Vermillion Oncidium

Posted by wonko on March 10, 2014 in flower

…so a friend was in Osaka Japan, and found some paper, rolled and posted it home to me – one of the sheets was this lovely hot orange flecked with gold leaf.

Orchids sprang to mind, so I cut the sheet (the first cut is the hardest) into 6 graduated squares with nearly no wastage and then folded Lang orchid blooms from them.

I made a wire armature to serve as a stem and after some MC to stiffen (and close gaping seams) and some florists tape to affix the blooms we end up with quite the loveliest thing.

It is a gift, I hope Daz and Amanda love it even half as much as I do … hard to part with but there you are – origami is ephemeral and often designed to be gifted.

If YOU were to want this, how much would it be worth? Each flower takes about an hour plus posing and mounting. Should I consider a stall at the Staff market day?

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472: Decoration Cube

Posted by wonko on March 9, 2014 in geometry

I came across a bunch of variations to a 12 unit modular cube that variously used a 1×1, 2×1 and 3×1 rectangle. I settled on the square variant (in retrospect I should have used the 2×1 version – half as much paper required, but you live and learn.

Initially I just was interested in the locking mechanism of a cube, so folded a red one. then I decided to see how a yellow one might intersect, then because I had some purple paper left over from the torus I thought to link the yellow to a purple, and the idea sort of grew from there.

I scoured my dealer’s (Rhonda, the custodian of paper supplies) shelves and ended up finding 11 different colours/tints – I added a “black” origami paper as the 12th colour and, hey presto they formed a ring of particular beauty.

It just sort of happened – I resolved to only fold during breaks at work, in front of kids, and over a period of 2 weeks it grew into a long chain and I was finally ready to join it into a ring.

I want to say this join was an easy, simple thing. I did not find it so – I tried, undid it, tried again, unfolded it (muttering obscenities under my breath). tried again, thought I had it until I realised it was wrong (the pattern should repeat, the join should not be visible – doh!

In trying, I mashed the 2 cubes I was trying to join, so had to re-fold them before trying again – in the end, I realised that it was paper tension that was making my join attempt fail, so (cheating) used a little glue to make the modules stay in place on the last cube as I constructed it among the other one.

There is an inherent geometrical beauty here, coming from the repetition and the gentle twist – if I was to fold it again I think I would go either for monochrome or be more organised with my colours – I just sort of made the colour scheme up as I went – dark with light, spacing out the tints as best I could without having to disassemble and rebuild.

Not sure what I will do with it – someone wanted to buy it (Stuart) – might give it to him instead.


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A Clump Of Plinths

Posted by wonko on February 26, 2014 in blarg

Walking, as I do, through our Year 10 campus I was struck at how many display cases they have, mostly empty.

I put forward the suggestion that I was happy to fill one with origami and the idea took hold.

The cabinets are big unstructured spaces, I appropriated a clump of plinths to create levels and stages for larger works and then plopped large cool bits of bent paper on them in a sort of fashion.

Stepping back I am struck by a couple of things – (1) how amazing some of the models are (testament to the brilliance of the designers); (2) how much time that tiny collection of models represents (testament to my patience, insanity or both); and (3) I made them.

I hope the kids realize that patience and skill is developmental – passion is an energy that can be harnessed to make great beauty and paper is not “just paper”

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471: Folding Chair

Posted by wonko on February 22, 2014 in furniture

Needing to clean my brain, I looked for some box-pleating (as that is absorbing, fiddly and it is difficult to to do or think anything else while doing it):

I came across a design for a folding chair, folded in 24ths and decided to give it a go.

… continue reading.

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470: Osteichthyes

Posted by wonko on February 15, 2014 in fish

Osteichthyes or BONY fish appear from fossil evidence as far back as 420 million years ago when they appear to have differentiated from cartilaginous fishy things. Fossil records are sketchy but shapes and morphologies are visible in traces in very ancient rocks.

This odd origami attempts to hint at the faint fossil traces left in a rock of a conventional bony fish and it does a pretty good job for such a simple fold. … continue reading.

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469: Fiddly Folding

Posted by wonko on February 9, 2014 in domestic

My heuristic is that we do not get mail on Fridays – not sure it is always true but mostly. Last Friday I therefore did not check the mailbox. Sunday I discovered my Tanteidan had been delivered on Friday and I had left it for nearly 2 days before opening it.

On the cover, Gen Hagiwara’s violin – a sublime fold that I have seen many fellow paper-benders succeed at folding and I was determined to give it a bash.

… continue reading.

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468: I am Pegasus, My Name Means Horse

Posted by wonko on February 3, 2014 in fantasy, mammal, seasonal

I am old enough to remember when a folk singer named Ross Ryan released a campy song about flying horses, and given that is an ear-worm of a song and it has just turned “Year of the Horse” for Chinese New Year, I thought it was an omen on what next to fold:

This is “Pegasus” by Dong Viet Thien from my newly arrived VOG2 origami book. A lovely use of a square, with some of the largest wings of this style of model I have seen.

… continue reading.

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467: Weave

Posted by wonko on February 1, 2014 in geometry

Early morning catching up on Facebook, I saw a friend had posted a link to a Youtube clip of a woven ring:

I took 8 11cm squares (left-overs from the torus project) and split them into quarter strips (making a total of 32 strips of paper), then folded each strip in half longways then in half shortways – nice easy folding.

Then you take the papers and interlock them, when you get past 3 you can start tucking ends away inside the previous strips to form a lovely tidy zig zag of triangles. 

I chose 4 colours and just kept to a simple colour schedule and before long had run out of paper. Joining the two ends was easy – the method is repetitive so it is just a matter of working the free ends into the existing pattern.

