968: Spiny Norman

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:

Yudai Imai's hedgehog

I had been looking for a model to best show of some duo 30cm Thai Unryu I had bought from the Origami Shop.

Yudai Imai's hedgehog paper - OrigamiShop's duo Unryu

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).

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967: Spike the Echidna

Australia is the home of many unique animals – few come odder than monotremes, mammals that lay eggs – an echidna is one such critter.

spiny norman

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.

spiny norman views

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.

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Tazzie the Lotus Dragon

…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.

Tazzie scale

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?

tazzie's new home

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.

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Travel Fold 2019

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.

966: Green Turtle

As part of an origami challenge on Fakebook, we were challenged to fold the Green turtle from Origami Pro #4, designed by Jang Yong Ik :

green Turtle designed by  Jang Yong Ik

I split off a square from a 70cm roll of black/natural Ikea Kraft and started the diagonal pleat pre-creasing.

Over a period of a couple of weeks, fitting it into life, the universe, and everything, I folded this intense model, really determined to enjoy the process.

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Spotted Ryu

Playing with Hieu Dang’s money Ryujin, I decided to try and fold it money-size, but with fewer bits of paper:

spotty ryu

I measured a korean dong note, then cut bits of paper 3×1, 2.5×1, 2.5×1 (body segments) and 3 note sized bits (head, 2xlegs) and set to folding.

a nice pair

The scale was tiny, it took about 3 weeks on and off and the result is lovely. With the Hanji ryu it is like a perfect pair – I imagine the larger is the female, the smaller spotty one is the male.

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Origami X’s Elephant

Cruising fakebook, as one is likely to do when at home unwell, I stumbled across a beautiful little elephant shared as a photo by “Origami X” (sorry, I do not know this users real name).

I asked if diagrams for this new design were likely, and joy of joys was privy to a share of a photo sequence I knew i had to try:

pink elephant

This model is really elephantine, proportions are cute, I love the head assembly and ears/trunk combo – they happen so naturally.

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963: Hanji Ryu Jin

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.

Hanji Ryu

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.

Made with bank notes

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.

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Handmade Paper

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.

handmade paper
White board, Day Lilly, Lemongrass hand-made(by me) paper

I remember the ladies of PAQ talking about Chinese Threadbooks – an ancient paperfolding tradition from China. Having already folded one using cheap decorative paper, I thought I would throw some handmade paper at one also.

threadbook complete

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.

threadbook compartments
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Showing Off

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:

library display 2019

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.

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962: Ryu Jin 2.1 – Head

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.

Ryujui 1.2 head

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.

Ryujui 1.2 head views and detail

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.

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961: Drogon, The Black Dragon

The lure of Satoshi Kamiya’s Dragon set is alluring. Recently I was invited into a community that celebrates the RyuJin series. Having folded a 1.0 and a 3.5, I thought it time to fold another:

Drogo, Satoshi Kamiya's RyuJin 1.2

This is the 1.2 – a refinement of the 1.0 and I had fun shaping the head as per a guide by Daniel Brown – a luscious and generously shared photodiagram set that I really enjoyed following.

My 1.2 is actually based on almost an identical crease pattern to the 1.0 I folded back in 2013, but back then I had NO IDEA how to shape it, and sort of made up shit as I went along.

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959: Jackson’s Goblin Mask

Continuing my quest to master the face, I decided to explore the facial widgets of CP#15, one of many generous public designs by Flynn Jackson:

Goblin - black and white

From a single uncut square, emerges the angular features of a lovely goblin.

goblin - scale

I am particularly interested in the formation of the nose, and it’s linkage to the nose bridge – something I want to master for another long-term project.

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957: Tragic Clown

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.

clown mask

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.

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956: Children of the Forest

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).

children of the forest - Flynn Jackson's CP

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.

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