In this video, I’m going to show you how to fold a Single Strip Square Curlicue designed by Assia Brill. Diagrams can be found in her book Curlicue: Kinetic Origami which includes 20 different Curlicue models so it’s not just this one, it’s actually very versatile. This book has opened my eyes to a new take on origami which is just about the highest praise I can give for a book and one I don’t give easily. Her work is different, fun and simply amazing. Pictures actually can capture the superb I’d say kaleidoscopic effect of her curlicues so I highly recommend you also visit her Flickr page for multiple videos of different curlicues in action. Now, I could go on talking about this for a long time but we want to get folding right? So just a quick overview: This video will be in 3 parts: 1st — cutting a tapered strip of paper which we require to fold this model 2nd — the basic folding sequence which is really easy, actually and finally, 2 methods for locking the curlicue to get the completed model The first method is a bit easier to learn I think but the second is extra fun and once you master it, it’s faster and actually it’s just as easy once you’ve kind of gotten your head around it. So, onto cutting a strip of paper. So for this model, you actually don’t need a square or even a rectangle but you need a tapered strip of paper. It has a right angle here so that’s 90 degrees and then you have one side being wider than the other And depending on the width difference, you will have a larger or smaller difference of the layers of the curlicue because you can see you have these separate layers here. And I guess in the most extreme case if the difference is zero so it’s a rectangle then all of these layers would have exactly the same size But you know, we’ll work with one of those tapered strips because I actually think having the different sizes of the layers gives a special effect that makes this single strip square curlicue what it is. So in this video, I’ll be using a strip that has a length of 35 cm or 13 3/4 in and one side is 5cm or 2in wide and the other side is 1 cm or 0.4 in wide This is not an extremely long strip but it’s definitely long enough to show you the principle and I just quickly wanted to give you some tips on how to cut these strips. And the book actually includes quite a few tips on how to cut these strips and also when they’re longer, because you know, for for these 2 models here I use longer strips. This one was folded from a strip with a length of 70 cm or 27 1/2 in about, and one side is 3.5 cm or 1 3/8 in and the other side is 0.7 cm or 1.4 in This strip is even longer twice as long: 140 cm or 55 in and on one side it’s 3 cm or 1.2 in wide and on the other side it’s 0.5 cm or 0.2 in wide. You might wonder where you get paper that is that long Actually, wrapping paper is a really good choice There are nice duo colored wrapping papers out there and they’re usually quite wide or if you want extremely long strips you can go along the length of the roll of the paper. So this one I actually cut along the width of the wrapping paper which was exactly 70 cm which is quite standard here in Germany and I’m sure that in other countries there’s a similar standard width which is quite nice because, you know, sometimes you have very large presents to wrap. Anyway I noted that you need a right angle here, 90 degrees so when you cut from a sheet or a roll of paper you kind of want to establish those 90 degrees again because you want to fold many curlicues, right? So essentially what you do is you in some ways, cut a rectangle and then you cut that rectangle in half at an angle to get 2 strips. So you can see here this is kind of one of the strips and that would be the 2nd strip. So to achieve that easily we’re just going to decide what’s the height here and what’s the height here and then here we’re first going to mark I suppose, the 5 cm or 2 in and then 1 cm or 0.4 in and on this side we’re first going to mark 0.4 in or 1 cm and then the 5 cm or 2 in. And then we can kind of connect those with a ruler to draw a line and cut it with scissors or as you will see me do actually use a cutting knife. So, we’re first going to measure and because you want to remove the markings later, I’d advise using a pencil. So we were saying we’re going to have 5 cm and 1 cm and on the other side we’re going to have 1 cm and 5 cm So now if you don’t have a cutting knife then you can connect these lines here one’s the 6 cm, 6 cm or 2.4 in and 2.4 in and then that slightly diagonal one too. And I’m just going to go ahead and cut it right off with a cutting knife If you do use a cutting knife and not scissors, do be really careful, they tend to be extremely sharp So you know there’s always extra caution we should use be sure that your fingers are well out of the way and then cut in a stroke until you feel like you’re not giving enough pressure to the ruler anymore move your hands and continue cutting until you reach the edge of the paper. And then you have your 1st strip here there you go and then I’m just going to cut the 2nd one connecting the other 2 lines. Cut and move your hands cut and move your hands and cut. There you go So now you have a right angle here again this is the strip I showed in the beginning and these are the 2 strips that make that rectangle See that? And as you can see you get 2 identical strips where you have a right angle we have 5 cm and 1cm or 2 in and 0.4 in So it’s actually nice that we have 2 