In a bid to calm down and relax after a brutal week at work, I took a 60cm square of red/natural Ikea Kraft paper and started folding… and folded, and folded and folded.
I have been lured back into the fold (as it were) of Ryu Jin folders (nerds who attempt to fold Satoshi Kamiya’s devilishly difficult dragon series). Having already folded a 1.0, 1.2 and 3.5, I noticed that I had never attempted a 2.1.
For the uninitiated, the numbers indicate refinements, with the 1.0 being vaguely dragon like and the 3.5 (the culmination of this design process) being the most astonishingly detailed design imaginable.
I have access (via an extraordinarily generous mentor, Mr Daniel Brown) to some of the design aspects of a 2.1, so thought I would start with the head, and see where that led me.
The fold ate a WHOLE DAY. I looked up, it was after midnight and in my hand was an astonishing detailed head of a dragon. I love it when you can get so lost in something that time goes away. My fingers are bruised, eyes a little bleary but feel mentally refreshed, which I guess was the aim.
The detail here is amazing, difficult for mere photographs to capture, but we have eyes under menacing brows, 3 set of horns, a lovely set of antlers, jowls, teeth, a tongue, double beard, scaled neck and … all the non-red paper is neatly tucked inside the model. Wow, just WOW.
Logic tells you, as you are folding this, that what you are doing is not possible. Pre-creasing took 3 hours, then after another cup of tea I began the collapse. Neck scales first, then the pleaty gathers necessary to raise a dense tuft of convoluted paper with dozens of stickey-outey bits that are then massaged into place and become features.
Now I know the head takes a day to fold, you get a sense of the scale of the whole model, of which the head is a relatively quick part. Might leave the rest to a time when I have a few weeks with nothing to do.
I am really happy with this, my first fold. It is different to the head of a 3.5 – I think it’s facial features are more distinct, but perhaps it is just that I have become a better folder since wrestling with the 3.5 that the result is just cleaner – who knows.
I will add this, and a couple of other dragon head studies to the window of wonder I currently have on show at my school. I wonder how many kids who have never folded before will ask if I can teach them how to fold it (I get that a lot).