Monday, March 7, 2011

Celes in Black and White

Back when I got the Gakken origami lamp, one of the suggested lamp cover designs was the 30-piece Celes. I kind of got enamored with the pattern, and played around with it a little bit with various colors of construction paper to see what would happen if I veered off from the pure white paper supplied with the original kit. A number of people have done interesting things with 2-sided wrapping paper, so I wanted to try stuff that was less flashy, and a little more geometric. In the back of my mind was the idea of using only 2 colors, and I settled on black and white for the increased contrast (that and because combinations like red and green would be too garish). Thing was, I didn't have any white construction paper, and plain printer paper would be too flimsy. I tried going back to Yodobashi Camera, where I'd gotten my original paper from in the hobby section, but the paper wasn't there any more. I had to wait a few weeks until I could get to a stationery store in Seijogakuen Mae, where 1 sheet is 50 yen. A little more expensive than the 200 yen per package of 8-10 sheets at Yodobashi.

Anyway, I tried several different patterns to see how they would turn out. First was a semi-random approach where the starting star is white, surrounded by alternating white and black strips. By accident, the ending star was also white. The result is kind of a hodgepodge.

Second, was the 1/2 and 1/2. I started by making a white star, and surrounding it with a white band. Then I did the same for a black star with surrounding black band. Next, I used alternating white and black strips to stitch the two halves together. The result is a little more interesting, especially where the two halves come together.

Finally, I created a white star and surrounded it with a black band, and did the same for a black star with a white band. Again, I stitched the two halves together with alternating black and white strips. The interface between the two halves is more interesting again, but the overall effect is a bit too chaotic. From an aesthetic viewpoint, I like the 1/2 and 1/2 version better.

On a positive note, since I've assembled the Celes close to 10 times now, I've finally gotten to where I don't need the instructions, and I can complete it in about 15 minutes (assuming that the paper has already been cut and folded, which can take 2 hours by itself.) Note that the strips have a 1:6 ratio (3 cm x 18 cm).


For some reason, though, I just can't leave something alone if I get one of these "what-if" ideas in my head. I had some white paper left over, and the question was "how many single-color stars can I make on one Celes"? I mapped out the Celes on a flat sheet of paper first, and the answer was "3 stars, surrounded by a sea of some kind". To maximize the contrast between stars, I decided to make 1 each of red, blue and green, and use the white paper for the sections in the middle. Sure enough, there's no way to have more than 3 single-color stars, if each star is a different color (if they're all the same color, then the answer is "12").

It's an interesting result, but I think the impact is greater if I have only one red star with the rest of the ball white. Of course, the option is always to use green or blue instead of red, but I think red is the stronger color.

Then again, there's no reason not to return to Checker and try two different colors. Initially, I went with 2 yellow and 4 green, then I tried 3 of each. Because of the way the photos come out, 2/4 isn't much different from 3/3 as shown in the right image below. But, I think that 2/4 is more visually interesting sitting on a shelf.

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