A few years back, I was gifted a portfolio of amazing vintage paisley paper by the Albions. I have held back folding it until I found something that would do it justice:
I pulled a sheet (there are over a dozen different paisleys in the folio), it opened up into a large sheet that I derived a way of dividing it into 30 equal squares – the basis on this kusudama.
This is a stellated dodecahedron, with lovely ridges, pentagonal faces and a wonderfully tactile design. 30 modules, based on 60 degree division, wonderfully deep pockets and positive lock, initially it is easy to put together. You can have a go yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzeQBFay8NY
Keeping my fingers buys, I had it suggested (on Redit) that I should try Tomoko Fuse’s ‘Starsea Kusudama”:
I had not seen this before, the unit is complex and folding it on a 1/4 6″ square was, in retrospect, probably a mistake but I like a challenge.
30 modules later, the construction was fiddly but the locked shape is really sturdy and there is no need for glue – tabs are buried deep in pockets. The last few units are really hard to seat (I needed tweezers to ease them into place) but paper tension causes the ball to become regular.
Madly, I agreed to participate in an international tournament, at the Intermediate level:
Intermediate meant you got a diagram and 72 hours to fold a rendition of it. I decided the “advanced” category was beyond my available time as you only got a CP and presumably relied on the power of prayer.
I gave it a whirl, went for crisp and accurate, but played a little with the flowing style of mane. It was loved by nearly noone who voted – fair enough. Other, less well folded versions (in my opinion) got more “likes” – social media is like that. Useful punch in the face, thanks.
Round 1 of the tournament done … and I am eliminated. Time to focus on more important things.
Each year, as an ice-breaker/getting to know you activity with my pastoral care group at the beginning of a school year I try to involve them in a collaborative origami megastructure:
Many hands made light work of the 90 sonobe modules, folded from Terracey colours (red, black, white). From little things, big things grow, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts (roll out the well trodden metaphors).
The construction has taken an age – 5 false starts until I discovered the module grouping – in the end it turned out to be alternating 5s and 6s on each vertex of each 6. Each sonobe module contributes 1/3 of a pair of adjacent points – and with careful colour planning no 2 colours are beside each other (well, that is nearly the case – in 2 places I was forced to break this rule, but you really have to look to find them).
90 modules take time, and most of the kids in the pastoral care group folded at least one – a true collaboration that results in a lovely spikey ball that will join the other treasures from previous years.
It is the days you do not look in your mailbox that mail arrives – I arrived home from work to find an astonishing collection of paper from Pham Hoang Tuan’s origami shop, and a couple of his diagrams, all screaming “fold me!”, so I started that journey:
I had only ever seen this model complete and in CP form, failed at solving that CP 2 times and had given up folding it for now, then it arrived in diagram form to my delight.
Always on the look out for an elegant depiction of a horse, a contact on Insta posted his fold of this model (a model I had not seen before), and I knew I had to try it:
There are many stunning origami horses – my favourite 2 of note are David Brill’s (folded from a triangle) and Satoshi Kamiya’s (which I have yet to fold).
This model has the proportions and majesty of a fine racing horse and the fold sequence is a lot of fun – you have to be accurate and exercise restraint throughout to get an elegant form.
Folded from a 40cm square of Tant (a little heavy for this design, but I liked the colour and texture so persisted), I think I have a new favourite – such a beautiful horse, and lovely internal structure also.
I was scheduled to go on a weekend away with the missus, then the State Government called a 3-day lockdown because of a small outbreak of a new strain of Covid-19, so found myself home with some time on my hands:
I fully intended to stop when it failed – Experience has taught me that insects like this require really thin paper, but I just kept folding and the model worked out pretty well. There is a lovely proportion to this model and the sequence is intense (I must have some skills because the wine seemed no impediment) and fun, borrowing from many designers – namely Shuki Kato, Robert Lang and Anibal Voyer – having folded from all these designers I can certainly feel the influences.
I, like many of you eagerly awaited the Disney “Star Wars Story” The Mandalorian.
WARNING – SACRILEGE: It started as an off-planet spaghetti western (faithful right down to the soundtrack), but quickly (for me at least) degenerated into the “baby yoda show”, garnished with some impenetrable Mando law and totally impractical helmet decisions.
I have been a fan of the Hannibal Lecter thing since that was possible. Books, movies, series, love it all, but few things are more chilling than the original “Silence of the Lambs” movie. One of the central images of that movie, and a delicious cover art of the original book features the Deaths-head Hawkwing Moth (Acherontia atropos):
This model, designed and shared by Sebastian Limet, requires thin bi-colour paper. I had some duo paper that was strangely thick, but managed to work the design and surface the details that make this mode so striking.
