## Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

### Notes on Pleating Techniques and Applications

Lately, amongst other things, I’ve been playing with pleated structures.  This post is to help, me more than anything else, think about the differences, similarities, and pros/cons of different types of pleating techniques.

Paul Jackson is one of the earlier artists to work with pleating.  His pleated pieces are pleated (I believe) all in one direction than the other.  He then uses the additional paper pleats to pull them apart creating a curve.  The curve is not inherent in the pleating as in Goran Konjevod’s technique.  Paul Jackson’s website is http://www.origami-artist.com/ which has galleries and a lot of great pages to find out about him and his work.  Also different is that Jackson doesn’t constrain the edges.  The pulling apart of the pleats is the essence of the form and the direction they are pulled in decides the finished pieces form.  One of the most beautiful aspects (to me) of his work is his coloring of his pieces.  I highly recommend that you look at his coloring, because the depth that it adds to the forms is amazing.  The bowl in the center is probably my favorite as the center shows the most delicious shading.  The third piece wouldn’t surprise you if you stumbled upon it in a thicket.  His work is varied and doesn’t stop with pleated structures so going through his site you’ll see commercial work, paper engineering, crumpling and more.

Goran is known for his fantasitical explorations of pleated structures.  His designs and curves come from the interacting of the pleat layers.  The way the layers interact are forcing curvature.  Different pleat orders create different curves.  His dense pleated structures are mathematical jems as well as artistic expressions.  There are an infinite number of pleating combinations and consequently an infinitely huge pleated playground.  Another difference between a lot of his works is the constraint of the edges, although this isn’t present in all it is present in most.

So in the prior post one of the main differences is the constraining of the edges.  The goal is not to have the whole form curve around itself. but imagine the curves are more akin to the modification of the pleats of Eric Gjerde’s Arabesque, especially for the silver piece.  “Mother and Child” is most similar  to Jackson’s work in the method of curvature.  Constraining edges has drawbacks in nature the solid constrained edge wouldn’t be seen, but most problematic is the tension on the edges.  Short of elephant hide you are likely to rip paper with the tension.

His webite is http://www.organicorigami.com and is a great place to look at his wonderful explorations.

Exception to the rule of forced curvature

The thing I first did once I played with a bowl he taught was to pull it apart from the bottom, which to be honest is what I pretty much do to everything.

It can be done for space, as above, or aesthetic as below.

One of the cons of pleated structures is lost volume.  Deconstructing allows you to reclaim a certain amount of space that is traditionally lost in pleated structures/containers.  Of course like many things you are trading one pro for a con.  When not deconstructing structures they tend to be very strong and dense.  When you deconstruct the inside you end up with only one layer of paper and it is noticably less dense than the rest of the structure.

Another modification that I started playing with (and I’m glad Goran is playing with) is edge expansion.  This is where all the pleats along an edge are pulled apart, you can also think of inner creases as an edge and expand them.

These two pieces combines some deconstruction and edge expansion.

One of the pros to this action is the very organic nature that it imparts to a piece, but like before when pulling apart edges it affects other nearby pleats and does weaken the overall structure.  If rigidity is desired this technique is not ideal.

Probably one of my favorite modifications is the addition to traditional pleating identifiable centers that are done with initial flattened box pleating that is then shaped as desired.  It gives you more opportunities to create combined pieced.  A limitation is the creasing of the pleats and thickness becomes an issue the more complex the internal structure.

Future explorations involve pleating structures that arn’t 90 degree based like.  In other words types of radial pleating.  Another variant is only pleating certain quadrants of a piece of paper like outer corners and not doing the centers:  Con:  Doesn’t follow traditional pleat lines and is a pain in the bum.

I hope this helps anyone who likes to play with pleated structures and if not oh well.  It is a fascinating part of paper art that can give structures that are organic and beautiful and I am happy that people like Paul Jackson and Goran Konjevod are doing/have done such nifty things.

### Calluses and Curves

Been playing around with pleating.  Constraining pleats all in one direction than another by folding over.  This unlike my earlier silver work is really related to Paul Jackson’s pleating technique.  I hope to soon create a bunch of curved pieces and attach them to each other with fishing wire.  I hope to create an insanely organic sealife inspired piece.  I would work with one piece, but the problem is size the largest sheets of wyndstone become tiny when pleating and so you can work with a 4+ foot long piece of paper and end up with a finished piece that is less than a foot when curving.  This piece I called “Mother and Child.”

The piece that looks similar but is different in how pleats actually are spreading is different.  “Seasick in Silver”

### Granada, Tessellations, and Other Stuff

What I played with during siesta time in Granada.

GRANADA, the ALHAMBRA, and LACK OF LUGGAGE/CAMERA FAILURE/SICKNESS

### Another Year Another Fold

I just got back from New York.  I arrived Thursday and came back today.  I stayed with Adrienne in Brooklyn in a converted garage.  Like last year I didn’t take classes, because I taught 5 classes and figured there wouldn’t be time.  I missed seeing “Into the Fold” but did get to meet a lot of interesting folks.  Interesting talk with Ray Schamp.  Added a new face to Yaffa, Goran.  Made a “purse.”  Slept little, enjoyed my time thoroughly.  Saw more of NY than usual.  One thing that sometimes gets lost with convention goers is that we are in New York which is a fabulous city and the 4 square blocks around FIT are not where the flavor is.  Harassed a bunch of people smarter than me about curvature and promptly “fired” them for not having the answer to my “sortoff” questions, although they both suggested I harass Erik Demaine which I will be doing as soon as I can craft an email that doesn’t make me feel slow.  My questions arn’t really concise or clear, simply put I don’t understand enough about curved rotation to understand what is going on.

The people in my box design course did amazing and I was happy that everyone who attended my Labyrnth class understood the technique.  Ben Parker’s work has definately progressed and Joel is now working on busts along with the faces.  The form of the chest was amazing.  Seth has great work and I loved Sipho’s way of displaying models.  Goran has started pulling apart and approaching very organic nifty forms.  Ana Sofia helped me make two large models for the oversized folding challenge (Two thumbs up for Sok) and disappeared before I could say my goodbyes.  Joseph’s perfect piggy “Cleofis” has a lovely spot on my shelf (gracias oh Master JoWu;P.)  Michael was the most adorable child ever.  Brian Chan is still making amazing models and Alexander Soukas had lovely tessellations.  Daniel Kwan is probably the most precise folder ever and has little crease elves helping him.  Philip and Christiane were my first picture in NY and it was of their feet!

We took a terrific three hour boat tour on Tuesday, thanks Eric (for everything).  A big thanks to Adrienne for her couch and her roommates tolerance of a squatter.

Ben Parker looking somber on boat
My temporary bedroom and the plexiglass bridge
The happy Wu

Goran, Bernie, Joel

Ape challenge, Sipho, Ben

Oversized folding challenge (Photo also known as “Shri’s Bum”) Ray Schamp

My exhibit (the blue thing is the curvy thing I wanted to ask questions about)

There were a bunch of things I sadly didn’t get photos of as I was rushing to do this before heading off to teach, so for the pictures I missed sorry and for everyone I had great conversations with thanks.

More photos here http://www.flickr.com/photos/christine42/

The photos are tagged “ousa 2009”

See you next year (maybe)

Thanks,

Christine