A while ago I saw this brilliant Kusudama by Aldo Marcell. If I have to put the Oleo Kusudama in words, I would describe it as a “Twisting Vortex Design”. It has a very distinct design that reminds me of a certain style of Kusudama by Tomoko Fuse. From all of the different kusudama styles, I love these with patterns the most. This model was designed in 2006 and the diagram was first published in 2013 in the CDO (Centro Diffusione Origami – Italian Origami Association) Convention Book, page 160. You can see a small overview of this Convention Book here. If you want to see more amazing Kusudama designs and other extraordinary Origami models designed by Aldo Marcell, then visit his Flickr page. By the way, this Oleo Kusudama Tutorial was made with the kind permission of Mr. Marcell. Thank you!!
Paper, Ratio & Measurements
The Oleo Dodecahedron is folded from square Kami or Duo Colored paper, so you get the two colored “Twisting Vortex” effect. For both of my Oleo models I used the Double Sided Colored Paper by Jong Ie Nara. What I normally do is – take 15 cm x 15 cm / 5.9 in x 5.9 in paper and fold it in half on both sides. That gives me the cutting lines to obtain 4 pieces of Double Colored paper the size of 7.5 cm x 7.5 cm / ~ 3 in x ~ 3 in. As you can see this is very economical, especially if you are into folding a lot of Kusudama – as you only will need 8 pieces of regular Kami or Duo Colored paper to fold a 30 piece Kusudama or Dodecahedron. If you are into folding micro Kusudama (like the yellow/green Oleo you see below), then you will only need 2 sheets of Origami paper, as they will yield 32 pieces of 3.75 cm x 3.75 cm / 1.5 in x 1.5 in paper.
The diagram suggests a paper size of 10 cm x 10 cm / 4 in x 4 in. As I cut mine from 15 cm paper (see above), the measurements of the blue Oleo were 7.5 cm x 7.5 cm / 3 in x 3 in. In hindsight, I would suggest you try first the 10 cm paper, as it is not always easy to insert the flaps into the pockets. Remember, the bigger the paper, the easier it is to fold and assemble. My micro Oleo Kusudama was folded from paper the size of 3.75 cm x 3.75 / 1.5 in x 1.5 in. I do not recommend this size to the average Kusudama folder, as this size can be extremely frustrating to assemble. If you have some experience with micro Kusudama, then I sure would love to see yours!
Due to a viewer request, I demonstrated the folding of the module on 15 cm / 15 cm / 5.9 in x 5.9 in paper. This should make it easier to see all the steps in detail. You first should think if you would like to display the dominant color more or less. This determines the color that will face you once you start folding the first step. I started with the dark blue / yellow side up. The folding of the Oleo Dodecahedron is very enjoyable, as all the steps go very smoothly and all lines fit perfectly together. I give a few tips during the course of the video that you might appreciate as well. And in less than 24 steps or so you will have your first finished module in your hands. With casual folding, you could finish folding all modules in a few hours. I usually take two days per 30 pieces.
The assembly of the Oleo Kusudama is not too difficult, but also not beginner easy. If you start with 10 cm / 4 in square paper, then the flaps will be slightly easier to insert into the pockets. I left parts of the start of the assembly in the video in real time. This should give you an understanding of the difficulty of its assembly. Like for most kusudama, you will need patience and calm hands. Sometimes while you insert a flap into a pocket, another flap comes apart somewhere else. I feel like balancing, even though you take some steps forward, you will nevertheless go some steps back. But overall, most of the already assembled parts will not become undone, and you should be able to finish your Oleo Dodecahedron. I did not use glue or paper clips during the assembly.
The beauty of the Oleo Kusudama outweighs any possible difficulty with the assembly. This is one of my favorite Kusudama designs, as the folding process is very enjoyable and the pattern design is very unique. Yet, this Dodecahedron project is not intended for complete beginners, as the assembly requires some patience and experience.