Tomoko Fuse is the modern day Origami “Sensei” from Japan. For the last 45 or so years she designs all kind of Origami, ranging from single sheet boxes to modular Origami like these Kusudama. Since 1981 she has released more than 60 Origami books including the Book from 2012: How to Make Polyhedral Origami from which this incredible beautiful Origami Kusudama design is from. You can find the diagram on p. 22/23. The images and proper descriptions to this design can be found on pages 28 and 33.
Both of those Rose Unit Kusudama are made from the same modular design. The only difference is that for the smaller one you will need 30 units and for the bigger one you will need 90 units. The 30 Rose Unit Kusudama gets assembled like most other kusudama you know. The 90 module Rose Ball has a slight change in its assembly. Instead of having 5 and 3 combinations, you change between 5 and 6 combinations.
To make a Rose Unit Kusudama you will need duo colored or Kami paper – as that will bring out the amazing effect of this Origami design. I used regular Kami paper which is colored on one side and white on the other. The paper has to be in a ratio of 1:2. So if you take 20 cm/8 in Kami paper, you can cut one sheet into 8 fitting papers exactly. Then you will only need 4 sheets for the smaller one and 12 sheets for the bigger one. The exact measurement for my paper was 10 cm x 5 cm/4 in x 2 in. You could also use more than one color in the design.
The diagram starts with the darker colored side up. I think the Rose Unit Kusudama looks nicer if the more dominant color is put down when starting and the white side is facing you. Then in the finished design the tips of your Origami ball will be colored versus being white. It’s obviously personal preference, but you can compare both of my Rose Unit Kusudama and see which one you prefer.
The folding is very enjoyable as with most designs by Tomoko Fuse. Every fold is very exact and there is no guessing – which makes folding the units very pleasurable. In less than 15 steps you have one paper transformed into its finished unit. Then you just need to repeat it 30 or 90 times.
I usually use a metal ruler and a scoring pen to pre score some lines. And I use a blunt knife to make my creases sharper. You can use a bone folder or just your fingernails. Although you might have problems with your fingernails if you fold 90 pieces. That makes the folding process faster and more accurate. I also normally don’t fold one module from start to finish, but do one or two steps on all 30 or 90 pieces of paper. Again, I think that this is faster – but this is just a personal observation. Fold as you like, with tools or without. Origami is supposed to be fun and not a race or a discipline.
It takes me about a day to finish 30 units or I fold over the course of a few days to complete 90 units.
The assembly is not too difficult, especially if you are first attempting the 30 piece Rose Unit. You will not need any glue or even any help like paper clips during your assembly. If you have already assembled once a Kusudama, then you should not have any problems with this one.
The 90 piece Rose Unit Ball is a little bit more unique, but not really difficult either. Normally everything evolves around connections of 5 and 3. But with the 90 module design, you will need to start by connecting 5 units together. On each of those sides you will need to form a loop of 6. By taking a look at the diagram on page 33, you will soon figure out how you need to go on. I normally go around in circles during my assembly. So I would do the first loop of 5. Then I will do all loops of 6. Then I will do all loops of 5 all around. Don’t worry if your unfinished connections to the sides come apart a bit. Just concentrate on finishing the loops. After you did all loops of 5, finish the loops of 6 of this round. And so on… Again, I did not need any glue or other help during the assembly. Though sometimes you just need steady hands – so don’t drink too much coffee beforehand. 😉