Wednesday, August 5, 2009


A few posts back I dedicated an origami quilt to Paul Bachman, a presenter on Serius XM Pops radio. The other presenter is Vincent Caruso. Just so the two boys don't fight, I have dedicated this kusudama to Vincent.

Since the kusudama flower ball shape is cubic I have dubbed it the Caruso Cube. When I make a kusudama version of the Bachman Quilt I guess it will become the Bachman Ball. Alliteration is such fun, isn't it?

Like a number of things I have been designing lately, the Caruso Cube uses the same connection idea that I have been using for models using a carrier box method. In this case the flower itself is the "carrier". It is a little weaker than the full method but works just fine for light balls, especially when the intersecting angles are relatively sharp.

The leaves are formed by increasing the size of the basic connector piece so that there is enough paper to form leaflets at the ends. These form a pleasing triple leaf arrangement at the intersection points of the flowers.


The flowers are a variant of the classic twist fold.

The stamens begin life as a variant of the classic frog base.

The blue flower is my first model I made in this series. The stamens in this model are relatively short, something which required that the paper for this piece be cut to a size which was not a natural factor of the other pieces used in the model.

In the next models I decided to make the stamens a little larger in order to keep the paper sizes relative to each other.

The Curuso Cube was made from 6 flower modules: 2 metallic cream, 2 metallic blue and 2 metallic navy. The stamens were made from similar colors with the addition of a paler blue.

The hanging method is different from the one used in traditional models. I used a small metal ring, the kind used in lampshade construction, as a way to attach hanging cords without straining the glueless connection points of the ball. First three threads were tied onto it. The threads were tensioned by tying another piece of thread around the cords about three or four times until it formed a ring. I then pushed this yarn ring down until it pulled the three cords to a point in the center of the metal ring. The completed cord and ring construction was inserted into the model just before the last couple of flowers were connected together.

The resulting model hangs well without undue strain on its connecting creases.


Here are some "upgrades" on the Quilt Box.

THE BLUE BOX ironed out a couple of problems experienced in the original box which was the subject of the last posting. It also confirmed that this method of paper connection could result in a big highly decorative box of considerable stability.

I used a different method o
f module connection on this one. Although it removes the need for "patches" and "feet" to cover the holes at the intersections the disadvantage is that the corner pieces are somewhat bulky. This is particularly problematic around the top of the box. It does not have a lid because it would not sit well on top of this bulk.

Nevertheless, it is a good sturdy decorative open box.

As you can see in the last photograph of this model, I left the base fairly plain.

THE RED BOX uses the original method of module connection. The "legs" are identical but the "patches" now have their corners turned under. It seems to fit the rest of the pattern better.

The inserts are the same twisted cross design with the exception of the center panel in the front. The reason for this difference is that it permits the top lip to be tucked underneath the top section. This makes for a more secure connection than the method used on the original box.

The other lid flaps are simply tucked in, as before. If all the front and side panels were substituted with the insert used in the central front panel then all these five flaps could be tucked firmly underneath rather than just inserted loosely into the adjoining rim section. This would make it a very secure connection. The small air gap at the top front corners would disappear. The air gaps on the top back corners cannot easily be removed with a flush lid of this nature.

The inside of the box is much neater and less bulky than the blue box shown and discussed above.

NOTE: Having reviewed this posting I realize that the photo of the box parts awaiting 3D assembly is deceptive. It was taken early in the design process. After assembly I removed the cream connector pieces between the half squares which fold over the rim into the box and then redesigned how these sections hold together. Look at the last photo for further clarification.

Overall, I am reasonably happy with this version. It is time to make one from something other than cheap copy paper.

As I think I may have mentioned in previous posts, I use copy paper during the designing process because I destroy and throw out a lot of paper along the way to the final version. It would be wasteful to use expensive paper during this experimental stage.

During the design of this particular model there were a number of pieces of paper which became extremely battered from multiple creasings, re-creasinngs and total redesigning. This is usual.

It took some time to design the inserted module which I eventually used in the center front panel. Some versions worked but did not look "clean" or interesting. Others looked fine but did not work well, or even at all :-) As usual, I came up with some designs which did not fix the particular problem I was trying to solve but which are interesting in their own right and will probably be used in future models.