665: (115/365) The Last Post

I am not sure what it is about the music, but “The Last Post” always gets to me:

After visiting Gallipoli 2 years ago (nearly to the day), and the Canberra war memorial last year, this is never more true. The tune is haunting, desperately sad and intimately bound up with a remembrance of Australian and New Zealand troops (originally) but more recently with all armed force personnel from all wars, police actions and conflicts.

I am always, oddly, extraordinarily anxious when it is played live. I feel for the trumpeter as the tune has no where to go – when the note is wrong it is so terribly uncomfortable. I am particularly in awe of the students that play it in front of the whole school. James did it proud yesterday at a school assembly. I get goosebumps thinking about it, but I always have. Continue reading

585: (35/365) Many Hands Make Light Work

As a teacher and pastoral care “tutor”, I am always looking for ways to get kids working together. At the beginning of the year the tutor group room is a mixed-year level (6-12) mixture of strangers and established friends so “GTK” exercises (Getting To Know you) are great icebreakers if you can get them actually talking and working together:

A few years back I struck on an idea to get kids collaboratively folding an origami mega-structure. The model is fairly simple – I taught the newbies (in this case the year 6 and 7 students) a simple modular unit. They then had to go teach another kid in the group, who in turn taught another. The central metaphor is “the WHOLE is greater than the sum of the parts”, “many hands make light work”, “we are as strong as the weakest link” … and so on.

Continue reading

578: (28/365) Happy Chinese Lunar New Year!

The Chinese Zodiac is rich with myth and legend, most cultures are full to the brim with such fancy. Chinese New year is based around the Lunar cycles, as such seem oddly placed to us westerners:

Moon cakes, yum cha, char sui hanging in a chinese butcher’s window, the red of firecrackers, the noise and smoke of a dragon dance – all wonderful to be part of. Most cities have a “China town”, in Brisbane it is a section of Fortitude Valley – these areas come alive at this time of year … mmmm, need some dim sum and a nice pot of jasmine tea. Continue reading

575: (25/365) A Cautionary Tale (Part 3)

Look away, look away … we are going to need a bigger boat:

Interestingly, people’s opinions of sharks in Australia, particularly by those who do not live here, varies from reality markedly. One would believe, if one believed what you see in the media, that sharks are a problem, everyone gets attacked – this is far from the truth.

Although this is a stereotypical tale of woe, I was interested in the folding sequence as each of the tree parts use different bases, wildly different techniques initially and yet there is consistency when you get to the final shaping. Continue reading

570: (20/365) Trump Salute

In the United States of America on this day they are inaugurating their 45th president – one Donald Trump:

I _want_ to congratulate him and his party on a campaign well fought, policies well considered and popular vote being a landslide but sadly none of these seems true from where I sit.

Scottish Herald Television guide entry for the upcoming inauguration

Looking for a model to express how I feel about the incoming, from my ivory tower over here on the opposite side of a planet suddenly not big enough to place me a safe distance from him, I came across “flipping the bird” by Paulius Mielinis. Whilst only a crease pattern (CP), I could sort of see the parts of the model in among the creases. It took a little wrangling to work out how to collapse and hide unwanted paper, make the digits clean enough to be recognisable. Continue reading

569: (19/365) Japanese Macaque

Emergent behaviour is fascinating, apparently where these Japanese Macaque monkeys live gets snowy in winter, they have learned that sitting in thermal pools near bathhouses (Onsen) is one way of staving off the cold:

This is Fumiaki Kawahata’s Japanese Macaque – a model I had intended to fold ages ago because it was in a Tanteidan I had shelved.  Continue reading

Oh No, Not Again!

So I have more or less committed to another 365 Origami challenge. This is not a decision I have taken lightly (unlike the last time, in 2011, where I had NO IDEA what I was getting into).

For those unfamiliar with the concept (as I see it), I will endeavour to fold a different Origami Model every day this year – 2017. As in 2011 I will ensure that the models are things I have NEVER folded before.

Some models will be simple, some less so and others far from it. Time permitting I will do a mix. Check the tags for the designer, sheet shape, base (if any) and the duration of the fold.

My nomenclature this time around is complex. I was up to novel model 550, so the current 365 series will look a little like 551 (1/365), 562 (12/365) and so on – keeping track of both numbering systems is a pain I know but…reasons. It will also seamlessly allow me to continue folding and blogging after the challenge with continuity. Remember, only models I have never folded before get a number, so from time to time there will also be un-numbered posts.

