971: Bro-bot 2019

The last few months a lot of my free time has been consumed by supporting a team of students as they prepare for a robotics competition:

brobot - Robot by Shunsuke Inoue

Yesterday was the Queensland finals of the First Technology Challenge (FTC), and our team did really well. They designed, built and programmed a robot, affectionately known as “BROBOT”, coming second in the state.

I could not be prouder of the team, so decided they needed a souvenir. This is the cutest little robot I could find, designed by Shunsuke Inoue, and I am astonished I have not blogged this fold before, it is such a fun fold.

scale - Robot by Shunsuke Inoue

You take a square, divide it into 1/16th grid, then boxpleat the bjebus out of it to tease antennae, eyes, arms, legs and a lovely little stubby body.

I hope they like their award.

Travel Fold 2019

We are about to travel again and, as is our tradition, we will leave origami folds wherever we go.

We decided this time it would be a Koala – they are cute and a definitive Australian animal (albeit critically endangered) so I set about to find a design I liked.

After much to-ing and fro-ing I returned to a model I first folded in 2011, designed by Jozsef Zsebe, from Hungary of all places – interestingly the best Koala designs generally come from places other than Oz – go figure.

I manufactured fur paper, using wet polar bear fleece. Do not start on how a Koala is not a bear, I know, but … meh … the texture works and the colour gradation (I found a dirty polar bear) from ears to arse works nicely I think.

I have committed this fold to memory (no mean feat given the state of my brain at the moment) an look forward to leaving them all around Vietnam and Cambodia.

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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Print-o-gami

As a Christmas present, my daughter signed me up for a Lino-cut and print-making workshop – something I was interested to try for the first time:

final print 5/5

Originally I had a much more ambitious plan, but it was deemed not achievable in the allocated time in the workshop so I sort of freestyled it.

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Priceless Artwork

Culling stored stuff, we came across things we had kept from my daughter’s pre-school years. Folios of precious artworks that, 25 years ago, adorned our fridge:

Spikey ball of love

Glorious and colourful explorations of paint, colour and form, painted, using bubbles, marbles, brushes and other techniques, using really strong colours that have remained so all this time.

I chose 10 of the most colourful paintings, cut 3 x 1:2 rectangles and set about folding a nice spiked ball with them.

I love the result, for all sorts of reasons, but mainly because it is made from materials created by someone I love. So much better than sending it all to landfill.

898: (348/365) The Droid You Were Looking For

Now I am as much a Star Trek fan as the next one, and love a comedy sidekick movie plot device. It was interesting that the Star Wars franchise returned to the tried and true “quirky beeping droid” sidekick in “Force Awakens” and the BB8 droid seems a cute successor to the more limited R2 units (that they decided could fly in later/earlier messes of movies):

This is Martin Hunt’s Modular BB8 droid model. A torturous fold of many parts.

4 different modules combine to make a roughly spherical ball with a “head” that can be affixed wherever you want, sort of captured the overall morphology of the droid. Continue reading

860: (310/365) Pizza Slice

You know, I thought I understood Pizza, then I went to Naples, Italy, and realised I knew nothing about pizza at all:

There are moments in your life when things just make sense – that moment of clarity where the perfect combination of crushed tomato, basil and mozzarella on a thin crisp base spends 90 seconds in the wood fired oven and emerges perfect in every way. Continue reading

822: (272/365) Excalibur

“The Lady of the Lake,… [angels sing] …her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. [singing stops] THAT is why I’m your king!”:

“Listen, strange women, lyin’ in ponds, distributin’ swords is no basis for a system of government. SUPREME executive power derives from a mandate of the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.”

“Shut up!”

“You can’t expect to wield supreme executive power, just ’cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!” Continue reading

798: (248/365) The Elephant In The Room

In a fit of elephantine existentialism, one must ask an important question: “What makes a good Origami Elephant?”:

This is Paul Jackson’s “One Fold Elephant” – is it a good elephant and how would we know? What are ESSENTIAL characteristics that a model should have to be considered elephantine? Obvious characteristics of an elephant (well, for anyone who has ever actually seen one) could include discernible TRUNK, big(ish) flappy EARS and a big solid BODY. We could visually recognise an elephant with way less information than that so why do we require mind-popping details implicit in super-complex paper renderings of elephants when something much simpler does the job.

Purists would argue that all origami is, in essence, figurative representations of real objects. Thereby origami models are in effect are so many levels of abstraction from the real thing that there are no valid metrics that apply the the “goodnicity” of the rendering. Continue reading