Saturday, December 15, 2012

this is not your mama's snowflake

up until last year, i thought of making paper snowflakes as amusing diversions and interesting experiments in making symmetrical patterns.  i even posted recently about websites you could use to create if you don't have paper & scissors handy, or just don't feel like messing with paper and scissors.

this year is different.  this year, i see what vi hart has done with snowflakes, and i am inspired.  (you'll already know by now how much we love her mathy food and her music.)  diana and i watched some of these videos late last night, in the dark, while ander slept, and we could hardly put ourselves to bed, marveling and planning for what we will design.

now watch this one about hexaflexagons (there are many, so feel free to do a search for more!):

what started the video-watching madness last night was a twitter link to hexaflexasnowflakes, not by vi hart, but inspired by her, i think:

and then we recognized a video (actually, it's a series of two) about turning a sphere inside out that diana remembered watching some time ago.  she loved it then, and loves it now, and felt like she understood it and could follow it more this time.  maybe it's because she had been watching about hexaflexagons and was primed for comprehending the twists and turns.  maybe she's more flexible and coordinated in her thinking because of the math learning she's done over the past year.  maybe at night, when the brain is winding down and primed for sleep, it can be relaxed enough to push beyond the constraints of conventional, rigid thinking and be opened to the possibility of seeing things is a new, creative, inventive, imaginative way. 

all this is not to say that making a paper snowflake needs to be like this to be worthwhile.  there is a lot to be said for the joy that can be found within the time and effort spent in folding and cutting and opening and being amazed that you cut along the correct edges so it didn't fall apart into a bunch of papery bits.  but if you've had fun with cutting and folding beautiful paper toys and enjoyed making origami creations, like we have, and are looking for something a little bit more...well, just more, then this might be for you.

and, lest you think that all of this folding spiraling and cutting is just for snowflakes, then you might not be familiar with kirigami, the art of paper cutting.  oh, the things you can do!

happy creating!

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