The Fitful Flog

March 15, 2009

Claudine’s Tato

Claudine's Ur-tato


I do remember one thing.
It took hours and hours but…
by the time I was done with it,
I was so involved, I didn’t know what to think.
I carried it around with me for days and days…
playing little games
like not looking at it for a whole day
and then… looking at it.
to see if I still liked it.
I did.

I repeat myself when under stress.
I repeat myself when under stress.
I repeat myself when under stress.
I repeat myself when under stress.
I repeat…
The more I look at it,
the more I like it.
I do think it’s good.
The fact is…
no matter how closely I study it,
no matter how I take it apart,
no matter how I break it down,
It remains consistent.
I wish you were here to see it.

I like it!

(That’s a song by King Crimson which I’m tempted to embed here, but do not, for fear of alienating the uninitiated. It’s on Discipline, if you want to check it out.)

This is a tato that Claudine Pisale handed to me at the CDO convention in Verbania. She said it had been given to her by a Japanese neighbor and that she couldn’t see how it was done. (The version she gave me had pencil marks on it, from where she had copied the landmarks over.) She thought it traditional. The tricky part, said Claudine, is that there were no folds across the central square of the design.

Emma, who teaches math at Milano U., figured out a solution, but unfortunately, I don’t remember what it was — I was more than a little jet-lagged.

In the pocket of my wool waistcoat, I’ve carried the model and pulled it out, odd times, to take a whack at solving it. I came up with several solutions, but after a week or so, I’d trash them and start over. For one thing, I kept going at it with a shell on my head. Convinced that the offset was arbitary, I kept trying to mirror arbitrary angles. Got pretty good at it, too. But it wasn’t right. Eventually, I got out a ruler and a calculator and figured out it was done with fractions. Once I had that, I used Fujimoto’s method to mark the fractions on the edge of a square. Eccolo!

This is kind of crazy sophisticated for traditional. If any of you out there in TV land know anything about this model, I’d love to hear it.

Fold one for yourself — diagrams.

2 Responses to “Claudine’s Tato”

  1. 1
    Christine McShane Says:

    I am not an expert in either origami or computers, but I love tatos. When I try to print the diagram for Claudine’s Tato, I get a failure message.

  2. 2
    Mallard T. Drake Says:

    Thumbs up for the King Crimson reference. Every artist should hear that song at least once in their lives.

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