Everyone called Charlie Brown “Blockhead”, a past Deputy Prime Minister continually is caught acting like one, so I began wondering what that would might like:

I had recently folded Boice Wong‘s astonishing pair of figures called “Emptyhead” (I named them Dumb and Dumber), so started there, and re-familiarised myself with the crease pattern, devising a smoother collapse (as I adopted the much criticised method of “parachuting” the last time).

I briefly toyed with the idea of posing him like Neo during Matrix’s groundbreaking “bullet time” scene, but decided to go simpler because he would be a … simple … soul.

The tricky bit was to use minimal paper for a neck, leaving enough of a pleat tube to sculpt a 2×2 solid cube, and explored that geometry a bit before settling on a scheme.

# Cat, Rat, Cheese

I had forgotten how wonderful it was to lose yourself in a fold, particularly an Eric Joisel design:

I decided it was time to re-fold Joisel’s Cat because … the last time I attempted it back in 2011 (as part of the original 365 project) she turned out barely recognisable:

Naturally, the cat is looking at something, I decided it must be a rat. There are few more character-ful designs than Joisel’s Rat, so I folded him again – this time on a sheet 1/4 the size of the cat (to sort of get the scale right).

I reasoned the rat was around for a reason, so quickly found Jeremy Shafer’s “Cheese” design and decided the rat’s next meal would be cheese (unless he himself did not become dinner for the prowling cat). I folded the cheese with a square 1/4 the size of the rat to sort of get the scale right.

All too often a fold is completed in isolation – few designers design “sets” of models that are sort of meant to go together. Joisel’s Cat and Rat reference each other in their diagrammed sequences – I like that. Both models have challenging sequences – each with places where your judgment on where a fold goes completely changes the attitude of the model – I like that also as it let’s you infuse character into the model, and often means subsequent folds look different.

I think the only other origami artist that comes to mind for designing “scenes” is David Brill – his masterpiece “Brilliant Origami” is full of fun tableaus.

# 1127: Bin Chicken

The majestic “Bin Chicken” is, sadly, an aussie icon – those black-headed ibis emerge from the deepest, moistest corners of a ripe dumpster, dripping bin juice.

Yes, I KNOW that an Egret is not an IBIS (the beak is different and the body colouration is different… but… creative license). This is Jeong Jae Il’s “Egret” – a beautifully lifelike rendition of an altogether more polite bird. The diagrams, from “Potential Origami” suggest heavier paper, so I trotted out a lovely 58cm square of duo Yukogami to work this model.

The paper is stark white one side, jet black the other, heavily textured and light cardboard in thicknicty, but I thought I would fold until either it was finished or it failed. The only real struggle was thinning down the legs that end up being about 12-18 layers. In finishing, after dry-shaping, I slid a little white glue inbetween the layers then re-formed on my dry shaped form, compressed and found the paper dried solid – an added bonus was I did not need to add wire, she stood on her own!!

# 1126: Matt LaBoone’s “Chinese Dragon”

Matt shared a 2015 design on Fakebook recently, so I decided that given it is nearly Chinese New YEar, and it is a “Year of the Dragon”, folding a dragon I had not yet attempted was a good idea:

This dragon, in structure, is similar to Kamiya’s Ryujin 1.2 (in sheet layout at least), but does some interesting things with the body and tail that were fun to fold.

Initially I tried it with a sheet of Yukogami, and abandoned it before I managed to get to the base because it was just too thick. I resorted to a nice crispy thin 55cm square of Kraft (I should have test folded it first anyways – doh!).

I added a wire armature and did a swirly pose, raised a front foot and had the opposite foot mid-step, it is a little cute.

Chinese dragons differ from the Western tradition by not needing wings to fly – they are way more “serpentine” as opposed to scaley bird or scary bat.

# 1125: Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus”

After acquiring a copy of “Potential Origami” by top Korean Origami designers, I was struck with a choice – which astonishing model should I try first:

It is well known that i love a bit of classical art, and am fond of a fullsome bosom, so decided on Han Ji Woo’s astonishing design based on Boticelli’s painting masterpiece.

I started with a 90cm square of kraft, and intended to give this a try, fully expecting it to fail. My approach to designs outside my skill range is to “fold until it fails or is finished”. I have used this mantra for decades and, as was the case this time around, I discover I have “levelled up” in terms of skills.

The design here is genius. Although it is a boxpleated model, the allocation of flaps to details and proportion evident, as well as attention to the original artwork is outstanding.

From a single sheet of paper, we have a naked lady, masking her modesty with hands and a wicked hairdo. She is standing on an open scallop shell, because … well … that is how she as a Roman Goddess was apparently born. Clearly a little more is now known about where babies come from but it is a striking model version of Botticelli’s classic painting.

I want to tell you this model came easily, and that the shaping was intuitive, but … it wasn’t. I suck at shaping, so really feel like i have levelled up on this model – making the body luscious (yes, I know the breasts are a little “cubist”, but ample and pointed in the right direction. I am particularly happy with the much layered and frizzed hair.