I recently got a copy of Mi Wu’s new book “Duo Color Origami” and knew there were models I had to try:
Colour change is a tricky thing, designing to deliberately form patterns with the reverse side of the page is a real skill and Mi Wu seems to have mastered it, his book contains many unique and very challenging models.
World Origami Days is a period end October-beginning November that is an international celebration of Origami. I decided to try a super complex model (fold until it fails) and successfully folded Satoshi Kamiya’s “Divine Dragon (Bahamut)” on the first attempt:
Rarely does a first fold work out but I kept folding and it did, much to my surprise and delight. The fold sequence is particularly punishing and describes a bit of an enigma of a model – the balance between paper thinness and size. I chose 80gsm 100cm square Kraft paper and at this size/thickness it was tough going in places indeed. The body and legs are incredibly thick compared to the single layer wings – a bit of a puzzle if you wanted to fold it small.
A “Bahamut” is a monster from the “Final Fantasy” franchise, and is an odd mix of a lizard, dragon, Godzilla…thing.
The detail here is terrifying. Thick, muscular 4-toed feet, thick dragonny tail, chest sporting a 6 pack (make that a whole slab), arms with 4 claws, complex and snarly horned head and glorious wings with an extra set of hands atop them – quite a formidable beastie.
This fold took me the best part of the weekend to complete, and I used a little glue (shhhh!) to tidy gaping seams and a little MC to stabilise his (? only they would know the gender) posture and basic body morphology.
If I were to fold this again I would use thinner prettier paper, but there are sections where front and back are visible, so the model is not really suited to duo paper – perhaps double tissue or unryu. I had forgotten how satisfying Satoshi Kamiya models are to fold, and how wonderful it is to just get lost in the folding process (I took no progress pics, soz) – it was terrific paper-based therapy. There are so many complex techniques here to isolate and separate body elements, genius design indeed.
The game of the moment appears to be “Among Us” – a playful collab game of murder in the dark, in space, featuring an imposter among the group.
I cannot pretend to have played it, yet. I gather you need friends, like-minded, that have good hand-eye coordination. I think I would be a liability given I used to think that “friendly fire” was the aim, and I always found it easier to murder those players just sitting there with me – apparently murdering team mates is generally not appreciated.
I cannot for one moment pretend that all my folds work out – indeed I have sent LOTS of paper to landfill as twisted wrecks of models i have later mastered.
A single week (with work, life etc) for me was not a challenge I could complete – the Harlequin model is a glorious extension of a “gnome-like” structure, the pre-creasing took me 2 days alone.
I managed the collapse, fairly cleanly, managed to isolate all the key features (face, hat, bow, cape, arms with ruffles, skirt and puffy-pants legs with diamond stockings. I ran out of time shaping, sadly.
Wet folding requires application of water and/or MC, molding, clamping and waiting for it to dry before moving on – the process is tedious, long winded if you have to go to work, sleep etc as well as shape. A piece like this would typically take at least a week to shape alone, so I am not sure it was a good model choice for a week challenge – that said, a couple of folders managed it – I have no idea how.
I will re-fold this, when I am less time-restricted. I am sad I did not complete the challenge actually – it upset me to think I did not have a week 4 entry. the process of acceptance has kicked in however and I am stoic enough to look back at what I did achieve over the past 4 weeks. I am inordinately proud of my efforts, regardless of what the judges thought.
I reflect on Joisel’s legacy a lot – he passed 10 years ago today, I remember the shock that consumed the origami community at his passing, but celebrate his artistic contribution – he re-defined shaping, “breathing life into paper” like no one else.
It is a well known fact that Eric Joisel was a sculptor before taking up paper as his medium of choice. Never is it more evident than the figurative human series of nudes he made, of which this is my approximation of #4:
He uses an ingenious grid system, dividing each corner up into 18 radial lines, where they intersect geometry emerges on a square and that geometry provides the landmarks for the base.
I had tried 2 different schemes for corner division, failed both times until I realised that, relative to the centre line, the interval is a geometric series that increases the further away you get. In the end I used a CP template to “rough out” the divisions and then with my trusty straight edge, ironed out the anomalies.
Corners of the sheet give you arms and legs, the head is near the top middle and a torturous neck reduction brings the chin down to allow the face to look out. The layers are reminiscent of musculature and indeed, Joisel teased and primped, each model different, few photographed clearly enough to really see what was what.
My blog suggests that there are mostl successes with my folds, this is far from the case. I had decided some 5 years back, that I was going to master “Mermaid” by Eric Joisel, and indeed I have tried on a few occasions and failed.
It turned out that “Mermaid#1”, the less attractive of his collection was the subject of Week 2’s intermediate challenge (intermediate they say!!!?!?! Bahahahahahah.). In my confusion, back when I thought it was “choose ONE of thes models and fold it in 4 weeks” I had actually chosen mermaid, because. I recently learned it was fold 1 new model each week, AND copy the work of the master as close as possible. While I am not entirely sure this is respectful, and while I totally fucked this up with week 1 (I did an INTERPRETATION, not a copy, and scored few points for my best gnome ever which was quite disheartening), I am perservering because I like the challenge – it is good for my head.
This is the 4th model in this batch of folding. It is not perfect, and I will probably not be keeping it, but it is as close to a copy of the original as I can manage. Realistic human figures are hard, curves, breasts and soft tummys with delicate bellybuttons are even harder.
So this started as a cautionary tale – I saw the a competition, in Spanish, where they were celebrating the art legacy of one of my favourite designers of all time: Eric Joisel. My initial “skimming” of the competition was “pick a level, choose a model from that level’s choices, fold that model” – easy, right?
