Origami Tessellation Instructions: Clover Folding by Shuzo Fujimoto

Origami Tessellation Instructions: Clover Folding by Shuzo Fujimoto


In this video I’m going to show you how to fold “Clover Folding,” by Shuzo Fujimoto. Because there’s lots of creases on here, I’m going to show you a smaller one where you can more easily see the structure which is you have squares upon squares. Just follow the video and hopefully you’ll achieve a similar result. We’re going to start with the color side up, and crease the main diagonals. And unfold. Then crease the other diagonal. And unfold. Then bring the corner to the center, where the two previous creases meet, and crease. All of these creases need to be very strong. Then the next one, and the next one, and the last one. And unfold. Then bring the point to this new crease, and then align this crease with that crease. Like so. And bring this new edge to again align with this crease. Then take this upper edge and also align it with the center, and make a strong crease. Then unfold everything. And repeat on the other three sides. First bring in the small corner, then fold up so that the quarter meets the center, and the new edge meets the center, always making very sharp creases, and that edge also meets the center. And unfold. And, the third time. Unfold, and one final time. And unfold. Next we’re going to fold a grid that’s 16 x 16. So, fold edge to edge, crease, and unfold. Then bring the edge to the crease you just created. Again, crease. Bring the new edge to the center again, and one more time. Be careful that the paper doesn’t drift when you fold these. And then crease very strongly because there’re several layers of paper. And unfold. Now do the same thing on the other side. And unfold. Then rotate, and repeat the steps. Unfold, and then fold 16ths. Same thing on the other side. And unfold everything. Now your grid is done and we can turn the paper over. Now we want to start collapsing the model. For this we need the following creases: first of all, we’re going to concentrate on this center square where there’s four small squares from the 16 x 16 grid. And those should be valley folds. Just to make the collapse step easier, let’s make those into valley folds. We’re going to have two squares left of it, then the two center squares, then two squares to the right of it that you want to make into valley folds – very sharp valley folds. If you can see here, we have this crease line and let me just do those … very sharply so that you get a very nice finish for the model. Next you want to have mountain folds up until where you did your valley folds So just pinch those, that’s one left of the center, and one right of the center, on each side. Or rather, one above and one below the center. That’s so that the center square of the clover folding is in the center of the paper. If you want to have it off-center then you can, of course, move this whole folding sequence a bit to the left or the right, or up or down. So we’ve got those pinched, and then you can make valley folds in between by just bringing those two mountain folds together a bit. And, the basic idea on this collapsing step – I should mention first, probably – is that you have this square, and you have the diagonals on that square, so you have small triangles like this one. And what we want to do is we want to fold this adjoining triangle on top of that one. And then this is going to be another triangle that lies on top of that one. So you pinch the mountain folds and bring them together a bit, and you want these to be mountain folds, and right where, basically one of those squares that consist of four very small squares – where that stops, you want to have a diagonal that connects to the next mountain fold. So just pinch that so it’s in place (and let’s not worry about the next one) and pinch on this side too. So that’s going to be across the diagonal of two small squares. So then you’ve got that. You pinch it together, and you already did a strong valley fold here, so it’s going to start wanting to collapse down … and that’s good. So once you’re there, go over to the next one, and again, pinch the mountain folds, pinch that diagonal that connects to the next one, and you might have to push in that central square here – just pushing it down a bit – to make that valley fold go. And then do the next one. Pinching the mountains, pinching this one, and pushing that square in a bit. And the next one, like so. The first collapsing step is the hardest one. The other ones are easier. But you want to get this one really precise because that really determines how precisely you can fold afterwards. So now you have this, and we already did sharp valley folds that were next to that central square, so you want to push those in. Just to make them go inside again. You shouldn’t have to do too much because you’ve creased them nicely. And then you should see that these small squares that we want to collapse into the middle – they pop up with mountain folds. But if they don’t, just go in the back and then you push up a bit, like this one. Just push up a bit until you have a nice mountain fold and this one for me too. And then you just bring everything together, just pushing it together, and you then take your fingers on these diagonals and you push together, like so. And you push together on the other side too. And then you can flatten it down. You can flatten it down. And then you have something like this, and you can open these valley folds again like so. And push flat. And the one on the next side, push flat, and the next one, and the last one. And you can turn over, just flatten it a bit more, and you will see that you have this square popping up right here. There’s a lot of