Introduction: Silphium Origami

Simplicity, Size, Meaning, Symbolism, and Creativity

where all the selected basis that I targeted and finally came to a conclusion on one of histories most beloved feel good symbol The Heart. This may seem too simple to most, while being irrelevant to the masses yet once given as a present I think the least you will gain will always be a gracious smile with a deep appreciation for your hard work. I’ve outlined a brief history on the importance of this sacred symbol and its impact in western culture as a heads up for the creation process which will be the main part of this essay and how to create such a piece almost like adding extra fuel to an almost empty tank of gas. After going over the creation process and hopefully succeeding in creating the right mental picture throughout each step I will then go a little deeper into how we as humans find meaning in such simple shapes and how like it or not it affects us in our everyday lives on this earth.

Step 1: LEGGO


step is to start with an 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper of any color of your choice, that number may look familiar to most well there’s a reason it is I wanted a project in which you can rip out a piece of paper from your everyday loose leaf notebook and fold in mere minutes to present to the person of your choosing a quick valentines gift or a beautiful reminder of the love you share or might be able to share in the future. Now taking the top right corner of the paper you may bring it down to the left side where it can create a sideways triangle with a rectangular block still untouched on the bottom. Fold it back out and repeat the same step with the other side to create the beginning folds. Then fold the top sheet of paper from where the two original fold meet in the middle to create an X with a horizontal line through it once you fold it back out as so.

Step 2: We Got This


after checking thoroughly that you have a sustainable working piece of paper that you can pursue further no rips or misguided folds proceed to push in the two folds where the horizontal line cuts through the X where you should end up with a pointing triangle on top of an untouched rectangular block at the bottom. Taking the right top fold piece fold it in a way where the right end meets at the top of the pointed triangle, do the same with the left ended top fold to create a diamond shaped pincers that have an open line through the middle. Now finally touching for the first time the rectangular block fold the right end of the piece to the middle, note that the diamond with open line through it should not be touched in this step but aligned on the bottom right line to the newly folded piece repeat the step the same way on the left side where you should end up with a tall house once you flipped the piece of paper to the other side. It’s crucial that all folds are aligned properly and neatly so not to create over bearing folds and chaotic placements.

Step 3: Alright Im Still Here


next part of the project will require small folds where it may be harder to keep the impression of a neat heart. No worries practice makes perfect and honestly getting perfect on this piece of paper maybe more of a challenge the first time then the tenth time you go about this. Now after flipping the paper to the smooth side which represents a house take the triangular roof of the house with no line across it and fold it down to the farthest it can reach which will be halfway.

Step 4: This Is the Tricky Part


take the bottom of the folded rectangle and meet it at the middle of where the triangle points down. Reaching down to the pointed right end of the right square which creates the right half of the rectangle fold it inside of the middle triangle piece this should be repeated on the left side where it will create two broad triangles pointing down one folded with a middle line through it and the other whole in the middle.

Step 5: One Step LEFT


the diamond pincers with the open line running through creates its own triangle pointing up. If you have stuck with me so far please give yourself a pat on the back for such great intuition skills seeing how my instructions may be a bit messy to recreate as imagination in your head. Luckily we have come down to the most crucial two folds of the instructional piece where it really is the deciding factor on if the piece will look like a heart or more like jet wings.

Step 6: YES


take the two pincers with the prominent open line running through the middle and fold each one underneath the middle triangle as so. Now you know if you succeeded in this by the mini acute triangle you create on each side make sure it is well placed and sturdy enough not to come apart. And yes you probably didn’t get it right the first time which will cause excess folds and creases that will be difficult to come out. Thankfully a tree sacrificed its life somewhere so that this moment you can reach into your backpack and produce another sheet of the same size and go through the instructions on your own accord.

Step 7: Wow Not Bad


you may know there are various ways you may go about using this masterful piece of paper in a way that can bring joy once you’ve created said symbol. Yes you can present it as a present on its own, but adding to it makes it much sweeter. Before even folding it creating a heartfelt poem, passionate song, or insightful memory and writing it on one side with directions to unfold the expressional art can create a sort of Christmas/ Valentines present where the user not only enjoys your mindful folding technique’s but drinks in the loving words that presented to you as the recipient. Or make it less of a surprise and start by folding the empty side of the heart so it can be decorated with a sleeve of thoughtful words after completion a little taste of what’s to come once unfolding the delicate heart. Now you can take more of a sentimental approach to this piece and include a ring or money in between the folds as a gift with words written throughout. Decorating the heart after it’s folded with crayons, pencil sketches, or glued up pieces of paper can transform a rather dull white loose leaf background to a canvas of your choosing. The size of the project was a definite plus to the piece also mainly because you can fit it in your pocket and carry it without too much worry of ruining the original piece. Smaller than a standard letter for instance which you have to fold to make sure the whole piece isn’t crumpled up beyond repair. The sturdiness of the well put heart will also relieve stress on if it can stay together if by chance you throw it into your backpack with all the rest of your possessions. I suggest keeping it as a bookmark where it will always be reinforced folded each time you close the book on the spot you had just finished reading. Also by taking a pen or sharp pencil you can poke a whole into the top right side where you may be able to fit a keychain through and carry it as a good luck charm everywhere you go or a reminder that someone in this world cares for you and what you do.