1000: How Green Was My Cactus

Episode 245, Mabel, confused about her husband’s sudden emergence from a coma as a woman, signs over her mortgage to Favio, the pool boy, and became a nun, briefly.

How green was my cactus - finished

I remember a radio serial comedy drama, it used to make me giggle and it was called “how Green was my Cactus?”, the inspiration for many of the hashtags as I chronicled this fold, over what has seemed like an age. Somehow this is relevant in the context that this is “never folded this before #1000” for me – an astonishing milestone that I do not take lightly. I knew I had to attempt something epic … be careful what you wish for.

I first saw pictures of Daniel Brown’s fold of Robert Lang’s “Cactus, Opus 680“, and then I saw some fold suggestions from Daniel and flirted with the idea of taking a crack at this fold.

How green was my cactus - views
Continue reading

999: COVID-19

The story of the moment is COVID-19, and the unprecedented effects the global pandemic is having on “business as normal” across the world.

Xander Perrott's "Space Virus"

In out little corner of the planet, things continue to be weird. As a teacher, I am still at work, with 1700 boys in a fairly confined space. The current government position is that it is “business as usual” for schools, as we gear up to deliver online learning as part of our “continuity of learning” plan. I want to say I feel good about things, but we all deal with uncertainty our own way.

Continue reading

995: Broken

Playing with arguing pleats, I scored a sheet of card in random/odd verticals that were all a bit slanty, then accordioned it up to create the basic structure. Next I started creating a series of ziggy-zaggy inside reverse folds. in steps down, then steps back up.

creasing

The shadows of this thing really float my boat – I must explore if there is a way to control this some more – I am sure there is a method that allows me to create a path of fan-fold collapse that is curved.

I call this broken because this looks like a rip in space time (well, to me it does).

992: Venom Kusudama

For the last 10 or so years, I have used Origami as a pastoral care group “getting to know you” exercise, encouraging the students in my care to get involved, learn something new, and share the skills.

The WHOLE is greater than the SUM OF THE PARTS.

I laminated red and black paper, then sliced it up into 2:3 ratio rectangles. I taught some kids, they taught others – together we made the 30 modules necessary to make this spikey ball (a stellated icosahedron).

Venom Kusudama

The modular construction is an interesting exercise in 3 and 5, and because the paper is quite rigid, the resultant kusudma is lovely – it joins a nice collection of similar of collaboratively constructed modulars – a testament to the power of the idea, the value of being open to new things and the willingness to have a go.

991: 2019-nCoV

Human Corona Virus is in the news, the news is alarming:

nCoV macquette

It is difficult to know the extent of the emergency, the effectiveness of treatment, the vector of infection, the spread and infection rate, the facts.

Social media and websites masquerading as “news” agencies love a good headline, and this mixed with Survivor in the jungle, celebrity red carpets, sham impeachment, Corona Virus “influencers” on instagram and fad diets makes navigating the facts difficult.

Public warnings and travel bans aside, what constitutes a pandemic? What is the appropriate response?

I took a 3×1 rectangle of white/natural Ikea Kraft and … well … doodled and came up with an all too familiar image – a face-masked regular person. In an odd bout of synchronicity, Sebastian Limet (@sebl) had the same idea. His fold, as usual has lots of character.

Continue reading

990: They come at night … mostly

I will admit to being a sci-fi nerd, few movies did it for me like the original “Alien” movie, directed by Ridley Scott, designed by Hans Reudi Geiger.

The truly original mixture of a genuinely terrifying xenomorph, claustrophobic and grimy working space ship and stellar cast makes the movie, at least in my mind, perfect.

Donny_Origami's facehugger

Prior to that, space was clean (painfully white and tidy, according to the Star Wars, Blakes7, Flash Gordon and Dr Who visions), in Alien gear looked used, people were pissed off and tired, and we were introduced to a much loved and never duplicated alien.

Donny_Origami's facehugger attack

H.R. Geiger imagined a life-cycle – from egg, to facehugger (this beastie) that implants an embryo deep in a host, chest burster through to adult killing machine. Scarily insectoid, acid for blood, no eyes, perfect.

