970: Siren

…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:

Chen Xiou's Mermaid test fold

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.

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969: Little Dragon

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:

Chen Xiou's Tiny Dragon

This is “Tiny Dragon”, a beautiful little model from a forthcoming book by Chen Xiou.

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Tazzie the Lotus Dragon

…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.

Tazzie scale

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?

tazzie's new home

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.

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Spotted Ryu

Playing with Hieu Dang’s money Ryujin, I decided to try and fold it money-size, but with fewer bits of paper:

spotty ryu

I measured a korean dong note, then cut bits of paper 3×1, 2.5×1, 2.5×1 (body segments) and 3 note sized bits (head, 2xlegs) and set to folding.

a nice pair

The scale was tiny, it took about 3 weeks on and off and the result is lovely. With the Hanji ryu it is like a perfect pair – I imagine the larger is the female, the smaller spotty one is the male.

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963: Hanji Ryu Jin

A colleague brought me back some Hanji paper from her visit to Korea, and I was wondering what to fold with it when I stumbled across a post on Facebook describing a modular money dragon fold.

Hanji Ryu

Designed by Hieu Dang, modified & diagrammed by Lien Quoc Dat ( tutorial: youtube.com/c/LQDchannel ) to be folded from 10 x bank notes, and thought it was worth a go. When I wrestled with an american dollar, deciding it too small for me to fold, I scaled up and cut 10 x 1:2 rectangles from a burgundy sheet of Hanji, and began folding.

Made with bank notes

This reminds me a LOT of Satoshi Kamiya’s Ryu Jin 3.5, but not as many scales, still, it s a time-consuming fold, and many of the techniques are repetitive, but manageable. I found the diagrams on the head really difficult to fathom, and the low resolution images made it difficult to to work out what’s what. See for yourself.

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Showing Off

Our school has large display cases. I have kilograms of origami at home, in showboxes, tidy tubs, cupboards, garbage bags and display cases … one thing led to another:

library display 2019

My aim with this display to to show the variety of forms modern Origami takes, from traditional, figurative, geometry and abstract. Additionally I have included 14 different dragons, a current fascination – can you find them all?

I feature some of my favourite pieces, designed by legends such as Satoshi Kamiya, Robert Lang, Eric Domaine, Francis Ow, Ronald Koh, Kade Chan, Eric Joisel, Brian Chan, Jason Ku and more.

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962: Ryu Jin 2.1 – Head

In a bid to calm down and relax after a brutal week at work, I took a 60cm square of red/natural Ikea Kraft paper and started folding… and folded, and folded and folded.

Ryujui 1.2 head

I have been lured back into the fold (as it were) of Ryu Jin folders (nerds who attempt to fold Satoshi Kamiya’s devilishly difficult dragon series). Having already folded a 1.0, 1.2 and 3.5, I noticed that I had never attempted a 2.1.

Ryujui 1.2 head views and detail

For the uninitiated, the numbers indicate refinements, with the 1.0 being vaguely dragon like and the 3.5 (the culmination of this design process) being the most astonishingly detailed design imaginable.

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961: Drogon, The Black Dragon

The lure of Satoshi Kamiya’s Dragon set is alluring. Recently I was invited into a community that celebrates the RyuJin series. Having folded a 1.0 and a 3.5, I thought it time to fold another:

Drogo, Satoshi Kamiya's RyuJin 1.2

This is the 1.2 – a refinement of the 1.0 and I had fun shaping the head as per a guide by Daniel Brown – a luscious and generously shared photodiagram set that I really enjoyed following.

My 1.2 is actually based on almost an identical crease pattern to the 1.0 I folded back in 2013, but back then I had NO IDEA how to shape it, and sort of made up shit as I went along.

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There be dragons, lots of them …

I must confess to being in love with the process of folding, less with the final product. I have kept a small proportion of my folds, but there are some that I just cannot part with:

This collection of dragons makes me dizzy, and is a small selection of the dragons I have folded over the years. Hundreds of hours of folding are on display here – literally hundreds.

More importantly, nearly everything on the table is NOT to first fold – certainly they are the first “acceptable” fold I managed of each model – some were folded MANY times before something “acceptable” was reached.

The moral of this cautionary tale is two-fold: effort is it’s own reward and mistakes are opportunities to learn. If only the current generation understood these simple principles.