Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Been Awhile

So I have been, comparatively, out of commision to a large extent the last two years.  Work and getting a graduate degree took precedence over life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, and all that jazz.  Here is what I did in the last week and two modular instructions for units I did (sometime in the last several years, probably more recently, but memory is a fallible, short-term, gnat like thing for me) no guarantees they are not redundant.

Links to two modulars

Flower Instructions, great video instructions for Sun Dial (not mine), Centerfold Pictures, New Curvy Bits-“Merged Curves”

Flower instructions video I made.


The flower combines some aspects of two flowers (one of which is the Lotus flower) and another I think I’ve seen and then modifies and shapes the product.

Video instructions for the Sun Dial I originally posted pictoral instructions for were made and posted here The blog is also great to check out; it has great links and instructions.  It is very well done and I always appreciate people making instructions since mine tend to be minimalistic.  The blog were it is posted .

Centerfold-The organizers really worked hard and so many people praised the bag it wasn’t even funny.  So thanks to everyone who is willing to put in the work.  Positives-I liked the lack of ticketing, but that may just be personal preference.  The hotel let the rooms be used later than initially indicated.  The bar was great, drinkable coffee a dollar and if you wanted it with a bit of chemical happiness that was very reasonable.  The DJ in the bar was great.  They organized shuttles to the exhibit.  Negatives-Just the smells in the hotel, it was not clean the smell of stale cigarette smell was overwhelming, but I also am  hypersensitive to these things.  Indiana reststops scare me  I actually took photos in a stall just so I’d have proof of the stuff I saw etched into the stall walls and door.  So a thank you to everyone that ran it, I know it’s a boatload of work.  To the people I met-you were wonderful, keep playing around.  To everyone I should have met but didn’t, hopefully I will some you at some future time.  Shar’s presentation of some 5OSME slides reminded James and I how awesome that was.  There was a lot of 5OSME people there.  The guests were Robert Lang, Tomoko Fuse, and David Brill.  Took a cat class with David.  Missed Tomoko and Langs classes cause I can’t tell time.

Here are where the Centerfold photos start

Finally these are some of the curved pieces I’ve been working on.  Getting larger is an ongoing challenge of mine, as is thinking of making things decent for display instead of everything being tests and getting distracted by the next shiny idea.

Sine Waves and Twisty Headaches

So for some stuff for Singapore I’ve been playing with Sine Curves and this is some of the stuff that are outshoots of that.  So the paper I was working on was on rotation and compression limitation of curved corrugations and these are the tests.  Eventually I will do a post on the results, but there is still a ton to do.

Where they rotate through has a big difference on the degrees of rotation.  I call it spine one and spine two.  Spine two goes through the maximum of a spine curve and can be rotated a lot more.  The corrugation below is using spine two.

It’s really hard to see but this had some great textural and rotational properties that got me all excited, that and I wanted a choker and matching bracelet out of copper.

Dollar Bill Wreath and Inchworm

So I have ended up on a tangent that I would eventually like to use for posting tutorials for my students and have lectures students can view if absent.  So I decided to try to create an origami tutorial.  I may have done this design before I sadly don’t remember.  Editing is a challenging business, as is seeing yourself (in all your redundant glory) on camera.  So for those who do post tutorials online kudos, it’s a lot harder than it looks.  I will within the next week post about Italy, but this comes first since it’s done.  Bear with me as it is my first attempt at video instruction and it is not polished all pretty, plus I am using the camera in my mac which doesn’t allow for as much flexibility in filming.  Youtube said it’s processing so here you go, remember creative commons applies to all unless stated otherwise.  Happy holidays.

Below is an corrugated automata that doesn’t inch the way I originally plan, but sometimes the best laid plans fail.


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 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 and is a great place to look at his wonderful explorations.  


Exception to the rule of forced curvature25hierarchical.jpg01edge-expansion-largeA.jpg


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.

Twin Mushroom Container with lids by you.

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

Organic Curry Bowl by you. Green Container by you.

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.

Green OrganicGreen Organic by you.

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.

Later Version by you.Overhead View of Bowl by you.

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.

