Tag Archives: creativity

The 30 day Folding Challenge Part 4

My productivity for this challenge has really slowed over the last few weeks because I treated myself to taking Fiona Duthie’s Felt Illuminated online course. While it has been a substantial time (and financial) investment it has already sent my thoughts off in new directions. Some of these ideas involve how I can combine paper in my felted sculptures but also wondering if I can also illuminate some of these folded structures too….

Spoiler alert! I am definitely going to finish this 30 day challenge, but not all of the days will be consecutive πŸ™‚

Day 22

Revisiting the Kaleidocyle designs from Day 19 to see if I could make a cardboard one that turns like the felted ones do. This one was double the length of the first paper kaleidocycle attempt. It cycles really easily but doesn’t look as pretty when folded up, perhaps it needs an extra segment, or two?

Day 23

Inspired by Fiona’s Felt Illuminated class I tried using paper in place of some wool layers, this first one wasn’t too successful, the area where there was just paper and no wool became extremely fragile and limited how much I could full the piece.

Day 24

Trying again, but this time cutting the paper where I wanted to place the folds. This piece was much more successful, although I could definitely full this tiny bowl some more. I have added a few stitches at the top of the pleats for security but the paper in this bowl allows it to keep its shape without them.

Day 25

While searching for origami books I found another awesome book in the Auckland Library catalogue: Folding Techniques for Designers From Sheet to Form by Paul Jackson.

He makes no apologies for starting with some really basic shapes and forms but they get more complex as you progress through the book, this is where the clear diagrams / maps he provides invaluable.

This shape naturally wanted to form a bridge or trough depending on which way up it was placed

Day 26

I’m curious to see how this form will behave if the pattern is repeated?

Day 27

What if I used a 5 point symmetry instead of 4?

Day 28

I love the architecture of this form, it looks lovely from all angles, I’m wondering if I can make it into a bowl form…

Day 29

This one is screaming, “Christmas decoration!” at me, I imagine the felted version of this one will involve some bling πŸ™‚

Day 30

I started playing with the shape from Day 29, exploring what would happen if I reversed some of the folds, so mountain folds became valley folds…

Unfortunately someone else requested this book before I could get any further, so I could not try out all the forms I wanted to before I had to return it. I will borrow it again though, it is an inspiring book!

While my original 30 day challenge complete, this idea still has lots of mileage left in it and I plan to continue exploring, especially taking more of the paper sculptures into fibre… Watch this space!

Have you been playing along? If so, please share where your journey is taking you, links in the comments to a FB page, IG or blog post should work if you have any images.

The 30 Day Folding Challenge – Part 1

I have long admired the work of Andrea Noeske-Porada, she is a felt artist best known for her origami pieces. As far as I can tell she does not have a website but if you type her name into google you will find yourself buried under an avalanche of inspiring images of her work and what her students have made.

For years I was fascinated by her kaleidocycle design and hoped to take a workshop with her to learn her felt origami techniques but after our move to NZ I realised this dream is probably never going to happen, so set myself the challenge of trying to figure out how to make one. It took a few attempts but I was eventually successful.

Please don’t ask me to explain how it was made, this is Andrea’s design and if you can’t figure it out, please sign up for a class with her πŸ˜‰

I acknowledge I am a bit of a creative magpie, I always have at least 3 projects on the go and my UFO (unfinished objects) box is overflowing. Maybe this is you too? I suspect it is part of the creative mindset that we struggle to focus on just one thing at a time, our brains are wired to be constantly on the lookout for the next exciting development….

In some ways I think this is a good thing, it means I am frequently presented with opportunities to incorporate 2 or more techniques or materials in the same project to create novel combinations. However, I also feel like I am frequently just skimming the surface of what is possible with each technique or idea. With that in mind I decided to kick off 2024 with a 30 day challenge (feel free to play along if you wish!):

This theme was partly inspired by origami felt, and origami has already worked its way into what I have been doing this month but I have deliberately avoided using origami in the mission statement to leave the door open for exploring related techniques such as pleating and smocking. I’m also bound to go off on some random tangent before the end of the month too!

The first week:

In order to really learn, we first need to make mistakes or encounter some minor disaster….

My first “disaster” was instigated by this book:

It is chock-full of inspiring and gorgeous (mostly paper) sculptures but contains no instructions at all… “how hard can it be?” I cockily thought to myself as I reached for some wool and a pair of scissors….

Thankfully I had enough sense to start small:

No matter how I stretched and rubbed the felt it refused to make lovely concentric pleats and folds πŸ™

I convinced myself it was because I used an oval template instead of circle, so on day 2 I made this:

While I like the shape of this one a little more, it still wasn’t folding how I expected it to.

Frustrated, I decided to play with paper folding instead (looking back this would have been a much more sensible place to start!).

Day 3:

I found some amazing origami websites (with some much needed instructions!) and sat down to play (I apologise for the scruffy appearance of some of my origami but these pieces have been folded and unfolded multiple times):

The box was fun to make but there are much easier ways to make cubes from felt (take a look at my free book resist tutorial if you’d like to give that a go).

I love this next pattern, this is one that I have attempted to make in felt before but playing with it in paper, I’m enjoying the stretchy qualities it has and wondering if it would work as a cowl? I found this print out on an engineering website, apparently this is a popular pattern for folding mirrors and solar panels used on satellites.

Day 4

The photo of this piece doesn’t do it justice, it is much more interesting to look at from different angles, you can probably tell from the state of it that it has been unfolded and refolded multiple times when I translated the pattern into felt.

Day 5

I decided to revisit the concertina style folds of my first 2 attempts in felt but this time in paper.

The circles were still frustrating me, the curved pleats just refused to fold, I now think I understand why they don’t work but I will save those explorations for my next post.

Concertina folds along straight lines were far more successful:

This one started out as a flat square

Day 6

This one was an equilateral triangle

Day 7

Excited by how well the paper origami samples turned out I started translating some of the shapes into prefelt and felting them. The felt versions are much more flexible than their paper cousins, offering a myriad of different forms just by twisting or folding different sections, my favourite is the flower shape at the end of this video:

Aoifa couldn’t resist getting into shot but lost interest as soon as she discovered there was no food involved

Day 8

I turned my favourite of the origami shapes into felt and was very pleased with the outcome: