Their Lives In Our Hands

Much has been made in the media about the current bush fire situation in Australia. Truth is the scale of devastation is impossible to grasp, in terms of sheer acreage of scorched earth, number of homes lost, lives lost and livelihoods ruined. When we add the effects on environment, habitat and wildlife (flora and fauna), the effects of the 2019/2020 summer will have long-reaching and potentially permanent ramifications:

their lives in our hands

I want to say that our leaders are on top of this, but have never had confidence in politicians, and am not convinced any can see past getting re-elected to make the hard decisions necessary for our continued existence. Indeed, when our PM chooses to go on holiday during the worst of it, when he and his colleagues continue to deny climate change, despite the overwhelming scientific evidence. They display a vandalistic attitude to environmental policy, and offer reckless abandon to fossil fuels and non-sustainability.

Their lives in our hands. “They” are our children, their children, the animals and plants that make up the biosphere in which we live. The “they” are US.

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967: Spike the Echidna

Australia is the home of many unique animals – few come odder than monotremes, mammals that lay eggs – an echidna is one such critter.

spiny norman

I had seen folds of Steven Casey’s Echidna but struggled to find a source of diagrams – only by drilling down in Pinterest did I find some copyright infringer’s scanned pages of the diagrams (sorry, I would have purchased them could I find a publication that had them) and knew I had to have a go at it.

Central to the success of this model is the lovely crop of spines – these are treated scales (much like those that adorn Satoshi Kamiya’s Ryu Jin 2.1+), a lovely “preliminary base” tessellation that I had already mastered. the rest of the model is making the surrounding paper do the work of all the other stickey-outey bits of the animal.

spiny norman views

I particularly love the snout and head, so simple but so nice. It has 4 feet, each with toes – just genius.

You fold it, the resultant shape before you collapse it into it’s end 3D shape looks a lot like a pelt – not sure National Parks and Wildlife would appreciate the notion of an Echidna Pelt, but it then becomes round and plumptious and locks together ingeniously into an adorable spikey ball full of character.

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966: Green Turtle

As part of an origami challenge on Fakebook, we were challenged to fold the Green turtle from Origami Pro #4, designed by Jang Yong Ik :

green Turtle designed by  Jang Yong Ik

I split off a square from a 70cm roll of black/natural Ikea Kraft and started the diagonal pleat pre-creasing.

Over a period of a couple of weeks, fitting it into life, the universe, and everything, I folded this intense model, really determined to enjoy the process.

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964: Tetsuya Gotani’s Ankylosaurus

Being most of the way though the proof-reading of a new book by Tetsuya Gotani, I decided to test-fold his Ankylosaurus:

Tetsuya Gotani's Ankylosaurus

The final model, folded with 50cm printed Ikea Kraft paper, is a freaky cow-like critter covered in spikes with a club-like tail and a cow-like head.

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943: Dragon Heart Tessellation

Researching tessellations, I stumbled across a paper, written by Helena Verrill (Queens University, Kingston, Canada) that generally introduced the concept and looked at a number of common tiling patterns, but the first CP is one I had not seen before:

dragon heart

I did a small tester and loved (fluked) the collapse, and decided to scale up to a full A3 sheet, starting with a square grid. Then nested adjacent squares are layed in on diagonals to provide odd inverse hinges.

I am quite happy with this, and if more ambitious, I would fold it much smaller on a larger sheet – it would make amazing dragon skin.

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942: Triangle Waterbomb Tessellation

One of the interesting things about being associated with “Pinterest” is that their algorithms continually look for stuff it thinks will interest you. Given I only browse Origami, I get some interesting leads. I saw a triangle-based tessellation/corrugation and did a little digging:

triangle waterbomb tessellation

Seems Ron Resch, in the early 1970’s, was heavily into paper-based corrugation and this design emerged around then. The basis of this fold is 2 triangle grids, one at twice the scale of the other, offset at 30 degrees to the other. It took me a couple of failed attempts to get the crease layout to work but in retrospect is is much simpler than it seems.

