The Art of Paper Folding: Kawasaki's Rose Bud

Thursday, August 23, 2012

As I'm sure you'll see by reading more of my blog (or check my other blog to find bits and pieces of information scattered about), one of my non-sport interests (besides teaching math) is origami.  I happen to use origami in the classroom occasionally (especially during our math colloquiums) but that's not the point of this post.

Instead, I'd like to highlight one of the more famous "modern" models in orgami, Kawasaki's Rose.  According to Kawasaki's book Roses, Origami, & Math, the rose is an extremely challenging model to fold.  Since my wife asked me to fold three flowers to send to a friend in the Navy who lost a family member recently (real flowers wouldn't ship overseas nicely), I decided to do the next best thing as compared to the rose, I folded three of Kawasaki's Rose Buds.

The rose bud model is almost the same as the rose model - and as you can hopefully see via the instructions and photos below, the end result is still quite beautiful.

 The first step is to crease the paper into 64 squares...

 Then, do what Kawasaki coined as a twist fold.  Basically, the paper shrinks to a 7 by 7 grid with the overlap happening in the middle of each side.  The twist results in a small square being formed in the center of the paper.  With a little practice, this fold is actually fairly simple.
 After doing the twist, you slowly gather up each of the four corners to form what sort of looks like a long rectangular box.
 You can see the box shape here.  The right edge (in terms of the photo) is opened up slightly in order to form the first of the four petals.
 For your first attempt, I highly recommend using small paperclips to hold the various folds together.  However, when all is said and done, the flower will stay together without any outside assistance.  I hadn't tried to fold the Rose Bud before so I used the paperclips for the first flower.  I did not use them for the second two attempts - each of which were quite a bit easier than the first try!
There's one finished Rose Bud...and now, three more...

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