Finally, a breakthrough. For over a year I have envisioned folding lilies into waves and ripples that resemble dropping a stone into water. The challenge has been how to resolve the tension so that the final form does not self destruct within hours or weeks or months. The trick, as I see it now, is that ripples require at least some remaining tension if the design is to be ideal (that is, with few holes in the paper and few or no splices). If the wave studies I am already folding work, I will have proven that tension can be balanced through paper prep and the framing process.
This design is remains too symmetrical but I am getting closer to the image that has hovered, just out of reach, for the past year. To translate my messy diagram, diagonal intersecting waves form high ridges with lower, slightly rotated depressions between the high ridges. In the center of each depression is a single lily folded from the reverse side of the paper, creating a spike in the contrasting paper color.