1093: “An Origami Journey”

Avid noticers of this blog will realise that, since 2011, I have been rapidly expanding my abilities as a folder. Like most people, my first ever origami experience (apart from largely unsuccessful paper planes) was an origami crane (Tsuru) – taught to me as a boy of 11 yrs by a Japanese exchange student. A few years back I completed my task of learning how to fold Satoshi Kamiya’s “Ryujin 3.5”. This fold is not unrelated to both events:

Brandon Wong's "An Origami Journey"

Crane to complete Eastern Dragon is quite a journey, learning all sorts of new techniques and refining skills along the way and this fold celebrates that very journey. Originally designed and folded by Brandon Wong (@ThePlantPsychologist) – I first saw his fold on Instagram, and then photos of it on OrigamiDan (a discord server I am a member of) and vowed, one day, to fold it.

Brandon very kindly published the Crease Pattern along with photos of his fold, and right now I am rapidly learning to solve crease patterns so the perfect storm emerged after retiring I have time to tackle more ambitious folds.

Brandon Wong's "An Origami Journey" 360 view

After gridding the 90cm square, I set about laying in the exacting additional creases needed, including a puzzling pythagorean hinge line and some baffling level-shifters. Collapsing was a …. process. Apparently I “parachuted” the model – starting at the edges and working towards a bulging centre is termed parachuting (which is something I must address) until it more or less sat flat. After checking in with Brandon (isn’t the internet amazing) he suggested a fix for the only collapse kludge I had on his right shoulder.

Brandon Wong's "An Origami Journey" - development

Shaping has taken me an age. All the paper is in the right place, but the base does nto really resemble the final model because all the details are teased out of block-like flaps. I decided I was going to go for a likeness of myself – glasses and beard, and am really happy with the result. I had to add wire to the arms to hold up the weight of the 2 sub-models in the hands, I also added a paper-bound “girdle” to keep the jacket closed and shape the collar, and finally support wires up the legs so he stands on the circular base I made.

I am really happy with this fold, and am astonished I managed to make it on my first attempt – models of this complexity do not usually happen first off. I had a second sheet ready to go when it buggered up – I can use that for something else on my “must try this” list. On several occasions I was really close to scrunching it up and throwing it away when I was making no progress on the collapse, but found getting up and doing something else let me return, more calm, and progress.

Brandon Wong's "An Origami Journey" closeup

Take it in – from the ONE square, we have a fully clothed person (suit, shoes, full face details) holding out his hands – in one hand is a traditional origami crane, in the other is a simplified Eastern Dragon – testament to the fact that, in the hands of a skilled designer, paper can do anything.

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