A few years back, I was gifted a portfolio of amazing vintage paisley paper by the Albions. I have held back folding it until I found something that would do it justice:
I pulled a sheet (there are over a dozen different paisleys in the folio), it opened up into a large sheet that I derived a way of dividing it into 30 equal squares – the basis on this kusudama.
This is a stellated dodecahedron, with lovely ridges, pentagonal faces and a wonderfully tactile design. 30 modules, based on 60 degree division, wonderfully deep pockets and positive lock, initially it is easy to put together. You can have a go yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzeQBFay8NY
There were 4 hours allocated for the teaching of “Dog”, we finished in about 3 so Satoshi decided to teach a simpler model that he said was the most “realistic cat” he knew – modelled after his own pet apparently:
A simple fold sequence, we have the back of a cat staring intensely away from us, just wonderful. I have seen other session attendee’s models where they added details to the front of the cat (when I re-fold this I may too).
Again, the sequence was fluid, and a joy to follow along with, interjected with banter and casual observations by the master – such a privilege to have been able to fold along.
The star drawcard (for me) was an opportunity to fold along live with Satoshi Kamiya – he taught 2 models and I managed to follow along with the broken English, translator and zoom limitations:
The sequence of most of Kamiya’s models are delicious – so natural, logical and a totally different/unique style.
This is a generic dog, different to the one most recently published and I can see how you could vary the base to get really nicely shaped dogs of many types – this one is a little “husky” like.
I really felt lucky to have been present, I am a bit of a fanboi, but it was intense and wonderful. Matching the master, fold for fold was a rare pribilege. I must re-fold this (as I am not really happy with the head I folded).
Jeannine Mosely is a legend in the modular origami world, and her early morning session was one I hoped to be awake enough to follow:
This nightmare of a model has 12 modules (4 colours, 3 sheets each), and the actual module is really simple (based primarily on a 60 degree corrugation through a fan fold on a 1: root 3 sized paper).
Part of the session was devoted to a neato method of cutting a square down to the correct proportions, a small time in folding the module and the balance in construction, which is a bit of a mind-fuck.
Once you “get” the interleaving, it sort of makes sense, but the shape is not stable until the last colour goes in, making construction really fiddly.
The resultant model is wonderful, and I know I will fold it again (I might choose nicer colours, and perhaps make it a little bigger). Jeannine’s instructions were clear and she has a good common sense presentation style.
On a high from a folding session taught by Sipho Mabona, I wandered virtually out into the virtual conference meeting rooms and sat in on a modular folding session, where I was taught the modules for a “Gear Cube” – 6 modules that make an intriguing structure:
This is designed by Miyuki Kawamura, and I came in half way through an informal folding session, but picked it up fairly quickly.
I will probably fold this again, with bi-colour paper (all the same however) as I suspect the “gear” mechanism might look more interesting if they are all the same colour.
Apparently spontaneous folding sessions are a feature of Origami conferences – I have never been to one so I was delighted that people shared skills at all hours of the day and night – the Zoom/chatroom combination facilitated by “Gathertown” was fabulous.
Mum had Basset hounds when we were kids – wondrously preposterous dogs with twice as much skin as any dog needs, rediculously long ears and a bark straight from the bowels of hell. We loved the “girls”; they were very intelligent, active and protective (and seemed to delight in sneaking up behind us and barking deeply once, for the effect – I am sure it amused them):
This model is as close to the actual basset hound shape as I have found folded from paper, and the colour changes make this model actually closely resemble one of our bassetts named “Cleo” – lovely dog. The stance is really typical and the placement/proportion of the ears and head are spot on.
Folded from white/natural duo Ikea Kraft, it is a challenging model because of a number of judgement fold steps and some tricky shaping, but i am happy with the result (and hope mum likes it, a gift for her).
I try not to let folds beat me, but honestly, until now this one has. I have attempted Eric Joisel’s ‘Le Coq” more that 6 times, this is really the only fold of it I am happy with:
Continuing to fold models that are part of a competition I was eliminated from is part of the motivation, but a “hidden” technique, published obscurely (not in my library) surfaced that allowed for a layered/ruffled breast and clarified the eye/comb and “bingo!”, I finally get it.
This model is folded from a 1m square of Officeworks Kraft paper, measures 20cm toe to comb, and is all attitude. One of our fondest memories of France was the bicycle tour to Giverny (Monet’s house) via Vernon. While in Vernon, looking for baguette and cider, we stumbled across a bric-a-brac store that had resin chooks – we fell in love with a rooster we subsequently bought, naming him “Vernon”.
