A little while ago, I came across this beautiful Kusudama, Fiesta, by Maria Vakhrusheva of Russia. It kind of reminds me a bit of the Little Turtle by Tomoko Fuse and the Chameleon Eye by Ekaterina Lukasheva. Maria Vakhrusheva did not only design this beauty, but some other well known Kusudama. Another of my favorite designs of hers are Regenbogen – and Vertigo Kusudama. Find more of her stunning work on Flickr. The diagram to this model can be found in The Fold Magazine by Origami USA. You will need a subscription to access it though.
The Fiesta Kusudama can be made in two versions – the 3 cone or the 5 cone formation versions (greater or lesser stellated assembly). The assembly of the 3 cone design is slightly different, so pay attention in the video. The 5 cone Fiesta Kusudama is just like most regular Kusudama. From my experience, the 3 cone version is a bit easier to assemble, as the cones fit almost naturally together, and don’t tend to come apart as much during the overall assembly. For the 5 cone version, you should probably try to help yourself with paper clips – as they units do slide apart during the assembly. If you don’t have too much experience with the assembly of kusudama, then start with the 3 cone version.
Paper, Ratio and Measurements
You will need 30 sheets of Kami or duo colored Origami paper in square ratio. For the 3 cone formation Fiesta Kusudama, I chose the measurements of 10 cm x 10 cm / 4 in x 4 in. It think that worked quite well. Whereas for the 5 cone formation, but I used the measurements of 7.5 cm x 7.5 cm / 3 in x 3 in. Generally it is best to start with slightly larger size paper, as you will have an easier time folding and assembling.
You will need to follow only a few steps to finish one module. The overall steps remind me of traditional Sonobe modules (obviously improved). The middle and ending part is different, but nevertheless very enjoyable. Overall this is a very pleasant model to fold.
Assembly – 3 Cone Formation – Greater Stellated Fiesta
As I already mentioned in one of the paragraphs before, you can finish the model in two different ways. According to my experience, the three cone version holds together very well (also during the assembly stage). But it is slightly different than your regular kusudama assembly. Instead of connecting the 4th piece back to the first cone, you need to finish the separate cone. Continue finishing separate cones, until you have 4.5 cones made. Then you connect it back to the first cone. This way you will form a 5 cone flower. The remaining assembly is just the same – always counting the cones, so they form 5 cone formations. The final tricky part is the very ending, when you have to piece together the last remaining units. It is almost impossible to make out where the unit belongs. Be patient, and in the end you will manage it! You do not need any glue for the assembly!
Assembly – 5 Cone Formation – Lesser Stellated Fiesta
The 5 cone assembly or lesser stellated shape, is a bit more difficult to assemble. The cones don’t hold together as easily as the 3 cone variety. You can help yourself with paper clips, so whenever you add another unit, hold it in place with a paper clip. I tried this with the bigger sized paper as you can see in the video. But then I decided to fold another one from even smaller paper (7.5 cm x 7.5 cm / 3 in x 3 in), and I managed without the use of any paper clips. They key to a successful assembly of the Lesser Stellated Fiesta, is to fold as accurately as you can possibly do. Then the pieces will slide together more easily, and will also hold together nicer. The most important part of the folding is the very last step where you fold in the little triangle flaps. This is the step that can make or break your kusudama. 😉 OK, don’t take me too serious, but still think about my points. In general, the assembly of the 5 cone formation gets tricky once the model gets into it’s round shape. Once the kusudama is reasonably round, you can help yourself with the support of the table. If all fails, or you loose patience and/or your hands don’t want to hold still, you can use glue to hold the pieces together. I managed my Lesser Stellated Fiesta without any glue.
The Fiesta Kusudama is a great advanced beginner to intermediate Kusudama project. The papers don’t need any pre-cutting (as the ratio is 1:1), and the folding is simple and easy to remember. The only slightly challenging part is the assembly. But I am sure with steady hands and some patience, you will have no problems. So enjoy this cute (almost like a hedgehog in it’s 3 coned greater stellated assembly) Kusudama!