928: In Memoriam – Francis Ow

The international origami community recently learned of the death of Frances Ow:

Francis was an active and beloved member of the Singapore Origami group, and sadly I never had the privilege of meeting him in the real world. But, via the magic that is the Internet I have been personally encouraged and supported by him over both of my recent 365 challenges. You can try this Tsuru Wreath for yourself – one of many designs he shared freely. Continue reading

523: Francis Ow’s Double Cube

I seem fixated on modular origami at the moment (a branch I have not really done very much in). When I saw Francis Ow’s Double Cube, I asked him if I could have a go at folding it:523DoubleCube

He generously shared some instructions with me (how amazing is the Internet – it can put you in actual touch with people you consider design legends) and I set about wrestling with the fold. 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

315: Lest We Forget

Today was “Remembrance Day”, at 11 am on the 11th of the 11th, 2011 the nation stops to give thanks and praise to the fallen soldiers from all world wars:

This is Frances Ow’s “Star Medal” – a lovely paper decoration (made even lovelier by making it in metallic paper) that I thought was fitting as a tribute to the day and also to distribute to a bunch of WWI ‘Aces’ who meet semi-regularly to play an old school board game with vigor and passion.

The gold medal was awarded to the “ballsy-est” move in the game – a near suicidal strafe on enemy base, the rest of us got bronze. In retrospect I should have folded one in purple, or better still folded a “purple heart” as one of the pilots was severely under the weather. Made from a 2×1 rectangle, based on a hexagon, the collapse is elegant and pleasing, a masterful design.

I originally folded this a while back, holding off until today to publish (so sue me)

201: Winged Heart

Apparently, according to JJJ at least, it is LOVE WEEK – awwwww

So I folded Frances Ow’s winged Heart (partly because it is late, I am tired and sometimes a simple fold is ok – ok?

An effective fold, in duo paper the heart is one colour and the wings are another – nice.

Tetrahedra Revisited

…so I was bugged that as tiny little triangles, in white, I found it impossible to complete the 5 intersecting shape thing, so I went to the school copy room and asked for some colourful Copy paper – A4.

I got 5 strong colours, cut squares, made them into thirds, total of 6 strips per tetrahedra, 5 tetrahedra – total of 30 bits of paper, 1-2 minutes to fold each unit, 3-5 minutes each to place and lock into surrounding units and it is done.

I find this shape fascinating, and the order of the pattern was only evident after I had completed it – from simple shapes, great complexity and beauty can arise.

142: Interlaced Tetrahedra

Now I have never tried MODULAR origami – it is a huge and enthusiastic movement in the society of paper benders – making modules that lock together to make a compound shape. I found instructions for Francis Ow’s 60° Unit and thought I would give a tetrahedron (6 of these units) a go:

I … got a little carried away and discovered they can nestle amongst each other in a lovely geometrically interesting sort of way. With this module, apparentyl, it is possible to complete 5 (yes, you heard me, 5 = 5×6 = 30 strips of paper) intersecting tetrahedra – scale beat me here (the tiny units are just too fiddly to lock together – must try it on A4 scale).

This is a new frontier for me, and it interests me strangely – the units are self-centring, lock each other so require no glue, have an amazing tensile strength when locked together and are simple to fold (1-2mins each). Based on 1/3 of a square, the folded thickness apparently is mathematically proved to allow a 5-intersection – we shall see.

You should try this – I enjoyed the modular approach and will probably try another in the next month (there are lots of flavours that do all sorts of things geometrically speaking) – Engineers (and those budding ones) should have a fiddle – something stunningly beautiful about regular geometry (better not say this too loud, maths teachers might hear me)