Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Butterfly Effect

I mentioned a "Butterfly" lock in my last post but don't remember ever seeing the move explained as a technique in any origami book so you may be unfamiliar with it, or perhaps just know it without naming it.

Difficult to explain in words, a sort of a 'crimp' combined with a 'sink' - here is a diagram.

So in this example a fish base is collapsed along both diagonals with two of the creases reversed all in one step. When complete the model should look like the stylised butterfly photographed above. It could of course be collapsed in a mirror image with the flap inside pointing the other way.

There are 2 other models I can think of which use this move to great effect:

  • Sharon Turvey's 'Flower with Stem' diagrammed in BOS magazine 257 (step 9). I remember she made us laugh when she taught it to a group of us at a recent BOS convention by starting her instructions with the words: "Book, book, nappy, nappy, blintz, blintz..."

  • Chan Yew Meng's "Four Leafed Dish" diagrammed in the Winchester 2009 BOS Convention Pack This clever model uses the technique to form a simple open bowl where 4 butterflies are joined with their lower tips meeting in the middle of the base like a Masu box.

Would love to hear if you know any other models which use this technique.


Leyla Torres said...

Thank you Matthew, nice explanation!

Leyla Torres said...

Oh, yes, I've done it before. I didn't know the name. Nice fold, the butterfly lock.

Nick Robinson said...

Many of my dishes use this, for example

I picked the technique up in the 80s from the man who (possibly) invented it, Philip Shen. If you don't own his BOS booklet, I highly recommend you buy it *immediately* - totally class work. Sadly, he's no longer with us.