544: ‘Ball

Now apparently, when faces with a wee beastie, you throw a pokeball at it and that, somehow, traps the beastie …inside.. the ball for safe keeping – truly, I cannot make this shit up:544poke

This is Jeremy Shafer’s Pokeball – a genius modular fold using 2 bits of paper that interlock at the hinge, forming a rather lovely clasp at the front. Continue reading

524: Happy Valentines Day

I find it fascinating that there are so many models and folding techniques I have yet to try. The “Magic Rose Cube” is a case in point – I am amazed I have never folded it:v4

Such a beautiful little modular, 3 pieces the flower, 3 slightly different pieces the leaves, slots together into a cube easily, unfurls beautifully. Continue reading

495: Soma Cube

I can remember a block puzzle my maths teacher introduced to me, the “soma” puzzle was a lot like 3D Tetris.495SomaDev

There are 7 puzzle pieces, all variations of stacked cube clusters that fit together into a 3×3 cube when put together right.495Soma1

A fab fold, a simple series of box pleat collapses and a variety of techniques make these fairly robust puzzle pieces. Continue reading

Tim’s Surprise

A mate, Tim, knew of my paper bending tendencies. He is also a Bank Manager and so he came across a rareish paper Australian $20 note:TheGift

Once upon a time, boys and girls, Australian currency was made of paper, not shiny brittle plastic as it is now.

Much to my surprise, a letter arrived addressed to me, containing a lovely crisp $20 note – limited edition and precious, along with the instructions to make something out of it.scale2

I have agonised about this – creasing a rare thing is fraught with guilt and I am sure currency collectors would be horrified, but it came with challenges – most “dollargami” is geared towards American “greenbacks” which are not 2×1 – the $20 note is oddly a 2×1 rectangle, meaning conventional dollargami landmarks are in the wrong place. Continue reading

463: Going Crackers

Contemplating buying Christmas Crackers, you gain a sense of waste and expense – they are hideously expensive and full of stuff no sane person would actually want:

…so I thought about folding some.

I am fond of a twist, and whilst exploring the maths of a hex  twist, I discovered a method for making a pentagon-based twist with rolled seam and nice turnovers that seems to do the job admirably and also naturally results from a square. Continue reading

Chiyogami/Washi Hex-Boxes

When life gives you Chiyogami or hand-made Washi, with a relatively simple twist you can turn it into a hex-box: 

Lovely hand-printed Washi (swirls of fibres, block printed 20+ years ago) and modern Chiyogami (machine made but lovely) are actually fairly difficult to work with because you cannot see the creases and Fujimoto’s hex box establishes a bunch of landmarks to form the base-creases.

This is not a first fold, but the form and ingenious locking mechanism, slight variation to form lid and base make this one of my favourite folds – a jewel box when made from lovely paper.

Want one? Buy some nice paper (A3 or A4 work just fine, this is folded from a “golden rectangle”) and I will make it for you (or teach you how to make it yourself if you are near) – have your people call my people and we will make something beautiful together.

402: Washi Hex-Box

This model combines two things I love about Origami:

The geometry of Fujimoto’s Hex box is wonderful, it provided me the perfect excuse to do that which I have put off for far too long. A colleague (thank you Mrs Erizabreth) gave me a roll of hand-made Washi she brought back from Japan many years ago. She had never worked out what to do with it, having fallen in love with it in a shop, bought it on impulse and had it squirrelled away in a cupboard packaged up as new.

She asked if I wanted it, I said yes (having no idea what I was in for). When she left it on my desk and I unfurled it for the first time I was speechless – hand-made, hand-block-printed, with gold and silver foil, the front face is glorious. Flipping the “paper” over, the texture of fibres is also glorious – both sides a work of art.

I have AGONISED about what I would do with it, and today I finally cut it – it was an important moment in my life. This might sound melodramatic, but I have another piece of washi I bought myself 3 years ago, black with gold calligraphy, that I can still not bring myself to cut. there is a special sort of reverence in beautiful things I think.

Anyway, I decided to fold a lidded box from the first cut pieces for 2 reasons – the hex box is my favourite and the paper makes it sparkle like a jewelled box.

I had a little panic, so mocked up the fold with some scribbled on copy paper – it occurred to me that I had NEVER folded this model with coloured paper – I just sort of assumed it worked itself out and the coloured side would show whilst the non-coloured side would hide itself away. Thank goodness, with a little tweak all worked out well.

There is so  much to love about this fold – it is teachable (I taught my Origami Club how to do it – year 9 boys managed it admirably); all it’s raw edged tuck away inside the body of the model, it’s top and bottom are folded slightly differently but nest inside each other beautifully; the top hex twist is lovely – with this paper it appears puffy and sort of quilted.

I am very happy with this, my first really expensive paper box. It is a gift, I envy the receiver but at least I have more of this lovely paper to obsess about.

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?