The result is lovely, was simple and I can see LOTS of uses for such a sturdy (it structurally is really strong) ring. I might experiment with longer strips to see if the band is widenable. I am sure I have seen something similar done with flax or palm fronds whilst green – it has a basket weave feel.

I must, however, get to folding a horse…

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Folding Algorithms – Sato Rose

Posted by wonko on January 20, 2014 in blarg, flower, geometry

Much of Origami is algorithmic (algorithm = procedural solution to a problem). A rabbit ear is an algorithm, one knows how to fold it on a corner – double rabbit ear is the same solution, folded two simultaneously. Petal fold is also a standard maneuver which got me thinking of the Sato Rose algorithm.

I like this algorithm particularly because of the free-form nature of much of the folding, and the way it seems to “fit” a pentagon. I decided to use the same folding algorithm but try it with other regular polygons – I tried triangle(3), square(4), pentagon(5), hexagon(6), heptagon(7), octagon(8), nonagon(9) but gave up on the decagon(10).

The algorithm involves “nearly” bisecting each vertex to form an echo shape at the centre of the sheet – you then halve that internal echo to create a slightly offset echo and use that as the basis of a “kawasaki twist”

Once the twist has happened, you begin dividing the protruding flaps into petals.

The Sato (a modified Kawasaki II rose variation) generates 3 layers of petals arranged in a lovely spiral from a tight central petal cluster. 

All shapes are NOT created equal for this algorithm – although you CAN use other polygons, each one has different effects on the resultant bloom shape.

The LOWER the number of vertices, the LARGER the outer 2 petal layers are (these are the ones that receive most modelling treatment and hence can effect the overall “rosy-ness” of the flower) and the FLATTER and TIGHTER the inner bud is. You can see that the TRIANGLE has huge outer petals.

As the number of vertices increases the flower centre protrudes and is MUCH more difficult to make tight and compact so gapes, the outer petals shrink and the bloom becomes (to my eye at least) less beautiful.

I think there is a reason the PENTAGON works best, and am sure there is mathematics to back up my gut feeling (although that maths is beyond me at the moment). The Pentagon, to me, provides the ideal ratio of outer petal size to inner bud, but this has been an interesting investigation as I am sure I was not aware of the dynamics of the fold nor the effects the parameters (in this case the number of vertices) had on the result.

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466: Hedwig the Wet-Fold Owl

Posted by wonko on January 16, 2014 in bird, blarg, paper

Exploring my new VOG2 book, there are many lovely things to try but this model uses a method I have not been brave enough to try until now – wet folding.

The idea is to take heavy paper, too thick to fold conventionally (it would crack, split and otherwise be finger-bruisingly impossible to sculpt) and apply WATER to it before coaxing it into shape.

I used watercolour cartridge (27cm square) – a thick board-like paper that snaps when bent dry. Using a damp rag, I applied water to front and back and immediately the sheet transformed into this malleable leather-like slab.

I think the trick is to know how the model goes first (oops, forgot that step) and fold quickly and definitely – changing your mind about where creases go is problematic but the paper is still forgiving.

When the paper dries it keeps the shape you managed to mould into it – as it dries you can touch up and improve on shapes that collapse when really wet, a LOT like sculpture. the result is not perfect – I should have practiced the fold first, “Owl” by Hoang Tien Quyet is a deceivingly simple model that is figuratively owl-like.

I have learned that this technique deserves more experimentation and requires a special sort of concentration and a very gentle touch as wet paper has no tensile strength. You need to look forward to the final form rather than concentrating too much on pre-creasing or sharpness, but am happy with my first go at it.

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465: Green Dragon

Posted by wonko on January 15, 2014 in dinosaur, fantasy

Now I know you are thinking this is not green, but the design is named “Green Dragon” by Piotr Pluta:

After I made the double-sided double tissue I had been looking for a fold that would suit such a busy paper – it sort of looks like dragon skin/scales so the idea took.

I want to tell you this is the first time I have folded this – in truth this is the first fold of this design that I am happy to publish – the other THREE times resulted in a scrumpled up mess in the bin. I have no “development photos” because I was not convinced it was not going to fail again. Soz.

Definitely a “horn-back” (Potter geeks rejoice), the central back horn is the middle of the page, 4 feet with toes (you can sort of see them), lovely wings, tail and a confusing head.

I struggled to photograph the model, and again I think I need a light box to better capture the layers and detail – natural light and flash fill seem not to really represent it adequately.

I am happy not to say I have managed to complete this model – the paper indeed helped as some of the collapses and manipulations do not work with thicker paper. Models where toes are formed from within the sheet (as opposed to from edges) are a nightmare in pleat management and accuracy if they are to work at all.

I am enjoying my experiments with double tissue. The paper was thin, crisp and strong. Because it is so busy (the pattern is distracting), laying creases in it is troublesome – the paper takes the creases really well (even ignoring the imperfections and wrinkles that result from the stretching/brush work in making it) BUT you cannot then SEE then – problematic when pre-creasing as things like REFERENCE points vanish midst the pattern – I found natural light was not enough and needed to work under a reading light also. the back/horn collapse is complicated – a “do this all at once” move that took me ages to line up and then it just sort of happened which was nice.

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Green Tree Frog

Posted by wonko on January 8, 2014 in amphibian

I have recently spent time in a cabin in the woods – well, in truth, it is a cabin among some semi-tropical rain forest in the border ranges in northers New South Wales – a retreat for body and mind:

Having made some “double tissue“, I was itching to see how it took folds and I remembered a green thing I had folded way back as part of the 365 project – Robert Lang’s Green Tree Frog. My first attempt was small, white and not very detailed so I thought it might be fun to torture some double tissue with that design.

… continue reading.

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