Origami Tessellation Basics: Open-Back Hexagon Twist

Origami Tessellation Basics: Open-Back Hexagon Twist


In this video I’m going to show you how to fold an “Open-Back Hexagon Twist,” which is an origami tessellation technique. This is one folded. As you can see, it’s a hexagon twist. In the back, there is an open portion in the shape of a hexagon. So, unfolding this you will see that it works on a triangle grid. This one has eight divisions. There are some off-grid creases, and you can see that this is the center hexagon which consists of six small triangles on the grid. And just outside of that there are off-grid creases that form a slightly larger hexagon. So you will see, if we start in the point of one – of this hexagon in the center, then there are two triangles that are above it, (four, actually, but we’re just looking at the two center ones) and we use the diagonal between that. So if you have that done throughout, then you get this larger hexagon. Now for this hexagon, there is this horizontal crease that goes through the point, and above it are three triangles on the grid. If you take the crease – the grid crease – that is, kind of to the right, rather than to the left, and you do that on each of these points, like this, then you can make the open-back hexagon twist counterclockwise, by taking these creases and folding them over on a parallel triangle grid crease and will end in the next corner of the hexagon. So if you just push that over each time, push it over …. push it over …. it will collapse into a twist. Now let’s see how a clockwise turn works. So this time, again, observe the horizontal crease when you have a point of the hexagon pointing upward. Now we’re going to take the left one. I haven’t twisted this one in that direction yet so you can also see an action without the creases in the direction that you want them. First I’m just going around, pinching them into mountain folds, and now this time the parallel crease isn’t to the left, but it’s to the right. So you can push over each of the mountain folds along the grid crease. Observe that I’m not quite going to the point but rather, maybe one grid triangle off because that’s easier, and the rest will actually fall into place. As you can see here, it’s already twisting and then you can fold it flat. This time you can see the hexagon in the center is turning clockwise. Can you see that when you unfold it? It goes clockwise like that. Then again, you have an open-back hexagon twist. This technique actually already enables you to do quite nice tessellations, or at least if you also know the very basic technique of doing a triangle twist. In Eric Gjerde’s book “Origami Tessellations,” which I highly recommend if you like tessellations, there are two models, the first is the open-back hexagon twist which you can see displayed here, but also, the back side looks like this. This is possible just using the open-back hexagon twist as well as some connectors, which are triangle twists. If you actually reduce the distance of these hexagons and the triangle twists that connect them, then you get a slightly different model, which is called “Basket Weave,” also by Eric Gjerde. This looks somewhat similar to that picture you saw here but notice that these strings that are interweaved are two triangles wide here, whereas here, it’s just one triangle. And here you can see the other side – just as it was displayed in the bigger shot on this side. Here you can see you have full open-back hexagon twists, whereas here, they will actually overlap. So it’s a little bit more elaborate to fold. Just for a test, I did try one here. You can see there is that one center hexagon, (open back hexagon twist) and the other ones are hidden right there when you collapse it. And then if you go on and tessellate it even more then you’ll always have some on top and some on the bottom, depending on how you arrange the layers because you have some options there, as they will go underneath in different ways. But here, as you can see, turning it around you just have a width of one triangle. Isn’t this an amazing model? Just using the open-back hexagon twist and triangle twists as connectors. I’ve already got a video on how to fold a triangle twist, in any case. Now but let’s go back to just folding one of these open-back hexagon twists without the precreasing done. So for that, we’re just going to start with a triangle grid with at least eight divisions. I have a video on how to fold a triangle grid, so I’m just quickly going to speed through that now. Once you’ve got an eight-division triangle grid done, you’re then going to locate your hexagon for the open-back hexagon twist which is actually going to be exactly the shape that will be open in the back. So I’ll just take the center one. As I mentioned before, then you will kind of see that there are triangles connected to each of these points. You’re going to crease right between those two points, kind of using that diagonal. And then you go around, all the way, to get a large hexagon shape. Now you can just do this by folding between two points, which works okay because it’s not too hard of a crease to make. But if you do a 3D object or something of the like, you’re probably going to work on a very large pattern with very different techniques put together, so especially then it’s a good idea to actually score the paper with a ruler and an empty pen or a bone folder or a stylus or something of the like. Something that isn’t totally sharp and then to precrease it like that. That weakens the paper, and then when you start folding it, it will actually fall into the right place. You still have to do that step of pinching the paper into place, as if you didn’t score the paper, but it will be harder to get it as accurate and straight. This is quite large. With a real tessellation, you’d have a grid that has much smaller triangles and it would be harder so that’s why, again, I recommend using that ruler, lining it up with the grid and making that score, then being able to fold it much more easily and much more neatly. So once you have that larger hexagon creased, which is off-grid, then again remember that we were talking about this horizontal crease and you have one – two – three triangles, and you use the right grid crease, as seen from this point, for a counterclockwise turn, and the left one for a clockwise turn. So counterclockwise let’s use this time, because before I used one that had already been collapsed Just pinching those into place, everytime you do a right one, and then pushing it over to the left, along a grid crease. Going around once, and then already the open-back hexagon twist collapses. Personally I actually think this one is easier to collapse than a normal hexagon twist but it does require off-grid creases. So I hope this helps you understand how to do an open-back hexagon twist, and Happy Folding!

10 thoughts on “Origami Tessellation Basics: Open-Back Hexagon Twist

  1. Could you please make a short video of how to add the second open back hexagon twist to the basket weave tessellation? I can't seem to get the triangle twists to sit correctly on the paper after I add the other hexagons, the ones that are supposed to intersect the triangle twists. Thank you!

  2. there's a model in six simple twists ..that looks like a rice boat…I can't understand the e-book directions though..please Sara

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