Tuesday, February 19, 2008

CPs for the Water Lily Kusudama Series

Here are crease patterns for the Water Lily Kusudama and its derivatives and attachments. Unfortunately the CPs do not tell the whole story. There are some twists and tricks in putting these things together which are not at all obvious from the CPs. If you are a novice to middle level folder you may have to wait until I complete the diagrams before enlightenment is possible.

Begin by making a hexagon from a rectangle. The pattern is scaled for American Letter paper but the same concept applies equally well to an A4 sheet.

These are "rough and dirty" instructions which avoid me posting a full set of careful diagrams. If they leave you confused try Googling for better ones until I post some myself.

Divide the paper into four equal parts lengthwise. Mountain fold the bottom corners up to the quarter crease marks. This will give you sharp corner angles and two sides of the hexagon. Make the valley creases by appropriately lining up the edges. Complete the hexagon by mountain folding the paper along the appropriate edges. If you consider how the creased section will reflect when folded you can figure out which edges to line up. Try it out with a piece of scrap paper first.

The following CP is a stage along the way to making the Water Lily Kusudama units. It will provide you with the hex star and legged dish. I suggest that you fold the overlapping sections half way around and then unfold them and start at a different point. The final moves are a lot less confusing when the paper has already been primed to fold in the right direction.

The additional creases shown here will provide you with the water lily unit. Although they are shown on the back si
de of the paper they are made from the front. If you end up with the unit by following these CPs in the absence of step by step diagrams I will be quite impressed. Send me a photo to prove it. You will need eight water lily units for the kusudama and/or outer skin of the chopstick holder or vase.

The units are put together with the aid of strips made from the cut offs from the starter rectangle. They are four hex grid triangles long by one hex grid triangle wide. You need three of them per flower. Double the ends over and insert them into the matching shape that you will find by gently lifting the internal petal of a hex section and carefully pulling up the two flaps. Push the internal petal back down to lock them in place. Bend the strip on the central crease and insert the angled other end into a corresponding side of another flower. Continue until you run out of flowers to connect.

The next CPs are for the upgraded version of the central tube/vase. In order to get one that exactly fits the dimensions of the square left by the edges of the connected flowers, take a starter rectangle of the same size used to make the starter hexagons and crease it at the three-fifths point. Use my division helper to do this easily. (See earlier post.)

Next divide the three-fifths section into four equal parts and relect two of these on to the remaining paper. Cut off the left over section. Fold the rest according to the CP.

Roll up from the right hand side. Loosen the central section a little and twist the left hand rolling under the right hand rolling at the central point or thereabouts. I am afraid this a hard to describe in words. If you have made Kenneth Kawamura's twist box you will understand the procedure. If you can't figure it out then omit the odd configuration on the right hand side base section, roll the thing up starting from the right hand end and simply tuck the last flap under. The only difference is that the internal floor does not look quite so neat. If you are going to fill the tube up with something and don't intend to peer into its depths very often then this is probably quite adequate aesthetically and quite strong enough as well.

Unlike the model in the earlier photographs, this one has a triangular slash on just one of the external walls and a matching one on an internal wall. As well as being decorative, the slashes prevent noticeable sagging on the long side walls.

The result is pretty strong and sturdy but not, alas, waterproof. Don't fill it with fluid and use it for real flowers. If you are going to fill it with heavy things then you can strengthen it further (at the expense of shortening it) by turning over a narrow strip at the top. You can avoid unwanted crumpling by making 45 degree creases in the corners of each section before folding the material over to top. You can then ease it over a section at a time. Of course, pictures or detailed diagrams would help. Unfortunately preparing these takes more time than I am prepared to spend at the moment. Manana. (Where's the tilda when you need it?)

Filling in the square holes begins with a procedure similar to the internal tube. Take a piece of paper the same size as that used for the hexagon starter for the kusudama flower. Make a crease at the three fifths mark. Fold two squares from this section and discard the remainder. Fold each square to match the CP. You will need four squares (that is, two sheets of paper.)

In order to make the side tabs match the hexagonal angles into which they will slot make a template angle from a piece of the scrap, line its base up with the base line of each tab and fold the right side of each tab around the template. Lift up tabs in the pockets of the remaining hex sections of the water lilies and slip the tabs into them. Adjust. These square sections are not held together as firmly as the water lily pieces are to each other but they are not especially fragile either.