The last few months a lot of my free time has been consumed by supporting a team of students as they prepare for a robotics competition:
Yesterday was the Queensland finals of the First Technology Challenge (FTC), and our team did really well. They designed, built and programmed a robot, affectionately known as “BROBOT”, coming second in the state.
I could not be prouder of the team, so decided they needed a souvenir. This is the cutest little robot I could find, designed by Shunsuke Inoue, and I am astonished I have not blogged this fold before, it is such a fun fold.
You take a square, divide it into 1/16th grid, then boxpleat the bjebus out of it to tease antennae, eyes, arms, legs and a lovely little stubby body.
…so I decided it was time to play a game of WTF (What’s That Fold?) on fakebook, and discovered from my archives this was the 29th such game:
Through a series of gradual fold sequence reveals, punters guess, and eventually they got it. This is “Sirene” (or Mermaid) from the soon to be published book by Chen Xiao.
This is my first “anime” style character work (stylised faces, detailed hair, cartoony pose) and it was a bit torturous at this scale, with this paper. Folding the shoulders and central body is tough work on small paper (I used 35cm duo white/natural Ikea Kraft paper).
In the end it is a charming model with lots of details, a diva in a “D” cup with bangs, lovely long hair and a beautiful tail. The fold sequence relies on really accurate pre-folding as errors tend to amplify the further through the fold you get. As a result of a 0.5mm inaccuracy in the first 10 steps, her bra is asymmetrical, and the more I tried to fix it, the odder the breast appeared.
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:
This is “Tiny Dragon”, a beautiful little model from a forthcoming book by Chen Xiou.
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:
I had been looking for a model to best show of some duo 30cm Thai Unryu I had bought from the Origami Shop.
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).
Australia is the home of many unique animals – few come odder than monotremes, mammals that lay eggs – an echidna is one such critter.
I had seen folds of Steven Casey’s Echidna but struggled to find a source of diagrams – only by drilling down in Pinterest did I find some copyright infringer’s scanned pages of the diagrams (sorry, I would have purchased them could I find a publication that had them) and knew I had to have a go at it.
Central to the success of this model is the lovely crop of spines – these are treated scales (much like those that adorn Satoshi Kamiya’s Ryu Jin 2.1+), a lovely “preliminary base” tessellation that I had already mastered. the rest of the model is making the surrounding paper do the work of all the other stickey-outey bits of the animal.
I particularly love the snout and head, so simple but so nice. It has 4 feet, each with toes – just genius.
You fold it, the resultant shape before you collapse it into it’s end 3D shape looks a lot like a pelt – not sure National Parks and Wildlife would appreciate the notion of an Echidna Pelt, but it then becomes round and plumptious and locks together ingeniously into an adorable spikey ball full of character.
…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.
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?
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.
We are about to travel again and, as is our tradition, we will leave origami folds wherever we go.
We decided this time it would be a Koala – they are cute and a definitive Australian animal (albeit critically endangered) so I set about to find a design I liked.
After much to-ing and fro-ing I returned to a model I first folded in 2011, designed by Jozsef Zsebe, from Hungary of all places – interestingly the best Koala designs generally come from places other than Oz – go figure.
I manufactured fur paper, using wet polar bear fleece. Do not start on how a Koala is not a bear, I know, but … meh … the texture works and the colour gradation (I found a dirty polar bear) from ears to arse works nicely I think.
I have committed this fold to memory (no mean feat given the state of my brain at the moment) an look forward to leaving them all around Vietnam and Cambodia.