About three weeks ago, I was browsing on Flickr and saw the most beautiful rose kusudama – ever! It is designed by a young American Origami artist, Uyen Nguyen. I searched all over the internet to find a tutorial or diagram for this special model, but could only find a reference to another Origami design, the Rose Box by Shin Han-Gyo (Which I also folded and wrote an article about). I took that as a starting point and began folding. Once I had the basic form, it kept looking at pictures of the Rose Auditorium, to find out how to fold the connection part. So about half a day later, and after folding and experimenting with three sample roses, I had the complete design figured out. I was over the moon and beyond and this started my “Rose Auditorium” project.
The original post is from June 2, 2015 – yet a few weeks later I got contacted by Mrs. Nguyen. She saw my Rose Auditorium Showcase video on YouTube. As she liked the way I made the video, she gave me her kind permission to make a tutorial video as well. So thank you again, Uyen!
How To Fold
As I do not have permission by Uyen Nguyen to teach you this model (I did try to contact her tough, but did not get an answer). Therefor I can only give you the same hint I found while searching for the instructions for the Rose Auditorium model. Your starting point for this design is the Rose Box by Shin Han-Gyo. Read my article about it to find out more and look for the link to the diagram. You also need to look closely at my pictures or watch the video below to find out how to fold the connection part. It is not too tricky, and if you experiment with at least two pieces of the basic Rose Box modules, you should find it eventually.
Update: The Rose Auditorium design is an advanced Origami project, so be warned if you are just starting out with Origami. It is very beautiful and tempting, but it requires quite a bit of folding – actually from all modular Origami I did in recent time, this one takes the most time per module. I hope I did not scare all of you away. 😉
I divided the folding part into 5 parts and 1 part assembly:
Step 1 – Fold 8 x 8 Grid; 01:24 in the video
Step 2 – Rose Pattern Creasing; 05:01 in the video
Step 3 – Pre-Collapsing; 23:05 in the video
Step 4 – Collapsing of Model; 27:25 in the video
Step 5 – Create Connectors; 29:09 in the video
Step 6 – Assembly of Model; 32:25 in the video
The Rose Auditorium design only shows on one side, so you can use uni colored paper. I wanted something a little thicker than regular Origami paper, as you need to fold and crease quite a lot, but not too thick like card stock. The best solution for this project would be TANT paper. If you have TANT paper, use the 15 cm x 15 cm/ 5 7/8″ x 5 7/8″. But as I didn’t have it on hand, I chose pastel colored copy paper. I cut it from it’s original A4 size to square size. The big squares measured about 21 cm or 8.3 in. I used the leftover strips, which measured about 9 cm/3.5 in for the smaller rose kusudama. So there was almost no leftover paper, and altogether I used only 30 sheets of colored A4 size copy paper.
Update: In the video I show you how to assemble a Rose Auditorium with only 6 pieces. This might be more suitable if you don’t want to invest many hours of folding into this project. So for that you will only need either 6 pieces of square paper.
The copy paper works actually quite nice with this model, as there are no tears or other ugly unnecessary creases. The only downside I experienced was with the bigger size Rose Auditorium ball. Even though the paper is not that heavy, the finished bigger model will cave in if not hung. So if you plan on displaying a bigger size Rose Auditorium on your table, use either thinner paper like Japanese Origami paper, or make it from smaller paper, like 15 cm/6 in.
The bigger model I folded can easily be used as an Origami lampshade. I estimate it to be about 35 cm/13.8 in in diameter. There is probably more than 25 cm/10 in of empty space inside the Rose Auditorium. Even without using a lamp inside, the hung model looks really stunning. I guess in that case, size matters!
To complete one Rose Auditorium kusudama, you will need to fold 30 modules. I have to warn you right now – this was the most time consuming Origami kusudama I have folded up to now. Each module (especially the bigger ones) takes about 25 minutes, if you know the Rose Box design by Shin Han-Gyo by heart. If you are not familiar with this model, then take around 45 minutes or more for your first few pieces. You probably should have at least a moderate experience with modular Origami and especially kusudama. I would recommend you start with the bigger size Rose Auditorium, as it is easier to fold and will make you less trouble while assembling it. Be sure to take into account that it will take 15 hours and upwards to fold all 30 modules. As I have also a life beyond Origami, it took me about two weeks to fold my first Rose Auditorium. The second smaller one, was slightly faster to fold. But you might find it a bit more tricky, as your paper suddenly is so tiny that your fingers are bigger than the folds itself. The second Rose Auditorium kusudama I finished in a few days, where I folded once more than 7 hours straight.
Update: As already mentioned before, you can fold also a smaller version of the Rose Auditorium with only 6 pieces of paper. The assembly of the 6 unit Rose ball is shown in the video. You can also create a 12 piece Rose Auditorium Kusudama. This one is not shown in the video.
I have used a metal ruler and an empty pen to pre-score some folds. And to get sharper creases, I use a blunt knife. You can use your bone folder if you have one. To make it easier while collapsing the model into its final rose shape, I use paper clips.
It will take some time to assemble the Rose Auditorium model. If you took my advice from before and started with the bigger size one, then you will not have too much trouble with it. I did not need any glue or paper clips during the assembly of the bigger ball. If you are slightly lost, of what exactly to do, look closely at my pictures or video below. It is probably also better if you have some experience assembling kusudama. In a nutshell, most designs rotate between circles of 5 and circles of threes.
The smaller 30 unit Rose Auditorium was even for my experience level a bit challenging. Some of the connections held quite nicely, but not all of them. It might be down to the fact that the connections itself are already so small that it is almost impossible to assemble it without any glue. I used glue with the smaller Rose Auditorium, which made the assembly super slow. You need to wait at least a few minutes after gluing each connection. It took me almost a whole day to finish the assembly of the smaller one. But in the end, it was worth all the trouble, as you end up with such stunning rose balls!
I hope you like this Origami showcase and will take on the challenge of folding it yourself. If you want any more advice, be sure to leave a comment and I will try to get back to you.
Update: I hope you liked my Rose Auditorium Tutorial. I think it is one of the most special Origami balls I have encountered. So happy folding!