Tribute to Eric Joisel – Week 4: “Harlequin”

I cannot for one moment pretend that all my folds work out – indeed I have sent LOTS of paper to landfill as twisted wrecks of models i have later mastered.

Ric Monty's CP of Joisel's Harlequin

A single week (with work, life etc) for me was not a challenge I could complete – the Harlequin model is a glorious extension of a “gnome-like” structure, the pre-creasing took me 2 days alone.

My unshaped first-fold of Joisel's Harlequin.

I managed the collapse, fairly cleanly, managed to isolate all the key features (face, hat, bow, cape, arms with ruffles, skirt and puffy-pants legs with diamond stockings. I ran out of time shaping, sadly.

Wet folding requires application of water and/or MC, molding, clamping and waiting for it to dry before moving on – the process is tedious, long winded if you have to go to work, sleep etc as well as shape. A piece like this would typically take at least a week to shape alone, so I am not sure it was a good model choice for a week challenge – that said, a couple of folders managed it – I have no idea how.

I will re-fold this, when I am less time-restricted. I am sad I did not complete the challenge actually – it upset me to think I did not have a week 4 entry. the process of acceptance has kicked in however and I am stoic enough to look back at what I did achieve over the past 4 weeks. I am inordinately proud of my efforts, regardless of what the judges thought.

I reflect on Joisel’s legacy a lot – he passed 10 years ago today, I remember the shock that consumed the origami community at his passing, but celebrate his artistic contribution – he re-defined shaping, “breathing life into paper” like no one else.

If you are interested in the challenge, other entrants and the whole shebang, go here: for the tribute competition home, galleries etc.

1013: Tribute to Eric Joisel, Week 2: “Mermaid#1”

My blog suggests that there are mostl successes with my folds, this is far from the case. I had decided some 5 years back, that I was going to master “Mermaid” by Eric Joisel, and indeed I have tried on a few occasions and failed.

4 tries at Mermaid#1 by Joisel
When at first you do not succeed, try, try and try again.

It turned out that “Mermaid#1”, the less attractive of his collection was the subject of Week 2’s intermediate challenge (intermediate they say!!!?!?! Bahahahahahah.). In my confusion, back when I thought it was “choose ONE of thes models and fold it in 4 weeks” I had actually chosen mermaid, because. I recently learned it was fold 1 new model each week, AND copy the work of the master as close as possible. While I am not entirely sure this is respectful, and while I totally fucked this up with week 1 (I did an INTERPRETATION, not a copy, and scored few points for my best gnome ever which was quite disheartening), I am perservering because I like the challenge – it is good for my head.

mermaid#1 fourth try creasing it

This is the 4th model in this batch of folding. It is not perfect, and I will probably not be keeping it, but it is as close to a copy of the original as I can manage. Realistic human figures are hard, curves, breasts and soft tummys with delicate bellybuttons are even harder.

Joisel's "Mermaid#1", or as close as I can come to copying it
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Tribute to Eric Joisel – Week #1

So this started as a cautionary tale – I saw the a competition, in Spanish, where they were celebrating the art legacy of one of my favourite designers of all time: Eric Joisel. My initial “skimming” of the competition was “pick a level, choose a model from that level’s choices, fold that model” – easy, right?

I chose “Intermediate”, no real idea why, but I did, and was accepted. Just before the comp started, I get an email welcoming me to the competition and detailing Week 1’s challenge … wait!?!? What!?!?!

Joisel Gnome#4 Views

Turns out I signed up to fold ALL of the intermediate models, one a week for the next 4 weeks. I have no idea if I can actually fold some of the models in this category, but am (after the “reorientation”) prepared to give it a crack.

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1011: Foschi’s “Gecko”

I had a 12cm square of thin crisp Kraft and decided to try the Riccardo Foschi CP for his gecko. This required a 32 square grid, making resultant pleats 4mm or less each:

Riccardo Foschi's Gecko

I figured this was a good test of my accuracy, and found it quite relaxing but fiddly with my nerve-damaged hands. I am working on my CP deciphering skills, and this seemed quite straight forward.

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1008: Lend A Hand

After what feels like ages, I am returning to recreational folding (it is great therapy):

Sergio Gurachi's Skeleton hand

This started as a mystery CP by Sergio Guarachi, that I sort of solved, then researched and realised I collapsed it more or less correctly. I am still a NOOB when it comes to solving CPs, so was a little chuffed that my collapse liberated a workable number of points, and with some creative smooshing (an actual origami technique) got a fair approximation of a human skeletal hand.

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1005: Mask#16

Lately I have been folding a lot of faces – some free-form, some crease pattern (CP) based:

Mask #16 - Flynn Jackson

This is Mask #16, designed by Flynn Jackson, folded from cardstock, painted bronze.

I am beginning to get a “feel” for facial features – repetition and practice of free-folding helps me realise nuances between face structured, position of key anchors (brow ridge, nose, mouth) and how to set the eyes.

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Another Brick In The Wall

I vaguely remember folding lego in my original 365 journey back in 2011 and I am sure I remember following a set of diagrams. Looking back, the resource moved and has degenerated into low res Crease patterns:

Lego development

Un-flummoxed, I set about re-acquainting myself with the fold – an intense little 12×14 grid, special collapses for pegs and pits.


Having folded one, by gridding a square cut from an A3 sheet, initially 16×16 (because that division is easy) then slicing off 2 and 4 units from adjacent sides to get to 12×14. the resultant block was fiddly, but I got back into “the zone” and the collapses were tidy.


I then realised that I could waste less paper by dividing the short side of an A3 in 3rds, then 6ths, then 12ths, when squaring along the long side I had to remove only a small sliver off the end (quite efficient use of the sheet) – the resultant grid made a much more satisfying sized block.

building blocks

I set about making a few different colours, because.

another brick in the wall

All in all, they are just another brick in the wall. Mother, did it have to be so high?

