Saturday, May 9

21 Kusudamas for the 21 day lockdown

With the announcement of the 21 day lockdown in late March, I set myself a personal challenge, to use the time to learn to fold and create 21 origami kusudamas.
The Kusudama or medicine ball is believed to have originated in the Heaian Period (794 -1192).
Fragrant woods and herbs were put into a small cloth bag, decorated with blossoms of sobu, iris and other flowers, long silk threads of five different colours were attached to the bag.On May 5th this bag was hung in the house to ward off evil spirits and disease.  
The Emperor at the time would invite officials to Butokuden palace and give each one of them drinks of sake and a kusudama, this custom continued until the beginning of the 17th century. 
Going forward the connection of the kusudama with court functions ceased to be and instead became an ornament in the homes of the common people and a plaything for children.

Sorry about the spacing, can't rectify it. 
 I didn't know at the time that I would commit myself to a few more challenges so instead of completing 21 kusudamas in 21 days,it took me a good month and a half.
The process was meditative because of the repeated folding of modules for each kusudama. Some required as few as six modules whereas most required thirty or more.Especially the larger ones. I used old Tupperware flyers with their colourful pages to cut squares for the origami.     

This one is an exciting one, a transformer. It's called the Revealing Flower or Pop Up Star. Designed by Valentina Gonchar  and I followed this tutorial to make it.
There's more than one reason why you should use contrasting colours for the outside modules and for the revealed flower modules - first reason impact. Kind of lost in the one I've made, shall rectify that and make another one with contrasting colours and a tad smaller.
The second reason is that you won't go and mess up while assembling the modules.A lot of time wasted in reassembeling! Totally unnecessary.   

This one is called Electra. Designed by David Mitchell and here is the video tutorial if you would like to try your hand at making one. The tutorial is in Portuguese but it doesn't matter if you don't understand the language because the folding of the modules is clearly demonstrated.      
This delicate and pretty kusudama made with just six modules is called a Traditional Kusudama the tutorial can be found here.

This Kusudama is my favourite. The tutorial and all other information was in Russian so I don't know the designer or name of the kusudama. Unfortunately I didn't save the link to the tutorial. 

 Nine kusudamas, these are larger. Twelve in the picture below. A total of 21 kusudamas.

 These are smaller and require anywhere from six to twelve modules.
Some kusudamas can be created with twelve modules and increasing the number of the same modules to thirty gives you a kusudama with a whole different form.
I'm going to give these kusudamas to friends to hang in their homes or verandahs and hopefully there will be healing of the world at large and in their homes.I'm also going to leave them for people to find.
Here are the links to some of the other kusudamas which I made
1. Top left corner - The Kusudama Spiky Ball Star - uses just 6 modules. No need for glue. Makes a great Christmas decoration as well.  
2. Top right corner -  Origami Kusudama Little Turtle - requires 30 modules.
3. Bottom left corner - Origami Kusudama Star - requires 30 modules.
4. Bottom right corner - Crystal Star Kusudama - designed by Denver Lawson. Requires 30 modules  
I was surprised to discover a Coronavirus Kusudama as well. It requires 30 pieces of paper 1:4 proportion. Does not use square pieces of paper. I tried it but the paper I had was too flimsy.

I find origami like embroidery a meditative process. A slow process, requires precision and the results are rewarding.
I can watch my movies on Netflix and fold modules for a kusudama or do a bit of mending for #mendmay2020.
Have you got involved in any creative challenge during this period of social distancing and isolation?  Hope you are well and safe.