strips because I already mentioned that I wanted to show 2 different ways of finishing off the model but you know, let’s first start folding with one. Let’s orient the paper so that you have the right angle in the bottom left corner right here And you know depending on the angle of this it might be a little harder to tell which it is so before cutting you might want to mark that corner. One more additional note perhaps: if you have the book, note that Assia drew the diagrams so that you start with the right angle in the top So looking at it like this I’m basically flipping over the paper because I prefer folding away from myself and I think Assia prefers folding towards herself. So the main difference that this will have is the rotation of the curlicue So if you use Assia’s method of starting with the right angle in the top left corner then the curlicue will rotate counterclockwise Can you see that, it’s rotating counterclockwise Now, if you start the other way around it will rotate clockwise, so here’s an example where it rotates clockwise. So you can see, you know, it’s a slight difference but the principle is the same. For the twist fix method I show both how to do it when you rotate clockwise and counterclockwise So that, you know, you see both of those flavors. Anyway, let’s get started folding now. We’re going to start by folding that corner up so that this edge meets that edge Very simple There you go Now you have a raw edge here and a raw edge here We’re going to fold this edge up so that it meets that other edge, and the key in this curlicue folding is that you work extremely precisely and you can kind of move over the paper until it actually touches that edge You get nice precision Now we’re just going to take this corner and fold it to the back We just kind of needed it as a reference And this is the length of the almost-square of your square curlicue Now we’re going to continue just with these simple folds of always taking that lower edge and aligning it with this edge that’s perpendicular So you want to have a nice sharp corner here so I’m first going to catch that corner and then I’m going to move over the paper so that it exactly goes against that edge so that you get perfect precision because the more precisely you fold, the nicer the model looks Then we’re just going to rotate this Can we see that, I just rotated it down So again we have that long edge and we have a perpendicular edge here with a color change and again we make a perfect point here and then we straighten the paper so that it’s not too loose and then again, have it just but against that layer of paper here It’s very simple folding Just be very precise. And again, rotate and get a perfect point and crease. And rotate get a perfect point and align and crease. And continue until the end of the strip So at some point you will see that when folding over you don’t have enough space anymore and then you can cut off the excess So we can simply make a horizontal crease that goes through the point of that last layer by aligning this edge with that one right there to get a 90 degree angle on there And this small portion of paper you can cut off. So I’m just going to use some scissors for that It’s just a very small cut And there you go And now let’s zoom in and speed through that folding process again for the 2nd strip So here are the 2 curlicues folded but not locked yet so you can see you can basically completely unfold this by simply pulling the tip here and the finished curlicue doesn’t work like that; it’s locked. And I’ll be showing you 2 methods The 1st I’ll call the mountain fold method and the 2nd the twist fix method. The twist fix method is I suppose a little harder to grasp and understand but it’s extremely fun and you know, the first time I did it I just went “wow!” and I was amazed and appreciated Assia’s work all over again So I first want to show the mountain fold method It’s easier to learn but it takes longer once you kind of get the hang of the twist fix, it’s very quick And as I said, it’s just so fun, and you know, folding is at least half of origami; it’s not just the finished result. But, let’s start with the mountain fold method. For this we’re going to almost completely unfold the curlicue and if you have many layers, that means a lot of unfolding So basically, you want to get to the state where you have kind of just finished a square And then rather than folding as before, you’re going to fold underneath. And then you’re going to flip the model over and then just following the creases you created you’re going to fold underneath and fold underneath and fold underneath. Can you see how I’m always rotating the model a little so it’s easier for me to go along those folds we already did You can see we’re always kind of going along these mountain folds because we flipped the model over. And you just go around It’s very simple, but you know, when you have a long strip it’s going to take a little while But eventually you’ll get there and then you have your curlicue done. Now, there is fewer layers than in the curlicues I showed you in the beginning But still, you can already see that you can do these nice manipulations and get nice effects, and also again, you can here see how it rotates clockwise rather than counterclockwise So now for the twist fix method As you will probably guess, it’s all about twisting the paper Now we’re first going to orient this so that this final point, points upwards And then we’re going to bring