Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I came up with this model while doodling with a windmill base. It's fully 3 dimensional as you can see from this back view.

The folding sequence includes 4 'butterfly' locks which create a cone shape. There is something strangely satisfying about a butterfly lock (maybe I should get out more!): you make a few creases, fold the edge to the centre incorporating a crimp and you have an instant neat 3D model.

This is a fairly simple design so can be made from all sizes (the ones pictured are from 8.5cm to 15cm squares) and all types of paper even thin magazine pages . I found it difficult to decide what to do with the triangular flaps which cover the centre. I finally decided to curve them upwards and inwards to give the impression of a split seed pod.

The fact that it originated from a doodle and is not a deliberate attempt to imitate Nature made it difficult to choose a name for the model but I stumbled across a picture of a curious looking fungus called an earthstar and although not entirely similar the name has a good ring to it so "Earthstar" it is.


Leyla Torres said...

Lovely model, Matthew, and I'm very curious. I have been playing with the windmill base lately too!
Butterfly locks? I don't think I've heard of them!

Matthew Hayward said...

Thanks Leyla. The windmill base certainly has lots of possibilites.
I love your hollow-petal flower with its soft edges. Mine is much more spikey! It's fully petal-folded on all 4 corners, made 3D with butterfly folds, leaving the petals on the outside, then the smaller 4 points are lifted up from the back into position, then just shaped.
I haven't drawn any diagrams yet but if you would like them, I can email you more detailed step by step written instructions.
I've just posted more on the butterfly lock.

Leyla Torres said...

Thank you Matthew. If you have a chance to write them, no hurry, but I would love to try and fold it.

I love the picture of the origami face that you have as a profile for this blog, but it does not look like you ;-)