Today I’m writing about Origami. I only started messing about with it recently after I decided to learn how to fold geometric shapes. For Christmas I got a book of modular Origami, and somewhere along the way I came across this really interesting object called a magic ball which you can fold from a single sheet of paper.
As far as I can tell, this origami model was first suggested by a guy called Yuri Shumakov who has a website at oriland.com which is full of lots of Origrami models and suggestions. I first learned to fold this model using Jo Nakashima’s approach, which is documented on youtube, but there are a number of other ways to fold this so if you feel up to making one of these balls, you’ve got options!
I folded my first ball in about 4 hours using a simple blue and white striped pattern, and then immediately wanted more patterns to fold. There’s a limited number on the web, although you can find a good beginner’s selection on Jo Nakashima’s google drive. So I started messing about building my own pattern generator, and ended up building the little application you can see lower down on this page.
The rest of this article will show you the phases of folding your very own magic ball (go on, you know you want to!) with interspersed video clips to go into the detail. I find origami very satisfying, but beware that you’re going to need 3-4 hours to fold this ball the first time, and the first few folds of each new type are going to be frustratingly tricky. Don’t worry though, you’ll get the hang of it.
In the first video, let’s take a look at the pattern generator, and the types of patterns you can generate to make your very own magic ball!
Cut and Fold
Hopefully you’ve now printed out a pattern to fold and you’re now ready to cut it out and start folding the horizontal and vertical folds.
Next up we need to fold the rows of the origami ball so the shape can collapse. These smaller folds are known as waterbombs and the next video shows how to fold the first row of the ball. In this case we’re folding half waterbombs.
Second row and beyond
The next row down is where we start to fold full waterbomb shapes. This video shows the second row folds and how to extend onto the third row.
The middle rows
There’s no video for the middle rows as it’d just be entirely fastforwarded! You should have the hang of it by now.
Final two rows
I’ll go over one more typical row of the ball, and then show the final row of the ball being finished off to match the first row at the top of the ball.
The final video shows how to fold the top and bottom waterbombs to encoruage the ball to fold, and it also goes over what’s required to stick the sheet together. Once you’ve finished this video, you should have a completed magic ball!
And that should conclude your magic ball. If you find my voice hella annoying and would like a silent version of this video, why not try the video I learned from by Jo Nakashima.
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