Thursday, March 24, 2011

Origami Interlude: "The Egg"

Continuing with the themes of springtime and the rebirth that comes with it, today I thought I'd share some origami that I've had kicking around for a while. The modular unit used for this piece is the triangular gyroscope module by Rona Gurkewitz and Bennett Arnstein, which is made out of paper cut into an equilateral triangle. Multiple units can be pieced together to make a number of polyhedra, particularly structures including 5- and 6-sided faces, including the dodecahedron, truncated octahedron, and truncated icosahedron, with each unit sitting on an edge of the polyhedron. However, one of the more unique examples shown in Gurkewitz and Arnstein's books is the truncated hexadecahedron, fittingly referred to as "The Egg."
"The Egg" is made from 16 hexagons, 8 pentagons, and 2 squares. You can think of it as a soccer ball that's lost about 1/5 of its faces, and wrapped itself up to compensate. While it certainly has symmetry, it's considered an irregular polyhedron because the shapes that make up this polyhedron are not regular, meaning that the edges of each face have slightly different lengths. 
The great thing about origami, and beads too, is that we can can still construct such almost-regular polyhedra from regularly-shaped modules. The Egg uses a total of 48 triangular gyroscope modules, and I for one can't tell that the finished structure is irregular.
Twenty modules, made from foil paper, make a shiny little dodecahedron.
What's your favorite kind of egg? Origami? Beaded? Fabergé? Chicken?


  1. Chocolate and foil covered! Love the post, thanks for explaining the math, that stuff is great!

  2. I love glam and shining very much so my favourite egg is Faberge egg of course.
    Faberge is glamorous and, in some way, chaotic. This origami is very regular.
    It's like a monk's habit against rococo dress ;)

  3. Ooo that's a great idea Mandy! I can't believe that I forgot about that kind of egg. I'm glad that you enjoy the math too. Sometimes I get a little into it and, so I'm glad that others find it enjoyable too.

    Lucreatia - Fabergé eggs are so gorgeous! I few years ago I went to an exhibition at the De Young museum that featured a whole bunch of them. If only they would let us take pictures!


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