Wednesday, June 10, 2009


This post continues the No-glue version of a flower used in traditional Japanese kusudama.

This series began in response to the Fragrant Blossom kusudamas created by the inimitable and talanted Puupuu. Here is a link to the folding instructions for this blue and white version of her Fragrant Blossom flower ball.

The No-Glue Fragrant Blossom has been modified and given connectors which look like leaves and sepals. I have renamed it the Fragrant Flower.

Crease Patterns are provided below.

The center hole is now filled with a light emitting diode (LED) which, being cool, does not burn the paper.

The diamond shaped piece (seen on the outside of the flower) connects to a petal in another flower (extra flower connector). It is wrapped around the petal (see the third photo). Actually, the petal sits inside it.

Continuous connection of these will result in a dodecahedron flower ball (ten flowered kusudama).

The electrical leads are slotted through each flower center. They are then bunched together and slotted through the hole in the center of the top flower. Use a plastic conduit to make it look neater.

If you prefer, you can push the lead-containing conduit through the gaps between the flowers so that the central column of every flower can contain a LED.

The leads become the power source for the lights as well as the "string" to hang up the model. Twist them neatly together after they come out of the conduit. You may like to add a LED inside the flower ball so that the light will shine through the gaps. If you use translucent paper (vellum, glassine or common waxed cooking paper) the light will shine through the petals themselves. The problem with these media is that they are more fragile, more brittle and may crease more easily than standard paper.

An alternative idea is to treat (soak or brush on) normal copy paper with oil or wipe on poly. This will make the model more translucent. I have not tried this idea out yet, so beware that you might ruin your model. Try it out on a flower first. Be aware that once the stuff dries you will lose some flexibility. This may make it difficult to connect this flower to other flowers. Wipe on poly makes the paper a little more brittle. This could be a problem. Oils may need to be renewed.

The pink petal connectors (intra flower connectors) are slotted through the gap between the violet petals and folded around the internal "stamen" (through but over the top of the green extra connector flaps inside the petal) and tucked in the nearest side. Repeat on the other side of the petal with another pink intra connector.

Close the flower petal by tucking the protruding "stamens" into the stamen pocket on the other side. The first one tucks into the medial pocket facing it (the one it is touching), the second tucks into the lateral pocket
of the stamen facing it (on the other side of the one it is touching).

Yes, I know this is confusing when written rather than diagrammed. I intend to diagram this some time (which will probably result in my baldness from all the hair tearing out) but it won't be quick. So this, dear readers, is the interim instruction sheet.

I used to teach Australian Year 12 English at both Vocational and Tertiary Orientation levels (US Junior College AA and BA levels). One of the tasks I used to give them was to provide written instructions for a drawing task in such a way that other members of the class could draw the model just from the instructions. The results on the blackboard were usually hilarious, especially if the person was trying to follow instructions for drawing a set of steps. So I will forgive every one of you who fails to follow my instructions for this flower. I am sure that any of my past students who are reading this will be most amused to see their ex-teacher tying herself in verbal knots trying to explain how to construct a complex 3D model. Hi boys!

When I have completed the full dodecahedron model I will post photos here.

I am also working on a ten petal model where there is less space between the petals. The problem with the connection is that there is no straight forward way to connect ten-sided units together. The solution, I think, will be to treat two petals as a unit and connect them to their partners as if they were a single side. I hope this will work. I guess we will find out shortly.

Here are the crease patterns.