1003: Flat-folding Sine Wave-based Corrugation

Exploring the notion of curve-following corrugations, I drew a section of a sine wave, placed a series of graduated squares diagonally along it, constructed diagonal bisectors and extended them to the bounding boxes. then tiled, mirrored and flipped copies to construct a sine-wave that extended over an A4 page:

flat-folding sine wave-based corrugation - crease pattern

Although tiny, I used a stylus to score the necessary creases then spent a couple of hours delicately collapsing it.

flat-folding sine wave-based corrugation - finished form

The first few creases did not cooperate but as more of the structure emerged, it reinforced the remaining collapses and it sort of started to look after itself. Explore further the Maths behind this technique in this published paper.

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1002: Flat-folding Curve-following Parabolic Corrugation

I had been exploring corrugations that followed curved lines, as you do, and sort of worked out that you needed a quadrilateral face with equidistant gutters either side, but my rough approximations were foldable but not pretty:

Flat-folding Curve-following Parabolic Corrugation

Then I saw a published paper, about the same thing, that suggested square/rhombi arranged diagonally to follow the line, organised diagonal-based accordion pleats, and a scale factor bigger of the same shape for the gutter creases and bingo, problem solved.

Flat-foldability is a thing, there is lots of maths in it, but it is so satisfying to have manually derived something that was subsequently proven (*flex*).

Flat-folding Curve-following Parabolic Corrugation CP
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995: Broken

Playing with arguing pleats, I scored a sheet of card in random/odd verticals that were all a bit slanty, then accordioned it up to create the basic structure. Next I started creating a series of ziggy-zaggy inside reverse folds. in steps down, then steps back up.


The shadows of this thing really float my boat – I must explore if there is a way to control this some more – I am sure there is a method that allows me to create a path of fan-fold collapse that is curved.

I call this broken because this looks like a rip in space time (well, to me it does).

990: They come at night … mostly

I will admit to being a sci-fi nerd, few movies did it for me like the original “Alien” movie, directed by Ridley Scott, designed by Hans Reudi Geiger.

The truly original mixture of a genuinely terrifying xenomorph, claustrophobic and grimy working space ship and stellar cast makes the movie, at least in my mind, perfect.

Donny_Origami's facehugger

Prior to that, space was clean (painfully white and tidy, according to the Star Wars, Blakes7, Flash Gordon and Dr Who visions), in Alien gear looked used, people were pissed off and tired, and we were introduced to a much loved and never duplicated alien.

Donny_Origami's facehugger attack

H.R. Geiger imagined a life-cycle – from egg, to facehugger (this beastie) that implants an embryo deep in a host, chest burster through to adult killing machine. Scarily insectoid, acid for blood, no eyes, perfect.

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988: Ramen

Sometimes, just sometimes, it has to be noodles – rice or wheat, in broth, that are schlurped while way too hot, because … reasons:

Ramen bowl

I saw a crease pattern (CP) by Jinjang on an origami Discord I frequent and (in the season of justifiable procrastination) had to fold it.

Ramen CP

I think there are errors on the CP, as I found I needed to adjust crease lines to properly form the bowl, and would probably manage the colour of the lip differently next time, but as a first fold this was a really interesting exercise.

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987: Ryu Zin Junior 2.1

Rounding out my Ryu journey, I decided to use a small scrap of Kozo left over from another project to fold Jason Ku’s Ryu Zin Junior 2.1:

Jason Ku Ryu Zin 1.2

While sharing some of the nomenclature of the Satoshi Kamiya chinese dragon series, this little chap is markedly different on every level. I found a set of photo diagrams lovingly annotated by Daniel Brown, and thought I would give is a whirl.

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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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985: Satoshi Kamiya’s Ryu Jin 2.1

Some folds are quite the journey, Ryu Jins are no exception. I have already folded the 1.2 and the 3.5, but had not tried the 2.1, relegating it to the “when I have time” pile:

2 point 1 - model

Holiday time is a time of recharge, paper folding therapy is my thing so I embarked on the super-duper-complex journey with HUGE bits of paper. I decided to fold it in 2 halves (two 140 x 70 cm rectangles of red duo Ikea Kraft paper).

2 point 1 - CP

As a bit of paper engineering, Ryu are masterpieces of fitting so much on a single square. The 2.1 is laid out in a similar morphology to the 3.5, with 2 halves of the model on opposite edges of the paper. The Ryu 1.2, in contrast, uses the diagonal and is symmetrical about that.

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965: Baguette

Cruising Reddit, I came across a CP and photodiagram describing a fold designed by Lysiuk Dzmitry:


Being a breadmaker, I was drawn to the lovely little loaf – razor marks in the crust and nice squared ends.

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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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961: Drogon, The Black Dragon

The lure of Satoshi Kamiya’s Dragon set is alluring. Recently I was invited into a community that celebrates the RyuJin series. Having folded a 1.0 and a 3.5, I thought it time to fold another:

Drogo, Satoshi Kamiya's RyuJin 1.2

This is the 1.2 – a refinement of the 1.0 and I had fun shaping the head as per a guide by Daniel Brown – a luscious and generously shared photodiagram set that I really enjoyed following.

My 1.2 is actually based on almost an identical crease pattern to the 1.0 I folded back in 2013, but back then I had NO IDEA how to shape it, and sort of made up shit as I went along.

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960: Make Origami Great Again

Playing with a CP designed by Flynn Jackson, this little cappy chappy is a fun fold:

little cap man

It reminds me of those people, who wear their red MAGA caps waaaaay too tight (and hence restrict blood flow to their brains?), and this little guy is also wearing sunnies.

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