Monday, December 22, 2008


Here is a sample of another type of paper connection. It is similar to, but different from, a recent model in this blog.

I intend to post a crease pattern for the units some time soon. Unfortunately, the Silly Season is eating into my blog preparation. I promise only that you will get them when I post them.

The unit connections are sturdy, reasonably quick and decorative. The main failing is that instructions for the unit connections will not be easy to diagram. I am not looking forward to that task.

In cases like these, access to a 3-D version of the units and a 3-D example of connected units would probably be much easier to follow than traditional diagrams.

"Step folds" are another good way of showing how the method is done. As some of you already know, I arrive at conventions with "teaching boxes" containing sets of step folds which can be turned over and around by the student folder. According to the feedback I receive, these are quite useful.

It is possible that a good video clip would explain the method as well. Unfortunately these are time consuming and hard to develop. There is no shortage of excellent examples of horrific how-to-fold videos on the net. They suffer from a variety of problems including distracting backgrounds, bad choice of table top or cloth, poor illumination, poor framing of object, object partially or totally out of range of the camera, object too small or too large, angle of view unhelpful or confusing, annoying sound or music, inadequate, inappropriate or unnecessary verbal instructions and colors which are garish or insufficiently contrastive for the medium.

Exceptions, such as instructional videos made by Michael La Fosse, are a joy to watch. I am under no illusion that countering the usual problems takes quite a lot of time and effort and probably the presence of good video equipment, expensive lighting and a suitable uncluttered space. I would have a hard time matching such expertise but one day I might try.


I have been experimenting with the weaving grid and have come up with a kind of faux origami quilt.

I began by making the subsections and then connected them into long strips. Then I began weaving and twisting.

It was not long before I became hopelessly tangled and twisted. The solution was to remove all the dangling bits which were not necessary for the next step. This is making it easier.

In general, twisting the pieces together is not easy. The paper (cheap 20lb copy paper)is too bulky and not strong enough to cope with a lot of folding and upfolding. Some of it is getting a little thin. Very little of it is ending up with the same crisp folds with which I began the project. Some units are definitely a little crumpled around the edges.

I have been utilizing mini "dog clips" to clamp selected folds together while I arrange the folds prior to twisting. The clips work well but my arthritic hands find them difficult to squeeze and un-squeeze.

I think the piece would benefit from thinner prettier and sturdier paper. At the moment it suffers from the constraints of cost as well as the usual pitfalls of developing a new model and method of folding.

This is definitely not a fast method of paper connection. The benefit is that the intrepid (and arguably insane) folder can end up with a multi-colored flat piece of decorative origami of theoretically endless dimensions. As with any kind of quilting or pieced work, patterns and "pixel art" can be worked into the decorative sheet: all it takes is a little planning.