39: An Orchid Bloom

Posted by wonko on February 8, 2011 in flower |

Robert J Lang is a living treasure in the origami world for many reasons. He is a mathematician, artist and seeming magician (for he can do with paper the seemingly impossible) but more importantly he specialises in realistic Origami models.

It is my Mother-in-law’s birthday today and I thought I would attempt a hideously difficult model of Lang’s which attempts to accurately represent a bloom from an orchid called a “Phalaenopsis” as a suitable birthday present.

A Real Phalaenopsis

These lush beauties have 5 petals, often frilly or oddly beautiful throats or slippers at the nectary.

Nectary Detail

All my reading and advice to folders suggested the model was not for the faint-hearted and boy, was that understating it – so many folds, so much folding, pre-folding and unfolding then bending into new shapes.

I am amazed the photocopy paper I am using actually did not tear or just disintegrate. This model would benefit from a “wet fold” where you wet the paper as you fold it, the shapes are softer and hold when the model dries.

I must admit to being completely chuffed and proud I could actually make this model, first time fold, and love how beautiful the end result is.

It is amazing that it started as a plain square cut from an A4 page, it ended up so organic with such bulk of paper tucked, crimped, sunk, and pleated in exotic ways.

I must try to find some of Robert Lang’s books – they are considered “bibles” of form, technique and contain so many iconic models.

Back and Side Views

You can have a go yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-UPR_HIyQo


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