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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Gold diagonal shift vase
Over the past several months, I’ve spent quite a bit of time and effort developing vases with a diagonal shift element, based on the crease patterns here. This model is another variation on the same theme. I’ve taken the color pattern from my first double diagonal shift vase and applied it to a smaller, simpler vase form.
As always, this piece is folded from one uncut rectangle of Elephant Hide paper. The gold sections were painted with acrylic paint before the model is folded. I measured out a sine curve using a ruler and used masking tape to get a clean straight edge.
Diagonal shift variant
For the past couple months I have been exploring various designs using a diagonal shift element, working up from simple test models and crease patterns to more complex designs. Now I’m exploring a new variation of the same theme.
In this test model, I am using the same basic diagonal shift element but also changing the width of the tube above and below the shift. This gives the design a bit more flexibility in how I can use it. The change in width only adds a little complexity to the crease pattern, but it makes the model a bit more challenging to collapse.
Double diagonal shift vase 2
This model is a continuation of my diagonal shift series. In this piece, I pushed the off-balance look I started exploring earlier in the series to its limit. As before, I put small rocks in the bottom of the model to keep it balanced. Since the paper is so light, the little bit of extra weight allows me to create shapes that would be nearly impossible in other sculptural media. Just like I’ve been doing throughout this series, I enjoy combining simple, elegant forms with unexpected elements.
The double diagonal shift is challenging to collapse. This version where the two shifts are going in the same direction is more challenging than my last version where the shifts went in opposite directions.
For this design, I incorporated a gradient of metallic paint, from silver at the top to copper at the bottom, and left the black paper exposed on the planes of the diagonal shift. As always, I painted the paper before folding it.
Double diagonal shift vase
This piece builds on my recent test models and copper vase using a diagonal shift element. This is my first model incorporating more than one diagonal shift into the same model. It’s certainly more challenging to collapse the model – I almost had to wrestle the paper into shape. It’s also particularly difficult to do any sort of shaping to the middle tier since there’s no way to reach inside of it to manipulate the paper.
As always, I painted the paper before folding it. Since the folds created strong diagonals, I used the paint to incorporate additional diagonal design elements.
As was pointed out to me on Flickr several months ago, these sorts of designs have a bit of a surrealist twist. I had the original idea for this series shortly after visiting the Magritte Museum in Brussels, which probably influenced me subconsciously. My origami has always had a contrast between simple, elegant forms and an engineering aspect of analyzing how the shape is constructed from one uncut rectangle of paper. This series takes that analysis aspect and makes it more explicitly part of the shape itself.
Recently I have folded several test pieces and a finished model incorporating a diagonal shift element. Here are several crease patterns showing how that element works, along with some notes and folding hints below:
Diagonal shift crease pattern 1 – small shift (click to enlarge)
Diagonal shift crease pattern 2 – medium shift (click to enlarge)
Diagonal shift crease pattern 3 – large shift (click to enlarge)
For each design, the “curves” marking the top and bottom of the diagonal shift are based on sine curves. The sine curves are offset by one gore (the top curve is shifted one gore right relative to the bottom gore). This allows all the mountain folds to cross the centers of their gores at exactly the same height. Without this offset, the crease pattern will not collapse correctly.
One of the biggest challenges in designing these forms is figuring out how far apart the two sine curves need to be. I wrote an Excel spreadsheet to automatically calculate the correct distance based on the angles and distances in the crease pattern.
Of course, this element can be incorporated into more complex models, like I did recently. I’m working on folding more models of this sort.