Lens Garden Origami Tessellation

Posted by Madonna Yoder on

Fully Flexible


Sometimes when you're thinking about tessellations, often when you're looking at what someone else has folded, you have a flash of insight and see new possibilities for patterns that you hadn't considered before.

That's exactly what happened when I was looking at Miguel Gañan's book, Twist and Tess, when I first got it.

I was looking through the crease patterns for interesting tilings, and came across a pattern that used the hexagon-rhombus-triangle-rhombus loop (which is usually very restrictive) in an expanded form that has specific places where the spacing is very variable!

Immediately, I thought of Lens Stars and saw the opportunity to apply a whole variety of tessellations to this expanded tiling.


Signature Motif

Lens Garden detail


I don't know what it is about the closed triangle on either side of the standard rhombus twist, but I try to use that motif in as many different ways as I can.

Dancing Ribbons, Lens Stars, Escalation, Purl, and Lens Garden all share this motif - each in a different tiling pattern with a different end result.

Of course, a signture motif won't be used in every single tessellation you design - I just completed an inventory of my designs and documented over 160 distinct tessellations - but there's still something special for me about these few where it does show up.

Lens Stars had combined that special motif with my favorite symmetry - 6-fold rotation - so I was really thrilled to see it again with Lens Garden too.


A True Stunner


While Lens Garden doesn't have natural tiling breaks, the flexibility of spacings between clusters of twists still gives lots of border possibilities.

Even at this relatively dense spacing, I was able to accommodate the pleats approaching the edge without forming partial clusters.

One note of caution though, for those who buy the crease pattern: the alignment calculations change depending on the spacing between repeats.

For the given spacing in the crease pattern, the a/L given on the cover page gives exactly the alignment you see here, but other spacings will shift further and further away from the given fraction.


Folding Experience

If you can fold Lens Stars, you can definitely fold Lens Garden.

The repeats are further apart, but so are the pleat overlaps - a key to ease of folding!

And thankfully, adding spacing between the clusters in this case makes it even easier to fold.

No need to precrease either - everything can be folded straight from the grid.

I gave this tessellation a 3/5 difficulty rating, mostly for the extended tiling and the fact that there's no natural tiling breaks where you can stop without pleat overlaps.

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