1067: Watermelon Colours

So to avoid doing the growing list of things I should be doing, I decided on some procrastigami:

Xander Perrott's Laveau

One of the many “I must fold these” models from Xander Perrott’s forthcoming books, this is “Laveau”, a lovely 30 unit spikey flower ball that makes good use of duo paper.

Each unit, based on a 1:root(3) rectangle, folded from Tuttle Vibrant duo, I chose limey/crimson paper and began folding – I always love the almost meditative state you enter when unit folding on a production line – much the same as gridding before box pleating and tessellations.

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1066: Star Virus

As part of the privilege of test-folding models for a forthcoming book, I also had access to brilliant new designs. I decided I must fold one of these for myself:

Xander Perrott's "Star Virus"

This is “Star Virus”, a relative of “Space Virus” that I had already folded (from his previous book) waaaaay back in 2020 at the beginning of the global pandemic.

The form of this kusudama is glorious – star-shaped protuberances from a glorious faceted sphere – reminiscent of the most popular visualisation of the Covid 19 virus, I decided to fold it in royal purple and yellow because Covid is mutating all the time, and this I see as a mutation of the original in every way.

Xander Perrott's "Star Virus" view

They say “if at first you don’t succeed, mutate and try again” seems to be the pandemic trajectory – this model has modules that are refined, positively lock and the whole spikey ball was such fun to fold.

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Test Folding

Over the last couple of weeks I have been granted the privilege of test-folding the models from Xander Perrott’s new Kusudama book “Angular Elegance”:

Models 1-20 of 22 - 3-join
the 3-join of models 1-20

I bought Xander’s first book “Folded Forms”a treasure trove of delicate spikey balls. I offered my services as a test folder – to my delight and amazement he said yes.

Test folding is different to model folding, the brief is to see how easy to follow the diagrams are, how reproducible the forms are and what sense the written instructions make.

As all the models in this book are unit-based, I folded 3 or 4 of the modules (rather than the entire 30+) to check the 2 types of joins and how regular the construction methods can become. There is a wonderful mix and variety of spikey balls in this new (as yet unpublished) collection, and the skill levels to complete them range from fairly easy to nearly impossible – which is good, challenges abound for all levels of folder competence.

Unit and join testing – 3+5joints (“Star Virus” kusudama)

Xander commonly uses some funky paper ratios in his base-papers. Commonly 1:root(3), but this collection uses 2:root(3) and more exotically 6:5root(3). The paper ratio allows construction of accurate angles (many based of multiples of 60 degrees), and the book demonstrates nicely how to cut sheets of this ratio from more conventional sized paper.

Each kusudama has it’s own quirks, tricks and stress points, all require accuracy and nice paper (most showcase duo coloured paper in flamboyant and wondrous ways).

I have not folded a book “cover to cover” since I was a kid (who only owned a only couple of origami books) – it was an intense but hopefully useful journey as I made notes about the instruction set, unit folding and assembly process, subsequently passing this on to Xander for his consideration.

As I approach retirement age, I can see myself doing more in the meta origami world, having already established myself as an origami book editor and test folder – having time to do this without having to shoe-horn it inbetween school commitments is a luxury I am looking forward to.

1062: Omicron

Having recently purchased a bumper pack of 6″ duo paper, I was itching to fold something with it. Given we are in a new wave of Covid-19 (Omicron), I thought a virus-like kusudama was in order:

Xander Perrott's "Minaret"

This is Xander Perrott’s lovely modular design “Minaret”, a 30-piece ball of wonder.

Each piece is based on a 1: root(3) proportioned rectangles, intricately collapsed into beams with tabs/pockets on each end.

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1012: Cluster

If one word sums up 2020, it has to be “cluster”. Sadly, in the Covi-19 era, we find at the centre of most clusters is a cluster-f*ck:

Xander Perrott's "Trillian"

In desperate need of a fold, I turned to Xander Perrott’s e-book “Folded Forms” that I bought a while ago and settled on “Trillian” – a glorious 30 unit modular cluster that looks a little like a flower ball.

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1009: Mayhew (or Black Death)

Apparently one of the symptoms of the plague was to smell a sweet smell like flowers:

Xander Perrott's "Mayhew"

That escalated rather quickly, but that is life in a pandemic age I guess. This “black flower ball” is “Mayhew”, a kusudama designed by Xander Perrott, a lovely thing indeed.

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1006: Fake News

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:

Xander Perrott's "Zenith"

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.

Xander Perrott's "Zenith" scale

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.

999: COVID-19

The story of the moment is COVID-19, and the unprecedented effects the global pandemic is having on “business as normal” across the world.

Xander Perrott's "Space Virus"

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.

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