Continue reading

988: Ramen

Sometimes, just sometimes, it has to be noodles – rice or wheat, in broth, that are schlurped while way too hot, because … reasons:

Ramen bowl

I saw a crease pattern (CP) by Jinjang on an origami Discord I frequent and (in the season of justifiable procrastination) had to fold it.

Ramen CP

I think there are errors on the CP, as I found I needed to adjust crease lines to properly form the bowl, and would probably manage the colour of the lip differently next time, but as a first fold this was a really interesting exercise.

Continue reading

Their Lives In Our Hands

Much has been made in the media about the current bush fire situation in Australia. Truth is the scale of devastation is impossible to grasp, in terms of sheer acreage of scorched earth, number of homes lost, lives lost and livelihoods ruined. When we add the effects on environment, habitat and wildlife (flora and fauna), the effects of the 2019/2020 summer will have long-reaching and potentially permanent ramifications:

their lives in our hands

I want to say that our leaders are on top of this, but have never had confidence in politicians, and am not convinced any can see past getting re-elected to make the hard decisions necessary for our continued existence. Indeed, when our PM chooses to go on holiday during the worst of it, when he and his colleagues continue to deny climate change, despite the overwhelming scientific evidence. They display a vandalistic attitude to environmental policy, and offer reckless abandon to fossil fuels and non-sustainability.

Their lives in our hands. “They” are our children, their children, the animals and plants that make up the biosphere in which we live. The “they” are US.

Continue reading

986: Meta

I love meta – that examination of self-reference is great brain food, and this fold designed by Neelish Kumar fits nicely into that philosophical space:

Neelish Kumar's Origamist Nightmare

Nominally named “Origamist’s Worst Nightmare”, it is a place I have been – being so into a model at the expense of the materials, having it disintegrate in my hands as I work it.

The more observant of you will notice a despairing folder, paper ripped along a much-worked crease. Look closer, the crease pattern is Eric Joisel’s “Dwarf“, a particular favourite that I have ruined many a sheet mastering.

Continue reading

985: Satoshi Kamiya’s Ryu Jin 2.1

Some folds are quite the journey, Ryu Jins are no exception. I have already folded the 1.2 and the 3.5, but had not tried the 2.1, relegating it to the “when I have time” pile:

2 point 1 - model

Holiday time is a time of recharge, paper folding therapy is my thing so I embarked on the super-duper-complex journey with HUGE bits of paper. I decided to fold it in 2 halves (two 140 x 70 cm rectangles of red duo Ikea Kraft paper).

2 point 1 - CP

As a bit of paper engineering, Ryu are masterpieces of fitting so much on a single square. The 2.1 is laid out in a similar morphology to the 3.5, with 2 halves of the model on opposite edges of the paper. The Ryu 1.2, in contrast, uses the diagonal and is symmetrical about that.

Continue reading

Tetsuya Gotani’s Elephant

In need of an elephantine fold, I remembered proof-reading a diagram set from Tetsuya Gotani’s latest book “Origamix”, and remember a test fold that went awry, so decided to try again:

Gotani Elephant

What a lovely sequence – some complex layer manipulation and need for accuracy early on pays off later when shaping.

There is lots to love about this model – lovely big ears (an African elephant then?), trunk and tusks, lovely bum and fabulous sturdy legs. A test of a model is how it is with folds only – you can see an inherent elephantine shape that is stable and free-standing.

Gotani Elephant scale

I will do some posing, and tidy up some gaping seams, otherwise there is little to do to make this a presentation fold. I really like this model – my pick of elephants (perhaps even ahead of Sipho Mabona’s) so far, and I have folded LOTS of them.

972: “Simple” Square Rose

I bought Naomiki Sato’s first book on origami roses to satisfy an obsession with mastering his pentagonal rose (a quest that is still in progress). Recently, he has published a second book (this one in English) and I knew I had to buy it:

complete

Perhaps starting my journey in the new book with a 15cm square of red washi was possibly not the most sensible thing to do (waay smaller than suggested), however I ploughed on and much to my delight fashioned a fairly decent rendering of the simple square rose – the first rose I have folded from a square that actually looks like a rose.

