Segway V2

I was recently asked how I folded my Segway model because someone wanted one. I was loathed to part with my original and to be honest I had no idea, I just folded it, so decided to revisit the model (which seems unique in the origami community) and see if it can be methodologised:SegwayV2

Originally I folded in 32nds, but decided in re-working the model 24ths work better, and are easy folding once you have thirds. The balance was always consuming enough paper for the body to leave enough for the control stalk which splits at the top. My original cheated because the proportions were off ( so I sneakily cut a strip off to shorten it) but on 24ths, it just works. Continue reading

515: Viking Longship

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:515LongShipViews2

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.515LongShip

The design is challenging, for as much as it requires a really odd 10×1 sheet of paper as for the instructions in cryptic Spanish – quite a challenge in themselves as the diagrams were heavily stylised and gave hints as to where to fold rather than solid landmarks. Continue reading

514: Convertible

As a member of Origami USA (OUSA), we get access to some member designs and this one stuck out as something fun to try:514Convertible

Jason Ku’s Convertible uses some standard (and not so standard) box pleating tricks to sculpt a fully formed car from a flat sheet. Continue reading

504: Coxless Four

Rowing is huge at my school – a veritable machine that hundreds of kids get very passionate about, a gear-fest like few others:504CoxlessFour

Seems the purpose of the sport is to put boys in lycra, sitting atop tiny fiberglass shells, armed with a paddle rowing furiously backwards across vast distances of water. The competitive nature sees rowers exerting huge amounts of energy, enthusiasm and biomass in singles, teams of 2,4,and 8 with or without cox against other equally keyed-up teams. Quite a spectacle.504CoxlessFourView

Continue reading

490: Shake, Rover, Shake

I have been a fan of Star Trek since it was possible to be so, love the franchise, movies, series, the lot. I saw a diagram that resulted in an ATAT (All-Terrain Armoured Transport) – one of many fairly silly designs from The Babylon 5 universe, and with some shaming from a friend (thanks Dodes) I decided to give it a whirl.490ATAT

If you were making a vehicle for battle, the last thing on the design bench (apart from a 2 legged chicken-like bipedal mobile gun turret) would be a quadruped.

Any Browncoat worth his part of the ‘verse would be able to ride their Viper Mark II with cables attached, tangle the legs and bring the thing down, like a heavy, falley-downey thing.490ATATScale

Continue reading

485: Segway

…so I am a teacher, and I teach senior students:485SegwayTheChaps

I have, on occasions, joked about how cool it would be to own a Segway – my classes are physically far apart and getting between campuses takes time, hence the idea that a PTD (personal transport device) would be cool. I _never_ in my wildest dreams imagined my students would do anything about this pipe dream – let’s face it, we all say things in jest.485SegwayAmbush

It was an ambush, total surprise – I think I was the only one who knew nothing. It still gives me goosebumps thinking about it. I was teaching my year 11 class when the whole year 12 class arrived headed by Tom on a Segway. They had crowd-funded a second hand one as a end of year gift – wow, just wow!.485Segway

Continue reading

483: Dollar SLR Camera

A work colleague is going on Long Service Leave – lucky bastard!  It appears he had no end of trouble buying a camera for travelling, so I thought I would make him one as an hooroo gift:483DollarCamera

Designed by Won Park, this little SLR Camera is tiny, but has a viewfinder, winder lever, shutter button, pop-up flash and lovely lens all sticking out of a lovely boxy body.483DollarCameraScale

Genius design, if tiny and torturous, I hope he likes it. Continue reading

480: Dollar Formula 1 Racer

On receiving a lovely hard cover copy of “Extreme Origami” by Won Park from Book Depository (wow, how do they offer those prices, delivery times and no postage???) I naturally skipped to the back and looked for the nastiest fold to try:
480DollarFormula1

This model is insane – I chickened out folding it on notes because the pre-creasing into 32nds with my fat clumsy fingers was not possible I thought so I scaled up and used plain paper for my first fold. Continue reading

452: Smile!

In the olden days children, photographs were taken with a specialised piece of equipment, usually by a professional, using FILM:

In those days, you posed the shot, measured light levels, pulled focus and ensured the picture was worth taking before you wasted the plate – photography was expensive and much more of a science (some would also argue much moe of an art).