I chose “Intermediate”, no real idea why, but I did, and was accepted. Just before the comp started, I get an email welcoming me to the competition and detailing Week 1’s challenge … wait!?!? What!?!?!
Turns out I signed up to fold ALL of the intermediate models, one a week for the next 4 weeks. I have no idea if I can actually fold some of the models in this category, but am (after the “reorientation”) prepared to give it a crack.
If one word sums up 2020, it has to be “cluster”. Sadly, in the Covi-19 era, we find at the centre of most clusters is a cluster-f*ck:
In desperate need of a fold, I turned to Xander Perrott’s e-book “Folded Forms” that I bought a while ago and settled on “Trillian” – a glorious 30 unit modular cluster that looks a little like a flower ball.
Determined to work on one of my known folding weaknesses (solving crease patterns), I decided to have a go at Riccardo Foschi’s “Black Widow”:
Folded from 4×1 rectangle, box pleating teases out lovely long legs, cephalothorax and abdomen. With a little magic I managed to extend some pincer-like jaws also to use up some of the paper that was otherwise lurking in the transition between the body and the legs, which was quite pleasing.
Half the job is the collapse – working out what should be mountain, what should be valley, and the order of the collapse. The rest of the work (some say the hardest bit) is in the shaping as, often, the base you collapse to only roughly corresponds to the morphology of the final form, you then need to primp, tease, thin and pose to gain model finesse.
After what feels like ages, I am returning to recreational folding (it is great therapy):
This started as a mystery CP by Sergio Guarachi, that I sort of solved, then researched and realised I collapsed it more or less correctly. I am still a NOOB when it comes to solving CPs, so was a little chuffed that my collapse liberated a workable number of points, and with some creative smooshing (an actual origami technique) got a fair approximation of a human skeletal hand.
In an age of great confusion and concern over health, safety and social distancing, it is interesting (nay, alarming) to see the spike of “fake news” relating to the current Pandemic:
We learn via social media that Covid-19 was man-made, released as a viral payload from some weaponsied experiment (gone wrong, or not), is transmitted via 5G, and is defeated by injecting disinfectant and drinking bleach. We hear and watch idiot orange leader lie, contradict himself, blame storm, underfund, over-claim, then go and play golf while his country suffers.
We learn that some ffolk, tired of being “isolated” for a week or two in one of the most virus-ravaged countries chose to riot (hence magnify the problem) for their right to congregate, despite social distancing suggestions in place to save their lives – and we see them turn up, enraged, with guns, like they can shoot the fucking invisible enemy.
We hear from celebrities, entombed in their mansions, doing it tough because they are down to only domestic champagne, we hear of crop circles, conspiracies, complete shit uttered by people with access to the greater public, in the end (like this post) it is all NOISE, no SIGNAL.
It appears scientists and health workers DO know how to mitigate spread, that social distancing IS effective at arresting spread, that outbreaks are inevitable but manageble if there is a healthcare system in place applying rational and reasonable steps, and that the world will return to some version of normalcy slowly and cautiously.
This is “Zenith”, a 30 piece kusudama, designed by Xander Perrott (from his eBook “Folded Forms”), folded from duo red/natural Kraft. It is reminiscent of the shape we are seeing of virus (cells?), it was folded during a telly binge, it helped to calm me down when I think of work Monday: I am a teacher, for the past few weeks I have had had nearly normal classes (I teach mostly year 11 and 12, they were back in F2F after an extended period in ISO). This coming week, all students return to a tiny inner-city campus. 1700 boys, 120 staff, no room to swing a cat, social distancing impossible. Happy days.
Lately I have been folding a lot of faces – some free-form, some crease pattern (CP) based:
This is Mask #16, designed by Flynn Jackson, folded from cardstock, painted bronze.
I am beginning to get a “feel” for facial features – repetition and practice of free-folding helps me realise nuances between face structured, position of key anchors (brow ridge, nose, mouth) and how to set the eyes.
I, like many of you eagerly awaited the Disney “Star Wars Story” The Mandalorian.
WARNING – SACRILEGE: It started as an off-planet spaghetti western (faithful right down to the soundtrack), but quickly (for me at least) degenerated into the “baby yoda show”, garnished with some impenetrable Mando law and totally impractical helmet decisions.
I vaguely remember folding lego in my original 365 journey back in 2011 and I am sure I remember following a set of diagrams. Looking back, the resource moved and has degenerated into low res Crease patterns:
Un-flummoxed, I set about re-acquainting myself with the fold – an intense little 12×14 grid, special collapses for pegs and pits.
Having folded one, by gridding a square cut from an A3 sheet, initially 16×16 (because that division is easy) then slicing off 2 and 4 units from adjacent sides to get to 12×14. the resultant block was fiddly, but I got back into “the zone” and the collapses were tidy.
I then realised that I could waste less paper by dividing the short side of an A3 in 3rds, then 6ths, then 12ths, when squaring along the long side I had to remove only a small sliver off the end (quite efficient use of the sheet) – the resultant grid made a much more satisfying sized block.
I set about making a few different colours, because.
All in all, they are just another brick in the wall. Mother, did it have to be so high?
Exploring the notion of curve-following corrugations, I drew a section of a sine wave, placed a series of graduated squares diagonally along it, constructed diagonal bisectors and extended them to the bounding boxes. then tiled, mirrored and flipped copies to construct a sine-wave that extended over an A4 page:
Although tiny, I used a stylus to score the necessary creases then spent a couple of hours delicately collapsing it.