Continue reading

968: Spiny Norman

Anyone with a decent knowledge of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, would recognise the name “Spiny Norman” – the gigantic hedgehog that haunted Dinsdale, the more vicious of the Piranha Brothers. When I saw Yudai Imai’s Hedgehog, I knew I had to give it a try:

Yudai Imai's hedgehog

I had been looking for a model to best show of some duo 30cm Thai Unryu I had bought from the Origami Shop.

Yudai Imai's hedgehog paper - OrigamiShop's duo Unryu

Although Unryu is generally tissue thin, this duo paper seemed really thick, still I thought it was worth a bend so set about gridding – This was really hard work on fingers, and resorted to a bone folder – only when I laided in creases crisply was I able to reverse them (and in many cases even then with difficulty).

Continue reading

Handmade Paper

So in a recent workshop, I made a bunch of different types of paper, time to try it out I thought. I had 3xA4 sheets and 2xA3 sheets pulled from the white board + Day Lilly + Lemongrass vat, so decided to have a go at folding something from that.

handmade paper
White board, Day Lilly, Lemongrass hand-made(by me) paper

I remember the ladies of PAQ talking about Chinese Threadbooks – an ancient paperfolding tradition from China. Having already folded one using cheap decorative paper, I thought I would throw some handmade paper at one also.

threadbook complete

There are examples, hundreds of years old, of clever multi-compartment paper widgets, used to store silk threads (from weavers and embroiderers), and there is some exploration of the folding theory on teh internet, but you gotta dive deep.

threadbook compartments
Continue reading

Showing Off

Our school has large display cases. I have kilograms of origami at home, in showboxes, tidy tubs, cupboards, garbage bags and display cases … one thing led to another:

library display 2019

My aim with this display to to show the variety of forms modern Origami takes, from traditional, figurative, geometry and abstract. Additionally I have included 14 different dragons, a current fascination – can you find them all?

I feature some of my favourite pieces, designed by legends such as Satoshi Kamiya, Robert Lang, Eric Domaine, Francis Ow, Ronald Koh, Kade Chan, Eric Joisel, Brian Chan, Jason Ku and more.

Continue reading

962: Ryu Jin 2.1 – Head

In a bid to calm down and relax after a brutal week at work, I took a 60cm square of red/natural Ikea Kraft paper and started folding… and folded, and folded and folded.

Ryujui 1.2 head

I have been lured back into the fold (as it were) of Ryu Jin folders (nerds who attempt to fold Satoshi Kamiya’s devilishly difficult dragon series). Having already folded a 1.0, 1.2 and 3.5, I noticed that I had never attempted a 2.1.

Ryujui 1.2 head views and detail

For the uninitiated, the numbers indicate refinements, with the 1.0 being vaguely dragon like and the 3.5 (the culmination of this design process) being the most astonishingly detailed design imaginable.

Continue reading

958: Ilja Trochanowski’s Kusadama

Cruising around on facebook, as you do, I saw a call to test a new Kusadama by Ilja Trochanowski:

958Ilja_Trochanowski_kusudama

I put my hand up and set about folding the 6-piece cube, an interesting intricate design based on an octagonal collapse with some fiddly treatment of the flaps to make curly floral facets.

Continue reading

955: Versailles Box

Looking for a rose-based box for a gift, I came across Tadashi Mori’s tutorial for this fold:

Versailles box

Made of “curler” units, the rose-like structure on top of the box required 4 squares. The box lid also requires 4 squares, the base also – 12 squares all up.

Continue reading

954: Simi Flores’ Spikey Ball

Cruising around on Fakebook, as you do, I came across a module that seemed really familiar. I am sure I have seen it elsewhere, but am not able to find it (I think it is a Bascetta variant?):

spikey ball

I decided to give it a whirl – nice and simple, and quick to fold, it locks nicely with a positive paper tension keeping groups of 3 together, then you group the 3-unit points into clusters of 5 and you get a nice positive curvature. Using other combinations I can imagine zero curvature (6 modules) and negative curvature (7 modules) … hence a torus is possible?.

Continue reading