1048: Satoshi Kamiya’s “Cat looking in a stove”

There were 4 hours allocated for the teaching of “Dog”, we finished in about 3 so Satoshi decided to teach a simpler model that he said was the most “realistic cat” he knew – modelled after his own pet apparently:

Satoshi Kamiya's "Cat looking in a stove"

A simple fold sequence, we have the back of a cat staring intensely away from us, just wonderful. I have seen other session attendee’s models where they added details to the front of the cat (when I re-fold this I may too).

Again, the sequence was fluid, and a joy to follow along with, interjected with banter and casual observations by the master – such a privilege to have been able to fold along.

1047: Dog

The star drawcard (for me) was an opportunity to fold along live with Satoshi Kamiya – he taught 2 models and I managed to follow along with the broken English, translator and zoom limitations:

Kamiya's "Dog"

The sequence of most of Kamiya’s models are delicious – so natural, logical and a totally different/unique style.

This is a generic dog, different to the one most recently published and I can see how you could vary the base to get really nicely shaped dogs of many types – this one is a little “husky” like.

I really felt lucky to have been present, I am a bit of a fanboi, but it was intense and wonderful. Matching the master, fold for fold was a rare pribilege. I must re-fold this (as I am not really happy with the head I folded).

1043: Lee Jae Gu’s “Basset Hound”

Mum had Basset hounds when we were kids – wondrously preposterous dogs with twice as much skin as any dog needs, rediculously long ears and a bark straight from the bowels of hell. We loved the “girls”; they were very intelligent, active and protective (and seemed to delight in sneaking up behind us and barking deeply once, for the effect – I am sure it amused them):

Lee Jae Gu's "Basset Hound"

This model is as close to the actual basset hound shape as I have found folded from paper, and the colour changes make this model actually closely resemble one of our bassetts named “Cleo” – lovely dog. The stance is really typical and the placement/proportion of the ears and head are spot on.

Lee Jae Gu's "Basset Hound" views

Folded from white/natural duo Ikea Kraft, it is a challenging model because of a number of judgement fold steps and some tricky shaping, but i am happy with the result (and hope mum likes it, a gift for her).

1039: Jang Yong Ik’s “Smilodon”

Whilst being eliminated from the Origami Tournament, I am still interested in the models being folded by surviving contestants. This week’s challenge was Jang Yong Ik’s :Smilodon” – a “sabre tooth tiger” like critter from time gone past:

Jang Yong Ik's "Smilodon"

The fold sequence is intense – this model ate up a 70cm square of black/natural duo Kraft paper like few other models. The body is thick and heavy, some sections had dozens of layers.

Jang Yong Ik's "Smilodon" view

I took my time, considered as I went, determined to succeed on my first fold. In retrospect, using thinner paper would have an advantage in that the layer management would be easier, but the legs would be flimsy and require wire supports – tough for a designer to distribute paper structurally.

Jang Yong Ik's "Smilodon" scale

In the end, we have a crouching toothy fossil, it was an interesting exercise and entrants did some good shaping to personalise their folds. I enjoyed exploring the sequence.

1037: Beth Johnson’s Horse

Madly, I agreed to participate in an international tournament, at the Intermediate level:

Beth Johnson's Horse

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.

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1030: Satoshi Kamiya’s Horse

Further exploring all things equinine, I realised I had never folded Satoshi Kamiya’s horse:

Satoshi Kamiya's Horse

Central to this horse design is a lovely mane, but the volume and proportions of this model are amazing, the base it originates from is immediately “horsey”.

Shaping matters, and I think I have been a little clumsy, but I suspect some of the fat is the paper – crisp 70cm kraft – I think if I had used a thinner/more textured paper the result would look less like a plastic horse.

There are lots of really challenging moves in this sequence – gathering the pleats to allow you to fan out the mane while not distorting the outside layers in mindboggling – there is LOTS of paper hidden, and I think my accuracy for this, the first fold, was pretty good.

