1141: Matthew Dunstan’s Dragon

Looking at my “must fold when time” pile, I remembered a diagram destoned for a Peter Buchan-Symons “Folding Fantasy” book:

This lovely duo colour dragon is designed by Matthew Dunstan, and is an interesting variation of a classic birdbase with some grafts for the head.

An intense little fold in places (the head in particular is really fiddly and thick), I really like this little western dragon with good proportions and a unique character.

I folded this from a 35cm square of Duo Kraft paper – a mistake in retrospect, it would have been easier (less finger bruising) with a larger thinner sheet. Originally I planned to fold it with my Shadow Thai, but I think it is too thick … now I know how the fold works I may still give that a go.

EDIT:

Folded with a 40cm square of origami-shop Duo Thai paper, with some extra detail and shaping, this little beauty is a treasure indeed

1139: Quantum Superposition

Schrödinger’s Cat, as a thought experiment, states that if you seal a cat in a box with something that can eventually kill it, you won’t know if the cat is alive or dead until you open the box. So, until you open the box and observe the cat, the cat is simultaneously dead and alive.

We often use Schrödinger’s thought experiment to explain the concept of superposition. The experiment states that a hypothetical cat is locked in a box with some radioactive substance controlling a vial of poison. When the substance decays, it triggers a Geiger counter that causes the poison to be released, thereby killing the cat.

Since the box is locked, and we on the outside don’t know whether or not the radioactive substance has decayed and released the poison, we can’t tell if the cat is dead or alive. So, until we open the box to know for sure, the cat is both dead and alive. Mathematically speaking, there’s a 50 percent chance the cat is dead and a 50 percent chance the cat is alive. Source.

This is Sebastien Limet’s Shrodinger Square, a delicious exercise in folding a figure then hiding it inside another structure. I folded this in baking paper, and it is a little too transparent I think (I tried it in printer paper and it was too thick and opaque).

I like that the cat is made of the body and tail at opposite ends of the 5:1 sheet, closing and locking it brings the two pieces together in silhouette. Clever.

1136: Tsuru-Jin

As lightning crackled from the raging thunderstorm above, the electrodes sizzled, the smell of burning flesh hung damply in the air as the creature stirred on the table, accompanied by a mad cackling laugh interspersed with hysterical cries of “It’s Alive!!!”:

Apologies to Frankenstein lovers, but let us face it, this model is a bit of a Frankenstein. It is the result of putting a Satoshi Kamiya RyuJin 2.1 dragon head on a classic Tsuru (Crane)’s body. Nuts – right?

I first saw the CP (Crease pattern) for this on one of the Origami Discord servers I frequent (RyuCentral), and thought … how odd, how hard could that be??? Stupid man!

Dividing the paper into quarters and half along one diagonal, I reserved 1/4 on the diagonal for the crane and then set about laying in the graft CP for the dragon head in the remaining 3/4. It needed a 23 division grid that intersected at the square opposite the crane. Accuracy was the key. Grid laid in, I then started setting the pre-creases necessary for the head – stupid man, fucked the first set up twice (because I did not count), finally, pre-creasing done the collapse began.

I have folded many Ryu Jins, many versions, many times, so it was like returning to an old friend, interestingly muscle memory helped me not find the horrendously complex manipulations difficult at all (or maybe my subconscious was blocking the trauma) but to my surprise the accuracy I obsessed over early on paid off later allowing a pretty tidy collapse and NO damage to the reserved 1/4.

With the head collapses through early base, late base and shaping, I isolated and shaped the little arms and then set about working out how to fold a crane with the head as the head. Annoyingly I chose the wrong orientation first (der) and the head was upside down and backward. Just when I thought I would have to perform an infamous “neck twist” (interestingly NECESSARY on full RyuJins), I tried unfolding the crane and reversing all the creases (ie. folding it inside out) – to my delight that solved the problem (and THEN I remembered CPs are usually drawn WHITE SIDE UP – what a dickhead!!!).

1131: The Work of Fynn Jackson

A long while ago, a new artist on the scene, Fynn Jackson, started releasing astonishing mask crease patterns on social media.

He later commercially released his designs and I purchased his crease pattern packs for masks 1-35, along with the more recently released noses 1-9.

I love Fynn’s work, and eventually will develop my own CPs of faces. There is so much expression in the score and fold bundle, so decided to expand my collection and try out a bundle of manilla card in the process. I contacted @Jacksonorigami and asked him about selling finished masks – he (to my surprise and delight) freely encourages folders to monetise their rendering of his designs, so long as we do not share the purchased CPs (so please DO NOT ASK) …. so I got to thinking about an upcoming Gallery shoppe associated with my papermaker friends PAQ – put 1 and 1 together and arrived at 6.

I set about folding 6 faces I had not tried before from Fynn’s rich collection of characters, each using different aspect ratios, techniques and all quite wonderful. I was encouraged (by some of the wonderful ladies in PAQ – I am looking at you Ann and Wendy!) to consider selling, and began thinking about displays that would make them work as purchaseables.

