Archive for March, 2008|Monthly archive page

Gothic Cuffs

So I’ve been playing with the idea of tessellated jewelry for awhile.  These are my first tests.  Currently held together by the natural occuring pleats.  I am contemplating different attachments currently.  Basic tess design on left (refer to Eric’s website for pattern for a pattern) and slightly modified 3d pattern on right.


 Old box I found that wasn’t damaged from move.  I havn’t posted it yet because I was initially planning to diagram(then lost the box).  Uses a basic tess that Fuse also uses (thanks for the info Ray) for the side decoration.

The other thing I made like this is a bookmark. 
It uses the same type of collapse and is the perfect size for a corner bookmark when made out of 6 inch squares.  The abbreviated pictoral diagrams are below.
1.  Fold in half diagonally both ways.
2.  Fold in half (side to side both ways)
3.  Leave it folded and fold over as shown, crease lightly as this is a reference mark.  Let go and fold the other direction. 
4.  Accordian pleat into 8ths.  The wide side is the open side.
5.  Undo and open.  You will now be inside reverse folding the pleats internally starting with the 2nd eighth.
6.  Lay the paper on the side and squash the triangles as indicated.
7.  When finished refold on the other crease lines and fold in the tips. 
8.  Press flat and put over page and you’re done.

Masks the never ending saga/Red Man and Piltdown Man

I have spoken of my mask travails, that said the red mask actually exhibited a bit of progress.   The eyes are not proportionate, but they are much more defined, which I like.  This mask is the strongest internally and is without wet folding for any details.  There is the barest development of a chin.  I like the fullness in the cheeks although placement is still an issue.  The poor red man is missing an upper lip, but that’s going to have to wait for the next mask.  I need to start creasing larger, because I am running out of space on the sides.  The nose is more complex and has a better side view.  References Italian Comedy Masks in my view.  The upper right picture has my mask next to Joel Cooper’s mask.  This can give you an idea where I am trying to go, I don’t want to emulate his exact style, but I want to achieve his level of completion.

The black mask on the left was lost when I tried to make the mouth.  The picture is horrid, because I was only going to use it for reference, not post it.  I approached the pleats under the mouth differently, I referred to Joel’s mask.  In doing so I created what mon pere dubbed the Piltdown Man. 

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day


Oh St. Patty’s day is near!!!  For many (I am only speaking of Chicago, cause that’s what I know)  it is special day celebrated in any place that serves alcohol, by the Green Chicago River, or at the parade.  In honor of such a green holiday I am posting triangular pyramid tip box instructions and a Celtic cross modular (In deference to it being the holiday of a saint and all.)  The tip box is made from a bill and closes.  You can fit the coins that go with the tip in it.  Remember your server is harried and tip generously.  The box was inspired by this box from Lorenzo Marchi.

The modular is of an almost identical unit that an Italian folder, Franco Pavarin, published, with one difference. I wrap a section around another section that forces a color change and it does change assembly methodology a bit.  Thanks to Mark Kennedy for helping me get the information to clear that up.  I like my unit better because it is stronger during assembly for at least the one completed modular.  I made two with his and as I found the assembly to be harder.  Soon I will post the 15 assembly varients I made. 

Tip Box Instructions

1.  Fold the creases as shown.  Make the crease bidirectional i.e. fold in in both directions.

2.  The vertices of the two squares are pulled down to meet each other.  This action cause the basic two triangular pyramids to form.


3.  In the triangle that is in the middle you are pushing up the triangle tip.  You are using pre-existing creases.

4.  Inside I pink the edges of the pyramid and flatten them clockwise.  The second picture is what the bottom looks like.

5.  You are flipping up the rim of the top of the container all the way around.

6.  The bit of bill connecting the top and the bottom needs to be creased so the top can fit in the bottom.

7.  The extra flap needs to be folded so it is the same size as the rim.  I folded it in on pre-existing creases.

8.  The tips are folded in so that the flap can hold the lid closed.

 9.  Congratulations close the box…you are done.

More Modular Madness


This modular is an amazing frisbee and while I don’t necessarily advocate “throwing money around” in this case I say make an exception.  Quite thick at the edges, but it is a sturdy octagon.

Very crude instructions here

Pentagonal Star-Really Pentagonalish.  Although it lies flat the fit is not perfect.  Not a unique style connection, but I like pentagons.

