522: House Module – Group Activity

As a teacher, I have a pastoral care group of students from multiple year levels, many initial strangers and new students at the start of the year.image

I look for an activity that we can all focus on, conversations and collegiality usually follows.

Francis Ow published diagrams on a “house” module (strangely appropriate) and hints on how to compose large structures using lots of them.image

Sooooo … I taught my year 11s how to fold them, they had to teach the year 8s who had to teach others – a snowball effect created 96 individual modules that were then connected into bunches of 4, making the 24 vertices that then slotted into 2 hemispheres and finally a single hemisphere – wow.image

Happy with the outcome, the chaps got a sense of the sum of parts making the whole, that participation is the reward and we have a pretty cool thing to call ours.

522: Happy Australia Day

It is Australia Day “down under” on the 26th of January and there are few things more Australian than kangaroos (well, apart from football, meat pies and Holden cars, thongs, budgie smugglers, throwing another prawn on the barbie and getting a day off work):522Kangaroo

I have folded a couple of previous versions of this kangaroo, designed by Gen Hagiwara, but never this version (version 2013 featured in Tanteidan Magazine 147). It is somewhat ironic that the very best Australian Kangaroo designs are from a talented Japanese designer – I wonder if it is because us Aussies take these critters for granted whereas they appear fantastical to people who do not see them often?

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521: Robert Lang’s Yellowjacket

Flipping through the book “Origami Masters – Bugs – How the Bug Wars Changed the Art Of Origami”, you cannot help but be frightened by this model:521Yellowjacket

Robert Lang, mathematician, engineer and origami design genius in this model pushes the envelope of what is possible with paper on a number of levels. The book gives general hints about a truly terrifying paper manipulation which I think, largely ignores the fact that paper will be used in the fabrication.521YellowjacketViews

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520: Blackstar

Having pre-ordered the new album by David Bowie, I was delighted when it arrived in my postbox yesterday morning (Monday 11 January 2016). Much hyped, I put it on loud, in high rotation for the day, each listen affirming a new favorite Bowie Album.520BlackStarCover

In the afternoon we went grocery shopping, to return home to the news that Bowie had passed on, after a long and private battle with cancer.520BlackStarScale

Few aspects of the music industry were not influenced by this artist.

His music woke me up as a teenager, a welcome relief from the bang and twang that monopolised the music charts.

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519: Before the Big Bang

Curved creases seem to do interesting things to stiff paper.519twist

Paper tension that has been tortured by curved folds tends to force planes into curves and distorts geometry in interesting ways.519Snail

I had a huge offcut of Canson watercolour paper and decided to try Thoki Yenn and Josef Albers “Before The Big Bang” – an odd collection of concentric creases, alternating mountain and valleys.

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518: Flasher

I have had sheets of Elephant Hide for ages, and read that it was really good for geometric folding (corrugations and tessellations), so set out to find something I could do as fold therapy:518Flasher

Jeremy Shafer is a genius designer of origami action models and I had seen his series of collapsing “flashers” so thought I would give them a go. they are termed “flasher” because they are tiny when resting, but expand out in an explosion of pleats when you stretch them.

This is the “Flasher Hat” – perfect for the silly season where wearing paper hats seems mandatory. It combines the classic features of a flat flasher with special corrugations and crimps that raise a crown.

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Segway V2

I was recently asked how I folded my Segway model because someone wanted one. I was loathed to part with my original and to be honest I had no idea, I just folded it, so decided to revisit the model (which seems unique in the origami community) and see if it can be methodologised:SegwayV2

Originally I folded in 32nds, but decided in re-working the model 24ths work better, and are easy folding once you have thirds. The balance was always consuming enough paper for the body to leave enough for the control stalk which splits at the top. My original cheated because the proportions were off ( so I sneakily cut a strip off to shorten it) but on 24ths, it just works.

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517: Darth Paper – The Fold Awakens

I will admit it, I have been a Star Wars fan since it was possible to be one. I saw the original movies many times in the cinema DECADES before my kids thought it would be cool to do the same with the new ones:517DarthPapers

The original 3 movies were special (well, they WERE before Lucas began messing with them again), the “Force” was this unexplained thing that made sense (subsequently RUINED by the introduction of “midiclorians” or some such shit), space ships where sterile white, blasters went “pew pew pew” but left no blood spatter and it was kind of ok to crush on your sister until you realised she was your sister.

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516: Jaws

In 1975, after finishing year 10, a friend (hey Brendan!) and I decided to cycle to the Sunshine Coast as “something to do” during the Christmas holidays. Living in Maleny, this was a journey but not really that far in retrospect, but on a bicycle in the middle of summer it was kind of madness. 516Jaws

Our bikes were laden with water bottles, tent, airbeds and other camping equipment (I was a scout, and, generally, was prepared), down the range we made for our first campsite at Caloundra. In those days the caravan park/camp site backed on to the beach – cool breezes and ocean sounds – all good, right? That night, we went to the local cinema to see a new release blockbuster movie – “JAWS” directed by Stephen Spielberg. I’ll be honest, this movie really gave me the willies – the now classic film had palpable suspense, shock, gore and was set at the seaside.

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Decoration

Although I began folding paper when I was 11, I peaked at about 13 (back then, in my own mind) by mastering Jack Skillman’s “Jackstone”:scale

I had bought Robert Harbin’s Origami book series, the model featured in book 2 at the back which meant it wqas hard. It seems the Jackstone was at the time a measure of the complexity of the art and, strangely, the geometry made sense to me – so much so that, for whatever reason I committed it to memory and still fold it today. (read Dave Lister’s BOS account of it)detail

It is a masterpiece of pre-folding – that you unfold, turn inside out and collapse along existing lines – the magic still delights and fascinates me to this day.

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