Origami Laurel Wreath

The origami laurel wreath

Make an Origami laurel wreath either in celebration of the Olympics, or when learning about Ancient Greece, or just because you like Origami.

At the same time learn a little about algorithms and how they are structured.

Some Ancient Greek Mythology

Laurel wreaths are associated with sport because of a story about a spat between the Greek gods Apollo and Eros. Apollo was the god of both sport and archery. The God of Love, Eros, also known as Cupid, is famous for shooting arrows at people to make them fall in love. Apollo nastily teased Eros over the way he used his bow, so Eros decided to get his revenge. He fired a golden arrow at Apollo to make him fall in love with Daphne a naiad, or river nymph. At the same time he fired a lead arrow at Daphne that made her hate Apollo. (This story seems to be particularly unfair on Daphne!)

As a result Apollo chased and harassed Daphne until she pleaded to her father, the river god, to save her. He did so be turning her into a laurel tree (Daphne means laurel in ancient greek), so keeping her from Apollo’s clutches forever.

As a consequence, however, Apollo, then cast a spell on the laurel tree to make it evergreen and made himself a wreath our of the laurel branches (as if it wasn’t bad enough for Daphne already). As a result, at cultural and sporting events such as the Pythian games that were held every four years in honour of Apollo, the winners were presented with a laurel wreath.

Download the instructions to make a modular origami wreath

To make an origami wreath you need two sets of instructions, one set to make the modular piece, the other to tell you how to put lots of those pieces together to make a wreath. (Instructions by Ho).

Some linked computer science

Algorithms are steps that, to work, must be followed precisely and in the right sequence. Computers are just machines designed to do exactly that. They follow instructions precisely. Were you able to follow the steps to make the Origami Olympic Wreath? Our instructions are split in to two sets of instructions – so two algorithms. The first set of instructions explain how to make a modular piece. We just write those instructions out once. The other instructions require you to follow those instructions for a single piece lots of times.

Programs are split into parts in a similar way. We call the separate named sets of instructions “procedures”, “functions” or “methods”. Instructions that tell you to follow a named set of instructions is referred to as a “call” to those instructions. Our instructions for the wreath essentially call the instructions for the modular piece 30 times.

Decomposition and Reusable instructions

Of course, once you have a generally useful set of instructions such as for a modular origami piece, you can use those instructions to do other things…so next why not make your own set of modular origami Olympic rings using the same instructions for the basic piece.

Back to the Ancient Greeks