Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell

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Die Praxis Des Kindergartens by Auguste Koehler, 1873
 
'Die Praxis Des Kindergartens' by Auguste Koehler was published by Herman Bohlau in Weimar in 1873. It contains sections on paper folding, paper cutting and paper weaving.

This book is in German and set in Fractur. I do not speak German and Google Lens does not transcribe or translate Fractur well. Consequently, it is probable that there will be errors and omissions on this page. If anyone can supply corrections or further information to me I will be most grateful.

I have concentrated my efforts on the Folding section and on the designs pictured in Plate XXXIII. The information about the other sections is drawn purely from the illustrations and not from the explanatory text.

The relevant Plates are reproduced in the analysis below. The textual source pages relating to the Folding section and the designs pictured in Plate XXXIII are reproduced at the foot of the page. A full copy of the work can be accessed at here.

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Folding: 8th Gift

The Double Bookfold Basic Form

The text on page 12 states that in Froebel's time only one method of developing a square was known, that of folding the corners inwards (ie blintzing the square). The author says that he developed a second method, that of folding the edges inwards, (ie bookfolding the square) which was published in his earlier work relating to paperfolding. The footnote identifies this as 'Kindergarten and Elementarklasse. II Jahrang. Weimar. Bohlau 1861'. I have not been able to trace a copy of this work.

This new method of developing designs from the square is shown in pictures 1 to 18 of Plate XXV below. I call the base shown in picture 5 the Double Bookfold Basic Form.

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The third paragraph on page 13 describes Froebel's Method of Cutting Four Squares from a Rectangle.

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Forms of Knowledge

The basic geometrical folds which lead to the development of the Double and Triple Blintz Basic Forms are shown in Plate XXII below. The author gives names to some of these forms, thus treating them to some extent as Forms of Life.

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Plate XXIV also shows a series of geometrical / mathematical paperfolds based on folding edges to a diagonal and then to a horizontal bisector.

Constructing a Diamond

Pictures 14 and 15 show a method of producing a Diamond from a square.

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Constructing an Equilateral Triangle

Pictures 12 through 16 of Plate XXIV show a method of producing an equilateral triangle from a square.

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Constructing a Regular Hexagon

Picture 23 shows a regular hexagon which has been created by truncating the Diamond.

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Constructing a Regular Octagon

Picture 24 shows a regular octagon inscribed within a square. No pictorial explanation of the folding method is given.

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Schonheitsformen (Forms of Beauty)

Pictures 1 and 13 show the two sides of the Double Blintz Basic Form from the two sides of which which patterns 2 to 12 and 14 to 28 can be derived. Pictures 27 and 28 show two more complex groundforms from which other patterns can be derived.

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Lebensformen (Forms of Life)

Plates XXII and XXV (see below) show a number of forms of life and the basic folding sequences from which they are derived. Not all the forms mentioned in the text are illustrated. The author also gives names to many of the forms in the folding sequences. I have not recorded these incidental forms or their names in this list.

Forms from the Triple Blintz Basic Form

Flacon (bottle) - The Scent Bottle

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Jade mit furzen armeln - The Short Sleeved Jacket

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Kreuz - The Cross

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Tintenfass / The Inkwell

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? / The Hat

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Steifelchen / The Boots

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Kinderjade / The Jacket

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Kinderhose / The Trousers

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Forms from the Windmill Base

Windmuhle / The Windmill

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Tisch / The Table

Described but not illustrated

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Cigareenetui / The Cigar Case

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Schiff / The Ship

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Gegelboot / The Boat with Sail

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Doppelboot / The Double Boat

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Rabe (crow) / The Cocotte / Pajarita

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Ente / The Duck

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Forms from the Double Blintz Basic Form

Salz und Pfeffersabchen / The Salt Cellar

Described but not illustrated

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Lowenmaul (Snapdragon) - probably the Salt Cellar used as a snapper

Described but not illustrated

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? - probably The Travel Bag

Described but not illustrated

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Kragen (collar) - The Collar

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Forms from the Blintzed Windmill Base

Kasten / The Junk Box

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Spiegel / The Mirror

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Gegelboot / Boat with Sail variation

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Kralle / The Claw

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The Inverted Claw

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Gondel / The Chinese Junk

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Unknown / The Solid Box

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Forms from the Double Bookfold Basic Form

Kaffeetasse / The Cup and Saucer

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Schweinchen / The Pig

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Schussweite / The Shooting Range

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Bank mit Lehne / The Bench

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Haus mit Borplas / House with ?

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Sopha / The Bench with Arms

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Picture 17 is not mentioned in the text but appears to be Another Double Boat which is developed from Version 2 of the Cigar case.

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The text also mentions two other designs called Badtrog (Bath Tub) and Rinne (Gutter). These forms are not pictured and I cannot reconstruct them from the description.

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Unknown / The Corner Cabinet

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Forms derived from a pleated rectangle

Schaufel / The Shovel

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Bank / The Stand

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Kasten / The Basic Box

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Schone Thor / The Beautiful Gateway

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Krippe (crib) / The Crib

(Made by placing the Basic Box onto a more decorative version of the Stand)

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Sopha / The Seat

(Made by placing the base of the Crib on top of the Stand)

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Pantoffel / The Slipper

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Paper Cutting: 9th Gift

In Plate XXVI the author first gives examples of patterns that can be cut from a square folded into an eight layer right angle isosceles triangle.

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Free Weaving and Braiding

Plate XXX contains inter alia drawings showing examples of designs free woven from folded strips:

The Woven Basket

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The Woven Cross

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Plate XXXI contains inter alia drawings showing examples of designs made using the Fold and Cut Chevron technique.

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Plate XXXXIII contains:

Picture 2: Butterstampfe / The Butterchurn

The text explains how in this action design a strip of paper is first rolled up and then the centre of the roll is pulled out and pushed back in to simulate the action of churning butter.

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Picture 3: Klatsche / The Clapper

The text says, roughly, 'The children like to use double folded strips as 'clappers'. They bring the two double-sided ends so that ... the pieces come together and hit each other.' It is not clear to me, however, how the noise is to be achieved.

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Picture 7: Katzenstreppchen? (cat staircase) / The Witch's Ladder

The text says that this design is folded from two strips and so despite the strangeness of the illustration I believe it is the Witch's Ladder.

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Picture 10: The Froebel Star and variations

The text says that in Froebel's time the basic stars (shown in picture 10) were joined together to make 'girdles that look lovely' The author states that, about 15 years ago, so in c1858, he discovered some variations. These are shown in pictures 8, 9, 11, 12, 13 and 14. The author also mentions that a lady H (whose name I cannot transliterate successfully) invented further variations which 'deserve to be called true Artworks', but, as far as I can see, these designs are not pictured in the book.

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Verschnuren / Interlacing

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Cardboard Modelling / Cartonnage

The tabs in the design or the table (picture 7) are noteworthy. It is not clear to me what design Picture 6 makes into.

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The Source Pages

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