Archive for the ‘tessellation tutorial’ Category

“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.

Origami Tessellation – “Framed Star Tessellation” Instructions

Framed Star Tessellation 12 by you.

Framed Star Tessellation 11 by you.

As some of you know I am fascinated with three dimensional tessellations. This is a different and much simpler process than I typically use, so I figured it lent itself more to online instructions. This does assume a certain level of ability. First the grid should really be 32nds if you want to get repeated stars. 16ths would allow you to make about one star I suspect. The grid I used was 48ths. For instructions on how to make a grid link to Eric’s origami tessellations website and look it up and that also goes for a triangle twist.

Step one is creating the first triangle twist.

Framed Star Tessellation 1

Secondly you arrange the grid as shown, as if to do another triangle twist. But don’t!

Framed Star Tessellation 2

Push the tip, where the lines intersect in.

Framed Star Tessellation 3 by you.

From the edge of the pushed in hexagon go over two spaces and arrange the pleats as if you are going to create a triangular twist. The repeat the “concave” hexagon.

Framed Star Tessellation 4 by you.

Framed Star Tessellation 5 by you.

Then going upwards from the new concave hexagon do the same thing. I also added a triangle twist on the outer edge of the emerging larger hexagon. Then another triangle twist on the middle “concave” hexagon.

Framed Star Tessellation 6 by you.

Keep repeating around, till you have formed a hexagon of the pushed in hexagons. The triangle twists are in the directions shown below, every other one faces the other.

Framed Star Tessellation 9 by you.

The other side is where it gets its name. This is the basic unit. The process repeats from each of the triangle twists. Refer to the first two pictures for the full tessellation.

Framed Star Tessellation 10 by you.

The nice thing is once you’ve constrained the free paper there are at least 10 easy mods that will change the form completely. I’ll leave them to you to find, but remember part of origami is discovery. Push things in a little differently and a new design is born.



Soon I have a pillow that is a test I’ll publish.  The front is done I just need to pull out my sewing machine and filler.   I also had some earlier tests that collected dust, as most stuff I test does (by the necessity of time)   I pulled out and started playing with.  I am currently not friends with my  iron though.  I might splurge on a cord free one and I think I’ve come around to “investing” (that’s the word I’m using instead of indulging) in a craftrobo pro.

Computer Aided Origami Designs

Octagonal Collapse in Three by you.

blue orb by you.

So lately I have been sidetracked from my pleating by the ingenius Polly Verity.  She has inspired me to start playing with curves.  I bought a CAD program ViaCAD and have been rather obsessed lately, although that is starting to subside, more because the last two crease patterns I made didn’t work on the first try.  I tend to discard things if they don’t work the first time around, a habit I am working to get past.  So below are two crease patterns for two units and the pictures of what the finished units look like.  I highly recommend you score with a stylus or a dead pen before you fold the creases.  These can be tessellated and I recommend you use cardstock or some heavier paper although you can do them in copy paper.  The designs make me think of futuristic architecture and are surprisingly strong.

Blue orb mod with flattened rod connectors by you.

  Eggs in Lockdown by you.


Crease pattern for Eggs in Lockdown by you.

There are more crease patterns and designs here .  Everything is as usual creative commons release.

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.

3-d Tiled Poinsetta Tutorial

Tiled poinsetta relief

Basic net 1  White side up if applicable

 View 2  Push in

View three

View 4 

View 5 

This pattern shows up if you push all the vertices in.

This is a different approach to my normal 3-d tessellations.  It has a few more limitations, but I have started playing with changing proportions and what I push in or out.  It has a structural integrity that I really like.  The basic net/tessellation I am working off of has most likely been done before (ten times over).  To hazzard a guess I would say Joel, Eric, Jane, or Christiane to name a few.