994: Mushu

Riccardo Foschi frequently shares crease patterns for his new designs on social media. When I saw “Mushu” I knew I had to try and fold it:

Foschi CP

It is rare to find a “happy” dragon, but this one beams a positive energy that makes you smile. There is lots of detail to take in – the head has branched horns, smiling eyes, lovely colour-changed curly whiskers, nostrils, teeth, a lovely wiggly tongue, lower jaw and a beard. A lovely set of back spikes, each leg has 3 toes and the beautiful fan tail caps off the beastie.

Mushu

Made over a period of a week, from 5x 2:1 rectangles of odd spotty black Ikea Kraft. Sections form variously tail, legs, body and head modules, all of which ingeniously interlock without the need for glue. Riccardo also states that it can be made with a single 10:1 rectangle, but I thought that would be too wasteful when cut from a paper roll, so decided on the modular approach.

My problem with crease patterns is that, although they show the major creases, they do not really hint on the shaping or fold order. The head, in particular, took me a while to sort out. I decided, contrary to the designers photo, to fold the legs differently – I think they look more natural this way (but I folded forward, backward, forward and back many times before deciding on this configuration).

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Caption Competition #1

Caption this, win the brave knight.

I need a caption

“Knight” designed by Neal Elias, “RyuJin 2.1” designed by Satoshi Kamiya, “Sword” and “Tin Opener” designed by me.

987: Ryu Zin Junior 2.1

Rounding out my Ryu journey, I decided to use a small scrap of Kozo left over from another project to fold Jason Ku’s Ryu Zin Junior 2.1:

Jason Ku Ryu Zin 1.2

While sharing some of the nomenclature of the Satoshi Kamiya chinese dragon series, this little chap is markedly different on every level. I found a set of photo diagrams lovingly annotated by Daniel Brown, and thought I would give is a whirl.

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Chinese Dragon in Repose

My usual line “if you find interesting paper, get it and I will make you something out of it” has been the start of many fascinating journeys:

Mikiller觅晨’s modular dragon

Peter and Majella travelled to Japan, and found some lovely paper – one, a sheet of hand-made natural Kozo with botanical inclusions screamed out for something delicate and textured. I had intended to return to Mikiller觅晨’s modular dragon, having already folded it large, I thought it might be interesting to fold it tiny and trap it in a shadowbox frame.

The handover
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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.

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983: Ryu Jin 2.1 – Tail

I have begun the (some say perilous) journey to realise Satoshi Kamiya’s Ryu Jin 2.1. I have previously achieved the head of this model, and there is more work to do to become familiar with the other components, but this is a nice next step:

2.1 tail

The tail of the 2.1 is different to the 1.2 and the 3.5 in that it is more of a fan blade, to get there, you need to fold a small section of the scale field, and pack away a bunch of the paper inside the body.

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T-Rex Revisited

I love a well-designed model and Fumiaki Kawahata’s T-Rex is no exception:

Trex

Folded from a 50cm square of medium green Tant paper, this lovely snapper has a splendid mobile jaw with teeth, fabulous feet and tail, and frustratingly useless front legs. The result is a fantastic free-standing model that looks simultaneously cute and terrifying.

The model structure is intense, this is the smallest I have tried it, and at this scale the pre-creasing is torturous (to be polite). The folds that raise the teeth from a series of accordion pleats are ingenious and tough work for fat clumsy fingers.

I have folded this before, and will probably return to it, as it is a great exercise in accuracy and patience – really good fold-therapy for a fragged and shagged brain.

trex view

974: Xiao’s Styracosaurus

I have had a partially completed test fold of Chen Xiao’s “Styracosaurus” on my desk for months – in truth I started it before we went on holidays (8ish weeks ago) and just sort of discarded it part way through the fold sequence.

chen xiao styracosaur

Returning from holidays, having tied up the editing of the new origami book, I decided rather than discard the model I should finish it, and am glad I did. this model’s structure is amazing, the sensitive use of colour and complex collapses make this a challenging fold.

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969: Little Dragon

One of the things I have the privilege to be involved with is the proof-reading/editing of books from origamishop.com. As such, I get a chance to make changes in diagrams and instruction annotations, and test fold:

Chen Xiou's Tiny Dragon

This is “Tiny Dragon”, a beautiful little model from a forthcoming book by Chen Xiou.

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Tazzie the Lotus Dragon

…so I was approached by a friend who wanted to spring a surprise on his partner for her birthday. He said she liked dragons, immediately my shagged and fragged mind (marking makes me a disagreeable troll) jumped and I committed a huge bit of metallicised paper to fold Shuki Kato’s “Western Dragon” … because I had achieved it once in the 5 times I had attempted it. That failed.

Tazzie scale

Not deterred, I chose a lovely sheet of block printed blue mulberry paper (printed 2 tone with gold and white lotus flowers), cut the biggest square I could and set about folding Satoshi Kamiya’s “Ancient Dragon” (having achieved it once (in 7 attempts) – what could go wrong?

tazzie's new home

As it turns out, all went to plan – even thought he paper was smaller than recommended, I was able to tease, gradually, all the design features and “Tazzie” was born.

