1004: Baby Yoda

I, like many of you eagerly awaited the Disney “Star Wars Story” The Mandalorian.

Andrés Lozano's Baby Yoda

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.

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1001: “Have the Lambs Stopped Screaming, Clarice?”

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.

Deaths-head Hawkwing Moth

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.

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998: Losing Our Shiz

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 that is waaay less lethal than normal Flu:

Toilet Paper Origami

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.

992: Venom Kusudama

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).

Venom Kusudama

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.

991: 2019-nCoV

Human Corona Virus is in the news, the news is alarming:

nCoV macquette

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.

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Chinese Dragon in Repose

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:

Mikiller觅晨’s modular dragon

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.

The handover
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986: Meta

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:

Neelish Kumar's Origamist Nightmare

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.

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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.

Handmade Paper

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.

handmade paper
White board, Day Lilly, Lemongrass hand-made(by me) paper

I remember the ladies of PAQ talking about Chinese Threadbooks – an ancient paperfolding tradition from China. Having already folded one using cheap decorative paper, I thought I would throw some handmade paper at one also.

threadbook complete

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.

threadbook compartments
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Hands-on Paper Making with PAQ

As a newly subscribed member of The Papermakers and Artists Qld, I went along to a hands-on paper making day unsure what to expect.

Papermakers and Artists Hands-on Paper day

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.

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948: “Snow Crystal” Hex-box

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):

snow flake box complete

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.

lid and base. Lid is 3/7ths of the sheet, base is the rest

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.

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930: Ground Control to Major Tom …

…take your protein pills and put your helmet on.

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

922: Modular Kangaroo

I am still on the lookout for a nice travel fold – something I can leave as a stealthy “thankyou” to the hosts of places we will stay overseas:

This is Seiji Nishikawa’s Kangaroo – an amazing 3 part modular that I decided to try folding using hand-made paper.

The model is in 3 parts – upper body and lower body are folded with the same size bit of paper, the joey is a similar fold to the upper body folded much smaller. Continue reading

Paper Makers and Artists Qld

On the way home from the Doctor, I chanced upon a sign outside a re-purposed Scout den just up from the road from me. I googled it, as you do “Wellers Hill Arts Hub” and discovered, to my delight, that one of the member groups was Queensland Papermakers and Artists.I contacted the president, via email, and was invited to the first meeting this year. How wonderful – a room full of talented artists, all passionate paper makers and me, someone who wants to learn how to make paper and fold the handmade sheets – huge potential. Continue reading

615: (65/365) Spheroid

Who could have foreseen that the concurrence of a series of parallel mountain folds interspersed between a series of concentric parabolic valley folds would result in something with such sculptural simplicity?:

This is Jun Mitani’s “Spheroid”, well, at least as close as I could get to it by guessing the intervals between parallel lines and the curve on the parabolic ones. Continue reading

583: (33/365) Hearty Cube

This delightful 6-part modular cube is designed by Meenakshi Mukerji:

The modules cleverly isolate a colour-changed heart at the centre of a “U” shaped module that forms one side of the cube. Continue reading

572: (22/365) Origami On The Brain

Those who know me realise I am a little obsessed with paper folding, some would say to excess. The truth of the matter is I am constantly amazed what you can coax a flat sheet to do. I think I missed my calling as a materials engineer:

I like models that I can visualise, as I am folding. Equally, I am fascinating when there is a tangle and then, out of the mess, something wonderful emerges. Continue reading

571: (21/365) OMG!!!!

Needless to say the media is abuzz with reactions to Trump’s inauguration. Let us hope that the he does not become the “Bane” of their existence (even though part of his speech was plagiarised from the Marvel Universes’ fictitious tyrant presidential coup, I am sure this is merely coincidence):

One has to have hope in the power of intellect, value of human dignity, common sense and sane application of spray tanning solutions. Continue reading

554: (4/365) Shuki Kato’s Simple Dragon

There are many subjects for origami models that are sort of a “holy grail” of folding, dragons are one such thing:

This is Shuki Kato’s “Simple” Dragon – the term simple is a relative term, naturally, as most of Shuki’s models are not for beginners and this little charmer is no exception.

I decided to try it on 50cm Daiso origami paper, fully expecting the paper to fail (as it is fairly ordinary wood-pulp paper) but I managed to coax it into a relatively huge dragon that has simple features but recognizably dragony morphology. Continue reading

No Dragon, Just Head

Determined not to let Shuki Kato’s “Western Dragon” beat me, I decided to isolate the part of the model that I had failed on each of the 4 times I have attempted this nightmare of bent paper – the head:

Using the crease pattern, I isolated the corner that is the head and made that section HUGE, then ignoring the rest of the model (that I have successfully folded twice) I only did instructions that effected the bit of the crease pattern that I had on my 60cm square section.

Yee gods! Continue reading