26 October 2010

I Tried to Make an Origami Turtle but All I Made Was a Mess

Origami instructions you don't want to see: "Divide again, getting sixteenths." Followed by "One more time, getting thirty seconds." And note that this still left room on the side for seven more divisions, getting a total of thirty nine pinch creases along the top and bottom of the page.

Of course, this was followed by "Divide each of the gaps along the bottom edge in half." Here was where I wisely said "no" and simply marked the places I would need on the page. I wish I had done it sooner—the marking instead of folding—so my turtle would look healthier than this:
Turtle that looks more like a dinosaur of some sort.
All of this folding was just needed to get eleven parallel diagonal lines in teach of three directions (horizontal, and two diagonals). Without a ruler. Yes, instructions are provided which divide paper into 39 even sections without a ruler. Like so:
Just the two sets of diagonals. You can faintly see the pinches along the edge forming 39ths.
All of these folds are to form the lines on which three scales lie, as well as defining lines for scales formed later in the folding. Sadly, something went wrong in my creasing, pleating, or temperament (the most likely candidate) and I ended up with two scales, paper that didn't lie flat, and squished edges. To make the pleat, you have to fold everything at once - six edges for each hexagonal scale (which are all pleats, so twelve folds each) and three scales, plus some extra folds, leads to a very confusing diagram with arrows pointed everywhere.
It looks kinda squished because it is. Ideally, every fold would be firm and perfect. This is not an ideal turtle.
I may try this again and use the ruler-and-pen method or I may just fold a scaled model that uses all of the prefolds, not upsettingly few of them. All told, this took about two hours from start to "finish".

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