Downhill diagonal shift vase
This vase uses my recent downhill diagonal shift. The design is quite a bit like my original diagonal shift series, but with some new engineering and a new color scheme. I’m enjoying working with more color, but the brighter colors are also more challenging to work with than the metallic paints I used in my earlier diagonal shift pieces. The paint starts soaking into the paper so quickly that it’s challenging to fix any mistakes or tweak colors without adding a darker second layer. But I like the brighter colors and being able to explore interesting color combinations.
Downhill diagonal shift
I’ve been working on diagonal shift designs for a couple years, but up to this point all of the fully paper diagonal shifts have been ‘uphill’ shifts. With the basic crease pattern I’ve been using, a specific height of the sine wave naturally gives a matching distance for the uphill shift.
After designing my crimp-bent tubes, I realized I can add one bend immediately above the diagonal shift and one bend directly below. This reorients the shift so it’s angled downhill instead of uphill. Because the shift and the bend use the same sine wave, it’s not obvious unless you look very closely that there are extra layers of paper there.
This vase uses my recently developed bends to create a zig-zag bend somewhat reminiscent of my diagonal shift series. I like taking simple, elegant vase and bowl forms and adding surprising elements that look almost impossible to create from a single uncut rectangle of paper. Unlike most of my diagonal shift pieces, I decided to align the painted sections across the bend in this piece.
As usual, I painted the paper before folding this model, and I was able to align the painted sections within about 1 mm. That’s pretty good alignment for how far apart the three painted sections are on the full sheet of paper. Each of the two bends hides quite a bit of paper inside the model. The 90-degree bends are a bit harder to fold than the smaller-angle bends I’ve tried before, but they still require a lot less fighting with the paper than the diagonal shifts do.
Last week I posted photos of some test folds of simple bent tubes. This design uses a series of eight bends to create a helix. I usually base my models on 16-sided tubes, but here I simplified to just 8 sides. Since the bends are all at different angles relative to the tube, the paper curves in three dimensions to approximate a helix instead of a flat doughnut. It’s interesting that a design like this with only straight folds can fold into such a curved-looking shape.
Wide and narrow crimp bends
Most of the origami I’ve done for the past several years has been based on shaping tubes of paper in various ways, whether that’s by adding curves or intersecting the tubes with vertical or diagonal planes. One thing I’ve wanted to figure out for a while is how to create bends and curves in the paper tubes. I’ve explored some simpler approaches to that problem before, but this is the first approach I think I can realistically use as a part of a more complex model.
The concept here was inspired in part by my diagonal shift design. The top and bottom edges of the bend are both sine waves, which get folded such that they touch each other along the bend line. Inside, each gore has a small crimp to create a partial flat plane visible inside the model. The crimps all have slightly different angles, but the mathematical to find those angles is the same that I used for the diagonal shift.
Here’s the inside view for a simple tube of paper:
Inside view of the wide crimp bend
Things get a bit more complicated when there is already overlap of the paper along the outside of the tube, but the concept is the same. It’s harder to see, but there’s a similar partial plane of paper inside this one, too:
Inside view of the narrow crimp bend
It’s a decent bit of work to measure and score all the appropriate lines for these, especially for the narrower tube, but the folding went more smoothly than I expected. Especially with a bit of wet-folding, all the crimps seem to form fairly easily. I have quite a few ideas of how I’d like to incorporate these into a variety of more complicated designs.
Origami-Ceramic Diagonal Shift Set
I’ve been working recently on pieces that combine origami and ceramics, and this set is a continuation of that exploration. For all three pieces, the bottom half is ceramic, and the top half is origami. These pieces are inspired by my diagonal shift series that was fully paper-based. For those pieces, the crease pattern I used only allowed the top half of the paper to shift “uphill” like the rightmost piece, but by combining media I was able to explore a wider range of possibilities.
I planned the angle of the diagonal plane so the uphill and downhill pieces would be shifted by similar distances from the center. Since all of these pieces are made very differently, I took pictures to show how all of these work:
Aligned piece construction
The middle piece, where the origami and ceramic parts are aligned, is probably the most straightforward. I used a sine wave to find the correct diagonal plane to align with the ceramic piece, then folded the paper in a bit so the lower part would sit inside the ceramic piece.
“Uphill” shift construction
The uphill shift piece is folded in essentially the same way as my other diagonal shift pieces. Like the aligned piece, the bottom part of the paper model sits inside the ceramic piece.
“Downhill” shift construction
The downhill shift piece is the most different from what I’ve done before and the one that I don’t know how to fold cleanly from one piece of paper. The paper piece has a flat diagonal plane on the bottom similar to my previous diagonal shift pieces and a short “stem” that sits into the ceramic base. Because of the relative paper lengths, the stem is shifted toward the blue edge of the paper. But since the hole in the ceramic base is all the way at the lower edge, I can still get an overall downhill shift.
As I’ve done the past several years, I designed a Christmas ornament this year. This ornament has a similar overall shape as my first ornament, with a band of diamonds similar to something I used in one of my earliest designs. On a narrower model, the diamonds are a lot more inset, which gives a different feel to the model.
As usual, this model is folded from Elephant Hide paper, painted with red and metallic acrylic paints.
Origami/ceramic wavy vessel
This piece is a continuation of my exploration of pieces that combine origami and ceramics, and the first to branch away from shapes I had already created in paper. I made the ceramic piece on the wheel, then hand-built the asymmetric wavy edge onto it. The ceramic piece also has a bit of an internal ledge for the origami piece to rest on. The top origami piece is folded from a circle of paper. I placed the knob a little ways from the center of the circle so I could use the extra paper on one side for the matching wavy edge. The folding approach is pretty similar to one I’ve used before.
Origami/ceramic wavy vessel (top view)
I like how this piece let me do something by combining media that would have been much more challenging with paper alone. It would be much harder to make a flat surface for the top piece to rest on in an origami base. The wave on the ceramic piece also hides that the bottom edge of the origami piece is raised on one side. I’m working on finding more ways of combining the two media that take advantage of the differences between paper and clay.
I’m featured in a new book, Un Nouvel Art du Pli, by Jean-Charles Trebbi, Chloe Genevaux, and Guillaume Bounoure (written in French). It’s an honor to be featured alongside other origamists including Eric Joisel, Robert Lang, Paul Jackson, and Eric Gjerde, among many others. The book includes not just origami as art, but also applications of folding techniques to fields as diverse as fashion, architecture, furniture, and more. So far I think the book is only available in France, but I’m hoping this one will be translated and sold internationally like the original Art du Pli was.
This piece is a continuation of my exploring pieces that combine origami and ceramics. The shape is very similar to one of my earlier Intersection pieces. This is folded from Lizard Hide paper, and so far I’m very happy with how the paper folds. The colors didn’t photograph particularly well because of the difference in shine between the glaze and the paper, but the blue and the green go together better in real life.