Guy Petzall

Ullapool, Scotland
A few years ago I moved to northern Scotland, where the winters are long and the nights seemingly without end. And so, in order to beguile the many hours of darkness, I began working with paper. I'd been doing origami for over a decade, but here I quickly moved on to kirigami, fascinated by the possibilities made available by interrupting the folded surfaces that origami generally likes to keep intact.

The parameters I set for myself were simple: each model should collapse flat when completed; and each model should be created from a single sheet of paper — nothing added or removed, but rather the surface of the paper rearranged without losing a shred of its area.

Life by a thousand cuts. But it does beguile those long winter nights!
Waves / 5-Swoop
15 x 21 x 15 cm
Paper
2017
This kirigami pop-up model began as a single row of blocks, projecting from the page in a simple wave pattern. As I added each of four additional waves to the stack, I allowed their respective depths to increase algebraically, to give the whole a more organic, "sloshey" feel. The result was pleasing, but still too linear, as the rows of blocks rose and fell in an unerring path from one edge to the next. So I adjusted the waves in two dimensions: it now gently compresses with increasing frequency from left to right, and at the same time diminishes in amplitude, resulting in this final "swoosh."

The model is constructed from a single A4 piece of white paper with nothing added or removed, and collapses flat when folded.
Obloid Whorl
19 x 21 x 11 cm
Paper
2015
The Obloid Whorl kirigami pop-up model grew out of an experiment to mathematically "bloat" a grid of 81 regularly spaced blocks. Once such a grid is constructed, individual blocks can be removed from the design, revealing patterns within patterns. In this instance, the remaining blocks from the original 9x9 field reveal a whorling meander motif, like a spiral galaxy, or a twisting vortex.

The model is constructed from a single A4 piece of paper with nothing added or removed, and collapses flat when folded.