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3D Origami | Kathy May & Silas

3D Origami

My mom mastered the skill of 3D or modular origami, in which multiple small rectangles are folded into tiny triangles, then assembled into sculpture. She self-taught herself the techniques from YouTube videos and her own experience. Each sculpture can require hundreds of pieces, depending on the size and pattern. All paper you see is recycled (my mom did not like to waste). Almost all were created free-handedly from inspirations or in her head rather than from a pattern.

We always told my mom she should write a book with illustrations and instructions of 3D origami! Unfortunately, you will have to settle for my humble how-to tutorials. After you view the examples of my mom’s 3D origami sculptures below, you can read our how-to 3D origami series to make your own!

3D Origami: Introduction
3D Origami: Part 1 – Fold the Component Pieces
3D Origami: Part 2 – Make a Ring Base
3D Origami: Part 3 – Coming Soon!

2 thoughts on “3D Origami”

    1. Hello Anderson,

      Thanks so much for your comment and your question! On behalf of my mom, I appreciate your compliments! This is one of my mom’s larger swans. It is about 10 inches in diameter. My mom has given this swan away, so I do not know exact numbers, but I estimate that the ring base is about 80 triangles per layer in circumference (her average swans are 28-32 triangles per layer of ring base).

      Please note that as the ring base gets larger, it becomes more unwieldy to assemble… sometimes one part of the ring base will come apart as you’re working on another. Because of this, you may try assembling on a flat surface until you’re at least 3-4 rows above the ring base. The good thing about these swans is you can make them as large or as small as you’d like and different-sized swans take on different personalities. You can try many sizes!

      I am working on a blog post about ring bases and how to assemble them. Stay tuned. Good luck with your 3D origami and keep in touch!

      All the best,
      Kathy May

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