I Can Help You Fold Origami Tessellations

 

Hi, I'm Madonna!

I teach origami folders the principles behind folding, reverse engineering, and designing tessellations so they can fold whatever patterns they like, unlike most tutorials that are focused on folding a specific finished piece.

My goal is to empower my students to confidently fold display-worthy tessellations, to read crease patterns, to reverse engineer patterns from photos, and to start folding their own designs.

Free Resources From Gathering Folds

Tessellation Foundations

Learn the basics of gridding and pleat overlaps and intersections, with an introduction to twists and tilings and a tessellation folded with only grid lines in each lesson.

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Advent of Tess

Practice the basic twists with a daily pattern on a small grid for 25 days. Progressively increases in difficulty and comes with reminders if you want them.

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Hexagon Template Files

While you can reference all of your hexagons with folds, it's much easier to cut around a physical template. That's why I've shared the files I use to order my own!

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Crease Pattern Template

When you start to design, you often play with arrangements of twists on a grid. Why not save the grid and do it on a computer - with templates made for tessellations?

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When I started learning tessellations in 2017, there were very few videos on how to fold tessellations.

Basically, I had two week's worth of introductory tutorials and then I had to search out photo tutorials and try to reverse engineer everything else.

While I made it through this challenging environment, the vast majority of folders never made it to tessellation-folding fluency.

Once I started teaching tessellations online in 2021, I quickly realized that most folders need multiple rounds of directed practice before they can master a new technique.

I introduced Basic Twists Bootcamp as a step between Tessellation Foundations and Tessellations by Tiles, then made Advent of Tess to show that even difficult patterns can be folded with the right learning sequence.

Now I've helped hundreds of people to improve their tessellation folding skills through my public videos and online courses.

Teaching has helped me to reach an even deeper understanding of tessellations, sparking almost 200 new designs in 2022 alone.

My courses cover the whole tessellation folding journey - from your first grid to your first original design.

My goal is to empower my students to confidently fold what they previously thought was impossible.

So, what impossible thing will you fold today?

Gathering Folds Courses

Tessellation Foundations, Basic Twists Bootcamp, Advent of Tess, and Tessellation Starter Sequence are all suitable for new tessellation folders to improve their folding skills.

Advent of Tess is free and covers a wider skill range than Basic Twists Bootcamp, but leaves out square grids, the simplest arrangement of rhombus twists, and how to continue folding after the initial setup.

The Tessellation Starter Sequence covers the full range from folding your first grid to the first symmetry extensions on three tilings and using square and right triangle twists together in tessellations.

That's where Tessellations by Tiles starts - with symmetry extensions on common tilings and an exploration of less common tilings.

Advanced Twist Techniques picks up where TBT leaves off, with an ever-growing expansion of the frontiers of twist-based origami tessellations.

You'll also notice a shift from the tessellations on the left to those on the right - a shift from practice to presentation. This shift is a separate axis from the skill shift shown here and is taught in the Project Planning Masterclass.

Learn with me

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Guest Teaching, Interviews, Awards, and Publications

Origami tessellations are fascinating and I want to share them with as many people as possible. If you would like to invite me to teach or give a talk, either in person or online, send me a message through my contact form! I'm also happy to share articles for translation into other languages and I'm comfortable teaching in Spanish too.

Here's a list of my past interviews, guest lessons, awards, and publications:

  • MOVES 2019; Math Unfolded with MoMATH, Origami and Fashion: A common Thread (with Adrienne Sack), August 2019
  • Pacific Coast Origami Convention with OrigamiUSA, Tessellating in Fabric (with Adrienne Sack), September 2019
  • Origami Talk with Ali Bahmani, Tessellations in paper and fabric, August 2020
  • Annual Convention with OrigamiUSA, Compound Squares Tessellation, Rotated Grids: Theory and Uses, June 2021
  • Foldeas with Gerardo Gacharná Ramírez, Common Elements in Tessellation Crease Patterns, July 2021
  • World Origami Days 2021 with OrigamiUSA, Square Knots Weave, November 2021
  • Bridges to ScienceWeaving with a single sheet, January 2022
  • Origami Maniacs with Mariela Recinos, Cluster 4 Front, February 2022
  • Fold-Fest 2022 with OrigamiUSA, Symmetric Puzzles and Their Pieces: Exploring Twist-based Tessellations, April 2022
  • Centerfold Origami Convention, Ohio Paper Folders, Cluster 4 Front, Interlocking Hearts, Crossroads, August 2022
  • Origami Maniacs with Mariela Recinos, Cluster 6 Front, November 2022
  • CFC3 Bogotá, Community for Creators of Origami, Number lines of twists and design equations for tessellations, February 2023
  • The Fold from OrigamiUSA, 25 Tessellations, 25 Days -- Explore the 'Advent of Tess' Video Series, February 2023
  • Paper Talk with Helen Hiebert, Episode 107, April 2023
  • The Paper Issue 141 from OrigamiUSA, Infinite Possibilities without Infinite Difficulties, May 2023
  • Annual Convention with OrigamiUSA, Triangle Grids on Rectangles, Criss Crossed Tessellation, Hybrid Square Twists Lecture, CYOA Tessellation Design, Dancing Ribbons, June 2023
  • Teaching Award from OrigamiUSA, June 2023
  • Orifold Creasing Together with Origami Oritai, Shrinking Violet, July 2023
  • Pacific Ocean Paperfolders with Joel Stern, Bird Base Square Twist, July 2023
  • Origamigos with Leyla Torres, July 2023
  • Bridges Conference (Halifax)Design Equations for Grid-based Origami Tessellations, July 2023

Exhibitions

I've displayed my pieces, both folded and smocked, in various exhibitions, both online and in person.

Here's a list of where my work has been featured: