Archive for February, 2009|Monthly archive page

Gothic Crosses Origami Tessellation and Dollar Bill Dresses

So the push to finish old crap projects is on.  Not that it’s garbage,  I just haven’t really had time and impetus lately to actually start any projects I’ve laid out.  I should explain my approach is rather ADHD and my scatterbrained approach means time is relative.  I wish I had focus.  Partially finished projects litter my place and it is frustrating to find incomplete ideas, manifest in paper.  

Cross 3d by you.

Cross 3d backlit by you.

Cross 3d backlit by you.

Sorry, enough kvetching. What is great is the number of folders who have taken up this avenue of origami and are running with it.  I look forward to seeing them reinvent the wheel and then make it brand new.  So the first pic is a tessellation that looks to me like “gothic” styled crosses from one angle and flowers (which they are on the other side) from another.  This is from two years ago and had been 1/3 finished for a long time.  Well now it’s done if not clean, but I am not starting it over.

Dollar Bill Dresses by you.Origami Dress by you.

The dollar bill dresses came out of an hour spurt of dollar excess last weekend.  It reminded me of a peculiar childhood habit of mine-tissue dresses made for Barbie and Skipper.  My Mom was never one for Barbie’s, but I ended up getting one and a Skipper as a present for my ninth? birthday from a little girl named Candy.  I would make dresses out of tissues and ripping them and tucking and pleating for fun.  It was a solitary activity as I didn’t play with dolls a ton, but I still have a doll with her raggedy tissue dress.  The grey one was simply an attempt to design with a square, sort of envisioned it as a grey silk chiffon.  I have the grey dress roughly diagrammed and can post as soon as I know it isn’t an infinite repeat, so I will be asking the o-list about whether the grey one is running about.  I would assume the dollar bill dresses are also repetitive although I haven’t seen them before.  The one that feels most familiar is the banded dress with the accepted bodice.  The top ones are flat and the other two dresses are 3d.

3D Origami Tessellation Suggestions and Other Stuff

Suggestions For Making 2d Tessellations 3d


  1. Take any flat tiling and see if you have free flaps of paper.  When you have free edges take the flaps push up from underneath and push into the center of the flap from the top.  Consider the flat tessellation a net for an infinite number of tessellations.
  2. This does not have to be done symmetrically, but find the pattern so you can repeat it (although randomization can be interesting and is a good thing to play with).
  3. If you have successive layers then push the paper in or out in varying areas of the free flaps to get a wide variety of different designs.
  4. To create variation make the pleat depth vary.  Instead of folding one layer over fold two.  It gives you more potential collapses and variations.
  5. If you have done Eric Gjerde’s spread hex I have a variation you can fold on this site.  Just look for the Labyrinth tutorial.  Take any you have made and start playing with variation on with and 3 dimensionality.  
  6. Another technique is to layer grids.  First create a tessellation and then overlay another as if the grid was untouched.  Generally this gives you extra paper that is constrained that you can play with.


The following two pics show the consequences of successive layering of pushing free edges in and out.  The flat tessellation is first

Layered Pleating by you.

From above

Layered Pleating 3ded by you.

From Underneath

Layered Pleating 3ded by you.


Other Stuff

E-mails about predecessors

I always appreciate information about designs and overlaps that people send me.  Sometimes I see the connection and at times I do not (as I once received an email with only an attachment of a crane in regards to a tessellation), but it is always interesting to see connections and I always try to post links/info (although sometimes a bit slow).  

Deb Pun Discoe sent me an email “…your heart lock reminded me of Alfredo Giunta’s “Angel” as published  in an out-of-print “Origami : 30 fold-by-fold projects” compiled by Paulo Mulatinho”

Karen Reed also sent me an e-mail about a potential forerunner to the takeout container “I was just looking at the Florence Temko collection, mounted by Diana Lee’s Origami Resource Center website, and noticed this model:“Desktop Basket by Florence Temko Variation of a traditional model”  You can view the picture gallery here .

Thanks to both ladies for the information.

Slightly funny (at least to me) variant of a Valentine’s day bowl.  “Cough Up Your Heart”

Trying to make faces from pleats has been interesting.  This was playing with a heart bowl I made.  Only tried to make a nose and hint at a chin.  The chin I took away because it didn’t work.

Coughing Up Hearts by you.

“Origami Tessellations” by Eric Gjerde and Most Recent Creation-Sortof

MY BOOK IS HERE! by EricGjerde.

So I originally was waiting until my ordered copy of Origami Tessellations:  Awe Inspiring Geometric Designs came to write a review about Eric’s new book, but while it hasn’t come a copy has come from another source.  To be fair this review is hardly unbiased as I know Eric and he is in part responsible for sending me down this path of obsession.  He is always trying to bring people into the tessellating fold and his book is part of this.

The book starts off explaining what a tessellation is, a basic history of origami tessellations,  and how to do a basic grid.  He shows the fundamentals of tessellation design, such as how to create pleate intersections both with a square based grid and a equilateral triangle based grid.  Interspersed throughout are pictures of tessellations that appear in Islamic architecture.    After showing basic twists and folds with computer illustrations he has a beginners section on tessellations.  Number two, Spread Hexagons, is my favorite, probably because it was the tessellation that he had out that I looked at when we met at OUSA (Oops edit 2.5 not 3.5 years ago).  Five by four has a beautifully modern look, while Chateau-Chinon by Christiane Bettens evokes traditional tilings.  His intermediate projects are great introductions to folding designs with more than one type of fold/twist.  My personal favorite in the book is Negative Space Stars, a design that seems impossible without cuts is clean and compelling.  The one side clean negative stars and the other a pattern that really evokes the Islamic Tessellations that I personally love so much.

At the end of the book is a gallery and has tessellations from a wide range of people; Robert Lang, Joel Cooper, Christiane Bettens, Chris Palmer, Polly Verity, Sipho Mabona, Eric (of course), and me.  I have to say it was very surprising when Eric first asked if he could include some of my tessellations as I hadn’t been folding tessellations very long.  The creating and designing of tessellations has exploded recently and I know that it is in large part to Eric, to the Flickr group he started and his website  The book is as clear and concise as a book can be in teaching origami tessellations.  Purchasing a copy is a great idea for the math lover, origami lover, art lover, or just anyone who can find the beauty in the transformation of paper into art.

So order here or go to his website to order.


Recent mod of an old and problematic tessellation.  I made the grid about a mm to small and it created a host of problems so I took photos and then modified it a bit.

Pretty old school for my tessellations design, but I like it well enough.

mm redux  by you.

mm redux  by you.

mm redux  by you.

mm redux  by you.

Heart Box Pictoral Diagrams

Happy early Valentine’s Day.

Heart Box in EH side view by cedison.

Heart Box in EH by cedison.

I had posted a heart box and said instructions were forthcoming so here they are .  This is a simple design, but I have not seen the locking mechanism or the heart edges before.  (Standard disclaimer for anything I design and post) If you have seen the box before please post applicable links and/or information.  My recommendation is you work with a heavier paper.  Copy paper or ultrabright paper works just fine.  I like a 7-8 inch square to start out with although a 6 inch works.  Best of luck.