I’m in New York this week, and the weather for the last couple of days has been a bit disappointing. It’s been cold, wet and grey. I thought I’d try and brighten things up a bit with an origami flower! This is a Hydrangea, designed by Shuzo Fujimoto.
I’m hopeless when it comes to identifying different types of flowers or growing pretty much anything, but according to Wikipedia and various other sites, Hydrangeas are America’s favourite flowering shrub. They are native to Asia & the Americas and come in a range of colours – including white, blue, and shades of red from pink to purple, depending on the acidity of the soil. The name ‘Hydrangea’ comes from the Greek “hydor,” meaning water, and “angos,” meaning jar or vessel. This roughly translates to “water barrel,” referring to the hydrangea’s need for plenty of water and its cup-shaped flower.
There are a couple of different interpretations of the symbolism of Hydrangeas. Some people associate it with vanity and boastfulness (perhaps reflecting its abundance of petals and lavish, rounded shape) and others suggesting that a bouquet of hydrangea expresses the giver’s gratefulness for the recipient’s understanding. Still others suggest it represents anything that’s sincerely heartfelt. The Hydrangea is also sometimes seen as the traditional flower for fourth wedding anniversaries. I thought that was Geraniums, but as I said, I don’t know a lot about flowers.
About Shuzo Fujimoto’s Hydrangea
I really like this design, although I don’t think it looks a lot like a Hydrangea. It’s too rigidly structured for that. Oddly though, it’s precisely that rigid structure that I like. It gives it a very strong, stylised appearance while still obviously a flower.
I categorise it as an intermediate level design as there are a couple of steps in the folding process that beginner folders tend to be scared of: open sinks and spread-squashes. That said, the video instructions I followed are very accessible and I would urge anyone to give this model a go. Don’t be surprised if the first result isn’t as good as you’d like – treat it as a rough draft and give it another try.
Most paper types will do, although something with some longer fibres would be less likely to rip. I used origami paper or kami to make the model in the picture above, with 24cm x 24 cm (9.5in x 9.5in) sides. This produces a final model that measures 12cm x 12cm (4.75in x 4.75in). You can make this from a square of ordinary kami that is 15cm (6in) a side, but I think this gets a little small to make the final petals.
There are several sources of instructions for folding this model. Shuzo Fujimoto published a booklet called ‘Folding Origami Hydrangea’ containing diagrams for this origami Hydrangea and variations on it. I prefer the video tutorial created by Sara Adams with the designer’s permission. These instructions use a different folding sequence to those provided in Fujimoto’s booklet. This is available at her website. If you like this folding method but prefer to fold from diagrams, Nick Robinson has a pdf of diagrams produced by John Smith available on his website.
If you want to comment on this design, you can do so below, or on my instagram page.
Good luck with it and happy folding!