Folded from a 40cm square of black/white duo unryu, I have enjoyed following a fold sequence that started at the Waterbomb base and goes sideways from there.
Concentrating on the important details here – wings, skull, abdomen and antennae, this relatively simple model is all style, genius design typical of the brilliance of Sebl designs.
Australia is many things to many people. Currently, in the media, it seems like Australians are being portrayed as panic buying essential items in huge quantities, in preparation of an on-coming pandemic. EDIT – (that is waaay less lethal than normal Flu):
The first such item was Toilet paper, with viral (or bacterial) footage of people fighting in the aisles of supermarkets for the last bulk pack.
All I am saying, is give peace (and common sense) a chance, people.
This is Jo Nakashima’s Toilet Paper Crane, a fitting symbol of restraint. I only wasted 3 “poo tickets” (“Kenny” reference) in making it, so do not panic, unless that is something you do to increase likes on Instagram or Tik Tok.. … imagine going down in social media history as a toilet paper “influencer” – bahahahahahaha.
You should consider making this – sit somewhere, calm down, unclench and fold some bog roll for something other than wiping your bum.
For the last 10 or so years, I have used Origami as a pastoral care group “getting to know you” exercise, encouraging the students in my care to get involved, learn something new, and share the skills.
The WHOLE is greater than the SUM OF THE PARTS.
I laminated red and black paper, then sliced it up into 2:3 ratio rectangles. I taught some kids, they taught others – together we made the 30 modules necessary to make this spikey ball (a stellated icosahedron).
The modular construction is an interesting exercise in 3 and 5, and because the paper is quite rigid, the resultant kusudma is lovely – it joins a nice collection of similar of collaboratively constructed modulars – a testament to the power of the idea, the value of being open to new things and the willingness to have a go.
Human Corona Virus is in the news, the news is alarming:
It is difficult to know the extent of the emergency, the effectiveness of treatment, the vector of infection, the spread and infection rate, the facts.
Social media and websites masquerading as “news” agencies love a good headline, and this mixed with Survivor in the jungle, celebrity red carpets, sham impeachment, Corona Virus “influencers” on instagram and fad diets makes navigating the facts difficult.
Public warnings and travel bans aside, what constitutes a pandemic? What is the appropriate response?
I took a 3×1 rectangle of white/natural Ikea Kraft and … well … doodled and came up with an all too familiar image – a face-masked regular person. In an odd bout of synchronicity, Sebastian Limet (@sebl) had the same idea. His fold, as usual has lots of character.
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.
I love meta – that examination of self-reference is great brain food, and this fold designed by Neelish Kumar fits nicely into that philosophical space:
Nominally named “Origamist’s Worst Nightmare”, it is a place I have been – being so into a model at the expense of the materials, having it disintegrate in my hands as I work it.
The more observant of you will notice a despairing folder, paper ripped along a much-worked crease. Look closer, the crease pattern is Eric Joisel’s “Dwarf“, a particular favourite that I have ruined many a sheet mastering.
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.
So in a recent workshop, I made a bunch of different types of paper, time to try it out I thought. I had 3xA4 sheets and 2xA3 sheets pulled from the white board + Day Lilly + Lemongrass vat, so decided to have a go at folding something from that.
There are examples, hundreds of years old, of clever multi-compartment paper widgets, used to store silk threads (from weavers and embroiderers), and there is some exploration of the folding theory on teh internet, but you gotta dive deep.
I knew I needed to bring some botanical fibre (so I chopped up some of my lemongrass bush trimmings), lunch and a baked treat to share, along with hat, sturdy shoes etc. We set up tables outside and set about the business of making paper.
I have been looking for tidy self-contained folds based on A4 paper that hides the raw edges, so I could try my lovely thistle-based hand-made paper (from the ladies at Paper Makers and Artists):
This box looks like a traditional fold, but seems to be credited fairly recently to Sweet Paper, a paper art shop/tutorial site I stumbled across in my musings. Not sure of the attribution however, as many of their featured designs I have seen (and folded) from other artists.
The paper, with lovely rough chopped scotch thistle fibres and other pulp is fairly crisp, fairly thin but had raggedy (beautiful) decal edges that I did not really want to have to chop off.
I have waited an age to fold this model – I was waiting on finding some large format duo paper. When visiting IKEA, I came upon delicious 70cm wide rolls of duo Kraft paper (black on natural and white on natural), and bought a bunch of rolls.
Folding a 24×24 grid on a virgin square of white/natural Kraft, the collapse lines laid in, the collapse proceeds to the first stage then you re-work each stickey-outey bit. Continue reading →