Satoshi Kamiya's Horse scale

I must chase up a copy of Issei Yoshino’s book – that horse has a mane that apparently inspired Satoshi to design this one.

1029: Hideo Komatsu’s Horse

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:

Hideo Komatsu's Horse

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).

Hideo Komatsu's Horse views

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.

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1024: Grogu, Mando in training

For those up to date with “The Mandolorean”, the last episode reveal was “baby yoda’s” name – turns out it was “Grogu”:

Sebl's Grogu

Although loosely a space western, Mando is largely cutie Grogu and as many Star Wars references as is possible to fit into a loose plot (my opinion).

Sebl's Mando Helmet

Sebastien Limet designed a 2-part Grogu and published video tutorial on his Fakebook account – head and body are separate (I cheated and glued mine together – ssshhh!). The next day he did the same for a Mandalorian helmet – I made mine a little goth. More eye candy follows…

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993: Roman Diaz’s Deer

When asked by a colleague for a model that evokes memories of Japan, Miyajima’s Deer are right up there:

993 - Roman Diaz Deer

I started with a 45cm square of plain Kraft, and started folding – as much for therapy as it was for exploring a new model I am amazed I have never folded before.

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Their Lives In Our Hands

Much has been made in the media about the current bush fire situation in Australia. Truth is the scale of devastation is impossible to grasp, in terms of sheer acreage of scorched earth, number of homes lost, lives lost and livelihoods ruined. When we add the effects on environment, habitat and wildlife (flora and fauna), the effects of the 2019/2020 summer will have long-reaching and potentially permanent ramifications:

their lives in our hands

I want to say that our leaders are on top of this, but have never had confidence in politicians, and am not convinced any can see past getting re-elected to make the hard decisions necessary for our continued existence. Indeed, when our PM chooses to go on holiday during the worst of it, when he and his colleagues continue to deny climate change, despite the overwhelming scientific evidence. They display a vandalistic attitude to environmental policy, and offer reckless abandon to fossil fuels and non-sustainability.

Their lives in our hands. “They” are our children, their children, the animals and plants that make up the biosphere in which we live. The “they” are US.

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Year of the Rat

Most cultures have myths and legends, developed over centuries, to explain how things work. The Chinese Zodiac and New Year is at odds with the western Julian calendar, but none the less interesting:

Joisel's Rat

2020 is the Year of the Rat – interestingly my socials are full of mouse diagrams, but for me there are few iconic origami rats, and this is my favourite – designed by Eric Joisel, I just love the character this chap presents.

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982: Satoshi Kamiya’s “Tiger”

I have been on a mission for months now to try and render a tiger as realistically as I can in paper. Apart from being feline in shape, tigers have stripes – finding a model that has these stripes was difficult:

Kamiya's Tiger

I bought Satoshi Kamiya’s latest book because of the tiger diagrams it contained – on flicking through the 200+ steps I initially thought it too difficult to try. But try I did, initially with large format red-natural Ikea Kraft paper. I was surprised that I was able to make it through the most torturous steps, so set about re-folding it with black/natural, ensuring the black was the stripes, natural was the residual body colour.

The genius of this design is the subtle and precise control of both sides of the sheet – the stripes are the result of folds, not cuts. The model requires you manipulate raw edges (the sheet border) fan-folded, while wrestling all the other details (legs, head, tail) from the INSIDE of the sheet – quite amazing.

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Pride

…so, as part of a commission, I decided to explore the concept of “pride”, using a feline metaphor:

I folded a family of lions, designed by Lionel Albertini, and then posed them in a Daiso display box. “Pride” is an interesting concept – we see the lioness, as the head of the family, provider, strong, carer. We see cubs looking up to her. We see the Lion, in the background, as supporter and partner.

pride

I like the minimalist composition of this piece. I used crumpled VOG paper as “grass” and have resisted adding any other decoration, because everything I have tried added makes the family grouping less powerful.

