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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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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916: Zhen Xian Bao (Traditional Chinese Thread and Needle Book)

Interestingly, paper folding developed independently in most countries that made paper. In China, traditional folding included objects like this:

This is a modern interpretation of a Zhen Xian Bao – a traditional thread case. Even cursory research on teh interwebs reveals astonishing combinations of these little compartments, nested in other compartments.

This fold was designed by Paula Versnick, and has 7 separate compartments of varying size, that all lock together into a charming little book. Continue reading

912: (362/365) Abandon Ship!

As the year 2017 swiftly comes to an end, after seemingly being in a hurry to do so all year, it is almost time to abandon ship:

Time for one last waltz, one more visit to the buffet, perhaps a cigar on the poop deck then it is lifejackets on and over the side into the icy uncertainty of the new year. Continue reading

910: (360/365) After Christmas Sales

Retailers really have a nerve when you think about it. Right up to Christmas they hike up their prices. We dutiful drones pay top dollar for loot which we wrap and give away. Come “Boxing Day” prices plummet in almost obscene ways and it can get hectic as people clamber for bargains:

We went early, with a list and an idea of what we would regularly pay for the items on that list. In, bought (from the then still full shelves and racks), and out again in an hour and a half – this is the stuff of legends. Continue reading

893: (343/365) Teddy

It has been said that “you are never alone with a rubber duck” – equally true with a teddy bear I suspect:

I must experiment with the posture. designed for bi-colour paper, you cannot see the colour changes for eyes and the rest with this fold, but the arms and legs are charming, cutie ears and general body morphology is pleasing. 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

796: (246/365) Japanese Andon Lamp

Paper is an amazing thing. In Japanese culture, for centuries, walls and furnishings were made from timber and Washi (hand-made Kozo fibre paper). Candle-driven laps made of paper (counter-intuitively) are still common, this is an Andon Lamp:

There are 2 versions of this – one that uses 4 squares (this one) and another minor variation makes the frame with 4 bits of paper and then you put in other paper inserts into frames formed on each side of a contrasting colour/texture. Continue reading

761: (211/365) Spirit House

When I went to Japan in the early Noughties, I loved so much of the culture I encountered in the everyday. On my return I decided our house deserved a “Spirit House”. The principle is simple, it guards our front door, traps the bad spirits from entering and amplifies the good:

Since it’s install, it has worked a charm and today I brought it into this century by adding a solar-charged light inside the stone lantern section, that glows softly at night. To commemorate the renovation I was looking for a fold of a spirit house and happened across one designed by Ichiro Kinoshita. Continue reading

713: (163/365) Roman Diaz’s Goat

Scrumbling through my “must fold list” I came across a curious hand-drawn diagram set from Spain and decided to give it a whirl:

After much torturing (I started with a 35cm square) the result is a rather lovely goat. I think this is my favourite farmyard animal so far – lovely proportions, fantastic modelling potential. Continue reading

701: (151/365) Queenslander!

…a little known fact, up until the night of the day this fold was supposed to be folded (last night if I am honest, missed a day, catching up, sorry) I had NEVER watched a Rugby match. Ever:

So I was over at a mates place, we were supposed to be playing a board game but apparently State of Origin was on, so they watched and I did too. Continue reading

692: (142/365) Wu’s Modular Chess Board

Looking around for a chess board in origami was fun, there seem to be a few out there, including a few that use only 1 sheet of paper and a million creases to perform the necessary colour changes for the squares:

I discovered I could not source paper large enough to make a playable chess board, so looked for alternatives and stumbled across Joseph Wu’s modular chessboard. Continue reading

665: (115/365) The Last Post

I am not sure what it is about the music, but “The Last Post” always gets to me:

After visiting Gallipoli 2 years ago (nearly to the day), and the Canberra war memorial last year, this is never more true. The tune is haunting, desperately sad and intimately bound up with a remembrance of Australian and New Zealand troops (originally) but more recently with all armed force personnel from all wars, police actions and conflicts.

I am always, oddly, extraordinarily anxious when it is played live. I feel for the trumpeter as the tune has no where to go – when the note is wrong it is so terribly uncomfortable. I am particularly in awe of the students that play it in front of the whole school. James did it proud yesterday at a school assembly. I get goosebumps thinking about it, but I always have. Continue reading

652: (102/365) Sleep In

Now you are set to sleep in, for the first time in ages right? Your neighbour, bless him, decides this morning is the time to chainsaw and woodchip the hedgerow:

As amusing as this sounds, this actually happened to me this morning. Coincidentally I had just completed Fernando Gilgado’s “Sleeping In” model – seems the universe was conspiring against me. Continue reading