Keeping my fingers buys, I had it suggested (on Redit) that I should try Tomoko Fuse’s ‘Starsea Kusudama”:
I had not seen this before, the unit is complex and folding it on a 1/4 6″ square was, in retrospect, probably a mistake but I like a challenge.
30 modules later, the construction was fiddly but the locked shape is really sturdy and there is no need for glue – tabs are buried deep in pockets. The last few units are really hard to seat (I needed tweezers to ease them into place) but paper tension causes the ball to become regular.
38 years ago, the love of my life said “I do”, wearing antique white lace, in Wanganui Gardens, on the bank of the Brisbane River, among family and friends in glorious sunshine. She did this despite the fact that I was wearing a brown suit, ruffled beige bodyshirt and brown boots – must have been either love, or certifiable lunacy.
Happy Anniversary Jo, love and hugs always.
This is Maria Sinayskaya’s Little Roses Kusudama (squares variant), 30 units – lovely thing indeed.
Whilst being eliminated from the Origami Tournament, I am still interested in the models being folded by surviving contestants. This week’s challenge was Jang Yong Ik’s :Smilodon” – a “sabre tooth tiger” like critter from time gone past:
The fold sequence is intense – this model ate up a 70cm square of black/natural duo Kraft paper like few other models. The body is thick and heavy, some sections had dozens of layers.
I took my time, considered as I went, determined to succeed on my first fold. In retrospect, using thinner paper would have an advantage in that the layer management would be easier, but the legs would be flimsy and require wire supports – tough for a designer to distribute paper structurally.
In the end, we have a crouching toothy fossil, it was an interesting exercise and entrants did some good shaping to personalise their folds. I enjoyed exploring the sequence.
Madly, I agreed to participate in an international tournament, at the Intermediate level:
Intermediate meant you got a diagram and 72 hours to fold a rendition of it. I decided the “advanced” category was beyond my available time as you only got a CP and presumably relied on the power of prayer.
I gave it a whirl, went for crisp and accurate, but played a little with the flowing style of mane. It was loved by nearly noone who voted – fair enough. Other, less well folded versions (in my opinion) got more “likes” – social media is like that. Useful punch in the face, thanks.
Round 1 of the tournament done … and I am eliminated. Time to focus on more important things.
Each year, as an ice-breaker/getting to know you activity with my pastoral care group at the beginning of a school year I try to involve them in a collaborative origami megastructure:
Many hands made light work of the 90 sonobe modules, folded from Terracey colours (red, black, white). From little things, big things grow, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts (roll out the well trodden metaphors).
The construction has taken an age – 5 false starts until I discovered the module grouping – in the end it turned out to be alternating 5s and 6s on each vertex of each 6. Each sonobe module contributes 1/3 of a pair of adjacent points – and with careful colour planning no 2 colours are beside each other (well, that is nearly the case – in 2 places I was forced to break this rule, but you really have to look to find them).
90 modules take time, and most of the kids in the pastoral care group folded at least one – a true collaboration that results in a lovely spikey ball that will join the other treasures from previous years.
It is the days you do not look in your mailbox that mail arrives – I arrived home from work to find an astonishing collection of paper from Pham Hoang Tuan’s origami shop, and a couple of his diagrams, all screaming “fold me!”, so I started that journey:
I had only ever seen this model complete and in CP form, failed at solving that CP 2 times and had given up folding it for now, then it arrived in diagram form to my delight.
I took my time, learned lots from initially failing, made sectional maquettes to check techniques and really enjoyed the process of folding.
This model is such a synergy of techniques – I can see influences from so many of Joisel’s other creations (many of which I have folded before). The initial collapse is vaguely humanoid, but the shaping is the making of model. So many details to control. The face and hat are tricksy but I an really happy with the level of detail I managed here – he has a playful but chilled character, smug smile and refined face – the mask is jauntily sitting on his nose also.
The fabric effects to the sleeved and pantaloons are a nightmare – to make them seem to “drape” is really hard I found, but eventually it came together. I pre-creased some quilted effect on the bodice and skirt which I am really happy with, and the collar took me ages to nut out. He is in full stockings (diamond pattern), has goofy shoes, a fly-away in-action wavey cape and open hands – so many bits were there waiting to be shaped. One can only marvel at the genius of the design.
Cruising Fakebook, as one does, I came across a fascinating origami geometric mindf*ck:
Edu Solano Lumbreras kindly shared instructions for his design, having adapted the techniques used in Thoki Yenn’s “Umulus Rectangulum” corners, to make this tesseract like cubic möbius strip.
Comprised of 6 modules, with some exacting pre-creasing that lends itself to template work, you fold bent square tubes with 3 corners – the shortest corner makes the “tab”, the opposite end becomes the “pocket”.
Folding in a4, the geometry is just as elegant, if exacting.