Snowing Emus and Kiwis
“Emus, as well as most of the other ratites, are very hard to do because of their long skinny legs, and the thinness of their necks at a certain point. Kiwis are the only ratites that I found quite easy to do, probably because they are quite chunky compared to their cousins.” Connie Gulick was relating the difficulty she had in designing the paper snowflakes shown in this article. The snowflake in the upper left shows emu, rhea and kiwi. Click to see a larger version.
“Although I figured out on my own how to fold a paper to make a six-sided snowflake, making snowflakes like this is not original to me”, says Gulick “A few years back, Boy's Life magazine featured the exquisite snowflakes of a man back East. He had created the space shuttle taking off, a jumpball in basketball, and even the front view of a team of huskies pulling a snow sled! I had already been making symmetrical shapes; he inspired me to try negative space.”
If you look carefully you can
find the images inside each snowflake.
Connie tells us that she got started doing snowflakes when her children, now teenagers, came home from elementary school with some they had done in class. Connie looked at her children’s creations and thought, “Those aren’t snowflakes!” They were four-sided and looked more like squares. She asked the children to show her how they did it and then proceeded to modify the folding to make them six-sided.
“Someone told me how to make paper teddy
bears holding hearts between them; you know, like the paper dolls? When I
got the paper fold down for six-sided snowflakes, I started trying to make bears
and hearts and other symmetrical shapes; then in time, I stumbled onto making
asymmetrical shapes”, said Connie “This
was, mind you, over the course of many years. I would fold and cut
snowflakes while my students were taking their finals
in the fall term, and then a little at home. About the time Christmas was
over, I was tired of making snowflakes, and I'd just quit until the next
November. So this has gone on for nine years, now.”
Connie reports that she is better off looking at a picture and cutting out the design freehand rather than trying to design something on paper. She will occasionally do preliminary cuts, cutting away a large space, such as over the Emu's back, and then go back and cut further in to where the Emu's body starts.
"It reminds me of a chain-saw artist who
was carving the shape of a squirrel out of a log. When asked how do you do
it? he responded, "I take everything that isn't squirrel and cut it
away." I never understood what he meant by that, but it's the best
description of how I make a snowflake,” laughs Connie.
For more information on how to make your own
snowflakes for Valentines, Christmas or other special occasions, visit Connie
Gulick’s website at http://w3.tvi.cc.nm.us/~concon/