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”:
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)
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.
Starting with some Chiyogami and Japanese foil (not used this before – really hard to fold cleanly) in 15cm squares, the finished fully 3D 6 pointed star measures about 7cm tip to tip – a little folded miracle.
Using a hot glue gun, I fastened short lengths of knotted ribbon to a point (the “untidy one where all the paper edges coalesce) and we end up with a lovely tree ornament that we have been using on our tiny xmas tree for years.
Time to scale up and see if anyone else wants them – another paper product to sell, we shall see how that works out.
Faced with a brief hiatus before marking became crippling, I set about to re-master the free form folding technique of the Sato Rose:
I have found many guides for Naomiki Sato’s rose that do precise pre-folding, invariably I get lost or end up with a bloom that is so geometrically perfect that it is not very realistic, so went searching for a technique that allowed for natural bloom variation.
Two years ago (or thereabouts) I had mastered the knack of turning a free-form Sato rose, but then lost it – not sure why. I mangled dozens of sheets of paper trying to get it back to no success. “Free form” is a term I use to describe a process that has nearly NO landmarks – you fold it to about here, then back a little and so on. With such a complicated fold, mistakes early ruin the later fold as they compound out of control.
Ever since first watching the telly series “Vikings” (currently 3 seasons, worth looking for) I was a fan of the gritty realism and glimpse into the lifestyle (albeit cinematicised) of what I imagine was a hard working and noble race:
The character “Floki” was an odd inventor genius and ship builder, I think he would have approved of this design – a teensy weensy longboat complete with oars, sail and dragon bow sprit.
The design is challenging, for as much as it requires a really odd 10×1 sheet of paper as for the instructions in cryptic Italian – quite a challenge in themselves as the diagrams were heavily stylised and gave hints as to where to fold rather than solid landmarks.
As a member of Origami USA (OUSA), we get access to some member designs and this one stuck out as something fun to try:
Jason Ku’s Convertible uses some standard (and not so standard) box pleating tricks to sculpt a fully formed car from a flat sheet.
On the 10th of October, 2010, the origami world lost a living treasure and master of the art of Origami – Monsieur Eric Joisel.
To “breathe life into paper” is something I am inspired to do as a DIRECT reaction and influence of his work. To think more about the art and less about the technique is challenging, but a worthy struggle.
Eric Joisel – your legacy lives on. May all paper folders learn a little from your art, be inspired by your spirit and fold from the heart.
A good friend, Janet, found some marbled tie-dyed mulberry paper when she was recently in Bangkok, Thailand.
Like a true maniac she carefully rolled and carried with her on her travels, returning to Australia she carefully transported it to a place I would also be (Townsville for a conference).
Not quite sure how I missed this little beauty in the flurry of folding fishies, but Sensei Koh messaged me on fakebook and asked why I had not folded it. Truth is I was dazed and confused (and just a little fished out) and must have just missed it:
That is a pity, this little charmer is one of my favourites in the collection. Lovely aquiline body shape. flowing find and well formed head.
Fun Fact – the collective noun for goldfish is either “Glint” or “Troubling” – now you know:
Now to choose which of these will make it to the actual goldfish bowl – suggestions….?
Interestingly (for me), I have had goldfish over the years. At one stage I had a tank with 3 of these in it – Blackmoors – lovely plump little goggle-eyed black goldfish:
I remember as they got sicker, they became less black until, as they floated upside down ready to be scooped and flushed to an early grave they were almost a deep purple colour.
A completely different folding technique was a nice change with this much tortured bit of paper:
An odd-shaped goldfish, famously all white except for a colourful growth on the head, this thin-waisted fantail was actually really hard work even at this scale.