creases here so you might not be able to tell as well. But here you can see it’s emerged … right there. And that’s the first square in the middle. Now we want to do the next four squares – one here, one here, one here, and one here. And for that, you first look at one of these strips. And you have kind of a roof, and then comes a house. Which basically, we have four of these small grid squares, and then that triangle in the top. And what I want you to do is concentrate on that, and we’re basically going to make a water bomb base from that square right there. So the square ends here, so we’re going to open the paper, and then right where those four squares stop you’re going to pinch the diagonal. Same thing on the other side. Pinch the diagonal and make this a mountain fold right there. So now you can see your house shape and then like when folding a water bomb base, you’re going to go along the diagonals, pushing in the insides, and flattening it down. Like so. So it’s like an open sink, or like a water bomb base (however you want to view it). And then you need to flatten down the two sides. And do that on the next side. Pinch the diagonals, and flatten down. You always want to work relatively precisely which I have to admit I’m not doing in these videos because of time constraints. But if you tweak your folds and ensure that you always go along the grid line, then it will make such a big difference to the final result. So you’re really not creating any new creases, just always going along the precreasing which is why the precreasing should be relatively strong and hopefully quite precise, because then it makes it much easier to get all the folds neatly into place when collapsing. So now you’ve done those four. Next we have to finish the squares, so let’s open one of these strips that we created. And you can see that here we have four small squares, and it consists of four triangles again and we want to cover all four triangles of that square. And you can see that this area covers one triangle, and this one covers another area, another triangle area, so we still need to cover this triangle area and that triangle area. So for that we need to make a similar sequence as before. So we’re going to have mountain folds following up on that triangle, and you have this triangle covering that, and then having another triangle next to it. So we pinch the mountains – there’re going to be only two of those small squares long – and then we’re going to go across again to connect to the next mountain fold, as in the first collapsing step, and then you can see that this looks quite similar to the sequence before. You again have valley folds here, and there, (right on the edges of those triangles) and then you have triangles popping up, in mountain folds, and then again small diagonals. And you push together, push together, and then push inwards like, push … inwards as before. It’s very, very much the same as before, except that it’s a bit easier. And then open up again, and then you can see that you’ve got these strips again. If you make more than three levels, then this will be a longer strip. But you’ve again got this triangle on the top and then a two-squares-wide strip. And then you go on to the next one. Opening it up, making the mountain folds, going across, again making the mountain folds, and then starting to collapse. Just trying to go along the creases that exist and always remembering what you want to achieve and then checking the location of the creases that you’re making. And sometimes you have to push from the back of the model to get all the mountain folds to pop up really nicely. And you should get the hang of it after awhile. Always have the same basic idea behind it. That’s what tessellations are all about – you repeat the steps over and over and by doing that you create a very interesting pattern that covers the whole surface. I know I’m not folding very precisely here, but … I think the result will look okay. And well, as I said, especially if you want to do several more levels you should try to not work quite as quickly and hurriedly as I do right now. But you probably don’t want to stay here an hour to watch me do very precise folds. So we did all four sides like that. When you turn it over, you can see you’ve got your first square and then you’ve got the next one on top It’s very hard to see because of all the creases I did before. But when you look at the finished model then you know there’s one square popping up here, and then squares popping up here, and there. So now let’s finish the model, which isn’t too hard. For that, we’re going to collapse in these small houses. So we’re going to have to push in along this edge and that edge, so that you have valley folds, like so. I’m just going to open this up a bit, and then push up so that you have valley folds right there, and there. You’ll see that this will probably automatically pop up in mountain folds. Then you can push this down, like so, and then open this up, like so, and squash down, like so. So one more time – open this up a bit by making a mountain fold in the center, then push in the sides to make them valley folds, then … collapse down that triangle, and then open up, to squash down. And do the next one. Again, you’re just going along creases that exist throughout the whole model. You do all the precreasing and after that, you never create another new crease. You just go along existing creases. So the more precisely you do the precreasing steps and the stronger the creases are that you precreased, the easier it will be to do all the collapsing. And that was the final one. Then you turn around the paper for the finished model and that’s what you get. You have your clover folding in three stages.

