Windmill Base Variations -Video

Friedrich Fröbel (1782-1852), German educator, crystallographer, and originator of the kindergarten concept, was one of the first to point to the creation of folded patterns like these featured here. Using white paper only, Fröbel created his own unique collection of folded forms of beauty, as he called them.

In the book Extreme Origami, author Kunihiko Kasahara displays and discusses a small collection of colorful square patterns made from the windmill base, also known as “Fröbel’s basic form”. Kasahara goes on to point out that it is possible to make infinite variations from this basic fold by slightly changing the way the top flaps of this base are folded.

Taking inspiration from Fröbel’s work, I have folded about five hundred variations myself. What fascinated me in these forms was their graphic potential as individual images.  Working in black and white appealed to me for simplifying the examination of structure and essence and the play of positive and negative in these forms.

Click to view a collection of about 500 diferent variations.

Video Demonstration – how to fold the windmill base and four variations.

YouTube player

 How to sequence or track folds made when doing the Froebelian folds

I set myself to systematically make sets of 16 or 20 based on one initial move. For example, I made a set initially folding the central tips all the way out to the corners and then I did variations from there. Then I did another set, folding the central tips half way to the corners… and so on.

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19 thoughts on “Windmill Base Variations -Video”

  1. Thanks for the work of Fröbel! I admire more and more his education principles, his look far into future, but i think you must be an old man to see which great work Fröbel had done!
    Unfortunately in my country (germany) he is not more noticed, all “free work” for children – no education with love !

    Last but not least let us think for the people in the airplane…..


    • Also, as simple as these variations might be, it has been a great opportunity to learn about the language of folding, which I have applied in the creation of other models.


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