Dodecahedron: "Baby, You're A Star!"comments (8) March 30th, 2009
Do not attempt this project (walk away, turn around, or click through to another page): Trust me, this is not for you. Still with me? Well, then I have to assume that you are much like me; that you are not dissuaded by seemingly simple things that turn out to be much more challenging than imagined.
Such was the case this week: I'd met with representatives from a great company and spent a day working with them on a collaborative project. It was both exciting and scary (as new things often are), and when it was over I knew that I wanted to work with them again in the future. Following out meeting I, of course, wanted to send a thank you note but I wanted something a little more "out of the ordinary" than my usual "out of the ordinary" thank-you note. Specifically, I wanted to send them something that could sit on a desk and act as a constant reminder to them of who I am, what I do, and how much I enjoyed working with them.
During our afternoon together, they'd given me the royal treatment and, in turn, I wanted to convey to them how appreciative I was of the star treatment they'd given me. The trouble was, the star I cut out of paper look, well, underwhelming at best, and sort of trite and insipid at worst. Then I remembered a something I'd made years ago. Since I keep files (or try to) on most of my work, I went rummaging around to try and find my notes on that previous project. In my memory, the it was a simple matter of a few five-pointed stars that fit together, via slots and tabs, into a lovely looking dodecahedron. When I'd first made it I was interested in using it for a lantern and so the dimension were 18" wide and the material I'd used was a fire-retardant polyester. The distorting lens of memory failed to recall to me just what a complicated little piece of engineering this actually was or how tricky it was to get all of the pieces connected, lined up, and glued in place. Believing it was be a "fun little something" to occupy an hour of my time with, I dove in.
Let me repeat here, just for the record, this is a bit of seemingly simple work that takes a great deal of finesse to assemble: There are lots of pieces, the material is easily torn, bent, or stained, and at times during the process you will feel as though you need two extra hands to make it work. However, with some patience and a gentle touch, it is not impossible to put together a really quite beautiful object. And, when you're finished, believe me, you'll feel an incredible sense of accomplishment.
For those hearty few among you who attempt this, I say only good luck: you are a hearty and hale group of crafters and you make me feel as if I'm not alone in my craft-craziness. For all of the others who decide (quite wisely) to forego the challenge and simply click through to a different tutorial, I say, "I don't blame you one bit." In fact, I could use a few good words of advice from you all about how life it too short for struggling through with needlessly complex projects of this sort. Feel free to leave that good advice below and I'll do my best to read it and heed it as often as possible.
Note to readers on Twitter:
If you're a fan of Twitter and would like to read my Tweets, you're welcome to follow me at Twitter.com/jeffrudell. Quite a few people responded last week, and I'm happy to hear you're enjoying the links to suppliers, resources, and cool online paper projects. Feel free to Tweet me with questions or requests. I try to respond to every inquire that comes my way. I'll see you there.
As with many of my projects, all that is needed is some paper (I used 12 colors from a Color-Aid pack), a craft knife, a straightedge, a bone creaser, and a needle tool (or a strong pin). My star template is available for download.
To transfer the template to my Color-Aid paper, I used a needle tool to punch through at all points on the design where lines intersected or changed direction (i.e., at each angle around the star including the five lines that form the partial pentagon in the center).
Gently score each tab from the reverse and fold as indicated in the images above. It is especially important that each arm of the star come to a sharp point so that when it is connected to four neighboring stars, the resulting geometric solid terminates in well-defined shapes.
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