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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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937: Diamond Bracelet

I hate throwing things out – having cut the biggest 2×1 rectangle possible from an A2 sheet, I was left with a lovely thin strip of scrap:

I was playing with a corrugation, with the view to design a millipede, but stumbled across a molecule that I then tessellated along the length. Continue reading

931: Sipho Mabona’s Fugu

I have had this model on my “to do” list for ages – I had shied away from it because of what I perceived was a brutal precreasing sequence and impossible collapse:

That said, with a little large scale and some accurate pre-forming, the laying of the corrugations was fairly straightforward – all based on halves. Laying crenelations across these were fiddly in low light, and had I realised they would be angle bisecting squares later then I think I could have been more accurate. Continue reading

890: (340/365) Arches Tessellation

David Huffman is a bit of an origami enigma it seems – he pioneered a bunch of tessellations and surface corrugations and seems to be one of the first to explore curved creases and their bizarre effects on flat sheets:

This is is “Arches” tessellation, an intriguing offset brick valley folded grid that then has parabolic mountain folds at each intersection. The resultant sheet is really hard to tidily collapse (in my experience) – perhaps it was the paper or the scoring technique I used to form the parabolas, or perhaps it was the parabola itself – with no guidelines I just sort of guessed a curve.

You get a sort of waterbomb base forcing one trough deep into the arch of an adjacent fold – when it is tidied up it is fascinating – I could see uses for this as an interesting textural pattern or ambient light panel as it makes funky patterns when backlit. Continue reading

862: (312/365) The Night King

Now I am as much a fan of Game of Thrones as the next person, but I do like a good ice zombie as a baddie:

This is Nick Robinson’s “Hairy Man”, but I think it is much more demonstrative of an icy undead monster. Continue reading

861: (311/365) Tessellated Star Box

I saw a photo sequence of a tessellation that was fashioned into a box and knew I had to try it:

Well, I say tessellation, but really this is just one molecule, but it is none the less beautiful. Continue reading

844: (294/365) Our House, is a very very very fine house …

It seems to be the season for buying houses. A couple of my work colleagues have, individually, in the last little while purchased houses:

The “Great Australian Dream” apparently is to own your own home – this seems irrefutable proof that it is still entirely possible. Continue reading

843: (293/365) Origami Architecture

I was doodling with a 17cm square, divided into an 8×8 grid and collapsed, via a photodiagram (and a bit of wrestle-magic) into a curious but possibly useful surface corrugation/tessellation:

With an exercise in patience, fold accuracy and layer management, a “swastika”-like collapse becomes a sunken 4 segment recess, then the edges tidy up with some propagatible pleats, making this tesselatable. Continue reading

795: (245/365) Tessellated Fractal

Further exploring Shuzo Fujimoto’s “Hydrangea” fractal, it seems they can also be tessellated:

This is a 4x fold, but I have seen many many more, closer together also, interweaving and other mind-boggling combinations.

This fold has taken an age – started 4 days ago, finished yesterday (I had already decided on the spring shoot for yesterday’s fold) it is a lovely frame. Continue reading

791: (241/365) Flower Tessellation

Browsing a MiniNeo eZine that I follow, I noticed a rather interesting looking hexagonal flower and thought it worth a try:

You triangle grid a hexagon into 16ths, then put a hex twist in the middle, then add the swing-back on petals and tidy up the tessellation to make a swirl. Continue reading

786: (236/365) Beth Johnson’s Hex Owl

I cannot believe I have not tried this before:

A lovely hexagonal tessellation in one corner of a hexagon becomes the fluffy tummy, collapsing the body makes for lovely eyes and a pair of crenellated wings. Continue reading

704: (154/365) Shuzo Fujimoto’s Stars n Squares Tessellation

Starting with a square-twist tessellation, you add to the intensity by folding it some more:

Alternating spin squares with stars, you get this nightmare of paper torture. Continue reading

703: (153/365) Square Twist Tessellation

Assignment time can sometimes be boring for a teacher, especially when kids are beavering away independently:

This is a tessellation I have not tried before. Based on a square grid, diagonal squares rotate 45 degrees to lie flat again, causing pleat ripples that are cancelled out by adjacent twists – clever. Continue reading

614: (64/365) Brickwork Fireplace

Brickwork tessellations are a bit of work, but it is nice to see a model that uses the tessellation as the texture of another structure:

This is Ichiro Kinoshita’s “Fireplace by Brickwork”, a torturous fold that requires a ton of pre-creasing and as the scale I chose (square cut from an A3 sheet), the final crease lines end up about 4mm apart on fairly heavy paper – not, in retrospect, a good choice. Continue reading