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:
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
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
Keeping my fingers buys, I had it suggested (on Redit) that I should try 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.
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.
Happy Anniversary Jo, love and hugs always.
This is Maria Sinayskaya’s Little Roses Kusudama (squares variant), 30 units – lovely thing indeed.
Cruising Fakebook, as one does, I came across a fascinating origami geometric mindf*ck:
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”.
Folding in a4, the geometry is just as elegant, if exacting.
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”:
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.
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.
The post title reminds me of the punchline of a favourite joke: “What does a 10 tonne parrot say?”:
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.
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).
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:
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.
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.
In an age of great confusion and concern over health, safety and social distancing, it is interesting (nay, alarming) to see the spike of “fake news” relating to the current Pandemic:
We learn via social media that Covid-19 was man-made, released as a viral payload from some weaponsied experiment (gone wrong, or not), is transmitted via 5G, and is defeated by injecting disinfectant and drinking bleach. We hear and watch idiot orange leader lie, contradict himself, blame storm, underfund, over-claim, then go and play golf while his country suffers.
We learn that some ffolk, tired of being “isolated” for a week or two in one of the most virus-ravaged countries chose to riot (hence magnify the problem) for their right to congregate, despite social distancing suggestions in place to save their lives – and we see them turn up, enraged, with guns, like they can shoot the fucking invisible enemy.
We hear from celebrities, entombed in their mansions, doing it tough because they are down to only domestic champagne, we hear of crop circles, conspiracies, complete shit uttered by people with access to the greater public, in the end (like this post) it is all NOISE, no SIGNAL.
It appears scientists and health workers DO know how to mitigate spread, that social distancing IS effective at arresting spread, that outbreaks are inevitable but manageble if there is a healthcare system in place applying rational and reasonable steps, and that the world will return to some version of normalcy slowly and cautiously.
This is “Zenith”, a 30 piece kusudama, designed by Xander Perrott (from his eBook “Folded Forms”), folded from duo red/natural Kraft. It is reminiscent of the shape we are seeing of virus (cells?), it was folded during a telly binge, it helped to calm me down when I think of work Monday: I am a teacher, for the past few weeks I have had had nearly normal classes (I teach mostly year 11 and 12, they were back in F2F after an extended period in ISO). This coming week, all students return to a tiny inner-city campus. 1700 boys, 120 staff, no room to swing a cat, social distancing impossible. Happy days.
The story of the moment is COVID-19, and the unprecedented effects the global pandemic is having on “business as normal” across the world.
In out little corner of the planet, things continue to be weird. As a teacher, I am still at work, with 1700 boys in a fairly confined space. The current government position is that it is “business as usual” for schools, as we gear up to deliver online learning as part of our “continuity of learning” plan. I want to say I feel good about things, but we all deal with uncertainty our own way.
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:
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).
For the last 10 or so years, I have used Origami as a pastoral care group “getting to know you” exercise, encouraging the students in my care to get involved, learn something new, and share the skills.
The WHOLE is greater than the SUM OF THE PARTS.
I laminated red and black paper, then sliced it up into 2:3 ratio rectangles. I taught some kids, they taught others – together we made the 30 modules necessary to make this spikey ball (a stellated icosahedron).
The modular construction is an interesting exercise in 3 and 5, and because the paper is quite rigid, the resultant kusudma is lovely – it joins a nice collection of similar of collaboratively constructed modulars – a testament to the power of the idea, the value of being open to new things and the willingness to have a go.
Being a member of a professional association has many advantages. I maintain memberships with Japanese Origami Society (JOAS) and Origami USA (OUSA) because they offer members fabulous access to new designs:
This is the recycling logo, internationally recognizable (although if you are observant I have folded a Möbius strip version of it). Designed by Sharon Turvey, recently the diagrams for this lovely model became available via “theFOLD” – one of OUSA’s publications.
As a modular, this design is clever, it’s careful definition of symbol and colour change faithfully renders the logo with relatively few folds. 4 different modules (2 different corners and 2 different white connectors) make up the model.
My usual line “if you find interesting paper, get it and I will make you something out of it” has been the start of many fascinating journeys:
Peter and Majella travelled to Japan, and found some lovely paper – one, a sheet of hand-made natural Kozo with botanical inclusions screamed out for something delicate and textured. I had intended to return to Mikiller觅晨’s modular dragon, having already folded it large, I thought it might be interesting to fold it tiny and trap it in a shadowbox frame.
A colleague brought me back some Hanji paper from her visit to Korea, and I was wondering what to fold with it when I stumbled across a post on Facebook describing a modular money dragon fold.
Designed by Hieu Dang, modified & diagrammed by Lien Quoc Dat ( tutorial: youtube.com/c/LQDchannel ) to be folded from 10 x bank notes, and thought it was worth a go. When I wrestled with an american dollar, deciding it too small for me to fold, I scaled up and cut 10 x 1:2 rectangles from a burgundy sheet of Hanji, and began folding.
This reminds me a LOT of Satoshi Kamiya’s Ryu Jin 3.5, but not as many scales, still, it s a time-consuming fold, and many of the techniques are repetitive, but manageable. I found the diagrams on the head really difficult to fathom, and the low resolution images made it difficult to to work out what’s what. See for yourself.