360: Masu

It is Boxing Day, and I thought it appropriate to try a box I have had in my “must try” pile – David Brill’s Masu:

A Masu is a traditional Japanese timber box that used to be used to measure rice or beans, these days it is used for sipping sake out of.

This ingenious construction is fully 3d – outer and inner edges kept apart via a nifty corner trick (must remember that sort of pleat) and the bases are sprung using a brilliant twist.

An exercise in fifths, the pre-creasing makes all the points necessary for a wonderful collapse – this is a keeper, as it’s proportions and technique have other applications – particularly like the corner collapse that I thought was initially impossible.

Folded from an A3 rectangle, I then tried an A4 (just to prove to myself it was not just a fluke) and it is even cuter – nice.

358: Pandora’s Box

Come this time of year, we ALL engage in a sort of origami, with varying success and neatness – wrapping presents:

This is Yami Yamauchi’s “Pandora’s Box” – a devilishly clever fold that makes a beautiful cube that once folded is near impossible to un-fold.

The instructions suggest fold it part way, put something precious inside and close it up, only to watch the faces of the receiver as they try to open the gift without tearing the paper – lol.

An ingenious box folded from fifths – originally I was going to fold this in white, then remembered some rather splendid stripey wrapping paper and that solved 2 problems with the one roll really as I used the stripes to work out the proportions – 5×3 stripes = fitfhs of a decent size, hooray. There are many geometric constructions for making fifths but they often leave creases in the paper as you make them and I wanted it to be as blemish free as flimsy wrapping paper would allow.

In retrospect, it ended up being almost exactly the size of my Rubics Cube, lovely thing.

302: Pereira’s Jack In The Box

If you were ever after proof that “magic happens”, here’s your proof:

This masterpiece of design by Hugo Pereira is a Jack-in-a-box, complete. those who have been keeping up with this blog will remember a previous Jack in the Box by Max Hulme and I must admit I like this one better.

The design engineering alone in this model is breathtaking, from the box to the spring and then to the jack, the details here are lovely and structurally amazing.

So many technical elements here, from intense closed-sinks, folds that cause automatic puckers in the spring and just when you think you are near the end a tight pair of accordion folds to make the arms in almost Elias style.

I am so stoked with this, as a first fold. After an hour of pre-folding, the actual collapse took relatively little time considering the complexity of the model. I had relegated this model the “yeah, prolly not” pile because it just looked too hard – indeed, some of the manoeuvres only make sense if you look before, after and what that part will eventually be used for.

Sense of achievement – tick 🙂

287: Fuse Box (Small Flowers)

Tomoko Fuse is a genius in designing intricate boxes:

this is called “Small Flowers” because of an incidental pattern the overlapping edges make, sort of looks like aflower. I made it in colour only because a monochrome version would not have been remarkable.

The lid and the base are each comprised of 4 pieces of paper, an interlocking modular that is fairly rigid and would make a nice stocking case or filled with some sweet treat.

Why a “Fuse Box”? Well, Energex had a transformer on the street go pop and our school spent the day without power – all interesting. I thought a paper play on words might be fun.

280: Infinity Cubed

Now I got thinking about infinity, as you do, and that I could beat it by cubing it, then a modular idea struck – make an infinity out of cubes:

So I began collecting business cards – white on the back, and performed 2 simple bends (and ONLY 2) per card – then explored ways of linking them together securely using techniques I had previously discovered.

This sort of construction eats up a LOT of cards – 426 in this construction – each cube side has an inner and outer skin card, making it finished, white, smooth and lovely. This thing is HUGE, surdy and really rigid.

This took a bit of thinking out, I started it on Tuesday and, bit by bit, it coalesced into something wonderful and profoundly beautiful (well, I think it is) – such a nice intervention between old discarded business cards and the landfill they will eventually become.

262: A Dead Man’s Chest

Ahoy me Hearties, so today be International Talk Like A Pirate Day, so I looked for somethin’ suitably Piratical t’ fold in celebration.

I decided on a Treasure Chest by Robyn Glynn, a lovely folded and pleated folly that looks like it be made o’ planks o’ wood, has a curved top and a rather nice clasp latch.

Avast! T’ scale o’ this model was problematic, particularly t’ internal lockin’ o’ t’ corners o’ t’ box, but t’ fantastic crease pattern you do prior t’ collapsin’ makes it all fall into place.

I be quite happy with this as a first fold, and hope more than just me celebrate this important day by talkin’ like a Pirate.

Although I be not a great jack tar, I could quite fancy a wooden leg, eye patch and parrot and imagine t’ tricorner hat and overcoat would go down a treat.

237: Fuse’s Triangle Box

Tomoko Fuse is renowned for her intricate boxes – this one is a version of her triangle box:

A modular, top and bottom each made up of 3 modules that interlock and lace together to create a curious container

I must explore these modular boxes some more, when I have more time, quite happy with this as my first fold however.