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.

1123: Anubis

I have always been fascinated by Egyptian symbology, myths and ancient artforms. The very pictorial style is angular, stylised, often animal-based and very interesting. Anubis is the god of funerary rites, protector of graves, and guide to the underworld, in ancient Egyptian religion, usually depicted as a canine or a man with a canine head:

I am currently watching STARGATE, a few episodes at a time with my son. I began watching it back in the days of free-to-air broadcasting but, for whatever reason I stopped (prolly because I had a life and no longer had time/access to episodes). The series premise is interesting, and I particularly love their hijacking of Egyptian gods/mythos as the “baddies”, as well as the whole aesthetic.

I wish I could remember where I first found this Crease pattern (CP). It has been in my “must try this, sometime” pile for a couple of years and I finally got around to it when looking for something to fold with my second bit of treated Wenzhou rice paper (not made of rice, is a fine and resilient mulberry). I also wish I knew the designer – can anyone help me out here as I would love to give proper attribution?

The CP seemed pretty straight forward – indeed the collapse was quite natural (I did not do my usual “parachuting” as I tried to collapse key details in the order that seemed most logical), and resulted in a base with a myriad of stickey-outey parts in more or less correct locations. I am so pleased with my developing CP solving skills – a loooooong way to go, but every success encourages me further.

1121: Santa/Satan

Comes the time of year when we tell little kids that a morbidly obese stranger in a red suit breaks into their house (by coming down a chimney or other entry point if there is no chimney), eats some random snack, feeds a portion of that snack to a reindeer (who has a birthmark on it’s nose) and then leaves presents, regardless of whether you have been an entitled little shit all year, or a saint:

As a parent I was complicit in this lie until my kids (fairly early on) cottoned on to the fact that this whole thing was so very unlikely, and merely a mechanism for justifying a mound of presents under the xmas tree.

I wanted to try out the new paper pack of Satogami I got from Origami-shop and this festive fold seemed like the perfect opportunity given the latest Tanteidan magazine (which contains it’s diagrams) arrived this week also.

Duo Satogami is quite thick. I bought a paper pack of 58cm squares, mixed colours and love the vibrancy of the red/white, and also love the texture of the paper. I _want_ to report that pre-creasing Satogami was easy … but … I really struggled to my the reference folds and to fold accurately because of the thickness and texture. The paper reverses fairly poorly also (meaning I had to correct lots of folds for accuracy as I went to ensure alignment of layers and edges during more complex moves.

1119: Pocket Godzilla

Leafing through one of the origami books I helped edit, I came across a cutey little “Godzila”esque model I had not folded:

Designed by Oriol Esteve, from his book “Fold with the Flow”, this charming little Chibimonster seems ready to terrorise Tokyo and dodge nukes as the ineffectual army fights back.

I used to watch monster movies with a passion, and the old “guy in a rubber suit” versions were terrifying as a kid, but the whole Godzilla franchise seems to go on and on with re-imaginings and various levels of tech in the VFX often getting in the way of the story, at least these days.

I had a 25cm square of blue metallic paper (I think from a sample pack from Origami-shop) that was light blue on the reverse, so decided to torture it into shape. The book suggests Kami, and thinner paper would have made some of the moves less thick, but I think I like him chunky. It is a fun design, starting with one of Oriol’s much-used bases. I like that both the eyes and the back spikes are colour changed. The proportions are nice and I also like that he free-stands because the centre of gravity has been considered in his pose.

1110: Origami World Marathon 4

I have recently completed the mammoth 50hr+ live fold-along festival called The Origami World Marathon. I folded as many as I could physically attend, and it is a super rare privilege to be actually taught by such world class designers.

I managed about 14 models live, slept some and can complete those missed because, as part of the purchased ticket I gain access to video tutorials from the designers for the next year – win, win.

1107: WALL-E

Although (technically) a re-fold, the last time I attempted to fold this I had a partial crease pattern and a broken incomplete set of instructions in Russian, and just muddled along. I am not sure the resultant model even looked like Wall-E, but I was happy to sort of nut out a scheme for making his tracks.

I stumbled across a set of partial diagrams by “Tosummerny” in Chinese that seemed to surface more of the actual process, so decided I had to have another go.

I went big – 90cm square – seems excessive …but … I have another exhibition pending and thought this might make a good display piece if it ended up tidy enough.

The diagrams clarify the construction of the pleats necessary to form the main body, and how they cleanly articulate to make the beautifully treaded tracks, and also simplified what I had in my previous attempt mangled together to form the eyes.

1106: PBS Scorpion

One of the benefits of working as part of the editing team on an origami book is that you get to see models before they are in the wild:

This is my test fold of Peter Bucan-Symons new “Scorpion”, a delicious model with a fun challenging fold sequence.

I folded this from a 60cm square of black/natural duo kraft paper (some of my dwindling stock of Ikea duo – WHY won’t they stock this anymore????).

