A Shamrock, designed by Leyla Torres

Overheard At The St. Patrick’s Day Parade:
“Hey, a leprechaun. Oh, sorry mayor.”
“How did I get here and where are my pants?”
“When do they drop the ball?”
David Letterman

 

St Patrick’s Day and the Shamrock

March 17 is St Patrick’s Day , so it seemed an appropriate day to post a review of Leyla Torres’s fantastic Shamrock design.

The Feast of St Patrick is the most widely celebrated national holiday in the world. It commemorates the life of St Patrick and his life’s work, bringing Christianity to the Irish people. The Shamrock is significant because it is a widespread plant in Ireland and St Patrick used it to explain the Trinity to the Irish people.

A Shamrock is a young sprig of the clover plant with three leaves. The four-leafed clover is often identified as a Shamrock (presumably because clover with four leaves is said to be lucky), but this is incorrect.

 

About the Model

There are a couple of good origami Shamrock models available. The most widely known is this one, which is a multi-piece design, using separate pieces of paper for each leaf and the stem. This is a very simple & striking model, and if you are new to origami you might prefer to try that first. My favourite though is the model I’ve chosen to feature here, which is by Leyla Torres. I prefer this one partly because I’m not a great fan of multi-piece origami and this is made from one piece of paper, and partly because this design has better separation of the leaves.

 

Folding the Shamrock

This design is pretty simple to make. Although I’ve recommended a simple one for people just starting out in origami, this model is actually a good one for people who are new to origami to try. It is not difficult to do, and there are a couple of steps that call for a technique called a colour change, which is quite a common process in origami. Leyla Torres’s instructions are simple, easy to follow, and everyone should be able to make this Shamrock, provided you can fold reasonably accurately.

The model takes about half an hour to fold. Any paper type will do – standard kami or origami paper is fine. Green paper would obviously be best, preferably the same colour on both sides. Torres recommends paper that is at least 24cm x 24cm (9.5in x 9.5in). I would say this is just about the perfect size. Much smaller and the model will feel fiddly to make.

 

Diagrams

Instructions for folding Leyla Torres’s Shamrock are available on her website: www.origamispirit.com

Good luck folding the Shamrock. Whatever you do with your day, Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh* or Happy St Patrick’s Day everyone! I’m off to watch the parade.

 

*Apologies to any Gaelic speakers for any crimes against the language I may have inadvertently committed.