Friday, June 2, 2017

Flower Ball Topiary Tree

Kusudama 
is a traditional paper folding tradition
related closely to origami.
For this project, Kusudama converts 
60 prepared squares into blossoms. 
Form the cone petals, then join crest edges 
of 5 petal units into a flower. 
Assemble 12 flowers into a ball. 
Attach tiny scallops with jewels or studs at each flower center. 
Attach hanging loop of desired size. 
Measures approx. 5.75" diameter. 
Convert into a topiary tree by combining 
the flower ball - with a special
post "sleeve" inside the bottom blossom - 
and 3D terra cotta style pot
(Construction for the Pot can be found HERE.)
Add weight inside pot for stability, concealed by interior platform 
(add moss or shreds as decorator's touch). 
Pot measures approx.  4.25" x 5" (rim) x 4" tall. 
Topiary measures approx. 13.5" tall.

ASSEMBLY: 1. Identify and cut the shapes:
cut 5 "square" shapes (modified) of the same 
printed paper (lighter than card stock) to create
one blossom.
For the flower ball, you will need 12 blossoms.
NOTE that the sample uses 4 different 
coordinated prints.
Also cut one center scallop for each blossom.
(For the flower ball, you will need 12 scalloped circles;
for the topiary tree ball, you will need 11 scall circles.)
KUSUDAMA BLOSSOM FOLDING
2. Working with print face side out,
fold the squared points together, align edges
accurately (fold lines are lightly perforated).
NOTE that using a bone folding tool or equivalent
will help to make each crease as sharp
as possible, and is very helpful when there
are multiple layers being folded and creased.
3. Take the right bottom fold and bend
to position it along the vertical middle line,
and crease on the perf line.
4. Repeat step 3 for the left side.
The folds should meet at the vertical center line.
5. "Open" the right angled section from step 3
partially into its cone-like form . . . 
. . . then flatten into a wedge shape
that has the "bottom" fold line from step 2
running down the center between two fold lines
and crease along the perf lines.
6. Bend the bottom "half" of the wedge upward
to bring the bottom crease edge even with
the other crease line.
7. Repeat steps 5 & 6 for the left side.
The resulting square has a stack of narrow
wedges at each side edge as shown.
Use the bone folded to make hard creases
through all the layers of the petal unit.
8. Form the unit into a cone shape by bending
 the fold edges each toward the center front.
This is the shaping that will be done eventually,
but first . . . 
. . . apply a quick-grab adhesive
(such as Fabri-Tack used here)
along the inner edge at fold one one side.
Then bring the edges together, adjust so that
the top corners are even,
and hold in place while applying some pressure
until the edges are secure.
Here is the completed petal cone unit.
9. Prepare 5 petal units for one flower.
10. Prepare the join the petal cones into
flower form by applying quick-grab adhesive
next to the seam edge of first petal, then . . . 
. . . position, adjust and attach the second petal
in place. NOTE that the petal cones are attached
NEAR the spine seam, but just slightly to the side,
allowing the 5 petals to be attached to
neighboring petal cones with a small center channel.
11. Continue to add the third, fourth, and finally
the fifth petal cone units (add adhesive on each
cone that the fifth will touch) . . . 
until the full flower blossom is formed.
Allow adhesive to dry, applying pressure
as necessary to ensure secure joints,
minimizing the center channel, and keeping
top edges even.
12. Prepare the assemble first flower ball HALF,
which will consist of 6 blossoms,
by arranging 5 blossoms in a ring.
As you can see (in the image below, or above
the blossoms sit balanced on two bottom
petal points, with two middle petals above, with 
the top petal upward.
The blossoms will be attached to neighbors
by joining the "crests" of the bottom petal pairs,
and the middle pair.
Apply adhesive along the ridge line of the bottom
 and middle cones . . . 
. . . then position the second blossom with
corresponding bottom and middle petals touching.
Adjust then apply pressure to ensure a secure joining.
Applying fingertip pressure to each of the two
joining positions will assist the connection.
13. Repeat the process for the third blossom
to apply adhesive, position, align and attach 
the bottom and middle cone ridge lines of each.
14. Complete the ring with the fifth blossom.
15. Test-fit the sixth blossom that fits into top
area of the ring.
NOTE that the five petal points of this blossom unit
will fit into to the indentations between
the ring blossoms.
VISUALIZE where the cone ridge lines will touch,
apply adhesive to fifth blossom ridge lines,
then re-insert, adjust and apply pressure until secure.
Here is the interesting view of the half ball backside.
16. Repeat steps 14 and 15 to prepare
the bottom half of the ball with 6 blossoms.
17. Test-fit where the blossom petals of each half
will offset so that points fit between opposite
blossoms, apply adhesive, then re-position
and attach the two halves securely.
18. Position and attach one scallop circle over
the center channel of each blossom, then . . .
. . . position and attach a decorative jewel
or stud over the center guide hole.
Position and attach 12 circles and studs.
FOR HANGING BALL:
prepare a ribbon loop (with optional bead
as shown here), and insert the end between
two blossoms (these become the top of ball) . . . 
. . . and securely glue in place.
Here is the completed ball.
FOR TOPIARY FLOWER TREE BALL:
A. Petal unit spines are attached along the facets
of the upper post tube sleeve as is shown here,
with the bottom "blunt" end of cone
aligned with top closed end of sleeve tube.
The inner edge of petal cone lays against
the sleeve tube face
and is attached where those surfaces touch.
(You can refer to the sleeve preparation 
in steps 5 & 6 in Pot tutorial HERE.)
B. Position and attach the second petal cone
in similar manner, tucking the spine edge as snugly
as possible next to the previous petal shape.
C. Continue positioning and attaching
the petal cones until all five are in place.
D. Follow the steps shown in ball instructions
to build the bottom HALF of ball, except
use the blossom with post sleeve as
the "top" blossom that fits into the ring of five.
SHOWN HERE: The blossom with sleeve center
will have a slightly wider girth, so it will be
necessary to push it into position as snugly
as possible, understanding that it will remain . . .
. . . slightly higher than the surrounding blossoms.
E. The topiary project is completed by inserting
the post (with dowel inside) into the sleeve
at the center underside of blossom ball.
Here is the completed topiary flower ball project.
To follow the assembly for the topiary tree
version of this project,
please follow this LINK.

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