Origami: Purple Graphite

Purple graphite

Purple Graphite, Based on the “growing polyhedra” schemata in Tomoko Fuse’s Unit Origami

Today’s model is an example of what Tomoko Fuse called “growing polyhedra”.  Fuse basically provides a construction kit–designs for triangular double-pyramids and connectors.  These components can be put together in any number of ways.  I decided to create three layers of hexagons following the crystal structure of graphite–specifically the “ABC” allotrope.  This model is quite large, about 8 inches across–and very sturdy too.

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Origami: Ace and Arrow

Three models of "Ace and Arrow"

Ace and Arrow designed by me, based on “Valentine” by Robert Lang

It’s February, and in the US, the culturally dominant holiday for February is Valentine’s Day.  A lot of people don’t like it though, for various reasons that I am sympathetic to.  One February, I decided to take Robert Lang’s “Valentine” design, which is a heart with an arrow, and turn it into a spade.  I’m pretty happy with this design.  I made several of them.

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Origami: Sparaxis/Bitterroot


Sparaxis/Bitterroot, designed by Ekaterina Lukasheva

Some context on my origami blogging: I have hundreds of origami photos spanning over a decade.  Every month I select one to blog about based on however I happen to be feeling at that moment.  You can in fact find all my photos on my Flickr, if you are clever enough to find the link, but that’s a rather different experience.

I don’t follow any pattern in selecting photos, except that I separate the photos that I’ve blogged about and those that I haven’t.  One of the consequences of this method is that sometimes it feels like the oldest remaining photos are the dregs.  I don’t mean that they’re dregs in the general sense, I mean they’re my personal dregs, the models that I feel least enthusiastic about for one reason or another.  So let’s talk about this model from 2014, which I have somehow never selected until now.

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Origami: Pleated leaf

Pleated leaf

Pleated leaf, designed by me, but likely a common design

At some point, I discovered the area of pleat tessellations, a technique popularized by origamist Goran Konjevod.  There are a bunch of things you can do with this technique, but I thought I’d show the simplest example I have.  This is something that you can fold at home, and experiment with your own variations.

To make this model, we start by folding the paper into 16 divisions both horizontally and vertically.  This is a common first step in many origami tessellations, so forgive me for just throwing it out there like it’s nothing.  For once, I’ll go into more depth about how to do that.

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Origami: Rhinoceros


Rhinoceros, designed by Nguyen Hung Cuong

When I folded this model back in 2016, I was challenging myself to fold it without explicit instructions.

Traditionally, people fold origami by following folding diagrams, which list out the steps in sequential order.  However, at more advanced levels, you can fold origami with nothing but a crease pattern, also called a CP.  A CP shows where all the essential creases will lie, if the paper were fully unfolded.  CPs provide information in a much more condensed format, and are far easier to create than folding diagrams, so it tends to be a lot easier to find CPs than full folding diagrams.

Below the fold I have a few tips for origamists interested in folding from CPs.

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Closed square origami box

closed square origami box

Closed Square Origami Box, designer unknown

Some readers are interested in origami that they can actually make themselves.  The trouble with that is that many of the designs are quite complicated, or it’s difficult to get instructions that can be shared.  For original designs, it can take hours to draw diagrams even for relatively simple designs–and most of them are not very simple at all.  Other designs I get from books, and the diagrams are under copyright!  And for many designs, the only available instructions are the crease patterns.

Today I present a design that I happen to have diagrams for.  This closed square origami box is not my design, but I couldn’t find diagrams so I drew up some myself.  Someone also made a video.  Diagrams below the cut.

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Origami: Cootie catcher deluxe

Cootie catcher deluxe

Cootie catcher deluxe, designer unknown

Back when I was going to origami meetups, somebody showed me a design which they called the Cootie Catcher Deluxe.  It’s a variation on the cootie catcher, aka the fortune teller.  There’s some additional ornamentation where your fingers would go–which makes it non-functional as a fortune teller–but I’m not complaining.  Anyway, they couldn’t remember how they made it, and I couldn’t find any mention of it on the internet.  So here we have a legit reverse-engineering problem.  Those are fun.

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