In the modern idiom, nearly every thing has a squillion megapixel camera, you point, shoot 60 frames, pick the least worst, apply a filter and upload it on Instagram and have your “friends” praise your artistry. Continue reading

447: Black Forest Cuckoo Clock

In need of some therapy, and with my procrastinator set on FULL, I embarked on a punishing box-pleating exercise:

I remember as a kid in New Zealand we had a cheezy Cuckoo Clock (Mum loved it) that used to have metal pinecones as counterweights and a faux timber case that used to “cuckoo” and scare the life out of me every hour. It had the loudest tick of any clock I remember.. I am fairly sure it did not survive the emmigration back to Oz because I do not remember it afterwards.

Robert Lang is known for beautiful mathematical models and when I first saw photos of his “Black Forest Cuckoo Clock” it seemed impossible to tease all that details out of an uncut sheet. Continue reading

444: Wolf Spider

I have these lovely bits of Lotka and was looking for something to be my first fold with this new paper:

I chose Brian Chan’s Wolf spider partly because I had not folded it before and partly because the “milk chocolate” fibrous nature of the paper reminded me of the natural colour and texture of the spider itself.

The first cut is more painful than the first fold on a sheet that is roughly rectangular – the issues with most hand-made papers include rough edges, uneven thicknesses, odd fibre bundles in unfortunate places and a lovely mottled colour distribution.

Continue reading

438: Jason Ku’s Bicycle

Perusing a Tanteidan, I noticed a crease pattern challenge, set by Jason Ku, and filed it as a “that’s impossible” fold:

Needing to unwind from a hectic and punishing term at work, I cut a 55cm square of light weight Kraft paper and set about working out, geometrically, where the myriad of creases were.

Although there was some regular geometry to place landmarks, there were some “mystery meat” creases that I just sort of fudged really – professionals would have measured it but I know I am an amateur.

Continue reading

437: Perambulator

When I first saw photos of this model, I could not believe it was folded from a single sheet, without cuts, folds only:

In case you were wondering, this was WTF (What’s That Fold?) # 8. I was determined to give it a go. Noticing it was made from hundreds of pleats, and given the crease pattern folded down to 64ths in places, I upscaled the suggested paper size (to a 70cm square of 80GSM brown Kraft) to allow for my fat, clumsy fingers to make the creases.

Continue reading

414: Sopwith Camel

I have been asked many times by well-meaning people whether I can make paper air planes:

The honest answer is “sort of” – I love fantastically complicated and detailed Origami models of actual planes, but cannot make one that can fly for shit.

This little beauty was a right bastard of a fold but closely resembles, at least in intent, the Sopwith Camel – a famous dogfighter in WWI. A fantastically detailed little model with propellor, machine gun, pilot, landing deat abd a lovely set of supported twin-wings.

Designed ingeniously by Jose Maria Chaquet from a bird-base within a bird-base, I mis-judged how dense the paper would become and started with too smaller a square I think – 40cm was not big enough, but still, battled on with the Kraft paper and think the end result is pretty nice for a first fold.

If I were to fold this again, I think 50-60cm would make the final modelling easier. As the fuselage is so dense I had to “cheat” and use some small bits of double-sided tape to hold it together and stop it unfolding itself in the humidity but I will not tell anyone if you do not.

404: Joisel’s Bandonéon

I first noticed this lovely little fold nestled amongst the masterpiece that is Eric Joisel’s Musicians, and decided that i must try to work out how to make it:

Now the “purists” amongst you will recognise this as a “Concertina”, but that is splitting hairs, given a “Bandonéon” is square, this is clearly hexagonal, but I digress.

Presenting a tantalising hand-drawn crease pattern idea on his memorial website, I decided to try and work out a method for this fold.

Unlike the original, my design is based on a 32 x 20 grid, making an extra gather in the bellows section (which is not a bad thing) and a simpler join along the long seam (which, sadly, I still needed to use double-sided tape to close).

The geometry of this model is really nice – the bellows almost fold themselves when the creases are laid in – I experimented with the seam in and thought it looked better with the strappy seams out in the bellows.

fashioning handles at the end happens quite naturally if you have been neat, and folding it without any extra creases is possible if you concentrate, making the presentation fold very tidy indeed.

I have folded many of these, they are lovely and, now I have a handle on the scaling factors and geometry there is a knack to making them that is quite easy to pick up.

On the same hand-drawn crease pattern, there is another that supposedly makes a saxophone – might give that a whirl as I seem to be in a musical instrument frame of mind at the moment. very happy with this one however, and need to move on from it.

