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Windmill Base Variations -Video post image

Friedrich Fröbel (1782-1852), 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 on how to fold the windmill base and four variations.

 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 comments… add one }
  • Adamandia K November 19, 2015, 11:23 am

    The black and white grid images of the 500 variations would make a beautiful poster.

    • Leyla Torres November 19, 2015, 12:35 pm

      What a good idea… maybe I’ll make one!

  • Gerd Schenk March 27, 2015, 1:54 pm

    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…..


    • Leyla Torres April 2, 2015, 11:42 am

      Hi Gerd,
      Thank you for your warm words. Did you know that there is a Fröbel Museum in Germany?
      Sorry about the loss of life in the German plane!

  • yeribel August 27, 2012, 7:18 pm

    excelente. para un proyecto que tengo en mente..exactamente lo que buscaba

    • Leyla Torres August 27, 2012, 8:30 pm

      Bueno Yeribel, ojalá compartas fotos de tu proyecto cuando lo hayas terminado!

  • David Wires February 25, 2012, 2:27 pm

    Too funny! The Origami Spirit is in flight!
    Just posted these last nite then find your link this morning!

  • evi February 20, 2012, 10:58 am

    thank you very much for your beautiful work, leyla! froebel is very inspiring!

    • Leyla Torres February 20, 2012, 11:32 am

      Thank you for your visit Evi. Your work is an inspiration too. I can see how it has been inspired by Fröbel’s basic form!

  • Falk Brito September 6, 2011, 10:33 pm

    Leyla, congratulations on the video. I loved it. I also enjoyed the album. Pretty much your work. Kisses.

  • Gerd September 4, 2011, 10:30 am

    Link to Garib’s site did not work…
    and please how i make the “heart with frame”?
    Please give me link or … for diagram!

  • Matthew Hayward May 25, 2011, 5:59 pm

    Amazing and so much more beautiful for being in black and white.

    • Leyla Torres May 30, 2011, 9:06 am

      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.

  • Dasa May 25, 2011, 5:20 pm

    Your collection is amazing! How many of them did you have?

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