Varients on previously diagrammed model.  Hexagon in Embedded Star and Embedded star.  The first is a forced fold, not natural and does not lie flat.  The second is the flat variation.

Same disclaimer/request if you have seen these please post applicable designers and links.  Thanks:)

2-D Modular Design Process and Diagrams

Lately I’ve been playing with dollar bills and that translated into modulars which can be seen two posts down.  As of yesterday that translated into 2d modulars with a square.  I am the first to state there are tons of modulars out there and my designs are probably not very unique.  When I started doing origami I generally focused on 3d modulars, but I have taught three particular 2d modulars (One is called the “Magic Frisbee,” another is a Mette Pederson unit, and the final one is a stellated star that I learned from a origami day planner with a frog on the cover).  However this post is only about “steps” I have observed when I am designing modulars with dollar bills or squares.

 2-D Modular Design Process

  •  You have to have something that is either a pocket or an edge to but the next piece next to.
  • Determine if you can make it work around a single point.  The angles must come to approximately 360 degrees.  You can do this with math or (like I tend to do) just make the modules and assemble.
  • Determine the two angles the modules can shift in.  Depending on the angle of the pocket/edge from step one the angles are different.
  • Determine a way to keep the shifting from occuring by tucking somepiece into another piece.

I admit these are obvious steps, but once I verbalized them when trying to explain to my mother how I came up with things it has been easier to make things come together.


Here are some dollar bill modulars.

After making a series of dollar bill modulars I applied the same approach to a square.  The results are two units I now I havn’t made.  However the end design of the three step module I have seen.  My standard request applies…If you have seen them please leave applicable designers and links so others can find them and we can all expand our knowledge.  I asked around at the CHAOS meeting today and no one recognized the modules, although Robert did say the end result was familiar on the three step modular. 


In the last step (which is what makes the modular fairly strong)  I bisected the paper from the tip, allowedthe bottom by the white edge to go down, and tucked the excess into the white Isosceles triangle.  If you want it to look like the pink design repeat on the other side.

Hexagonal Dollar Bill Modular Instructions

You will need 6 crisp dollar bills (or larger if you so wish) and a few fingers.

  1.  Fold dollar bill in half lengthwise.  I recommend keeping the same orientation I have the first time you make it.    
  2. On the one side quarter it.
  3. Fold in half, Valley fold, as shown in photo.
  4. Take the lower left vertex and bring it over to the quarter crease line.  The other point it references is the center crease line.  
  5. Inside reverse as shown.
  6. Use the upper left vertex and bring it down to the center crease mark making a crease the the other top vertex. Unfold
  7. Repeat on the left side and unfold.
  8. You are folding down as if to make a waterbomb base.
  9. Flip unit over and repeat.  When done reverse all creases so the “waterbomb” is in the inside.  Make 5 more units.  
  10. Put units together as shown.  You are putting the one on the right into the one on the left.
  11. Between the units where the units connect fold a bit of paper over.  This creates a strong final product.                    
  12. Assemble all 6 units.  Should look like the picture.  Then flip over for the next step.
  13. You are tucking in the left angled flap all the way around.  It goes around the other papers in the inside.  Now this side has only rotational symmetry not bilateral symmetry.
  14. Flip over.  Now you will be collapsing the modified waterbombs.  Be sure to include the tip from the other side that was left out.
  15. Now you are tucking in the tips that are sticking out so that everything is contained.  The final modular should be internally very strong.                                     

Moneyfolds: My design approach

Just a few thoughts on the process I’ve been using for moneyfolds lately.  Dollar Bill origami is a very recent foray of mine.  I have found the dimensions interesting from a design perspective.

My basic approaches:

  •  Not to be flippant, but I fold.  I take every angle and bisect, trisect, and intersect it in every way that I can think of. 
  • I try to collapse things in different ways from all different angles and sides.
  • Visualize what I want and deconstruct the folds in my mind(only works on rare occasions and never for highly complex stuff for me)
  • Once something bares a resemblence keep refining it till it is good enough.
  • Make more than one of something and see if they’ll hold together.

I have had mixed results with these approaches and I havn’t done much with animals (certainly none worth posting) but I do find it interesting to play with something that has limited symmetries.

Side bar… I have now had this sight for a full year.  Time flies when you are folding.