This is actually the second time that I fold this quite famous model, the Hydrangea Tessellation by Shuzo Fujimoto. Since then I discovered a different approach on how to fold this design. This new way is shown by Sara Adams in her video. You should definitely watch it, as it makes folding this design much easier. But the purpose of today’s article concentrates rather on the paper choice you make before folding this model. It can have a great impact on your finished work and thus could mean success or failure. The diagram to the Origami Hydrangea can be found in Shuzo Fujimoto’s Tessellation book.
I have tested the model on more than 9 different papers and I am going to list 9 from the best to the worst. I also took each time a picture of the front and back of the finished work, so you can see how the paper choice impacted the end result. I have not tested the Origami Hydrangea on Elephant Hide, but I know that this Origami paper ranks as number one for tessellations in general, it might be too thick for this model.
It should be noted, that I did not push myself to fold another level – as I really wanted to keep the model looking at it’s best. This might not have been true (to keep the model looking at it’s best), for the less suitable paper choices.
Best Choice For Origami Hydrangea – Tant
The paper is relatively thick and the folds reverse perfectly. At a certain stage though, the paper is too thick to shape the petals – but would still be flexible and strong enough to reverse the folds (pyramids). I stopped at level 5 of the Origami Hydrangea, while using 15 cm paper – and the last petals still look very nice.
Second Choice – Ehime Shiko – 100 Colors Origami
The second choice for folding Hydrangea is Ehime Shiko (Japanese: 100色おりがみ おもちゃ 17.5cm×17.5cm えひめ紙). At first touch, the paper seems soft (which would be a downside for folding the Hydrangea), but once you get to the stage of reversing the squares, the paper suddenly shines. Also reversing the pyramids (my preferred method is pulling the paper up instead of pushing from underneath) is easy to do. The 17.5 cm paper allows me to effortlessly shape 6 levels. After level 6 the shaping of the petals (not the reversing) would not look clean, as the paper is then too thick. But still second choice of all papers I have tried.
Third Choice – Copy Paper
This is probably a surprise for most, but plain old copy paper actually works quite well (up to a certain stage obviously) for this model. Not only is it inexpensive, but also almost always at hand! The paper is stiff enough so that folds reverse quite easily and hold themselves quite nicely. This is definitely a great beginner paper! At a certain stage the paper is too soft and too thick to continue on. I folded 5 levels from 20 cm paper.
Okina Palio Color Origami – 4th Choice
折紙 15cm金銀入 K510
This was not my favorite paper to fold – even for other Origami models, as the paper feels very unpleasant when creasing the colored side. But besides from that, I still wanted to test it on how it compares to all the other papers for Origami Hydrangea tessellation folding. The squares to no surprise don’t reverse well and new creases are made. They pyramids reverse surprisingly better, but the corners sadly easily loose its color. Overall the paper is rather soft.
Aitoh OG-4-500 Japanese Origami paper distributed in the US – 5th Choice
I have to admit, that I normally really like this paper as it is so nice and thin and comes in so many nice colors, but it certainly did not suit this model. The paper is so thin and the folds don’t reverse with ease and it also doesn’t seem to keep the memory of the folds when you reverse it. On my 15 cm paper I only folded 3 levels as I did not find the paper suitable at all!
Jong Ie Nara Crane Folding Paper, Translucent – 6th Choice
This particular paper is not too easy to rate as I only folded the Origami Hydrangea from a 5 cm piece of paper. The model collapses reasonably well as the paper has quite a plasticy stiffness to it. The squares also reverse not too badly. But the reversing of the pyramids was not the easiest, probably also down to its Nano size ;). To lift the paper with the tweezers and reverse the pyramid was only fifty fifty successful as sometimes the paper was just too damn slippery. Once I tried to push the pyramid up from the bottom, the paper tore. This paper would have worked well if it would have not been too slippery for the tweezers to be lifted.
Thin translucent sandwich paper – 7th Choice
The paper feels smooth on one side and rougher on the other. I started with the smooth side up. At the beginning the pre-creasing is delicate but manageable. Yet once you start with the collapse, this paper is probably the hardest from all tested, as it is so soft. The reversing of the squares is not too easy, but still better than my last choice (cheap tracing paper, 9th choice). The folds for reversing the squares somehow keep their shape if you work slowly enough. But once you start with the reversing of the pyramids, you realize that the paper is too soft to keep the original creases.
Baking Paper – 8th Choice
This paper was slightly stiffer than sandwich paper, yet the collapse was again not too easy. It feels that when reversing the squares it is slightly more difficult than the last choice. The pyramids can not be reversed without making new creases (instead of the old ones) and looking terribly messy.
Thin, Cheap Tracing Paper – 9th and Last Choice
To reverse the squares, it is the worst from all papers tested. The original folds can almost not be reversed and new ones get created. The reversing of the pyramids is slightly better, but still worst from all papers. Also the paper tears very easily – thus only 3 levels were folded of the Origami Hydrangea.