that purple corner here to the back basically making a mountain fold here and kind of in the process a valley fold here Although you know, it’s not a fold, it’s just a bend; you’re not creasing you’re just bending the paper, just like that And once you’ve got that, you know, you’ve got that corner now pointing to the bottom Now you’re going to bring this point over to that point So you’re basically folding it over having a bend kind of like a valley fold here And you can do that by twisting the paper a little — can you see that? It’s kind of a folding over but it’s also twisting the paper And now you’ve got your first lock done Now you’re going to take this top corner and twist it over to the bottom Now you’re going to take this corner and guess what, you’re going to twist it over to this point So just going to twist it over There you go And now you’ve got that point — you can see it’s always the one that’s kind of bent in half and you always bring it over to the one opposite So you’re twisting that over to the top And once you have the action in place, it’s basically you’re turning the model with this point, clockwise, and the rest of the model counterclockwise. So again, you’re twisting it over, just like that. and then you have that corner, you want to bring it to the bottom and you’re twisting it over And now you can see, it’s basically just a twisting motion so I’m just doing that and you can go very quickly I mean, I slowed this down a lot because I want you to be able to understand it but you just go on twisting, you go on twisting and you go on twisting, and there you go And now, you have everything locked. You didn’t unfold and fold any creases though, right? And let’s compare this to the model that we fixed with the mountain fold method. They look exactly the same they both rotate clockwise And they work exactly the same But don’t you agree the twist fix method is just so much more fun? And to demonstrate how much more quickly it can go I’m going to show to you on this multi-layered model And also, here I will demonstrate how the twist fix works when you rotate counterclockwise rather than clockwise You can see here that the topmost layer is on the left when the point is pointing upwards and before, it was on the right So before, we were twisting clockwise on the top layer and counterclockwise on the bottom layer Now with it on the left, we’re going to rotate counterclockwise on the top layers and clockwise on the lower layers So it works in principle the same, just that the directions are a little different So as before, you’ve got the tip you’re going to bend it down to the other layer to the opposite corner and bring this one over to that side with a twist So now you can see I’m rotating that counterclockwise on the top and clockwise on the bottom And then you’ve got this next one counterclockwise on the bottom, clockwise on the top And the next one And so on. Can you see that I’m really just twisting and once you get the hang of that can you see how quick that is even me like slowing down, actually, I could go faster than this But you still need to be able to recognize things, right? So I’m just twisting over I’m twisting over, always kind of grabbing one layer beneath so that these don’t move and twisting over then moving my thumb over to the next one Again, just fixing all the layers except the top one And over And over And it’s a very natural movement I find You can just twist until, you know, you’ve reached the end And I think it’s just such a pleasing procedure that goes really quickly you work very precisely, automatically, you’re not reversing the folds it’s not laborious, it’s just I don’t know, it’s just magical, it’s just fun It’s fun, and you know, that’s what we want, right? we want to be happy folding we want to have enjoyment and amazement and there we go, we’re done! And now we’ve got it locked and now we can twist, and play with the model and just all over again have that fun. Now as you can tell by this video I think, I’m just super super excited about the folding and also the finished model and about playing with it and you know, it’s just like a kaleidoscope because you see all these different patterns emerge, or it can kind of unflip again, in a very playful motion And this is just one model I showed you And in the book, Curlicue Kinetic Origami there’s 20 different curlicues in there some from single strips, some from multiple strips some are squares, some are hexagonal there’s just so many different variations and I think Assia did a superb job in just presenting this new area of origami is what I’d call it. And the diagrams are very clear — just let me zoom out a little — Just to give you a quick sense, I’m going to show you one of the first pages Here you can see the style of diagrams, they’re hand-drawn Assia did a beautiful job here And you know, I love the hand-drawn feel, and they’re very precise too They’re easy to follow And it’s simply a joy to go through this book. And you know, everything’s in color so that it’s really, really easy to follow along And I’m sheerly amazed by this beautiful, beautiful book I highly recommend it I’m going to stop here, I have to stop myself just because I’m just so super, super excited about it I hope you enjoyed this video I hope you enjoy these amazing single strip square curlicues that you can fold by following this video and you know, if you’re hungry for more which I totally understand then do get the book, and happy folding!