This year’s display of mathematical art at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Boston featured an eye-popping array of three-dimensional structures. One of the favorites was a crinkled surface—an intricately pleated cone—crafted from a single sheet of blue paper.
Titled Pleated Multi-sliced Cone, this beautiful example of geometric origami was the product of a collaboration. Origami artist Robert J. Lang came up with the concept and devised the crease pattern using Mathematica. Artist Ray Schamp printed the intricate pattern on elephant hide paper. Mathematician and origami artist Thomas Hull painstakingly folded the patterned sheet of paper into the final structure.
“Part of the charm of paper folding is its capacity for simple, elegant beauty as well as stunning complexity, all within the same set of constraints,” Hull noted in the artist’s statement accompanying the artwork.
Pleated Multi-sliced Cone was awarded second place in the exhibition by a panel of judges representing both the Mathematical Association of America and the American Mathematical Society.
The concept and crease pattern for this work were devised and modeled in Mathematica, a computational software program used in scientific, engineering and mathematical fields, by origami artist Lang; the crease pattern was printed onto elephant hide paper by artist Schamp; and the paper was folded along the crease pattern by mathematician and origami artist Hull.
The traditional Japanese art of paper folding, which started in the 17th century, was popularized outside Japan in the mid—1900s. It has evolved into a modern art form.
The goal of this art is to transform a flat sheet of paper into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques; cutting and gluing are not used in origami.
Hull, spent about 20 hours folding “Pleated Multi-sliced Cone’’ over a two-week period. He began with a star-shaped piece of ocean blue paper, about two feet wide from point to point. His product was about a foot wide and 5 inches tall.
The awards was $500 for first place, $300 for second place and $200 for third place.
Originally posted 2012-03-31 18:57:26.