395: Showing Off

Our local council library has a large glass display case that usually has things on show for a month. I cautiously asked one of the librarians if she thought some origami would interest patrons and she was very enthusiastic:

There are around 200 models now on show at Holland Park Library for June and I am quite chuffed about that.

Dragging 3 large tidy-tubs of models, most of which I had left over from the 365 Origami Auction, they fill the case rather completely.

You can see models designed by me amongst designs by such luminaries as Kade Chan, Robert Lang, Eric Joisel and many others.

In addition, I was asked to run a workshop in the first week of my school holidays for interested folders (10 years old and up) – see the Holland Park Library website for details and bookings if you are interested.

The only question that begs answer is what the floop I do with these lovelies AFTER the month on show? Suggestions welcome … dear reader?

375: Bugatti Royale

I am not normally a fan of fiddly modular figurative models, preferring geometrics instead but this design by Halle caught my eye:

Made from 41 tiny bits of paper, various sizes and fold techniques, it turns into a 3d jigsaw from hell near the end. Amazingly however it all slots together (although I needed to use a little double-sided tape to stop it from popping apart again due to paper tension).

You can see radiator, bonnet, wheels with hubcaps, mudguards, cockpit and canopy – amazing really.

I like that it is an attempt at a fairly faithful rendering of a real car – car geeks agree it looks a lot like the actual model and my rendition, first fold, is a lot like it should have turned out.

The ingenious system of interlocking cubes, half cubes and trays that slide inside each other is a masterpiece of design. Scale and accuracy is a problem and I fear copy paper is the wrong material because it wants to unfold – I guess something like tissue foil would be better because once folded it stays put. I have done another Halle model – the computer guy for Chris the computer guy and it too was a lot of different bits of paper assembled later.

359: Santa Claus is Coming to Town

You better watch out. You better not cry
Better not pout, I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town.
He’s making a list. And checking it twice;
Gonna find out Who’s naughty and nice
Santa Claus is coming to town

This is a David Brill tableau, scaled down to teeny weeny because … well, because … because I could? I have a packet of shiny small origami paper so used that for the micro-reindeer – they sort of determined the scale for the remainder of the figures.

There is much to like about this festive scene – The sleigh is full of water bombs (the perfect summer gift), Santa sits, the reindeer seem animated and Rudolph has a lovely red nose, courtesy of a suggestion from “she who must be obeyed” to use a glass headed pin – good call.

I hope this post finds you enjoying family, fun and festive cheer. Our Christmas Origami display is as you see it here – most of these models are available for you in the auction house for a limited time only.

297: Taxi!

In old Chinatown, when someone wanted to travel in style, they hailed a “coolie” pulling a rickshaw:

This picture was common in days gone by, these days the hustle and bustle of bicycles, motorbikes and tuk-tuks has replaced the hard work.

This is Neal Elias’ “Coolie and Rickshaw”, designed in1967. An ingenious box pleat using a square and tidily fashioning a running man and a 2 wheeled buggy behind, replete with lovely conical hat, wheels and canopy.

I have been wanting to try this for a while, just because really. Taken from “Selected works 1964-1973” by British Origami Society. I am happy with this as a first fold. I modified the body and legs a little to add a sense of movement, and re-worked the wheels so they were round (the original design had them nearly square).

295: WALL-E

I am an out and proud Pixar fan, they make movies where animation is almost amazing as the story telling and characterisation:

This is Brian Chan’s WALL-E – a lovely model that has taken me simply an age to complete for all sorts of reasons.

I started with a 52cm square (yep, over a half a meter) and a dodgy folding guide (as opposed to complete diagrams) in RUSSIAN and quite frankly I struggled with this one. I must find a way to buy a book that has this model in it, to see how Brian Chan suggests you fold it because I ended up improvising when there were no instructions that I could follow.

I walked away from this model 3 times, unfolded and re-folded the most complex parts a total of 4 times as I tried to make sense of the next stage. That said, I think the final model is quite remarkable. He is free standing (on stunning caterpillar tracks), has the most amazing head/eyes, is just under 10cm tall and I am totally chuffed with how he turned out.

That you can coax a square of paper into such an intricate and completely detailed model is nothing short of amazing – even if it did take me 5.5 HOURS – yes, that is actual folding elapsed time. Words fail me to express the delight when I finally realised he was going to work (having seriously contemplating abandoning the model twice).

This, for me, is a REAL achievement given how much I had to just work out for myself. Folded from my last piece of lithographic paper (thank you school art department). There was NO paper fatigue and that is astonishing given the lengths that the design requires you torture the paper. I must have some more.