Origami greeting cards

Cards all 300x194 Origami greeting cards

Cards: full set

A month or two ago, I ordered greeting cards with photos of my origami from Moo, and I’m finally getting around to posting the photos. Designing the cards was very easy, and I’m happy with the quality. I picked out a few of my favorite models that were correctly proportioned to fit on the card. Of course, my name and website are on the back to make it easy for people to find me.

Card front back 300x225 Origami greeting cards

Cards: front and back

For now, I just bought a small set of cards (25 cards) to see how the process works and so I can use them. Depending on exactly what my upcoming origami plans are, I might buy more soon to sell. Now I just need more reasons to mail cards!

Cards vertical 300x178 Origami greeting cards

Cards: vertical designs

New work: Four-part intersections bowl


Four part intersections 300x256 New work: Four part intersections bowl

Four-part intersections bowl

I recently posted photos in progress of a piece I have been working on, and here is the finished piece. This piece is a return to my Intersections series from last year, and the form is adapted from my three-part vase. For more on this piece, see my recent post.

Work in progress: Four-part intersections bowl

Since I’m currently working on folding a multi-piece model, I decided to post some photos in progress to show how the design and folding process all come together. This piece will essentially be a continuation of my Intersections series from last spring. The design process started in November with a sketch of a possible top view of a model. I sketched quite a few other ideas that day, including a few I’ve already folded and some I’m still planning to fold.

Initial sketch 300x224 Work in progress: Four part intersections bowl

Initial sketch

Since I’ve folded quite a few pieces in this series already, I essentially knew from the time I started sketching how I would approach folding these pieces. The one part I needed to double-check was folding the concave 90-degree turn in the middle two pieces. I did a test-fold from a post-it note to make sure I knew how much extra paper I needed to make the turn.

Test 90 deg turn 225x300 Work in progress: Four part intersections bowl

Test fold of a 90-degree turn

After that, it was time to start actually designing. I made a detailed sketch and worked out all the math so I could cut the paper into the correct size rectangles. If you look closely, you’ll see that I use a combination of inches and centimeters. Perhaps surprisingly, that actually simplifies some of the math compared to just using one set of units. I can calculate most of the dimensions using the same sort of math I explained in my tutorial on designing curved-crease models.

Final sketch 219x300 Work in progress: Four part intersections bowl

Full sketch, version 1

Here are the primary tools I use: a ruler (I actually have five rulers of different lengths and use all of them on a regular basis), a sharp tool for scoring the paper, a cardstock template that I use to score the curved folds (I cut a new template for each model), and a ball of used tape (this is how much tape I’ve gone through since mid-December).

Tools 300x225 Work in progress: Four part intersections bowl

Tools of the trade

I decided to fold the tallest piece from my design first and started scoring the straight folds and folding along the scored lines.

Piece 1a unfolded 282x300 Work in progress: Four part intersections bowl

Piece 1, version 1: Unfolded

The base folded exactly how I had planned and how I’ve folded many similar designs.

Piece 1a base partly folded 300x225 Work in progress: Four part intersections bowl

Piece 1, version 1: Partly folded base

Piece 1a base folded 300x225 Work in progress: Four part intersections bowl

Piece 1, version 1: Folded base (inside view)

However, I ran into problems when I got to the top half of the vase. I had forgotten that having the top of the vase flare out would require extra paper, so there wasn’t enough paper there to make things work correctly. Since I added extra creases trying to figure out how to fold the top, there was no way to salvage that piece of paper and turn it into a cleanly folded final piece.

Piece 1a top folded 300x225 Work in progress: Four part intersections bowl

Piece 1, version 1: Folded top

So because I had to start over with the folding, I decided to re-design in such a way that the vase didn’t flare out at the top. The new shape is very reminiscent of one of my first pieces in the series, folded just over a year ago. I tweaked some of the other dimensions as well. For these designs, I have to be careful that the radius never gets smaller than 1/3 of the radius at the widest point and that the radius at the base is at least 1/2 of the largest radius. Otherwise, the folding gets much more complicated.

Final plans 223x300 Work in progress: Four part intersections bowl

Full sketch, version 2

This time, the folding worked much better. If you look closely, you can see that the piece still has a lot of tape from gluing and wet-folding; I’ll go back and remove that before taking a picture of the final design. There’s also a popsicle stick taped to the top edge to hold it straight while the paper dries.

Piece 1b back 216x300 Work in progress: Four part intersections bowl

Piece 1: View of curved side

Piece 1b folded angle 224x300 Work in progress: Four part intersections bowl

Piece 1: View of flat sides

I’ve also folded the second piece, which has an L-shape. I ran into a few problems here getting all the layers of paper to fit inside correctly near the base, but fortunately I was able to make it work with a few extra folds.

Piece 2 L 235x300 Work in progress: Four part intersections bowl

Piece 2: Side view

Piece 2 top 300x267 Work in progress: Four part intersections bowl

Piece 2: Top view

The two pieces fit together nicely. They look better standing with a small gap in between; if I try to put them too close together, the little bulges and curves in the paper become too obvious. Of course, leaving a gap was part of my original sketch. So far, I’m happy with how these pieces have turned out.

Piece 1 2 223x300 Work in progress: Four part intersections bowl

Pieces 1 and 2

I’m working on the third piece now, and hopefully I’ll have time to fold the fourth soon. I’m looking forward to seeing how the finished piece looks!