This blog posts automatically to Fakebook so friends get a headsup when the day’s model is up. I am trying to be strategic also this time around, and have a number of models in reserve, folded and ready to go for those times when it gets busy, or I am away, or whatever.

Last time, in 2011, the journey was interesting, I learned a lot and the business helped me be more productive in other areas of my life – I am hoping for similar flow-on benefits, along with a further growth in my skills.

Please feel free to leave comments. I will probably also Auction off selections of this catalogue for charity as I did last time around – we shall see.

551: (1/365) Mummy Star

When my sister in law went to Nepal, she found some rather charming Lokta paper, hand-made with block printed gold floral designs. She carefully transported it back with her for me to wrangle. I had a modular in mind and the orange Lokta seemed the obvious choice:

This is Miyuki Kawamura’s Mummy Star, a startlingly complicated modular in 30 pieces. The technique of folding splayed fans, then folding them back on themselves gives the appearance of “wrapping” or bandages I suppose (think Mummy Movie). Continue reading

Orchid Shadowbox

I love models by Robert Lang, I find I fold them when I need order, therapy, calm. This is a collection of his Orchids, described in his book “Origami Design Secrets”. Something about the mathematical elegance of this flower lends itself to careful modelling and pretty staging. I had a bunch of opalescent 6″ squares in delicate pastel colours so originally folded separate flowers and tried to attach them in a sort of free-form montage.camille

They look better on a stem, so re-thought the mounting, used florist’s wire and tape to build a plausible “spray” and (shhh) used some craft glue to affix the flowers to the ends of each stickey-outey bit.

Working to the diagonal here, with an odd number of blooms works quite nicely I think, coupled with the corrugated (I folded a fan) hand-made gold-flecked tissue the total scene is quite pleasing. Continue reading

3D Photography Using Fyuse

A friend (waves at Roland!) excitedly showed me a new app called Fyuse that allows you to scan objects and create  interactive 3D photos of them.

For ages I have been increasingly unhappy with flat photos of really complex origami models and this tool seems to solve that problem, so long as the lighting is ok.

Unlike panorama software where you pan scenery and it stitches a long photo into a surround-scape, with Fyuse you focus on the object, moving the camera around it.

You can change the camera angle and do other things to enhance the photo but it is pretty neat – I will definitely experiment with it more.

If viewing this page on a mobile device, tilt and the images move with you in a sort of augmented reality sort of a way – otherwise drag with your mouse pointer to view these models for all sorts of angles.

I like that you can use a flash, move the model as you pan and that it allows you to see the nooks and crannies that would otherwise not be represented in a conventional flat photo

541: Charizard – GO!

Now I am not of the generation that grew up with Pokemon, but seem surrounded by adults that were. Fandom/enthusiasm takes many forms and the latest augmented reality game “Pokemon GO!” is so hot right now I felt I had to fold a poke-thing because…reasons541CharizardCaught

I had seen a video tutorial from Tadashi Mori on a complex model called “Charizard” so thought I would give it a go. Squaring up a large sheet of crumpled VOG paper (I used red, the critter should be orange – not sure if it matters) and began folding.541Charizard

Turns out the tutorial was in 3 parts, and the model was really challenging, but I think I managed a reasonable rendition of the critter. Continue reading

The Gardener

People with “green thumbs” are a treasure to behold.Gardiner

As someone with a not-quite-green, more of a dirty yellow thumb I am in awe of people who delight in growing things.

Our College gardener/groundsman John has retired, while I am as jealous as anything, I know he will have a fabulous time. Ever friendly, it has been a pleasure to share a workplace with him. The College will miss his charming style, happy greetings and zeal for gardens.

He retired on the sly, which is the right way to escape our asylum – the exit rituals can be exhausting so I understand he went on term break and retired earlier than first advertised – good on him, I will probably try to do the same.

I made this figurine for him, as a way of saying thanks. I hope i get a chance to give it to him. Enjoy retirement John, may your gardens bloom and be ever greener on the other side of working life.

540: Parliament

Voting is something democratic societies hold as an important right. Some counties have compulsory voting, most allow citizens to choose whether they want to vote – all too often the result is the same – groups of opinionated, empty-headed people are elected to represent the views of the common people.540Parliament4

Anyone who knows me, realises I take the political piss whenever I can – voting only encouraged politicians to think they are more important than the rest of us, but they are just us, right, paid to argue (usually paid a LOT more that those of us who enjoy a good argument). 540Parliament

We organise candidates into “parties”, “alliances” and “coalitions”, pick “leaders” and rally behind them like their personalities are what really matters. All too often, in the end, we end up with the government we deserve. Continue reading