So, I posted a couple of blog entries on my struggles with the origami pattern known as the “Kawasaki Rose.” Since then I have noticed that one of the top searches on the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL, etc.) to hit my blog have been for “Kawasaki Rose” or “Origami Rose”.

This has been something of a surprise to me. Apparently there are a bunch of people out there who are thinking about folding origami roses. I thought it was just me and the few Origami enthusiasts on the Origami mail list I subscribe to.

Assuming that those searches continue and that they get to this post, let me give you my thoughts about the rose and the patterns I’ve seen for it.

First of all, if you are really determined to fold the Kawasaki rose, be aware that there are multiple, perhaps even several, versions of it. So far there is only one version that I think is worth folding, and that is the “22 degree” version which starts with folding a grid pattern offset 22 degrees into your paper. It’s a major pain to do this and folding one takes an hour or more even if you know what you are doing, but the results of this pattern are nothing short of inspiring. The other patterns, which are not offset by 22 degrees are OK to make rose buds or they make nice looking small roses (starting with 3″ x 3″ paper or smaller), but with paper 4″ x 4″ or larger the result looks more like a rolled up tube than a rose.

BUT, it is good to fold a couple dozen of the simpler pattern to get down the tricky technique of “twist-folding,” which is the key to all of these rose patterns.

I’ve now folded forty or fifty of the 22 degree version, and I am only now getting to where I can produce reliably decent results. And it still takes me most of an hour to complete one, so folding Kawasaki roses is not a trivial undertaking. I find myself carrying a partially folded piece of paper from meeting to meeting, sometimes keeping one in my pocket all day and finishing it when I get home.

When you do one “right” the result is quite satisfying. But the “shaping” stage, which is never shown in any of the diagrams or videos I’ve seen, is critically important. How you do the final spreading of the petals and whether or how much you “roll the edges” of the corners can produce dramatically different results in the final model. You should experiment with many different ways of shaping the petals. Also, it is usually better to use one color paper than traditional origami paper which is colored on one side and white on the other. The best results when using two-colored paper are achieved by folding the petals down rather dramatically to cover the white regions, and this is pretty tricky, but can produce pretty nice-looking results.

The most amazing thing to me of this pattern is how firmly “locked” it is when done right. The design is really remarkable for staying folded once you’ve folded it. Use a bit of wet-folding technique and it’s even more rigidly set in place.

I’ve not yet put a bunch together on green “stems” to create a bouquet, but I’m considering it. Anyway, I am still amazed how many searches I am seeing for this pattern. Maybe origami has a good future ahead of it even in the digital age.