New Work: Floating Diagonal Shift

First, thanks to Ann of All Things Paper for featuring my work on her website! Ann has a lovely site on a wide range of paper artwork and crafts, with lots of exciting projects and ideas.

Floating diagonal shift 211x300 New Work: Floating Diagonal Shift

Floating diagonal shift vase

This piece is a continuation of the diagonal shift series I have been folding over the past several months. Here I used two modified diagonal shifts with a narrow central section separating the top and bottom halves. The separation between the two large sections creates a slight illusion that the top half is floating, like the divided vases I folded recently.

The paint pattern is designed such that the two halves would align if the two halves of the vase were connected directly on top of each other. I like the combination of the two metallic colors, similar to what I used in a recent piece.

Even though I do all the design work before doing anything with the paper, it’s always exciting to see how the folded model comes out looking slightly differently than I expected based on a 2D sketch. The color pattern here came out a bit more tribal-looking than I would have thought, especially before I folded the paper. Often the things I didn’t expect are what inspire new ideas and push my designs in new directions.

New Work: Double Diagonal Shift Variant

Double diagonal shift variant New Work: Double Diagonal Shift Variant

Double diagonal shift variant

This piece is a continuation of my diagonal shift series, combining the diagonal shift variant where the width of the piece changes with a form I folded recently. Unlike my earlier piece where the central section of the vase was essentially shifted to one side, here the central section is mostly cut away and only a small supporting cylinder remains. In that way, this piece has some commonalities with my most recent divided vases. I also chose to use two different colors of paint here in addition to the black of the paper, which I haven’t used much since my painted vases more than a year ago.

As usual, this piece is folded from one uncut rectangle of Elephant Hide paper. I used a bit of glue to turn the paper into a cylinder, and the rest of the form is wet-folded.

New Work: Doubly Divided Vase

Doubly divided vase New Work: Doubly Divided Vase

Doubly divided vase

Continuing in the same style as my last piece, this piece explores dividing a simple vase form horizontally into several segments. Unlike my previous attempt, here the gaps are small enough that it’s much easier to visually fill in the gaps. I also like the color of this piece, which is a mixture of green and gold acrylic paint. Most of my work over the past year or so has been various neutral colors, and I’m happy to be using color again.

As I mentioned last time, one challenge with this type of design is that the lengths of the horizontal paper segments have to be very precise. On the lower division, I overestimated the length of the paper (by probably 1-2 mm), so the vase doesn’t hold its shape quite as well as most of my work. I can wet-fold it and tape it into place, but within a few hours after I remove the tape, the top 2/3 of the vase tilts a bit. If I decide to fold more pieces in this style, I’ll have to be even more careful about lengths and account for the stretching of the paper when I wet-fold it.

New Work: Divided Vase

Divided vase New Work: Divided Vase

Divided vase

This model is an extension of my recent Diagonal Shift and Intersections series where I have used flat planes to intersect the curved vase forms in various ways. Here I have used two planes to split the vase form and (nearly) remove the central section. The curved shapes of the top and bottom sections visually connect to fill in the missing central section. This vase has a large gap between the two remaining sections, perhaps a bit too large to make the visual connection easy to make. I’m hoping to explore this idea further in more models.

Another new aspect of this piece that isn’t obvious in this photo is that I mixed a little color into the metallic paint. This piece has silver paint with hints of blue and purple mixed into it.

This piece was a bit easier to fold than many of my recent pieces, although the central section of the vase was still not trivial to collapse. Getting the correct length of the paper segments creating the flat planes between the sections is critical: a small excess length will cause a significant slant to what should be a flat horizontal plane. With practice over the past several years, I’ve learned how to adjust the calculated length to get flat horizontal planes. Typically, the paper needs to be a millimeter or two shorter than the math would suggest.

Test Model: Round Hole in a Square Peg

Round hole Test Model: Round Hole in a Square Peg

Round hole in a square peg

This test model is a return to a concept I first explored almost two years ago in my triangular bottle form. At that time, this style of folding was very challenging for me, and I did not explore these ideas further at that time. I recently revisited this concept. With quite a bit more folding experience, I was able to find an easier way of approaching this idea.  I have a variety of ideas for models that use this style of folding, and this test model may become the beginning of a new series.

New work: Ornament

Ornament 2013 New work: Ornament


This model is my design for the Christmas presents I’m giving this year, similar to my ornament from last year. I went through several drafts of this design before settling on this final shape. The original inspiration for this shape came from the floor tiles in the bathroom of a hotel I stayed at in France.

I started with gold Elephant Hide paper and painted it with several thin coats of paint. I first used a flat coat of a muted green, followed by a second darker coat of the same color with the brushstrokes left visible. The final coat was a thin layer of gold and silver to add shine.

New work: Diagonal shift variant vase

Diagonal shift variant 224x300 New work: Diagonal shift variant vase

Diagonal shift variant vase

This vase is a continuation of my diagonal shift series, incorporating the modified diagonal shift I designed and test-folded recently. Unlike my earlier double diagonal shifts, this piece incorporates one diagonal ‘cut’ and a second horizontal ‘cut’ above it.  The two pieces are connected by a short narrow cylinder, which is visible in the close-up below.

Diagonal shift variant close up 300x225 New work: Diagonal shift variant vase

Diagonal shift variant close-up

I like this concept, but it still has the potential to be used much more dramatically. I’m planning to re-visit this concept again in another piece.