Archive for ‘Guest blog’

December 20, 2012

Hanna’s Stars – A guest blog by my wife

by Ciaran Burke

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Hanna has been very busy being crafty this Christmas, she ran a workshop earlier this month on creating Christmas Wreaths, paper lanterns adorn our mantle piece and over the last few days the view from our windows is of stars, both at night and during the day. Stars of red shine bright by day light, in the evening the glow to the outside world by the warm light of the living room.

Everyone who sees them admires them, and they are asking me how to do them. Well that is for Hanna to tell, she is the crafty one in our house…

16-pointed star

Materials:

  • Coloured or white transparent paper, also called kite paper. (Coloured tissue paper doesn’t give same glowing effect.)
  • Set square
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Liquid craft glue (water soluble is always better)
  • Small brush to spread the glue

Coloured transparent paper can be ordered on Internet. It is better to get large sheets. The stars are usually more effective with one colour or 2 colours, which are near to each other. That way the geometrical pattern of the folds shows clearer. Coloured tissue paper does not work as well in more complicated stars. It doesn’t let enough light through. It is also too soft, and therefore more difficult to fold exactly.

To make stars is not complicated, but some love of accuracy and patience is needed. Some people have these naturally. We others can develop it. An excellent way to prepare yourself is to introduce the star making to a classroom full of 14-15-years olds, to convince yourself, that this is going to be something great and fun, until you believe you have the power to show that the effort is worth making not only for useful things, but for beautiful things too. After couple of hours of a struggle one is quite happy to retire and can actually enjoy the quiet and solitude of slow-going activity of tens and tens of repeating folds.

It is good to lock yourself into an inaccessible space, put some Christmas music on, and fold without thinking how many pieces are still unfolded. With this attitude the star making can really become quite an enjoyable, almost meditation-like activity…

Instructions for a simple 16 pointed star:

  1. Draw with pencil, and with the help of the set square, 16 rectangles of for example 4cm x 15cm. (different measurements give different looking stars). The more exact you do this, the happier you are later
  2. Cut carefully along the lines to get 16 pieces. Again: the more exact, the better.
  3. Rub carefully the pencil lines away. This is especially important when the star is made from a light colour.
  4. Start by folding all the pieces lengthwise in half.
  5. Then open the fold. You will have a centre line. Fold the corners in both ends against the centre line. You will have “arrowheads” in both ends of the piece.
    Fold the corner into the centre

    Fold the corner into the centre

    Second fold- corners fold to the centre line

    Second fold- corners fold to the centre line

     

  6. In one end, open the corner folds. You will have a new line running from the centre of the end of the piece to the side of the piece. Fold the corners again against this new fold, and then close the original folds, so that the new one stays inside of them. Then fold the corners once more to the centre line to get narrower arrowhead.
    Open the fold and fold the corners to the line

    Open the fold and fold the corners to the line

    Second fold is inside the first one

    Second folds are inside the first ones

    Fold the corners once more into the centre

    Fold the corners once more into the centre

     

  7. In the other end of the piece fold the corners two more times to the centre line. You will have an even narrower arrowhead in this end.
    Fold the corners the second time into the centre

    Fold the corners the second time into the centre

    Fold a third time into the centre

    Fold a third time into the centre

     

  8. Repeat this for all 16 pieces.

    Individual piece folded

    Individual piece folded

  9. When all the 16 pieces have been folded, glue them together. Use the glue only very thinly. The wider ends are joined in the middle, the narrower ends form the points of the star. It is important that the centre ends come neatly together in the middle. In this model the side of each piece runs exactly in the middle line of the piece under it.
    Centre points are placed exactly together

    Centre points are placed exactly together

    Line the edge of one with the centre of another

    Line the edge of one with the centre of another

    Glueing process

    Glueing in process

     

10. The last piece is tucked under the first one.

Tuck the last piece under the first

Tuck the last piece under the first

11. If some folds are sticking up, brush a drop of glue under them.

Once this basic model is learned, the possibilities of variation are limitless: different folds, different sizes of pieces and different numbers of the points will give new shapes and patterns. Also a smaller and a larger star can be joined together etc. Let your imagination flow, and your stars will shine!

Finished Star

Finished Star

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