmetry with this model – pentagonal swirls framed by pentagons. I think my term 3 modular is cool – hope you like it also.

Want to make it? Download my intersectingPentagularPrismsPattern and print it on an A3 page, cut out the shapes and get bending – tab A goes into slot B etc. Originally this was designed to be made from STARBURST lolly wrappers but I scaled them up to be double that to make it easier. Achievable with copy paper, probably much easier with a different colour for each prism in retrospect.