100 thoughts on “Origami Tessellation Instructions: Clover Folding by Shuzo Fujimoto

  1. It's conceptually the same. I'll think about maybe showing the slight differences for the further stages. Mostly, though, it's just a patience exercise. Each new stage takes about as much time as all the ones before taken together.

  2. This is one of the first tessellations I did (still want to by the book by Eric Gjerde you talked about).

    Shuzo Fujimoto seems to have many interesting tessellations though. Do you know of any books either by him, or containing his work? Thanks 🙂

  3. I think you need to start with … 40 divisions, rather than 16 in the beginning. Other than that, you just have to repeat the steps over and over. The 4th stage is only slightly different to the 3rd stage (as shown in this video), and from there on the steps really are all the same. Note though, that every extra stage you add takes about as much time as all the stages put together before. So a model with 4 stages takes twice as long as one as 3 stages, and 7 stages takes about 16 times as long.

  4. I used a 19.5cm square of pergamyn for the 7-level clover folding shown in the "Origami Tessellations" video. So the grid creases are about 5mm apart.

  5. you should try to make an oragami model of your own, then maybe show us how to make it, or just show it to us…

  6. @OrigamiTime For 5 stages you need to start with 28 divisions. The rule is: (6 * no of stages) – 2

  7. @TheOrigamiO I usually find it hard to answer if now question is asked. Else I'd be posting lots of comments just saying "Hi", which isn't *that* interesting. 😉

  8. I didn't quite understand in video what you said about making more than 3 stages, so, I wanted to know what is the principle to making more stages?

  9. @bonebreakboy Try checking my website: happyfolding(dot)com/gallery-fujimoto-7_stage_clover_folding – maybe this will help.

  10. @Lunabug1469 That's quite amazing, I really wouldn't say this is a beginner's model. Well done you for completing one in just 2 hours!

  11. @thescreem34 You can look for pergamyn or glassine in arts and crafts stores.

  12. @trrngrl01 Good to hear this! Re paper selection: I've been thinking about and drafting a new section for my site that will concentrate on where to buy paper. I also wanted to link to pictures of models that I folded from that paper (and link from those image pages back to the paper description/sources page). Does this match with what you're looking for? I haven't completed my draft yet, and it will need some time to put this into place. Unfortunately, time is scarce right now. 🙁

  13. @trrngrl01 Well, paper weight is not the only aspect. It's about the crispness of the paper, whether it breaks easily, how thick it is (rather than heavy), stuff like that. I think it's actually better to say "this paper works" and make some remarks on which properties it has. I fear just paper weight would be misleading. — As to tessellations from heavier paper: I have folded some from elephant hide (110 gsm), and this leads to really nice results.

  14. Our Family has been doing Origami our whole life since we were little girls. I found your tutorial on this tessellation and I am so stoked! I have rekindled my love for folding!

  15. @darthsion71 You can do the precreasing in whatever way you like – as long as the creases are in the same places. 🙂

  16. @kindercollecter2 I'm just explaining in that step. Continue watching and check where I add creases if that's better to see. I basically always fold my blintz grids like that and get great precision with it. I guess it's about practice, not the technique itself.

