941: Home is where the Hive is…

Over the last few years I have played with origami tessellations – the theory of a repeatable pattern that interacts with other repeats (molecules) is fascinating and a real testament to the accuracy of the pre-folding. As part of another project, I have been exploring triangle grids, and a devilishly tricky to collapse hex-cell tessellation by Robert Lang he calls “Honeycomb”.

Robert Lang’s Honeycomb Tessellation

After folding this a number of times, and then schematicizing the molecule, I noticed that “cells” were deep and, due to the nature of the collapsed layers inside I did not think they were very tidy nor kept their shape nicely. All to often, in origami design, paper thickness is disregarded in the theoretical collapse – in this case hiding away most of the paper in canyons between cells deforms them in ugly ways.

Original Lang molecule (right) and my shallow modified one (left) – same size paper

I started playing with the corner mechanism, and discovered I could halve the height of the cell wall, making the tuck much less bulky and doubling the size of the resultant folded field on the same bit of paper. Additionally it held itself together nicely with edges that are easy to stabilise. With a little practice (I am sure my work colleagues thought me obsessed, given the number of times I folded this tessellated field) I was ready to scale up … well, down in truth as I folded a “tiny” triangle grid on my target mustard leather-grain paper and then set the corner widgets before collapse only to then realise that folding this small was a real challenge with my nerve damaged, fat clumsy fingers.

CP of molecule (red=Mountain, blue=Valley) Thick lines are visible edges, thin are hidden
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585: (35/365) Many Hands Make Light Work

As a teacher and pastoral care “tutor”, I am always looking for ways to get kids working together. At the beginning of the year the tutor group room is a mixed-year level (6-12) mixture of strangers and established friends so “GTK” exercises (Getting To Know you) are great icebreakers if you can get them actually talking and working together:

A few years back I struck on an idea to get kids collaboratively folding an origami mega-structure. The model is fairly simple – I taught the newbies (in this case the year 6 and 7 students) a simple modular unit. They then had to go teach another kid in the group, who in turn taught another. The central metaphor is “the WHOLE is greater than the sum of the parts”, “many hands make light work”, “we are as strong as the weakest link” … and so on.

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545: Stacked Triangles Tessellation

I spend a lot of time waiting for students to ask for assistance during practical assignment lessons. This  is a good thing – if they do not ask and are skilled enough to work independently then I have done the right thing, so it is all grist for the mill. (When kids need help but do nothing about it is much less good, but again a choice the student makes):545StackedTriangles

This is my first attempt (and probably last) at Eric Gjerde’s “Stacked Triangles” tessellation, based on a triangle grid that had a 6mm spacing. Continue reading

543: Flock

I try to mark the passing of Hiroshima Day August 6 with respect and effort.543FlockSml

Having folded the traditional 1000 cranes twice in my life (oddly, the second time my cranes were “borrowed” by a then campaigning year 11 for a community project where he received the credit and was subsequently elected School Captain … but I digress) so thought it time to try something new. Continue reading

Double Dragon – Paper Wedding Anniversary

When asked by a friend of my son’s if were possible to fold something to celebrate their fist wedding anniversary, which coincidentally is the “Paper” anniversary, I thought why not:DoubleDragon

The couple are dragon fans, so it seemed obvious to include something from that world. I looked around for something that would present in a shadow box, and dismissing immediately the suggestion that “a ryujun would be nice”, I settled on a pair of Darkness Dragon IIs, designed by Tadashi Mori. Continue reading

522: House Module – Group Activity

As a teacher, I have a pastoral care group of students from multiple year levels, many initial strangers and new students at the start of the year.image

I look for an activity that we can all focus on, conversations and collegiality usually follows.

Francis Ow published diagrams on a “house” module (strangely appropriate) and hints on how to compose large structures using lots of them. Continue reading

521: Robert Lang’s Yellowjacket

Flipping through the book “Origami Masters – Bugs – How the Bug Wars Changed the Art Of Origami”, you cannot help but be frightened by this model:521Yellowjacket

Robert Lang, mathematician, engineer and origami design genius in this model pushes the envelope of what is possible with paper on a number of levels. The book gives general hints about a truly terrifying paper manipulation which I think, largely ignores the fact that paper will be used in the fabrication. Continue reading

497: Tyrannosaurus Rex

I have been on holiday, 6 weeks is a long time between folds but I thought I would ease back into it with a simple model … then I saw Fumiaki Kawahata’s TRex and thought “screw it”:497RexView

Waiting in my kept mail was the last Tanteidan of the previous subscription, this little beauty on the cover and I thought – how hard can this be? Continue reading