New masks and Ben folds grids

I’d like to share an interesting video by a friend and fellow tessellator, Ben Parker. You can find a few videos out there showing techniques for folding grids, but this is the first one I’ve seen that shows the process of folding a grid of such size from beginning to end in one sitting. I must commend Ben’s endurance.

Click here to see the video on Ben’s website. You can also go to his Flickr site – there’s a lot of good stuff there.

I wanted to feature this video here for two reasons. First, to address the most frequently asked question I get (probably the most frequently asked question for Ben too): “Where do you get paper with grids in it?” The answer is “You take a piece of paper and fold a grid in it, or if you’re very lucky, a nice person might fold it for you. But most likely you’ll be doing it yourself”. This is inevitably followed by “How long does it take you to do that?” – The answer is “A long time”.

The second thing that interested me in this video is Ben’s technique. It’s unique. I first saw Ben fold a grid in person some five or six years ago at  a convention in NYC and I found it baffling. Folding a grid is one of the most basic things you have to do if you’re going to make origami tessellations and at the time it seemed to me that there just couldn’t be too many ways to go about doing it. Well Ben had a way of doing it that never occurred to me. He breaks up the process of dividing the pleats ever smaller into sequences of iterations working from the center out. I had always worked from one end of the paper to the other, accordion folding, then dividing each accordion fold in half, then dividing all the halves in half, working systematically in one direction until a have the proper number of iterations. Just goes to show that you should never assume that you know all there is to know about anything. There’s always going to be something new.

And speaking of something new… okay that’s a terrible segue, but it’s all I’ve got… how about some new masks at Etsy.

click on image to go to my Etsy shop

click on image to go to my Etsy shop

click on image to go to my Etsy shop

click on image to go to my Etsy shop

The first is called “Creon” and the second “Hierophant”. I’ve been spending a lot of time lately combining and recombining elements from older designs with new ideas for certain features like eyes and mouths and some decorative elements, sort of tossing everything into a big design stew and seeing what comes out. Hierophant for example has many features in common with the previous “Shakti” design, combined with a headress adapted from the “Bronze Idol” with a lot of modifications to get everything to fit together. It’s like origami alchemy. Well it’s really more like origami evolution, as some bits are carried over from one face to another, with some modifications and new mutations added in each generation. Creon is descended in a roundabout way from the old “Oread” model, a design which has spawned numerous variations since.



One thought on “New masks and Ben folds grids

  1. Pingback: “Shadow Tessellations” kickstarter | origamijoel

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