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Pecten Magellanicus, Redux

Pecten Magellanicus, Redux

Originally uploaded by EricGjerde.

A while back I folded a three-dimensional shell shape from some pleats, which I called “Pecten Magellanicus” (Sea Scallop), mostly due to the fact that it really looked like one.

I really liked the initial piece I did, and I wanted to see it realized on a larger scale. There’s a lot of pleating involved, so I decided to start off by folding four of them together, and then see where I wanted to take it from that point.

Here’s the initial version:

Pecten magellanicus, work sketch
Pecten magellanicus, work sketch

However, in creating the second version, I didn’t properly sort out the ratios for the pleats. On the initial sketch, the rectangles that are used to create the pleat fan have a ratio of 2:9, for width:length. This made the shell shape fold almost flat when made with 7 pleats. On the larger version, I made a miscalculation and it ended up closer to a ratio of 1:5, which means the pleat fan extends farther upwards and is not as close to the flat plane of the paper on the ends. Thus the difference in the sides on this piece compared to the initial work sketch. Oops.

Anyway, this piece really isn’t close to finished, there’s a lot more that needs to be done with it. I’m not really happy with the ends of the pleat fans, so something needs to change there. There’s also a lot of extra paper and pleats in the middle that should probably have something interesting come out of it- no reason to leave good pleat space empty. Also, the whole thing hasn’t been wetfolded at all yet, so nothing is locked into place or flattened yet- thusly the bulbous appearance. Once it’s finished it should properly lay flat.

Just thought I’d share this with you since it’s going back into the “unfinished” box until after the New Year. Too much work to do right now to play with this any more, and give it the time it deserves to come out right.



  1. Even though scallops are forbidden me by the goddesses of Fate and Anaphylaxis, they remain a potent symbol of pilgrimage and are a good omen for your journey into authorship. To paraphrase Steely Dan,
    “Folks are in a line around the block
    Just to see him do Coquilles St. Jacques”

  2. Anaphylactic shock? ouch. that’s harsh.

    Thanks for the thoughts, I hope this all goes well. Right now it’s really starting to stress me out something fierce.

  3. Well, it’s not like I didn’t eat enough of them when I could. Gluttony, how I miss her.

    It’s all going to be groovy – I can tell by your diagramming curve.

  4. Interesting, perhaps I’ll make another variant and actually aim for accuracy to the natural model. But that smacks of representational art, and I’d be forced to scratch it’s eyes out to be in compliance with sharia

  5. Thanks!

    There’s a lot more interesting things that could be done, including making them along a more complex gridwork- hexagons, triangles, etc. However, that’s a *lot* of work, and I don’t have the time for it right now. Someday I’ll try something like that with perhaps a new design.

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