# Blog Archives

## Intersecting planes

This is one of the intersecting plane models by Mukerji that I mentioned in a recent post. The label at the bottom of the photos is off the paper I used.

The whole time I was making this model I had the theme-tune to Gerry Anderson’s “UFO” going round and round my head. In case you didn’t know, Gerry Anderson was the creator of Thunderbirds (don’t tell me you haven’t heard of Thunderbirds either ;)). UFO is a hilarious (to me anyway) 1970’s imagining of 1980 with some ugly costumes (just check out the male submariners string vests), stylish suits, funky art and groovy sets.

In this particular model the planes are in the shape of 7-pointed stars. The model is called STUVWXYZ Stars. Being a nerd, it was the name that first attracted me to it. Don’t ask why though – I don’t know. You can click on this link to be taken to a website page which has instructions on how to fold the units and join them. It’s a bit sketchy on how to join them successfully into the ball-shape though. Here are some photos of the process that might help:

The first step involves making a ring with 7 out of the 8 colours. The eighth colour comes in at the halfway point (see later). The next step involves making rings of three with the 7 colours. The colours are chosen so that the units that lie in roughly the same plane have the same colour.

Now you continue the process so that the next layer consists of rings of 4. Then you alternate rings of 5 and 3.

Below is the model with the middle layer finished. The photo of the underside of the model shows you the 7-pointed star in the eighth colour. This is the only star that is complete at this stage.

From this point on it’s downhill all the way. If you’re lucky! You just continue completing the layers in the same way as you did for the first half.To speed things up I used a template (the blue unit in the photo above) to get the angles of the flaps right.

## Out With The Old, In With The New

Between Christmas and New Year I had a bit of clear-out. I got rid of a lot of old clothes. Amongst them was an old Aran jumper that I had knitted with cotton yarn. It had become shapeless, bobbled and the cuffs were frayed. I had put a lot of work into it though so I couldn’t let it go without documenting it here. The same goes for an old fancy dress costume that I made using fabric paints on a pillowcase. I ran out of blue paint towards the end – hence the weird cloudy edges. I strung little coloured balloons from the bottom so that they hung round my knees. They didn’t last long! [I didn’t know whether I could get in trouble for posting the full picture so I’ve blobbed out some of it. Can anybody tell me if it’s okay to display the full version?]

So that’s the old. Gone, but not forgotten. 😉

What about the new? Well, Santa brought me a new origami book. 😀 It’s another book by Mukerji called “Ornamental Origami”. I asked for it mainly for the “intersecting plane” models but I’ve been having a go at some of the other models in the book first. I started with a patterned icosahedron but I got bored with it before I’d even got halfway. I dismantled it and used most of the paper in the next model.

On the left is a “Flowered Sonobe” using 30 sonobe units with blue inserts. On the right is the same model after “blossoming”. [See the comments for a video on how to make this model.]

While I was in the middle of making this model I had some idle time with some empty after-dinner mint wrappers. (Can’t think where they came from. ;)) This is made from 12 standard sonobe units.

## Origami Binge Running Out of Steam

I started two more models from the book by Meenakshi Mukerji. The first photo shows the inside of the “whipped cream star” model when it was just over half built. I had to use glue again. The pieces would probably have stayed locked together better if I had made the units from bigger rectangles. However, I wanted to see if I could make it small. The finished model (second photo) is about the size of a billiard ball.

The other model I started making (third photo) was from the same book but it was by a guest writer called Tanya Vysochina. The model is called Lily of the Nile and is really beautiful. Unfortunately, the instructions on how to make it are a little sketchy. There are virtually no clues on how to put the units together into the shape of an icosahedron. As you can see, I was making some progress but I started getting frustrated. I had decided to use small units for this one too and that meant it was getting very fiddly. Also, the paper I used is not very good and the blue dye was coming off onto my fingers. It was starting to not be fun any more so I’ve given up on it for now.

I have no more models planned except for the big “Golden Venture” model which I am still making units for. I think my binge is exhausted.

## Origami Inspirations

I called this post “Origami Inspirations” because that’s the name of the book I used to produce all the models in these photos (except the slinky on the left). The book is by Meenakshi Mukerji, and it was given to me by someone who noticed I was on a modular origami binge. Mukerji gives a nice concise introduction to the origami techniques needed for her models, including charts on how to distribute different coloured units evenly around the different shapes. She even provides a few mathematical proofs for the nerds like me. She starts off nice and easy with simple cubes. The cube in the first photo here is called a “ray cube”. There are four units making up the pattern on each of the six faces of the cube.

By the way, I was quite happy with the way the slinky turned out. It makes a very satisfying noise as it falls from one hand to the other. I would have liked to have made it longer but it was gobbling up too much of my precious square origami paper.

The yellow model in the second photo is still a cube but with one fancy unit (based on a four-sink windmill base) for each of the six faces. It’s called a “butterfly cube”.

The third photo shows models made with pentagonal pieces of paper. Mukerji gives instructions on how to cut a pentagon from a square sheet of paper, along with a geometrical proof showing that the method should indeed produce a true pentagon. On the left of the photo is a five-petaled lilly, which looks a little more realistic than the four-petaled version made with a square. To its right is a dodecahedron with a flower-shape on each of the twelve faces. Each of the twelve flower units is joined to its neighbours by five diamond-shaped units. Unfortunately, unlike the other models, I had to glue this one together because it kept falling to pieces as I made it. So I’ve really gone over to the Dark Side now! 😉 (Origami purists don’t use glue – I used to be a snob about such things.)

The final photo shows a dodecahedron made from a unit that Mukerji calls “whipped cream”. Pretty, doncha think? I started building it around the other dodecahedron but it turns out that less is more: Pretty + Pretty = Hideous!

So, how about you? Have you ever tried modular origami? How do you feel about mathematical proofs, slinkies and/or glue?