Monday, April 28, 2008

Tudor rose

During the fifteenth century, England was torn asunder by two rival families vying for the throne: the Yorks (whose badge was a white rose) and the Lancasters (whose badge was a red rose). The two feuding clans were finally united (sort of) in the person of Henry Tudor, who rose to the throse as Henry VII of England. To celebrate the end of the conflict, he combined the badges of the two noble houses into a single device, the Tudor Rose, which continues to be an emblem of the royal house of the United Kindom to this very day. (This is a very simplified view by a not-English-person. To learn what really happened during the Wars of the Roses, visit your local library.)

Kunihiko Kasahara has created a lovely wild rose pattern. Early on, I discovered that it was possible to place a half-size rose within a larger one. (This is my "design" contribution.) By placing a white rose inside a red rose, I achieved the anglophile origmi enthusiast's dream: a Tudor Rose.

This model was created from a 5 7/8" square of red, a 3" square of white, and a 3" square of green standard origami paper. The rose is 3 1/8" in diameter with a leaf of similar length. The pattern for the rose is found in Kasahara's masterwork, Origami Omnibus. The leaf was designed by Gay Merrill Gross; a pattern for it may be found in Michael J. LaFosse's "Origami Flowers" kit.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Truncated tetrahedron

I am passionate about mathematics. I believe this is one of the reasons I was so irresistably drawn to origami; it is a very mathematical art. There is beauty not only in the final form, but in the analysis of the shape, the creases, the angles... discovering the relationship between simple lines and the final opus.

Others have also notices the relationship between mathematics and origami and used it to create interesting works. In particular, the creation of mathematical structures known as polyhedra can be created in a very natural way by use of unit origami.

This model (or technically, the skeleton of this model) is a semiregular polyhedron known as a truncated tetrahedron -- that is, a solid figure made up of 4 hexagons and 4 triangles. It was designed by Tomoko Fuse and consists of 18 separate, identical units folded from 3" x 6" rectangles. The paper is some sort of Italian print that I purchased and cut into the appropriate size. I was not able to measure it, but my detailed analysis of the fold pattern and structure indicates that it should be about 4 7/8" tall. Did I mention that I am passionate about mathematics?

This model is shown in its native habitat: on top of one of Zing!'s coffee makers. Folding instructions may be found in Fuse's book Unit Polyhedron Origami.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Color wheel box

When planning this box for my friend Jen (one of my friends Jen, actually), I asked her for her favorite color. After quite a bit of thought, she responded, "All of them." Thus, the color wheel box was born!

This box is one of the more complex box designs of Tomoko Fuse. The majority of her boxes consist of 8 units, and she has created hexagonal boxes out of as few as 4 units -- this box consists of 12 units. The biggest advantage of having so many units is the ability to use many colors, creating a nice rainbow effect. In addition, it's one of the more solid and heavy boxes I've made.

The exteriors and interiors of both lid and base can be seen in the photos below. I especially love the patterns created in the interiors of both components.

This box was constructed from 12 sheets of standard 5" origami paper of 6 distinct colors. The assembled box is 3 1/4" wide side-to-side (3 1/2" corner-to-corner) and 1 5/8" deep. the design is available in Fuse's book Origami Boxes.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Dragon Hatchling


We finish up Dragon Week -- er, Dragon Month, I guess -- with this baby dragon hatching from its egg.

About a year ago I received a fun kit from my buddy Mike entitled "Make Your Own paper Dragons", by Sean Brand and Ivan Hissey. The kit consists of instructions for drawing, painting, and folding dragons, accompanied by a small pait kit and some origami paper. This charming model (by Nick Robinson) was contained within.

The model was folded from a 5 7/8" square of red/yellow duo paper. The egg measures about 3 1/8" wide.

Why a yellow egg? I thought it looked cool. A second hatchling, emerging from a white egg, may be seen below. Which do you like better, yellow or white?