A guided tour of origami tessellations

Tessellation Academy

Explore a new folding and design topic every month

Why fold origami tessellations?


Origami tessellations are repeating geometric patterns folded from a single sheet of paper.

My style of folding adds one twist at a time, avoiding the risky process of precreasing everything and collapsing the pattern all at once.

Tessellations can be repeated infinitely and there are infinitely many of them to choose from - even while sticking to the basic twists.

The process of folding the background grid before adding twists to the paper is repetitive and meditative, just like simple knitting or crochet.

Folding origami tessellations means working with your hands to solve puzzles posed by the paper while having a direct connection to the infinite.

Then you get a beautiful piece of art at the end that shows startling backlit shadows and makes an excellent window decoration or gift.

Why wouldn't you fold origami tessellations?

I will warn you, though, this art can be addicting and it may result in decreased time on screens, a sense of accomplishment, and a feeling of connection with the universe.

If you enjoyed Advent of Tess...

You might be wondering how to fold these patterns with more repeats.

Tessellation Academy is a great next step after Advent of Tess to learn the principles behind folding any pattern with more repeats, fill in the missing skills on square grids that aren't covered in Advent of Tess, and explore more advanced twists too!

The emphasis will be on understanding the structures and principles of folding origami tessellations so that you can fold whatever pattern you want, with however many repeats you want, whether there's a tutorial for it or not.

Take your time and get a deeper understanding

Monthly Schedule

Instead of learning a new pattern every day like Advent of Tess or learning a new structure every week like in Tessellations by Tiles, Tessellation Academy has three lessons on a single topic, spread out over a month.

Lessons are released and workshops are held on Wednesdays, starting on the first Wednesday of the month.

  1. Beginner tutorial
  2. Advanced tutorial
  3. Theory and design live workshop (recorded)

Sample Topics

Topics may focus on a particular structure, a pairing of twists, a style of folding, or the options available after certain choices have been made.

Here's a representative list of topics:

  1. Trapezoid Twists
  2. Arrangements of Triangle Twists
  3. Hexagon Double-Rhombus Triangle Tiling
  4. Pseudo-Tiling Breaks
  5. Hexagon Symmetry Extensions

Alternate Learning Methods:

  1. Buy Tessellation Starter Sequence and Tessellations by Tiles. The Starter Sequence has the repetitions and TBT has the theory and design side of things and both these courses have office hours too. What's different about Tess Academy is the inclusion of more advanced twists, the inclusion of more advanced structures, and the low up-front cost - these two courses cost $2264 for a total of 74 lessons. The same number of lessons in Tess Academy costs at most $1125 (spread over 2 years), with an up-front payment of $45.
  2.  Study my free resources and reverse engineer patterns. I have lots of YouTube videos, including lots of folding tutorials, but those don't come with crease patterns most of the time and most people aren't able to jump into reverse engineering after 10 or even 50 tutorials. Besides, you'd miss out on all the tips I haven't shared publicly yet and you wouldn't be able to ask me questions during office hours about patterns you're stuck on. There's a lot more free resources available now than when I started folding tessellations, but this will still take much longer than learning directly and you'll miss a lot of skills along the way.
  3.  Take whatever tessellation workshops are offered at online or in-person events. You'll get exposure to many different styles of tessellations, but none of the understanding that comes from studying one area deeply. This is a recipe for being able to fold things only with an instructor present, without the freedom to fold whatever you want.

My Guarantee To You

My teaching has been thoroughly tested and my students reliably level up their tessellation folding and design skills - and other origami skills too.

I stand by the quality of my teaching and I'll help you to understand any parts that you struggle with.

Due to the online nature of Tessellation Academy, all sales are final.

Let's hear from my students:

Don't miss this opportunity to take your folding to a whole new level. It's a transformative experience, ALL your origami skills will be upgraded, how you look at diagrams will change. One of the side bonuses is when you look at Instagram (or other posted photos) you will start being able to figure out how the tessellations were done. When I first started doing origami, more than 25 years ago I remember the joy of learning a new fold and completing harder and harder models, [Madonna's teaching] is just like that, starting anew and discovering new ways of folding and the thrill of accomplishing tessellations that seemed impossible. Tessellations are REALLY HARD to learn on your own, the few books that exist are confusing and really frustrating, [her teaching] changes that. Madonna is a wonderful teacher: calm, patient and supremely supportive. She guides you into growth and gently leads you to discovery.

