The Art of Yami Yamauchi

When I posted briefly about Yama Yamauchi’s fireworks model, which is a flexible origami model that looks much like fireworks do, I neglected to include the link to the folding pattern.  Yama Yamauchi in fact has a whole set of web pages with patterns, that can be reached from Yami’s Corner.


But that sends you down the rabbit hole to find other flexagons, such as the tutorial at Flexagon Instructions.

And there goes my work day …

Folding a Christmas Wreath

This past week I was seized by the inexplicable need to make Christmas Decorations.  Or perhaps you could say that Christmas was my excuse for folding 144 identical modules (12 modules per cube, 12 cubes …) and combining those cubes into a wreath.

In Progress (1/3) Modular Wreath

We began with some experimentation.  Folding a few cubes, and making sure that they could interlock, and more importantly, that interlocking them would allow for the curvature needed to make the full wreath.

The green on these cubes is subtle; I was using patterned paper with the four corners tinted, graduating to much paler tints in the center.  You can see the box in the background in the second picture.

In Progress (2/3) Modular WreathEight cubes folder, and a very satisfactory curvature.  Plus making the cubes stand and slither was fun.  I could easily see myself folding a long line of cubes and then just dangling them and waving them about.  The cubes are amazingly resistant to abuse, although when Molly the white demon dog got her teeth on the ninth cube the slobber killed it.

In Progress (3/3) Modular Wreath

Now in the home stretch; the red modules have been counted and partially folded, and we were off to the races.

Completed Modular Wreath

Finally the finished wreath, balanced on the box the paper came in.  And I still have 1024 – 144 = 880 sheets left for more shenanigans.


It’s possible we may be putting up a tree this year.

Playing with modules

Some days, all you have is access to some paper, and time.  Or, in other words, I have a little spare time on my hands but forgot my projects at home.  Oops.

So I’ve gone back to an old hobby, folding paper or more formally known as the art of origami.  Personally, I prefer the kind of origami that uses multiple sheets of paper, rather than a single sheet.  There’s something satisfying about folding a set of modules and combining them into a single finished product that is more than the sum of its parts.

Fireworks Closed Fireworks Opening Fireworks Flipped

For instance, there is the Origami Firework designed by Yama Yamauchi, which consists of simple 12 models and produces a flexiball – a round torus that can be rotated by pushing up in the center from below, and out  along the edges from above (or vice versa).  It’s a wonderful fiddleball when thinking, and the colour combinations possible are endless; you have 12 modules, but what colours you choose, or how you order them, is entirely up to you.  In my case, I used one origami paper on the outside, and a second on the inside, making the contrasts happen.

And before I lose the link, here’s a site with many types of modules that I fully expect and hope to be playing with in the foreseeable future: