Riccardo Foschi frequently shares crease patterns for his new designs on social media. When I saw “Mushu” I knew I had to try and fold it:
It is rare to find a “happy” dragon, but this one beams a positive energy that makes you smile. There is lots of detail to take in – the head has branched horns, smiling eyes, lovely colour-changed curly whiskers, nostrils, teeth, a lovely wiggly tongue, lower jaw and a beard. A lovely set of back spikes, each leg has 3 toes and the beautiful fan tail caps off the beastie.
Made over a period of a week, from 5x 2:1 rectangles of odd spotty black Ikea Kraft. Sections form variously tail, legs, body and head modules, all of which ingeniously interlock without the need for glue. Riccardo also states that it can be made with a single 10:1 rectangle, but I thought that would be too wasteful when cut from a paper roll, so decided on the modular approach.
My problem with crease patterns is that, although they show the major creases, they do not really hint on the shaping or fold order. The head, in particular, took me a while to sort out. I decided, contrary to the designers photo, to fold the legs differently – I think they look more natural this way (but I folded forward, backward, forward and back many times before deciding on this configuration).
I will admit to being a sci-fi nerd, few movies did it for me like the original “Alien” movie, directed by Ridley Scott, designed by Hans Reudi Geiger.
The truly original mixture of a genuinely terrifying xenomorph, claustrophobic and grimy working space ship and stellar cast makes the movie, at least in my mind, perfect.
Prior to that, space was clean (painfully white and tidy, according to the Star Wars, Blakes7, Flash Gordon and Dr Who visions), in Alien gear looked used, people were pissed off and tired, and we were introduced to a much loved and never duplicated alien.
H.R. Geiger imagined a life-cycle – from egg, to facehugger (this beastie) that implants an embryo deep in a host, chest burster through to adult killing machine. Scarily insectoid, acid for blood, no eyes, perfect.
Rounding out my Ryu journey, I decided to use a small scrap of Kozo left over from another project to fold Jason Ku’s Ryu Zin Junior 2.1:
While sharing some of the nomenclature of the Satoshi Kamiya chinese dragon series, this little chap is markedly different on every level. I found a set of photo diagrams lovingly annotated by Daniel Brown, and thought I would give is a whirl.
My usual line “if you find interesting paper, get it and I will make you something out of it” has been the start of many fascinating journeys:
Peter and Majella travelled to Japan, and found some lovely paper – one, a sheet of hand-made natural Kozo with botanical inclusions screamed out for something delicate and textured. I had intended to return to Mikiller觅晨’s modular dragon, having already folded it large, I thought it might be interesting to fold it tiny and trap it in a shadowbox frame.
Some folds are quite the journey, Ryu Jins are no exception. I have already folded the 1.2 and the 3.5, but had not tried the 2.1, relegating it to the “when I have time” pile:
Holiday time is a time of recharge, paper folding therapy is my thing so I embarked on the super-duper-complex journey with HUGE bits of paper. I decided to fold it in 2 halves (two 140 x 70 cm rectangles of red duo Ikea Kraft paper).
As a bit of paper engineering, Ryu are masterpieces of fitting so much on a single square. The 2.1 is laid out in a similar morphology to the 3.5, with 2 halves of the model on opposite edges of the paper. The Ryu 1.2, in contrast, uses the diagonal and is symmetrical about that.
I have begun the (some say perilous) journey to realise Satoshi Kamiya’s Ryu Jin 2.1. I have previously achieved the head of this model, and there is more work to do to become familiar with the other components, but this is a nice next step:
The tail of the 2.1 is different to the 1.2 and the 3.5 in that it is more of a fan blade, to get there, you need to fold a small section of the scale field, and pack away a bunch of the paper inside the 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.
…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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It has been a while since I last blogged a fold. Truth be told the end of the term beat me up a lot – coupled with a savage cold, auto-immune rash (I still have) and an infected tear duct, on top of the marking and reporting it beat me up proper:
That said, folding remains a refuge and I did fold a lot in the interim, just did not blog about it – must redress the balance.
I “found” a set of diagrams, well, stumbled across them on Pinterest (the largest bastion of copyright infringement) and decided it was worth a fold after seeing an unauthorised youtube video tutorial of the same fold (I must have skipped over it while scanning the document).
Assignment time at school is fairly boring, for the most part, for a teacher. Students have lots to do, you need to be available to help on demand but there is a fair bit of sitting around waiting to be needed:
I had found a bunch of PDF’s explaining briefly how to fold parts of what I had assumed would eventually be a dragon. After trial folding the head and a foot I thought it was something I could do in stages. I (arbitrarily) decided my “standard square” would be the biggest cut from an A3 page. Most parts were then made using this standard.
Origami purists would probably have issues with this design, as there is an element of paper craft in some of the details, the head, for instance, is actually 1 standard square and 6 other bits of paper, folded and (shhh) glued in place. The body was made from 7 separate standard squares, 6 of which were the same, the tail segment was a little different to create the fan end.