I came across this complicated looking but simple paper structure and have been happily playing around with it for days.
I’ve been able to locate only once source for these, which is at http://hattifant.com/triskele-paper-globes-flower-edition/, an exquisite site by German artist Manja Burton. Fact is, her site has enough about these globes that, really, no one else needs to ever write about them again ever, but, oh well, here I go.
Manja calls these Triskele Globes. I have no idea whether these are a traditional paper-folding design, or if she developed it herself. “Triskele” is a symbol which depicts three interlocking spirals. These paper globes appear to be interlocking spirals, but the spiraling is simply a wonderful illusion.
Bonus Update: just as I was about to hit the Publish button for this post, I received a note from Manja, responding to my questions about this structure. I’ve added her response at the end of the post.
After interlocking the strips, the arcs are folded in. It really helps to pre-score the curved fold lines. Here’s a short video:
I made three different pdfs for paper strips, which will be at the bottom of this post. Each page will make two ornaments. My templates are a bit smaller than the ones on Manja Burton’s site. I like this smaller size mostly because I think it fits so well on standard copy paper.
I’ve embellished with the paper with simple shapes, so that it’s easier to distinguish the strips from each other, otherwise it can be confusing to see what’s going on with the construction. I’ve also provided a pdf below that has no embellishments, so my shapes won’t interfere with your own vision.
You’ll notice that there are triangles on the template. These triangles are hidden in the final product. I put them there to help orient the designs, hopefully making it easier to see how the rings of paper strips are aligned to each other.
If you don’t have access to a copy machine, it’s absolutely possible to construct your own template for these paper strips. Here’s a grid that can be used to understand the proportions of the shapes.
I liked the look of the grid so much that I made a PDF of templates that includes the grid.
I’ve had such a great time with these. I’m surprised every time I see the transformation happen as the strips of paper become a spiraling globe.
Here are the PDF’s of the strips.
and here the PDF of the grid so you can construct your own strips without a copy machine:
Spiral Paper Ornament strip construction (will be much easier to use if you have graph paper)
Have fun. Use bling. Be colorful. Experiment with different papers, different designs. Make them into dice, fortune tellers, add quotes. Go wild.
Here’s the bonus update: I wrote a note to Manja which said.
She wrote back, saying:
Addendum, December 18.2018
After reading my post about these ornaments a twitter friend examined the curves and came up with some tweeks https://twitter.com/mathforge/status/934826360970924033
Then this friend, who I know only by the name Loop Space wrote a great post for the mathematically curious which is https://loopspace.mathforge.org/CountingOnMyFingers/Triskele/. I especially like how Loop Space illustrated the explanation.