Plan B (or “Home is where the hive is”)

I was approached by a mate mid 2018 with the idea of an original origami commission, but was given no real timeline (which for an OCD procrastinator like me is a recipe for a little crazy time.

framed picture

The end result, finished near the end of February 2019, is vastly different from how I had initially envisaged it. It was actually really hard to part with this one – so much creative energy went into it’s genesis.

the new happy owner
A new home, Happy Birthday Paige (albeit belated, sorry)
Depth, scale, detail.
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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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837: (287/365) Jackson’s Chameleon

Looking for a nice, rich, challenging fold for the day, I knew I needed to try a model from Robert Lang:

This is his model “Jackson’s Chameleon” – a deliciously complicated model with all the chameleonic bits you expect.

Working with a slightly un-square square of light green washi, the pre-folding is fascinating, layer management and seemingly impossible moves abound – there were many times I thought I had screwed up, only to find out that it worked. Continue reading

698: (148/365) Cicada

I must admit to enjoying the challenge that is inherent in most of Robert Lang’s designs:

When the Tanteidan magazine arrived, I saw there was a new version of his cicada, and I knew I needed to try it.

Starting with a 35cm square of Daiso washi (that turned out to be slightly rhombic problematically), I began the marathon folding sequence. Continue reading

675: (125/365) Centipede

Gagging for complex folds I thought I would torture a bit of paper with a super complex model from Robert Lang’s “Origami Insects II”:

The paper survived and the resultant creepy crawley is interesting if not perfect.

Missing steps and powering on, only have to backtrack, characterised this mammoth 6 hour fold. Some steps are small but have long term consequences and I was worried that unfolding and refolding would cause the paper to disintegrate, fortunately not. Continue reading

673: (123/365) Longhorn Beetle

Itching to dive into some thing complex (365 challenges are lousy for this, the one fold a day schedule makes longer hauls really difficult), I decided on an insect from Robert Lang that I had not folded before:

Folded nearly life-size, this is a longhorn beetle, a lovely little bug with seemingly ridiculous antennae. Continue reading

Orchid Shadowbox

I love models by Robert Lang, I find I fold them when I need order, therapy, calm. This is a collection of his Orchids, described in his book “Origami Design Secrets”. Something about the mathematical elegance of this flower lends itself to careful modelling and pretty staging. I had a bunch of opalescent 6″ squares in delicate pastel colours so originally folded separate flowers and tried to attach them in a sort of free-form montage.camille

They look better on a stem, so re-thought the mounting, used florist’s wire and tape to build a plausible “spray” and (shhh) used some craft glue to affix the flowers to the ends of each stickey-outey bit.

Working to the diagonal here, with an odd number of blooms works quite nicely I think, coupled with the corrugated (I folded a fan) hand-made gold-flecked tissue the total scene is quite pleasing. Continue reading