I hope the client likes it, we shall see.

981: Lion Cubs

Completing the theme of “pride”, these adorable Lion Cubs are part of the set designed by Lionel Albertino, from his book “Safari Origami”:

lion cubs

I like how the proportions of the cub suggest younger, cuddlier, clumsier bodies they have yet to grow into. This fold uses a completely different base to the parents, and I managed to pose one standing and the other sitting.

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980: Lioness

Exploring the theme of “Pride” some more, the lioness is the worker of the group, mother, hunter, general all purpose carer:

lioness

Lionel Albertino’s Lioness is an interesting fold, made from the same base as the Lion, you manage the head completely differently. I like the strong haunches, shoulders and noble head. The tail structure is fun and there is some pose-ability about the body. She looks like she is ready for anything.

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979: Lion

Folding feline shapes is hard work, making them look realistic is harder. This is the first of a series of Lion studies, designed by Lionel Albertino from his book “Safari Origami”:

lion

Colour management here is lovely – folded from natural/black Ikea Kraft, hiding away the black except for the mane and tip of tail is hard work. When I close up the seams and pose it he will be tidier, but “folds only” it is a stable, self-standing model.

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978: Vixen

Continuing my journey into the world of Origami Foxes, I came upon a folding sequence from Hoang Tien Quyet:

vixen

This is a vixen (the quaint name biologists call a female fox, not sure why) – quite fluid, feminine and organic – compare it with the previous post and you will see a stylistic difference, but also a similarity in the colour management.

This was a really tricky model to fold, lots of paper packed away in very sophisticated ways, I love the serpentine backbone that ends in a beautiful bushy tail.

This feels much more modern a fold, HT Quyet is known for his curved folds, this was fun yet a real challenge to work on the proportions. The body has a real volume and movement about it.

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977: Fantastic Mr Fox

I have been looking for foxes, long story. I stumbled across Roman Diaz’s Fox from “Origami Essence” and thought I should give it a try:

Mr fox

This is a lovely stylised model, careful management of colour, nice big tail and some solidity to the body.

In many ways it feels like an “old school” model – flat, angular and difficult to balance the curved folds that define the face with the otherwise flat structure. I was also surprised it stands, but hte weight balance is good, he stands regal and magnificent.

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Tetsuya Gotani’s Elephant

In need of an elephantine fold, I remembered proof-reading a diagram set from Tetsuya Gotani’s latest book “Origamix”, and remember a test fold that went awry, so decided to try again:

Gotani Elephant

What a lovely sequence – some complex layer manipulation and need for accuracy early on pays off later when shaping.

There is lots to love about this model – lovely big ears (an African elephant then?), trunk and tusks, lovely bum and fabulous sturdy legs. A test of a model is how it is with folds only – you can see an inherent elephantine shape that is stable and free-standing.

Gotani Elephant scale

I will do some posing, and tidy up some gaping seams, otherwise there is little to do to make this a presentation fold. I really like this model – my pick of elephants (perhaps even ahead of Sipho Mabona’s) so far, and I have folded LOTS of them.

968: Spiny Norman

Anyone with a decent knowledge of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, would recognise the name “Spiny Norman” – the gigantic hedgehog that haunted Dinsdale, the more vicious of the Piranha Brothers. When I saw Yudai Imai’s Hedgehog, I knew I had to give it a try:

Yudai Imai's hedgehog

I had been looking for a model to best show of some duo 30cm Thai Unryu I had bought from the Origami Shop.

Yudai Imai's hedgehog paper - OrigamiShop's duo Unryu

Although Unryu is generally tissue thin, this duo paper seemed really thick, still I thought it was worth a bend so set about gridding – This was really hard work on fingers, and resorted to a bone folder – only when I laided in creases crisply was I able to reverse them (and in many cases even then with difficulty).

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