The 2D pattern for this 3D volume developed as I played with the idea of a pyramid of interlocking planes.
It was my partner Betsy’s creative quilting practice that inspired me to put a batik-like graphic on a Kirigami popup. I picked the tonally coordinated color pallet for my pyramid, and then a vibrantly colored random network which seemed the best as my base image (credit: Adobe stock image bank, “Wired”).
Printed 20 cm x 20 cm flat.
Like a quilt, it will only ever be one sheet of paper (except for the backing sheet), even after folding as a 3D sculpture:
Folding a 3D form is a gradual process that takes a couple of hours. (In the diagram above: Black = cut; red = fold forward, blue = fold backward.) Tensions arise, both physically and emotionally, while trying to coordinate the gradual folding of more than 100 right angles. All of those angles most be partially folded in small changes through many cycles. Like all Kirigami forms, one might either open it back out again to retrieve a single flat layer, or continue to collapse it inward almost to flatness, except for the thickness of four layers of folded paper.
A strong but disorderly web of vivid red links and nodes binds the pyramid to the seven edges of its two framing planes (one edge is shared). It appears as though the pyramid is nested into two sides of a partial outer box or prism. As both the pyramid and its ‘container’ are classical rectilinear forms, I was excited to find that the linking lines which connect those appear messy, improvised, exploratory, non-classical.
Text and images copyright William James, 2016; reproduction is allowed.