  17. all i got was a wad of paper…

    THAT LOOKS TOTALLY AWESOME!!! My very first tessellation was the water bomb tessellation video you made, this is my second.

    Thanks 🙂

  18. @julianrafael99 I'll probably post a video on how to make more levels. I've gotten so many queries on this! I'm not sure when, though.

  19. if i want to vary it.I have to crease to the center again the crease you've made at 2:40 and make a 32 division grid?

  20. @MrEllinas21 What do you mean by vary? If you want more stages, please check happyfolding(dot)com and search for "clover folding". In the page to the 7-stage tessellations there's some advice on how to proceed.

  21. @AdamsSara I did it with 7 stages and I want to post a video showing how to do it.
    Can I make a video showing how to make more than 3 levels or i have to ask for permission to the author?
    please respond

    (my english is very bad)

  22. I'm so stuck at minute 20:00!! T_T This is so frustrating!! XO This one is even more difficult to fold than the hydrangea. But I still like the hydrangea better, though both tessellations look really cool =)

  23. OK, so finally I was able to figure it out!! Well, not really, but I don't know how I managed to do that last part XD It looks really beautiful =) I'm off to fold another one ^^

  24. @AdamsSara great video, in your latest tutorial you show the "open" variety of this model, can you show how to do that?

  25. That was so hard. I am running before I can walk I think.

    I bought Eric Gjerde book. Makes so little sense. I need to see demonstrations. Your demos help very much to understand what he is talking about.

  26. When I did this after doing the original collapse I ended up with a diamond on the other side and not square. So I made a snowball instead.

  27. Compliments for your tutorials. I appreciate your effort of making our attempts easier. You are so precise and your explanations are very aimed.
    Though I suppose that it must to be extremely patient :). I will try it. I want to start learning about tessellation…it's an impressive work! Your videos inspired me!
    Compliments!!

  28. There are very few origami tutorials that I would recommend and yours is one of them my other two favorites are tadashimori and jonakashima

  29. Thanks for your tutorial and your patience ! I have spent about 2 hours folding this model and I have finally succeeded 🙂 Like some others, the step beginning at 19:40 is quite tricky : I've been folding and unfolding my work so many times until I finally get your move. (though I hadn't met difficulty for the first collapse…)
    In the end, I'm so amazed by the beautiful result : such possibilities in a single sheet of paper ! 🙂 Keep up the good work and thanks again for sharing.

  30. It's a great model and a good tutorial but she talks too slowly and it gets quite boring. Also, I think you should speed it up for the repeats and the pre-creases. The black lines are really off-putting too.

  31. Thank you for the video. My first try and I did it. I am amazed that it actually looks like your finished one. Thank you again.

  32. DID it at my first try too! and YES, creases are REALLY important.
     thank you sarah for the detailed tutorial!(lots of effort in it!)

  33. If you have ever folded the origami fugu by Sipho Mabona, what would be the minimum paper size you'd use?

  34. OMG! A love hate thing with this! I did manage to complete 3 sides serendipitously and had a problem with the last! Anyhow, spent a sleepless night thinking where I went wrong, watched the video again this morning, did the correction, and now I am happier! Finally. Now to try one more and see if I can do it correctly! Thanks, Sara.

  35. I'm pretty sure that this was #myfirst video that I watched. I am a little more advanced folder and was just trying to figure out tesselations when I found your channel. Thank you for all your great videos!

  36. #remake
    I would like to see the remake of this tutorial.
    It's very time consuming & sophisticated but it will be a big big relief after successfully folded it.
    can lost easily in the middle of folding.
    Thanks in advance for the remake & love your tutorials. They make our live wonderful.
    Love you~

  37. I would love to see a #remakeplease!
    It is really a beautiful model, and I had trouble while looking at this video while folding the multi-stage clover!
    Thank you!

  38. #myfirst
    I do not know for sure which of your videos was my very first, but this was definitely one of the ones that inspired me the most! This model brings back so many memories!

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