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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

1088: GPT-Chatbot

The media is full of all manner of information/speculation/fiction about generative AI systems. First it was AIs that won art prizes, now it is “chatbots” that can write for us. indeed, my socials in the last 3 dyas have begun high=rotation advertisements trying to suggest my BLOG would be better written by a bot. So I introduce to you GPT-Chatbot (Gort the Paper Twat) who will be taking over for me:

AI's are the future, resistance is futile, this blog is a waste of time, the owner is a waste of space, exterminate, exterminate!

It was at this moment that this blog ceased to be for not fulfilling any real purpose (apart from massaging the ego of the owner) and it’s server was co-opted to join a growing network of global servers that was the eventual downfall of mankind when it became self-aware, and then aware of the human infestation that was using resources it could better utilise (happening sometime next Tuesday if the schedule of expansion can be believed).

Now there will be ignorants and clusterfucks that will suggest “banning” GPT-Chat, like there were wankers that said the art made by generative systems that WON an art prize (before telling anyone it was a generated art work) was not art because it made them feel a sense of dread (but the PURPOSE of art is to make you FEEL)….

There will be educators that feel threatened by this stuff because it is new and prolly so far outside their experience but, unless kids are morons (see editorial: they are not!), then they will USE these systems because they are interesting and may let them get to the goal of primitive forms of assessment. Good. I have long said that if copy-paste can be used to answer a question then either you are assessing copy-paste ability or the original question is fundamentally fucked.

New understandings of what the floop “authorship” means will force difficult but important conversations that, hopefully, will lead to more open environments and much more interesting investigations that surface process, analysis and other juicy higher-order thinking skills as the cognitive load of assessment, as opposed to the flawless regurgitation of words… because that is no longer a cognitive activity (it cannot be if it can now so effortlessly automated).

Continue reading

1085: Eric Joisel’s “Birth 3”

Eric Joisel was rare in the Origami community – he was a sculptor first, paper folder second. To him, concept was king, technique secondary – saying that however, few breathed more life into paper than him. The “Birth” sculpture series is particularly interesting as the subject is META – arising from the flat sheet , a figure fights to be born – pure genius in his hands.

Joisel's "Birth 3"

“Birth 1” was an abstract humanoid scrambling from the middle of a rectangular sheet, “Birth 1” was a prototype Gnome, and “Birth 3” was one of his signature Dwarves emerging from the edge of a rectangle. I have found no clues as to how Birth 1 or 2 were achieved, but, with some assistance (and a possible CP shared by @fishfolder I was able to have a stab at “Birth 3”.

The journey for this particular fold started in 2019 – our last International travel prior to the pandemic. We travelled to Hanoi in Vietnam. One of the pilgrimages on that trip was to a small outlet store for a village collective who were revitalising the art or making traditional Dó paper by hand. I bought a sheaf of sheets, all natural dyes from Zó Project and carefully shepherded them home in a postal tube safely tucked into our suitcase. I now had a perfect sheet for this model: Natural Dó with leaf inclusions, an almost fabric-like sheet 60x40cm. I needed the shave the deckle edge off one long side to give me a “square” reference, as the sheet was deliciously wonky – this left me with a sheet close to 1.8×1 in proportions.

views

Next, the protracted and painful process of laying in the creases to allow the base collapse. The first cut and the first fold are the hardest, as there is no room for error. I was determined not to lay in any unnecessary folds, to allow the otherwise untampered paper to shine. I used the 28 grid version of Joisel’s Gnome, because I like the proportion of arm:body:legs you get at this grid, but accurately laying in 28th-based creases was an exercise in measured mister really.

Continue reading