Green Bowl angled side by you.Petal Bottom bowl by you.Petal Bottom Bowl bottom side detail by you.Spider Web Turin by you.

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.

Hex pleating test

Saffron in Curves

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.”

Mother and Child by you.Mother and Child by you.

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

000_2812 by you.

Granada, Tessellations, and Other Stuff

Wormhole….Radial 12ths.

Wormhole by you.

Wormhole by you.

What I played with during siesta time in Granada.

Modified 12-6Original before bifurcation100_0081


The trip to Spain gets a 2 while Granada gets a 10/10 and was the most amazing structure I have ever seen (it just eeks out the Eiffel Tower, although that is still another structure every human should see).  The trip itself gets a two as I didn’t have luggage for 60% of my trip and let me tell you that shopping for fat girl clothes in Granada is one of the lower rungs of hell, also camera failure and severe sickness/pain on the way home sucked.  Granada itself is a maze of tiny streets and cobblestone (in the old part of the city).  Downtown different streets had different lighted designs or chandeliers and was an explosion of activity at night, when darkness fell.  I used industrial strength sun block which was like grease paint.  Gelato shops were on every corner it seemed, and I highly  recommend pistachio or lemon.  The dried ham in the region is intensely flavorful, but is very hard to chew.  I didn’t eat out much, one meal a day, as I had breakfast at the hotel I stayed at, and skipped lunch or had fruit.  Hotel Mate Leo is a great place to stay.  I was on the fifth floor and highly enjoyed my stay.  The receptionists were all very helpful and several called and tried to help me with my luggage travails.  In fact I didn’t ask them, they volunteered.  For the price and location (dead center) I loved the place and will go back again.  I realize that July is not considered a great season to visit, but I found the heat bearable since it was a dry heat.  The piece de resistance is the Alhambra a complex that is made up of the old fortress, Nasrid Palace, and the Generalife.  The fortress is amazing and the oldest of the three, boggling the mind that it is still standing after so many years.  The Generalife had gardens that bring tears to the eyes and don’t miss the water escalator, which is stairs with cold water running down troughs on either side .  The most amazing and most visited structure is Nasrid palace.  I won’t bother to describe it in detail as I am still viklempt just thinking about it, but I will say it is patterns everywhere and every time you think they have reached the apex of human design, you go into another room that leaves you breathless and speachless.  It was humbling and worth every walk up the hill (you can take a bus, but I recommend the hill.)  It was in every aspect beautiful and compelling and I hope you have a chance to visit.


100_0065100_0056What a dif 5 days makes


Another Year Another Fold

000_2759 by you.

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!  

Shoe Love by you.

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.

Adrienne and me 

000_2748 by you.
Ben Parker looking somber on boat
000_2755 by you.
My temporary bedroom and the plexiglass bridge
000_2737 by you.
The happy Wu

Bemused Wu by you.

Goran, Bernie, Joel


Bernie Peyton

Joel Cooper

Christianne, PCB, Tomohiro




Ape challenge, Sipho, Ben

Ape challenge.  I adore the pointing laughing monnkey


Ben Parker

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

Big folds and Shri's but

Ray Schamp

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

Me by you.

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

The photos are tagged “ousa 2009”

See you next year (maybe)



Instructable: Easter Egg Box

Made an instructable for one of the containers

Computer Aided Origami-Candy Boxes

So I reverse engineered a box for a friend that has the origins listed as a Japanese Anemone box that Christiane recognized as similar to a Fujimoto box.  They are all variations on a theme.  So I decided to play with curvature on these boxes and the results are below along with nondirectional crease patterns.  What was so interesting is that a slight change with where the curvature is makes a large difference in the end product.  So everything is creative commons on this site as always.  Hope you enjoy.  If you would like the viacad or adobe illustrator files email me and I can send them so you can tweak the design yourself.  Remember playing with a design is half the fun.


candy three by you.

candy container cp by you.

000_2405 by you.

000_2398 by you.


000_2387 by you.

This particular design is reminiscent of the collapsible lids.  I also employed these nibs in a box I did awhile back.

000_2391 by you.

000_2388 by you.