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Spotted Ryu

Playing with Hieu Dang’s money Ryujin, I decided to try and fold it money-size, but with fewer bits of paper:

spotty ryu

I measured a korean dong note, then cut bits of paper 3×1, 2.5×1, 2.5×1 (body segments) and 3 note sized bits (head, 2xlegs) and set to folding.

a nice pair

The scale was tiny, it took about 3 weeks on and off and the result is lovely. With the Hanji ryu it is like a perfect pair – I imagine the larger is the female, the smaller spotty one is the male.

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964: Tetsuya Gotani’s Ankylosaurus

Being most of the way though the proof-reading of a new book by Tetsuya Gotani, I decided to test-fold his Ankylosaurus:

Tetsuya Gotani's Ankylosaurus

The final model, folded with 50cm printed Ikea Kraft paper, is a freaky cow-like critter covered in spikes with a club-like tail and a cow-like head.

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963: Hanji Ryu Jin

A colleague brought me back some Hanji paper from her visit to Korea, and I was wondering what to fold with it when I stumbled across a post on Facebook describing a modular money dragon fold.

Hanji Ryu

Designed by Hieu Dang, modified & diagrammed by Lien Quoc Dat ( tutorial: youtube.com/c/LQDchannel ) to be folded from 10 x bank notes, and thought it was worth a go. When I wrestled with an american dollar, deciding it too small for me to fold, I scaled up and cut 10 x 1:2 rectangles from a burgundy sheet of Hanji, and began folding.

Made with bank notes

This reminds me a LOT of Satoshi Kamiya’s Ryu Jin 3.5, but not as many scales, still, it s a time-consuming fold, and many of the techniques are repetitive, but manageable. I found the diagrams on the head really difficult to fathom, and the low resolution images made it difficult to to work out what’s what. See for yourself.

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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.

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961: Drogon, The Black Dragon

The lure of Satoshi Kamiya’s Dragon set is alluring. Recently I was invited into a community that celebrates the RyuJin series. Having folded a 1.0 and a 3.5, I thought it time to fold another:

Drogo, Satoshi Kamiya's RyuJin 1.2

This is the 1.2 – a refinement of the 1.0 and I had fun shaping the head as per a guide by Daniel Brown – a luscious and generously shared photodiagram set that I really enjoyed following.

My 1.2 is actually based on almost an identical crease pattern to the 1.0 I folded back in 2013, but back then I had NO IDEA how to shape it, and sort of made up shit as I went along.

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952: Styracosaurus

I have the honour and privilege of being asked to help edit a new origami book by Tetsuya Gotani. The first diagram I did was of this beautiful Styracosaurus:

Tetsuya Gotani's Styracosaurus

I started with a 60cm square of patterned Kraft, and after a bunch of collapses to make a bewildering collection of isolated points.

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951: Trike

The remnants of a pack of Daiso washi was sitting in my cupboard and i am not sure, so I start folding Fumiaki Kawahata’s Triceratops (from Origami Tanteidan Magazine 57) and realised why it was unused:

triceratops by Fumiaki Kawahata (Origami Tanteidan Magazine 57)

You assume that paper is square, and start folding, only to discover in some dimensions it is really not square, but you persist none the less, kludging landmarks as you go.

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940: Kentrosaurus

How often have you been totally lost in something – you know, time passes and you are so involved that you do not notice the passing of it? This model ate time and paper in quantity:

A fascinating exercise in vertex isolation, from a square to tease so many points while keeping enough paper for a body, legs and head – wow, just wow.

I found the diagrams as an un-attributed set of images on Pinterest (one of the many bastions of copyright infringement) but could not find details of either the designer or the publication – hints peeps? News just in: This is Fumiaki Kawahata’s Tuojiangosaurus published in the book “Origami Fantasy”

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939: A Weyr of Red Dragons

It has been a while since I last blogged a fold. Truth be told the end of the term beat me up a lot – coupled with a savage cold, auto-immune rash (I still have) and an infected tear duct, on top of the marking and reporting it beat me up proper:

That said, folding remains a refuge and I did fold a lot in the interim, just did not blog about it – must redress the balance.

I “found” a set of diagrams, well, stumbled across them on Pinterest (the largest bastion of copyright infringement) and decided it was worth a fold after seeing an unauthorised youtube video tutorial of the same fold (I must have skipped over it while scanning the document).

Paper sizes for body, wings and head
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934: Mikiller觅晨’s Modular Dragon

Assignment time at school is fairly boring, for the most part, for a teacher. Students have lots to do, you need to be available to help on demand but there is a fair bit of sitting around waiting to be needed:

I had found a bunch of PDF’s explaining briefly how to fold parts of what I had assumed would eventually be a dragon. After trial folding the head and a foot I thought it was something I could do in stages. I (arbitrarily) decided my “standard square” would be the biggest cut from an A3 page. Most parts were then made using this standard.

Origami purists would probably have issues with this design, as there is an element of paper craft in some of the details, the head, for instance, is actually 1 standard square and 6 other bits of paper, folded and (shhh) glued in place. The body was made from 7 separate standard squares, 6 of which were the same, the tail segment was a little different to create the fan end.

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