Monday, September 28, 2009

Iris Folding

by: Hema Santhanam

Use of Iris Folding for making Jewish Motifs

Iris Folding is a paper folding technique that involves using strips of colored or patterned paper arranged in a spiral pattern with a central focal point that resembles an iris or lens of a camera. This method originated in Holland and was employed as a means of using up scrap paper. Often the patterned inside flap of envelopes were utilized to make these designs. The technique is worked backwards by first cutting out an outline of your image and them applying the paper strips from the backside in a circular fashion until the cut out shape is completely filled up. Although the traditional application commonly uses strips of papers, more contemporary interpretations included the use of other materials such as Mizuhiki paper cords and ribbon.

I have found this technique to be very useful in creating motifs on cards and scrapbook pages that convey a Jewish theme, although the possibilities are endless.

Here is an example of a “star of David” design that I used in creating a scrapbook page for a custom Bat Mitzvah Album.

Here is another example of the image “Chamsa,” also called “Fatima’s Hand.” This is a motif that is a symbol of good luck and is common to many Middle Eastern and South Asian cultures.

Here is one of my favorite sites for step by step instructions on iris folding and a gallery of free patterns:

Hema Santhanam


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