1105: En Garde

It is a wonderful thing when designers share their processes, crease patterns and diagrams. Boice Wong is one that readily shares the CPs of his amazing designs, and when I saw “Sword and Shield V2”, I knew I had to give it a go:

Although I have been folding for decades, most of what i have folded has been from DIAGRAMS (step by step folding guides). By far the MAJORITY of origami out there does not exist as diagrams, but a larger proportion exist as CPs (crease patterns). I have been, over the last few years, working on my crease pattern solving skills.

This model is based on Boice’s 24 grid CP, and the collapse is relatively straight forward. Sometimes CPs give you crease orientations (red=mountain, blue=valley), sometimes not. The skill comes with deciding which creases to impose first as part of the collapse. Sometimes it does not matter, most it does, some you can derive based on “knock on effects” on one crease that causes the orientation of a sequence of subsequent creases. Sometimes it is pure witchcraft.

1097: Jetlag

Those who know me realise I am just back from nearly 7 weeks in Europe. When asked how my jetlag is going, it is difficult to put the answer into words:

Spending so long in a different time zone, and getting good at waking early, being on the go to many and varied locations, then being subjected to 29ish hours transit to return to the other side of the planet is always a struggle, but this time it seems to have been worse. Bouts of fatigue followed by being wide awake at 3:30am are exhausting, as is my numb and seemingly empty brain.

This is my test fold of a new Boice Wong design. Boice is a crazy talented origami designer who released 2 versions of this model while I was overseas. He graciously released the CPs (crease patterns) and … they did not look too hard … but have taken nearly a week to decipher with my head in it’s current state.

Entitled “Empty Head 32×32 grid”, this is the first of 2 models in this series I intend to try, and feel a little guilty using up a blog number on the test fold, but I am so happy with how this little guy turned out I thought why not. When I have both figures, I will post again using a new blog number.

Day Tripping to Zaragoza

So a fairly well known fact in Origami circles is that there are Origami Museums, few compare in size to the Spanish one in Zaragoza.  When Jo and I had decided to spend time in Barcelona, we discovered Zaragoza was doable day trip from Barcelona Sants regional train station, so a plan was hatched.

Barcelona Sants is a regional rail hub, different to the metro. We will from depart here in a few days for Province, but this station also provides access to many other places in Catalunya and beyond. After locating our platform ( via a very helpful man at the Information counter), we had our bags (and everything else) xrayed before arriving on the platform to find the train already boarding.

We boarded AVE-S112 High Speed train, allocated seats a lot like an airplane, and took off. The train sped underground until it cleared the central city and burst out into the light as farmland flew by. For a lot of the journey the train was topping 295 km/h as it hurtled stop to stop.

After a little over an hour, we arrived at Zaragoza train station, and de-trained, got some refreshments then headed over to the Bus Station, to catch a C1 circle line bus, and rode it the remaining half way around to the terminus. After a brief bit of nav we were picking through the back streets to EMOZ, located on the 2nd Floor of Centro de Historias, Plaza San Agustín 2.

I had been in contact with the museum ever since there seemed a chance for me to visit, and it was lovely to finally meet an online friend named Jesús Artigas. We nerded out a bit, talked about the current exhibition and about Yoshizawa’s works, and particularly the work of Eric Joisel.

The museum has, on display a number of Joisel’s original works, including one of his gnome orchestras, his large-scale Rhinoceros and his large scale Pegasus.

Jesús let us sneak peak in the store room at Joisel’s large Hippopotamus also, all master works from a genius artist much missed.

We talked folding, design, and it turns out he is working on an interesting origami publication of endangered Spanish animals, and asked if I was interested in test folding closer to publication date. What an honor indeed, naturally I said yes. That should be fabulous and something else to be involved in when I finally return home.

We parted company with the promise of future collaboration, then Jo and I took our time appreciating the many rooms of exhibits. It was good to see so many original works from legends in the field, including Victor Coeurjoly, Robert Lang, Junior Fritz Jaquett, Kashiwamura, Jozsef Zsebe, a host of different Vietnamese designers, and even a tiny work from Yoshizawa himself. We are not worthy.

The museum also offers informative information about the paper/folding traditions of many countries. It is interesting that many different schools of folding crafts emerged independently with the introduction of paper and paper-like materials. We also saw some very early traditional folds pioneering skills from historical giants that modern day origami designers stand on the shoulders of.

The feature artist at the moment is Vivian Berty, with a number of rooms devoted to her colourful, figurative and representational varied art practice. Such a riot of colour and range of simple to elegant models, compositions and modular works.

It felt like home for me, to be surrounded by an art form I have spent a lot of my life exploring. Nerd-feasts come in every flavour, and this was one of mine.

After leaving EMOZ, we reversed our journey to Zaragoza Delicias rail station, grabbed a late lunch and then our train back to Barcelona. I am sure I gushed, Jo was very tolerant of a very happy nerd. If I get the opportunity I would like to visit again, as well as explore the other origami museums of the world.