Anyone with a decent knowledge of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, would recognise the name “Spiny Norman” – the gigantic hedgehog that haunted Dinsdale, the more vicious of the Piranha Brothers. When I saw Yudai Imai’s Hedgehog, I knew I had to give it a try:
I had been looking for a model to best show of some duo 30cm Thai Unryu I had bought from the Origami Shop.
Although Unryu is generally tissue thin, this duo paper seemed really thick, still I thought it was worth a bend so set about gridding – This was really hard work on fingers, and resorted to a bone folder – only when I laided in creases crisply was I able to reverse them (and in many cases even then with difficulty).
Australia is the home of many unique animals – few come odder than monotremes, mammals that lay eggs – an echidna is one such critter.
I had seen folds of Steven Casey’s Echidna but struggled to find a source of diagrams – only by drilling down in Pinterest did I find some copyright infringer’s scanned pages of the diagrams (sorry, I would have purchased them could I find a publication that had them) and knew I had to have a go at it.
Central to the success of this model is the lovely crop of spines – these are treated scales (much like those that adorn Satoshi Kamiya’s Ryu Jin 2.1+), a lovely “preliminary base” tessellation that I had already mastered. the rest of the model is making the surrounding paper do the work of all the other stickey-outey bits of the animal.
I particularly love the snout and head, so simple but so nice. It has 4 feet, each with toes – just genius.
You fold it, the resultant shape before you collapse it into it’s end 3D shape looks a lot like a pelt – not sure National Parks and Wildlife would appreciate the notion of an Echidna Pelt, but it then becomes round and plumptious and locks together ingeniously into an adorable spikey ball full of character.
…so I was approached by a friend who wanted to spring a surprise on his partner for her birthday. He said she liked dragons, immediately my shagged and fragged mind (marking makes me a disagreeable troll) jumped and I committed a huge bit of metallicised paper to fold Shuki Kato’s “Western Dragon” … because I had achieved it once in the 5 times I had attempted it. That failed.
Not deterred, I chose a lovely sheet of block printed blue mulberry paper (printed 2 tone with gold and white lotus flowers), cut the biggest square I could and set about folding Satoshi Kamiya’s “Ancient Dragon” (having achieved it once (in 7 attempts) – what could go wrong?
As it turns out, all went to plan – even thought he paper was smaller than recommended, I was able to tease, gradually, all the design features and “Tazzie” was born.
We are about to travel again and, as is our tradition, we will leave origami folds wherever we go.
We decided this time it would be a Koala – they are cute and a definitive Australian animal (albeit critically endangered) so I set about to find a design I liked.
After much to-ing and fro-ing I returned to a model I first folded in 2011, designed by Jozsef Zsebe, from Hungary of all places – interestingly the best Koala designs generally come from places other than Oz – go figure.
I manufactured fur paper, using wet polar bear fleece. Do not start on how a Koala is not a bear, I know, but … meh … the texture works and the colour gradation (I found a dirty polar bear) from ears to arse works nicely I think.
I have committed this fold to memory (no mean feat given the state of my brain at the moment) an look forward to leaving them all around Vietnam and Cambodia.
A colleague brought me back some Hanji paper from her visit to Korea, and I was wondering what to fold with it when I stumbled across a post on Facebook describing a modular money dragon fold.
Designed by Hieu Dang, modified & diagrammed by Lien Quoc Dat ( tutorial: youtube.com/c/LQDchannel ) to be folded from 10 x bank notes, and thought it was worth a go. When I wrestled with an american dollar, deciding it too small for me to fold, I scaled up and cut 10 x 1:2 rectangles from a burgundy sheet of Hanji, and began folding.
This reminds me a LOT of Satoshi Kamiya’s Ryu Jin 3.5, but not as many scales, still, it s a time-consuming fold, and many of the techniques are repetitive, but manageable. I found the diagrams on the head really difficult to fathom, and the low resolution images made it difficult to to work out what’s what. See for yourself.
So in a recent workshop, I made a bunch of different types of paper, time to try it out I thought. I had 3xA4 sheets and 2xA3 sheets pulled from the white board + Day Lilly + Lemongrass vat, so decided to have a go at folding something from that.
There are examples, hundreds of years old, of clever multi-compartment paper widgets, used to store silk threads (from weavers and embroiderers), and there is some exploration of the folding theory on teh internet, but you gotta dive deep.
I knew I needed to bring some botanical fibre (so I chopped up some of my lemongrass bush trimmings), lunch and a baked treat to share, along with hat, sturdy shoes etc. We set up tables outside and set about the business of making paper.
Our school has large display cases. I have kilograms of origami at home, in showboxes, tidy tubs, cupboards, garbage bags and display cases … one thing led to another:
My aim with this display to to show the variety of forms modern Origami takes, from traditional, figurative, geometry and abstract. Additionally I have included 14 different dragons, a current fascination – can you find them all?
I feature some of my favourite pieces, designed by legends such as Satoshi Kamiya, Robert Lang, Eric Domaine, Francis Ow, Ronald Koh, Kade Chan, Eric Joisel, Brian Chan, Jason Ku and more.
In a bid to calm down and relax after a brutal week at work, I took a 60cm square of red/natural Ikea Kraft paper and started folding… and folded, and folded and folded.
I have been lured back into the fold (as it were) of Ryu Jin folders (nerds who attempt to fold Satoshi Kamiya’s devilishly difficult dragon series). Having already folded a 1.0, 1.2 and 3.5, I noticed that I had never attempted a 2.1.
For the uninitiated, the numbers indicate refinements, with the 1.0 being vaguely dragon like and the 3.5 (the culmination of this design process) being the most astonishingly detailed design imaginable.
There is a story of a deeply depressed man who, when seeking help from a psychiatrist, was given the advice that he should cheer himself up by seeing the visiting clown, the great “Joseph Grimaldi”. With the suggestion, the man wept more intensely. “I am Grimaldi”, he said.
I am terrified of clowns, just putting that out there. That said, I saw this little CP of a “Pierrot” with a silly hat and decided to procrastinate even further and attempt to fold it.
So GOT has started again, the final season and it is a promised shitstorm between people and the undead (sorry, if that is a spoiler).
It seems ALL of the trouble of the resident ice-zombies was caused by an experiment between a man and a race called “the children of the forest”, and some dragon glass, but that plot point will be explored further I guess as the series winds up. This mask reminds me of what I imagined the children of the forest looked like when I read the books.