- Mary D.

I am finding .. I folded something just for fun, and I am looking at everything a little differently. I don’t just start folding - I’m looking: Can I see anything, does anything make sense, is there anything going on. ... it’s generalizing into how I go about folding. ... I taught [a figurative model] this week after looking at the diagram myself. It had a sink in it and some people had never done a sink before. It was smooth as silk  because I understood the pattern - even though it was new to me, and that’s a big piece of what I was hoping to get from this experience, just looking at and understanding the diagram or the crease pattern better, rather than just bullying my way through. ... I’m really pleased with that and I want more.

-Andrea P.

I think it’s helped my overall folding and understanding of steps. I think I’ve gotten faster at creasing without crunching the paper and I’ve noticed, even like when [Madonna has] been helping me with stuff and it’ll be misshapen or off-center and I’ll say that’s good enough, I’ll keep going because what I’ll find is after a few more minutes that’ll all even out and I’ll do just fine. [...] When I do the second or third one I can improve it at that point, when I’m working on my own.

- Nancy S.

Is Tessellation Academy Right For You?

If you're struggling to fold more repeats...

If you can't see what twist to fold next...

If crease patterns look like a jumbled mess...

If you can fold the twists but can't see the symmetry points...

If you want to learn to design your own patterns...

If you want to use the newest and fanciest twists and structures...

Then Tessellation Academy is for you.


Even if you can't complete the advanced tutorials right away, the basic tutorials will help build your skills until you can fold those fancier twists and structures.

No matter what level you're at, I'll make sure to answer your questions in the live workshop - no question is too easy or too hard.

Tess Academy Monthly Plan

$22 per month

$264 per year, $69 more than the Annual Plan

  • Beginner tutorial
  • Advanced tutorial
  • Theory and design live workshop (recorded)
  • PDF download with 8 crease patterns
  • Additional theory diagrams
  • Access to members-only Discord channels
Buy Now

Tess Academy Annual Plan

$195 per year

3 months free compared to the Monthly Plan

  • Beginner tutorial
  • Advanced tutorial
  • Theory and design live workshop (recorded)
  • PDF download with 8 crease patterns
  • Additional theory diagrams
  • Access to members-only Discord channels
Buy Now

What happens if I cancel the subscription?

The subscription is for access to the membership portal and membership Discord channels.

You will lose access to all the recordings and the Discord channels at the end of your payment period if you unsubscribe.

You can keep all downloads, which include explanations of the topic, helpful graphics, and crease patterns.

Limited-Time Offer

For a limited time only, you can get the first year of an annual subscription to Tessellation Academy included when you puchase Tessellations by Tiles at no additional cost!

With Tessellations by Tiles you can study all 24 lessons right away, without needing to wait at least two years for me to teach these topics in Tessellation Academy.

You'll keep Tessellations by Tiles even if you cancel your Tessellation Academy subscription, which means that you'll always have at least one office hour with me each month.

This deal is available only through February 25th at midnight NY time - when the countdown hits zero, time is up!

Tessellations by Tiles plus Tess Academy Annual Plan

$1067 now, then $195 per year

Save $195 on Tessellations by Tiles

  • Permanent access to Tessellations by Tiles recordings and files, available immediately
  • 24 folding workshops covering 20 tilings
  • Ongoing monthly live office hours, recorded
  • 150+ crease patterns in course library
  • Photography and framing workshops
  • Private course community to ask questions and share
  • Editable diagrams from each session
  • Crease pattern templates for quick designing
  • All the benefits of the Tessellation Academy Annual Plan









Why am I teaching Tessellation Academy?

I hear from many participants in Advent of Tess that they struggle to fold more repeats of the mini tessellations that I taught.

They have trouble reading crease patterns, recognizing symmetry points, and seeing what to do next while folding.

Tessellation Academy is designed to help these folders to achieve a deeper level of understanding of tessellations so that they can fold whatever they want, with however many repeats they want, whether there's a tutorial for it or not.

My goal is to build the community of tessellation folders and inspire more people to fold and design origami tessellations.

So, are you in?

Are you ready to take your tessellation folding to the next level with guidance and support from an expert-led community of folders or will you continue to struggle on your own?

Got questions? Send me an email!

Choose a Plan